Jolene Lai’s 2013 oil-on-canvas painting ‘Night Market’ is one of the works being brought to Art Stage Singapore, which runs through Jan. 19.
When Lorenzo Rudolf launched Art Stage Singapore in 2011, it quickly became one of the most-hyped events in the region, thanks to backing by local authorities and the presence of quality galleries drawn from the address book of Mr. Rudolf, former director of Art Basel Miami Beach.
But as interest in Asian art and the spending power of local collectors has expanded, so, too, have the number of art fairs. Last year saw the debut of Art Fair Philippines in Manila and the Arte Indonesia Arts Festival in Jakarta, while the former Art HK was rebranded under the Art Basel umbrella. The organizers of the Beirut Art Fair also will dip their toes into Southeast Asia this November, with an event in Singapore.
“We are at a time where people are becoming more and more bored about art fairs, because you have too many similar art fairs,” Mr. Rudolf said.
In part to deal with this newfound competition, Art Stage Singapore is revamping its program.
Alongside the typical model of galleries displaying their wares in white-walled booths, the fair, which kicks off Thursday and runs until Sunday, is offering viewers curated platforms featuring artists’ works from eight Asian-Pacific regions, from China and South Korea to Southeast Asia and Australia. The art pieces in each platform were selected by a group of curators that included Mami Kataoka, chief curator of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, and Huang Du, the Beijing-based art critic.
Mr. Rudolf said that the curators chose works offering an “introduction that is not too particular and that everybody can follow,” so Asian audiences, which may have less exposure to art than Western ones, can better familiarize themselves. “Galleries in a fair want to sell and present themselves in a [different] way than if they want to educate,” Mr. Rudolf said. “They do it like a supermarket. But in Asia we also have to create a market for the fair to function.”
Ms. Kataoka said fairs aren’t an ideal place to view art. “But adding a curated section encourages viewers to see work with more meaning,” said Ms. Kataoka, who directed the fair’s Japanese platform, which includes Osaka-based artist Nobuhiro Nakanishi’s selection of 100 images of a cloudy firmament printed on acrylic sheets. “I tried to find ways to make small stories and find connections between works.”
To juxtapose against the brightly lighted fairground in the basement of the Marina Bay Sands resort and to highlight the platform’s overall theme of “dark matter,” the space dedicated to Japanese art will have its own artificial ceiling and dimmer lighting. “I wanted to make an intimate space, which makes a contrast with people’s physical experience of going through a big space in a convention center,” Ms. Kataoka said.
Mr. Rudolf said the platforms also let less-established galleries participate in an international art fair without the high costs of renting a booth. Of the 158 galleries at this year’s fair, approximately three dozen, many from developing countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia, will have a presence only in the platforms. Art Stage Singapore is charging significantly lower fees for the curated spaces, in large part because of a grant by a donor Mr. Rudolf declines to name. “The platform is a beautiful tool that gives a chance to emerging-market players,” he said.
“What I like about this fair is that it has its own character and you really see new work there which would not be on view at any other international fair,” said Matthias Arndt of Arndt gallery, which has spaces in Berlin and Singapore and is selling works by Filipino artist Jigger Cruz in the Southeast Asian platform.
For the past three editions Singapore had a booth curated by Singapore’s National Arts Council entirely to itself, but this year the country has been brought into the broader Southeast Asian stage.
Mr. Rudolf noted that nine Singapore artists, including the multimedia artist Sarah Choo, are present in that platform, the largest at the fair. Just two were shown in last year’s Singapore-only space. “Singapore is part of Southeast Asia and we have to show Singapore in context,” he said.
Others agreed. Louis Ho, a Singapore art historian, said that past Singapore platforms hadn’t been “terribly exciting” and that “this year, the Southeast Asian platform actually promises to be a treat.” Paul Tan, visual-arts director at the arts council, which wasn’t directly involved in picking the Singapore artists for the show, said his organization still worked closely with the fair and has “created and supported many meaningful programs that showcase the depth and diversity of artistic practices in Singapore” for events around Art Stage.
There already are plans to grow the curated sections at the 2015 fair. “We want to expand this strategy and will surely change the curators,” Mr. Rudolph said. “I can imagine next year we might take only emerging curators or international curators who see an arts scene from a different point of view.”
Singapore Lures Buyers With Murakami, Wine, Pussy Riot
Singapore is taking center stage on the global art circuit this week as collectors descend on the city-state for Southeast Asia’s largest art fair, auctions and a video by Russian feminist art collective Pussy Riot.
