Singapore’s flagship art fair runs from 26 to 28 January during Singapore Art Week 2018.
ART STAGE Singapore transforms traditional gallery presentations inviting collectors, artists and other creative industries to participate in the internationally renowned event.
Art Stage Singapore 2018: Interactions
Founded by Lorenzo Rudolf in 2011, ART STAGE Singapore returns in its eighth year to ignite excitement around contemporary art in Southeast Asia and to bridge gaps in the region’s segmented market. Through its insights on the regional art landscape and fluctuating economic standing, the fair acts as a catalyst for driving international interest in and the understanding of Southeast Asian art within a competitive, global arena.
Rudolf’s mission, alongside launching the careers of budding artists, is to open the stage for artistic conversations and to serve as a platform for collaborative market promotion. In doing so, the president propels ART STAGE into the realm of the world’s most ambitious fairs – in both scale and quality of presented work – and introduces the names of regional galleries into the international arena. The fair is seen not just as a paradise for buyers and collectors, but as a hub of creativity, collaboration and mutual support, recognising the unique, but intertwined function of the artist, gallerist, academic, collector and visitor.
Despite a slight decline in participating galleries from years past, the annual fair returns with nearly 100 galleries who represent artists from throughout the region – including major players from China, Europe and the Americas.
This year’s fair has adopted the theme ‘Interactions’, showing Rudolf’s and his team’s commitment to turning the commonly exclusive, traditional model of the art fair into an accessible space for all.
In conjunction with the open, collaborative structure of ART STAGE 2018, the president has chosen to name Thailand as its country of focus, inviting artists Natee Utarit and Kamin Lertchaiprasert to present special exhibition programmes over the weekend. In long-standing recognition of Asia’s dynamism and artistic excellence, the honorary duo have been selected to represent ART STAGE’s commitment to exhibiting Thai totems of culture and collective histories.
Natee Utarit’s triptych-style paintings play with fairytale motifs and found objects to comment upon contemporary Buddhism practices and Thailand’s “political contradictions” during economic crisis.
For Kamin Lerchaiprasert, art is a ritualistic practice aimed at the achievement of a greater understanding of oneself, nature and the world as a whole. After travelling to the United States and undergoing a brief stint as a Buddhist monk, Lerchaiprasert co-founded, with Rirkrit Tiravanija, the Land Project (now the Land Foundation), a converted rice plantation used now for site-specific art and installation. Both artists regard their practices as physical processes, their expressive and gestural paintings engaging with matters both earthly and spiritual.
In conversation about his decision to highlight Thailand at this year’s festivities, Rudolf states:
In the last one and a half years, a lot of new, serious and professional art galleries have opened in Thailand, such as the MAIIAM Museum of Contemporary Art by Jean Michel Beurdeley and his son, Eric Bunnag Booth. There are also many big Thai art collectors such as Petch Osathanugrah and Disaphol Chansiri, who will be opening their own museums in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.” Naturally, we have to pay tribute to this movement at the Fair by featuring many Thai galleries and artists, and planning spectacular museum-like projects with their leading local artists.
Art collections collaborations
In addition to the special programmes brought by Utarit and Lerchaiprasert, ART STAGE Singapore 2018 will present three special commercial exhibitions: a collaboration with the Tiroche DeLeon Collection; an exclusive showcase by the Honorary Invited Artist, Fernando Botero; and a special exhibition of Alexander Calder’s works on paper.
Botero, a Columbian figurative artist and sculptor and Art Stage’s first Honorary Invited Artist, will exhibit a series of his full-bodied ‘Boterismo’ portraits. Calder’s spirited gouache prints will be sold alongside two mobile sculptures, Stabile (1968) and The Red Crescent (1969).
In collaboration with the Tiroche DeLeon private collection, ART STAGE will present both established and emerging contemporary artists from Southeast Asia and beyond. This highlights the co-operative efforts of the fair and its participating galleries and collectors. Working alongside the internationally-renowned collection, Rudolf and collector Serge Tiroche have conceptualised a programme that will exhibit works acquired between 2011-2016 at earlier renditions of ART STAGE Singapore. The selected works will not only be re-exhibitied, but will be given new life, re-invigorated as part of a cohesive exhibitionary collection.
Artists given the chance to be shown once more include Donna Ong (Singapore), Ruben Pang (Singapore), Agus Suwage (Indonesia), Eko Nugroho (Indonesia), Entang Wiharso (Indonesia), Gatot Pujiarto (Indonesia), Heri Dono (Indonesia), I Nyoman Masriadi (Indonesia), J. Ariadhitya Pramuhendra (Indonesia), Manit Sriwanichpoom (Thailand), Jigger Cruz (the Philippines), Jose Santos III (the Philippines), Ronald Ventura (the Philippines), Winner Jumalon (the Philippines), Fang Lijun (China) and Zeng Fanzhi (China).
Tiroche notes (PDF download) that the innovative market-as-collection model will allow the collection to be re-imagined in Singapore alongside an exhaustive list of other important artists:
We are pleased to have come full circle with Lorenzo Rudolf, to present a collection he helped us build. It is wonderful when two innovative minds meet and are comfortable exploring new collaborative models. I am excited about this opportunity and look forward to being in Singapore.
The works of the collection, ART STAGE comments, are frequently lent to prominent museums, exhibitions, public venues, biennales, art fairs and other creative industries, including a 2011 exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum featuring Rodel Tapaya’s most iconic work, Cane of Kabunian, Numbered But Cannot Be Counted, which won the triennial Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Signature Art Prize 2011.
Southeast Asia’s flagship art fair
In acknowledgement of the rapid changes and fluctuations in the art economy, ART STAGE Singapore pays tribute to new, often harsh, realities of the art market by innovating the traditional art fair concept and going beyond the classical gallery presentations. By expanding the field to collectors, artists and other creative industries, the fair continues to innovate and augment its position as the principal art fair of Southeast Asia.
The wide array of artists, exhibitors and artworld professionals scheduled to be present throughout Singapore Art Week signal both a flourishing sector of a global market and the organiser’s emphasis on accessible work and communicative collaboration.
ART STAGE Singapore 2018 is the anchor event of the Singapore Art Week and takes place from 26 to 28 January 2018 at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore.
- The Roles and Responsibilities of Museum in Civil Society: CIMAM Annual Conference 2017, Singapore – November 2017 – on the occasion of the CIMAM conference in Singapore, Art Radar spoke with Dr Eugene Tan, Director of National Gallery
- 3 emerging Singaporean artists to watch – November 2017 – Singapore is a conglomeration of racial, religious, regional and global influences
- Thai artist Kamin Lertchaiprasert on the BKK metro – September 2017 – the Thai artist is shaking up Bankok’s train line by replacing all advertisements with works of his own
- The inaugural Art Stage Jakarta Award for Authenticity, Leadership, Excellence, Quality, Seriousness in Art – August 2017 – Art Stage Jakarta announces the winners for its inaugural art award
- Art Stage Singapore 2017 sees strong local collectors’ support – round-up – January 2017 – despite flagging local engagement, Art Stage Singapore 2017 draws strong support from regional collectors
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