We head to South East Asia to check out the Singapore edition of the Affordable Art Fair, Spring 2017 and get a look at what is trending amongst galleries both local and abroad. With both art sales and the greater social reach equally as prominent.
Fair: Affordable Art Fair (Spring) 2017
Location: F1 Pit Building, Singapore, Singapore
When: 7th April to 9th April (VIP opening on 8th April)
Affordable Art Fair: Singapore (Spring) 2017
Returning to the shores of Singapore for its seventh season, the Spring edition of the Affordable Art Fair once again saw a variety of regional and international galleries descend on Singapore’s F1 Pit Building to display their represented artists works, ranging from $100 up to $15,000, with a condition of participation in the event being that at least 25% of a galleries pieces be priced under $1000.
Upon entry, one was treated to an interactive white cube, where visitors are invited to add their own artistic flair to the white walls of the booth for a truly collaborative art piece, complimentary magazines courtesy of Fair partner ArtRepublik and a grand entry way peppered with inspiring quotes from artists both past and present (see below). Onsite wrapping was setup thanks to Agility providing international shipping and handling, and custom framing options via The Frame Society.
While all styles of art were represented, the obvious crowd favorites were indeed Contemporary and Pop art, with the Singapore based gallery, Tokyo Gallery by Musee Collection, seeing a high number of sales, drawing particular interest was their series of Pop art inspired Screen Print and Oil on Canvas works by Australian born, San Diego based artist, Shane Bowden, (often described as “Andy Warhol on steroids”) priced at $1,600 a piece. While being a central point of the Asia Pacific region, there were very few galleries represented from the region itself, aside from the local Singapore galleries, which would no doubt have a substantial presence, of the remaining countries in the region, only a handful made the trek this year. Of these, there were two representing Australia, (Contemporary Art Australia and Mandel Art Gallery) with two from Hong Kong and a single gallery from China (Artify Gallery Ltd, Blink Gallery and Mookji Art Collaboration respectively)
While greater China and Australia saw a small amount of exposure, Korean galleries took advantage of this and were out in abundance, with an impressive seven galleries in total, with a majority of them originating from Seoul. Rounding out the regional galleries was The Talman Collection and Shondanai Gallery from Japan, and River Gallery from Myanmar. Signalling itself out from the croud of Pop art and Contemporary pieces, was Ivory Art, hailing from St. Petersburg Russia, run by the lovely and charming Polina Rybina, who’s gallery primarily focuses on Russian impressionist and Abstract artists. A welcome burst of colour, Ivory Art brings with it all the vibrancy and passion of this more traditional style perfectly with works by artist Valery Khattin, a member of the Russian Union of Artists,
One of the more intriguing works on display this year was by artist run gallery VK Gallery, who’s piece “The World XXIV” (2014) captures the map of the world through the assistance of google maps and her clever use of raw materials (sand, stone, cement crushed glass) mixed in with oil on canvas results in an exquisite piece which is perfectly suited for a signature piece in ones living room, sure to ignite conversation and debate.
The complete listing of galleries can be found here.
Complimenting the various galleries, there was a Charity Feature Wall, comprised of smaller pieces donated by the artists with proceeds going to the fairs chosen charity, this years showcase, titled “Let Art Speak” exhibited various mediums, styles and expressions. A Children’s Art Studio near the entrance provided a range of free, fun filled interactive workshops for children aged 4+, hosted by partner, Playeum, a Singapore-based Children’s Centre for Creativity.
“With a dynamic and diverse group of over 40 exhibitors from around the region and beyond, our Spring edition aimed to help visitors fall in love with art. No matter if you are a seasoned collector, or just beginning.” – From the website
Singapore Art Scene:
Speaking of a number of the galleries, the common theme among them was decreased floor coverage compared to previous years, with only two sections across a single floor being occupied this year, previous years saw all three sections and the dual floors filled with a larger number or participating galleries. Simply parsing through the fair on what is traditionally the busier days, one could notice the rather worrying amount of foot traffic, which in tern, would result in fewer sales for the galleries. Long term effects could be an increasing number of Galleries refrain from participating in this segment of the Affordable Art Fair in the coming years, which would be a detriment to the Singapore art market.
Venturing outside of the fair, i did come across an intriguing commercial retail gallery in Raffles place called Ode To Art which had a very prominent style and outlook similar to the Taglialatella Gallery and Jim Kempner Fine Art, both in NYC. If you find yourself in Singapore, do make sure to check it out, with works by Rainer Lagemann on full display it is a pop art lovers delight.
While admittedly not being on the same global art stage as cities like London or New York, Singapore does still have a respectable audience, backed by its every increasing number of public art installations and sculptures. If international galleries continue to make the journey to the Singapore segment of the Affordable Art Fair in coming years, this will surely see the Singapore Art Scene increase in acclaim and draw more intrigue from both regional and foreign buyers alike.