Anchoring Singapore Art Week is Art Stage, a fair featuring 130 galleries offering works by Takashi Murakami and Nam June Paik. More than 1,000 champagne-drinking VIPs got a preview of works at Marina Bay Sands Convention Center today, where traditionally some of the most important purchases are made before Art Stage opens to the public on Jan. 16. Collectors browsing the fair included Indonesian tycoon Budiardjo Tek, Swiss collector Uli Sigg and Tan Su Shan, head of consumer banking at DBS Bank Ltd.
“It’s off to a very strong start,” said Muo Zheng, manager of Taipei-based Lin & Lin Gallery who sold a Zao Wou-Ki painting for $1.2 million to a Singapore collector. “They have made more of an effort to bring in VIPs.”
In its fourth year, Art Stage plays a major part in Singapore’s quest to develop itself into a regional art hub to lure more high-net-worth individuals to settle there. Though smaller than Hong Kong’s Art Basel fair held in May, Art Stage aims at preserving its regional character in the island-state with new galleries from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos exhibiting for the first time.
It’s also a huge opportunity for Singapore-based galleries to attract a wider clientele.
“A lot of collectors are coming in from the region,” said Janice Kim, owner of Space Cottonseed, which is showing four works from Nam June Paik priced between $110,000 and $400,000. “For me this is the most important week.”
Singapore has 174,000 millionaires and neighboring Indonesia another 123,000, according to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2013.
Local dealer Galerie Sogan & Art is showing works by Singaporean artist Jolene Lai, including a painting of a woman prone on a slaughtering block surrounded by animals.
Blue-chip international galleries are using Art Stage to feature Asian artists alongside more established western names. Galerie Perrotin is showing Filipino Ronald Ventura, who holds the auction record for a living Southeast Asian artist, with French artist Sophie Calle and Takashi Murakami of Japan.
Primo Marella of Milan is presenting Indonesian painter Heri Dono and London’s White Cube is featuring Zhang Huan and Liu Wei next to Damien Hirst and Quinn, as well as more conceptual pieces from Damian Ortega and Cerith Wyn Evans.
Auction houses are taking advantage of the influx of well-heeled clients this week to hold sales.
Borobudur Fine Art Auction Pte’s Jan. 18 sale features Romanee-Conti wines estimated to sell for as much as $14,400 per bottle, jewelry, a painting by Indonesian modern master Affandi with a high estimate of $400,000 and four works by I Nyoman Masriadi.
Rival auction houses East-Ouest, Larasati and 33Auction are also holding sales.
For those with tighter budgets, Art Apart Fair will transform rooms, lobbies and corridors at the Park Royal Hotel into pop-up galleries from Jan. 17-19 to sell mostly works by lesser-known artists at prices below S$10,000 ($7,890).
On Jan. 18, at a black-tie gala dinner, Prudential (PRU) Eye Awards will announce the winner of its emerging artists competition from a short list, including a video by Pussy Riot from Russia and Yang Yongliang from China.
Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina, who was released from prison on Dec. 23 under an amnesty issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin after being jailed for inciting religious hatred and hooliganism, will attend.
Art Stage runs from Jan. 16-19 at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center.
At the Galerie Ernst Hilger. Image courtesy of Art Stage Singapore 2014
Love Me by Choi Jeong Hwa, Galerie Vanessa Quang. Image courtesy of Art Stage Singapore 2014
SINGAPORE–A total of 45,700 visitors visited this year’s Art Stage Singapore that ended Sunday. The art fair which has become the major Asian art event drew visitors and participants from across the globe. This forth edition of the Art Stage Singapore featured 158 exhibitors from around the globe, many of who are reporting significant sales. Paintings, sculpture and artworks in other media by emerging and famous artists like Zao Wuo-Ki, Gerhard Richter, Sakshi Gupta, Secundino Hernandez, Waqas Khan, Zhang Ding, Jean-Michel Othoniel , Anthony Gormley, Qiu Zhijie, teamLab, Jane Lee, and Naoko Tosa were sold by top galleries.
The highlight of this year’s event were The Platforms, a series of curated sales exhibitions that featured Southeast Asia, Australia, Central Asia, China, India, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The shows provided the necessary contextualization and understanding of artistic development in Asia and the growing art market for collectors, artists and art professionals at the fair. “The concept of the Platforms” noted Kim and Lito Camacho, Filipino art collectors, “is an interesting one because it gives one the experience of being in a museum as opposed to a gallery booth. It allows one to experience and engage with the artworks in a different way. The country and regional Platforms allows one to experience the works by both established and emerging artists. It is also very educational – as one goes through the Platforms, they get to experience a diverse range of art from different countries, even within the same region.”
