Despite flagging local engagement, Art Stage Singapore 2017 draws strong support from regional collectors.
Art Stage Singapore 2017, the flagship fair of Southeast Asia and anchor event of the Singapore Art Week, closed its seventh edition on Sunday 15 January, drawing a total of 33,200 visitors. Art Radar takes a look at the events and gallery sales results.
Art Stage Singapore: a regional forum
The event is considered crucial for helping galleries across Southeast Asia to find a consolidated platform. This year, 131 galleries from 27 countries exhibited, just over a third of them from Southeast Asia. With the aim of extending the fair’s reach beyond market interests, Art Stage Singapore offered new engaging content this year through the Southeast Asian Forum exhibition and lecture series, which was initiated in the 2016 edition, and the Collectors’ Stage exhibition, which is new this year.
Regional and international collectors at Art Stage Singapore
The support and presence of regional collectors from Southeast Asia increased significantly compared to previous editions. The greatest single turn out of collectors came from Indonesia, with Alex Tedja, Deddy Kusuma, Ir. Ciputra, Prasodjo Winarko, Haryanto Adikoesoemo, Wiyu Wahono all present. Other prominent international collectors could be seen wandering the fair’s aisles including Disaphol Chansiri from Thailand; Soichiro Fukutake, Tetsuyuki Oishi and Daisuke Miyatsu from Japan; Alain Servais from Belgium; Dick Quan and Stephen Shaul from Australia; Dato’ Noor Azman bin Mohd Nurdin, Dato’ Marcus Tan Ser Lay and Pakhruddin Sulaiman from Malaysia; Leo Shih and Stephen Wu from Taiwan and Chong Zhou from China.
“Collectors’ Stage 2017: Expose” exhibition
Art Stage Singapore 2017 intended to demonstrate the strength of the local collecting scene with six Singapore-based collectors Hady Ang, Jim Amberson, Michael Tay and Talenia Phua Gajardo, Michelangelo and Lourdes Samson, and Kenneth Tan opening their collections to the public at the art fair’s inaugural “Collectors Stage: Expose” exhibition. The exhibition “Collectors’ Stage 2017: Expose” aimed to foster an understanding about art collections and reveal the thought processes and motivations behind cultivating a coherent personal collection.
Present in the exhibition were the work of local artist Francis Ng as well as a range of names in the Southeast Asian scene (Martha Atienza, Leslie de Chavez, Ronald Ventura and Kawayan de Guiya from the Phillipines; Faisal Habibi, Aditya Novali, Handiwirman Saputra, Eddy Susanto, TROMARAMA and Albert Yonathan Setyawan from Indonesia; Wong Hoy Cheong from Malaysia and Vasan Sithiket from Thailand). Also present was the work of international artists Moffat Takadiwa (Zimbabwe), Rashid Johnson (USA), Steve McQueen (United Kingdom) and Asim Waqif (India).
Despite promotion of the local collecting scene attempted by the exhibition “Collectors’ Stage 2017: Expose”, sales of works to local collectors at the fair did not quite live up to their regional and international counterparts.
“Forum” exhibition and international gallery sales highlights
A host of international galleries took up booths this year – although significantly less than 2016’s edition. First-time exhibitor Emmanuel Fremin Gallery from New York reported sales of USD270,000. Another first-time exhibitor Galerie OVO from Taipei also reported good sales of works ranging from USD3,600 to USD25,000.
Prominent Vietnamese Galerie Quynh participated in the Southeast Asia (SEA) Forum, curated by Nadia Ng under the title “capitalism”. Galerie Quynh represented artist Trong Gia Nguyen showed his three-channel video installation entitled Nouveau Ghetto (2016). The work depicts various artists promoting themselves in commercials with irreverent scripts written by Nguyen. In email correspondence with Art Radar, Associate Director of Galerie Quynh Celine Alexandre commented:
The Forum section seemed to be the strongest overall at the fair this year. Despite the decrease in number of exhibitors, which usually translates to a better quality fair overall, the number of collectors appeared to have also decreased, unfortunately. Despite that, we were able to connect with a number of important collectors who did travel, and overall we had a very successful fair.
The seventh edition of Art Stage Singapore saw a larger presence of regional collectors, which has once again showed that it is the right platform for us to meet and engage with the collectors from Southeast Asia. We are very pleased by the strong interest in and reception of the works and artists we presented at the Fair.
Richard Koh Fine Art performed well with their Malaysian artists such as Anne Samat, Haffendi Anuar and Yeoh Choo Kuan, whose works all sold out at the fair.
Ethan Cohen Gallery has always been focused on contemporary Asian, particularly Chinese, art. Mr Cohen was among the first American gallerists to show artists such as Ai Weiwei, Gu Wenda, Xu Bing and Ushio Shinohara. As such, participating in fairs such as Art Stage Singapore that emphasise Asian artists is important for promoting, as well as discovering, artists that are often underrepresented in the United States.
Local gallery sales highlights
Local Singaporean gallery Art Seasons exhibited the work of Singapore-based Chinese artist Liu Xuanqi and Singaporean artist David Chan, who is exhibiting at Art Stage Singapore for the sixth time. Also present from Singapore was local Gajah Gallery with Jason Lim‘s performance and ceramic work sharing the booth with fellow Gajah Gallery represented artist Ahmad Zakii Anwar – one of the most well-known artists in Malaysia. Works by Indonesian artist Rudi Mantofani presented by Gajah Gallery were snapped up by a regional collector for SGD280,000 within 15 minutes of the Fair’s VIP Preview on 11 January.
Art Agenda, S.E.A sold a work by Singaporean artist Cheong Soo Pieng for SGD150,000 and STPI sold a work by Rirkrit Tiravanija for USD80,000, reporting sales of works by Singaporean artist Han Sai Por from between SGD10,000 to SGD40,000. Sullivan + Strumpf did well with their emerging Indonesian artist Irfan Hendrian as well as with Australian artist Karen Black. Local FOST Gallery also reported successful sales of the entire series Being Together (2010) by Singaporean artist John Clang.
- 10 young emerging Singaporean artists – December 2016 – Art Radar introduces the 10 emerging Singapore-based artists at VADA’s UNTAPPED DISCOVERY 2016
- 10 Highlights from the Shanghai Biennale 2016 – December 2016 – “Why Not Ask Again: Arguments, Counter-arguments, and Stories” at Shanghai Power Station of Art is curated by India’s Raqs Media Collective
- Korean artist Anicka Yi wins Hugo Boss Prize 2016 – October 2016 – experimenting with technology, science and nature, conceptual artist Anicka Yi embraces discomfort in her boundary-pushing practice
- Singapore Biennale Creative Director Susie Lingham: an approach to interdisciplinary curation – video – October 2016 – Singapore Biennale Creative Director Susie Lingham speaks about curating, censorship and the Singaporean art scene at Experimenter Curators’ Hub 2016
- “The Serenity of Madness”: Thai filmmaker and artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul – artist profile – September 2016 – a travelling exhibition of the Thai artist and filmmaker is co-organised by ICI with Chiang Mai’s MAIIAM and Hong Kong’s ParaSite
Subscribe to Art Radar for more art events in Singapore