Art Stage Singapore 2014 continues to receive accolades from guests and curators for a great outing. David Lin of Lin & Lin Gallery, Taipei notes that“Art Stage Singapore is the best way to get into the Asian art world.” His sentiment is shared by Uli Sigg, collector and researcher of Contemporary Chinese art who said that “Art Stage Singapore always brings in new artists whom I do not know about, not only from my specialty – Chinese art – but from other parts of Asia and Southeast Asia. It is also a place to get to know the artists, and learn more about them and their works….I think it is a good idea to have Platforms because it is a way to distinguish Art Stage Singapore from other art fairs. Another distinguishing factor is the mix of galleries and I hope Art Stage Singapore will continue doing so while keeping its focus on art from Southeast Asia. I think that’s their unique selling point, which they should build on.”
Artists, curators and other emerging art professional are already looking forward to Art Stage Singapore 2015. Art fair insiders note that the eagerness is not just because of this year’s great outing, but also because of Art Stage Singapore events, which brings together art professionals from around the world. Art Auctioneers and art market monitors, however, point to the increase in art sales as the reason for all the zest. Biantoro Santoso of Nadi Gallery, Jakarta explained the enthusiasm when she noted that“The fair is ideal to meet new collectors, particularly international buyers.” Here are some images of works and people at this year’s event. KAZAD
Entrance Arch , The Continuous Gate by Joko Dwi Avianto. Image Art Stage Singapore 2014
Seunghyo Jang, Space BM . Image Art Stage Singapore 2014
Tunnel by Mark Justiniani, The Drawing Room at SEA Platform. Image Art Stage Singapore 2014
ART RADAR ASIA
Art Stage Singapore 2014 builds bridges in Asia? – media round up
The fourth iteration of Singapore’s flagship art fair ended on a record sales high, but did the new Platform format prove a hit?
The recently concluded Art Stage Singapore 2014, held from 16-19 January, upped its numbers in terms of visitors, participants and sales from previous editions. The introduction of a new format with eight regional, curated platforms also drew positive reviews. Art Radar collates the reactions.
Mark Justiniani, ‘Tunnel’, 2013, reflective media, light fixtures and objects encased in black iron structure. Presented by The Drawing Room at the Southeast Asia platform. Image courtesy Art Stage Singapore 2014.
The 2014 edition of Art Stage Singapore saw better numbers in terms of sales and attendees, leading to optimistic responses from most galleries and collectors. There were 158 exhibitors, the majority of these from the Asia-Pacific region. Of the total footfall of 45,700 visitors to Art Stage Singapore 2014, a record high, the fair preview and vernissage alone saw 14,600 visitors.
Singapore newspaper TODAY’s art columnist Mayo Martin agreed, conceding that the “fourth time’s a charm” for Art Stage, with far less hiccups than in previous editions.
“We Are Asia”: Testing the format
Art Stage Singapore’s Founder and Director Lorenzo Rudolf, who is also the former Director of Art Basel and creator of Art Basel Miami Beach, this year introduced a brand new format consisting of eight curated sections representing India, China, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Central Asia, Korea and Southeast Asia.
The aim was to keep the focus on Asian art, which continues to be the fair’s main selling point, as well as to bridge the various segmented areas of Asia and allow for dialogue and exchange. Rudolf told Muse that Art Stage is the only fair in the world that follows the classic fair format while at the same time incorporating “new formats to adapt to Asian and Southeast Asian realities.”
FX Harsono, ‘Raining Bed’, presented by ARNDT Gallery. Image courtesy Art Stage Singapore 2014.
The idea was met with enthusiasm from galleries prior to the fair’s opening, with Matthias Arndt, the owner of Arndt Gallery, saying:
With the new Platform component, the upcoming edition of Art Stage Singapore also proves its ambition of reinventing the traditional format of an art fair.
The curated platforms enabled a preservation of the regional status while also allowing smaller galleries and emerging artists, who would not otherwise have dedicated booths, to showcase their work and have access to a wide collector base.
Having an integrated Southeast Asian platform, for instance, allowed artists from countries like Myanmar to display their work to an international audience. Art Radar contributor Nathalie Johnston wrote in Myanmar Timesthat:
A mere two years ago, it was a rare thing to see Myanmar artists featured at one of Asia’s curated art fairs. […] Now the scene has changed. Myanmar is opening up to exchange and artists are getting long-delayed recognition. […] Whatever Art Stage Singapore may accomplish in terms of sales, the exposure of the artists is sure to offer them inspiration and new artistic ideas, and the validation of finally being placed alongside their contemporaries in the Southeast and greater Asia Pacific region.
… provided the necessary contextualization and understanding of artistic development in Asia and the growing art market for collectors, artists and art professionals at the fair.
Filipino art collectors Kim and Lito Camacho were also quoted in Artcentron, saying that the fluid nature of the platforms was more museum-like than the typical booth layout of art fairs, allowing emerging and established artists to vie for attention side by side.
Tatsuo Miyajima, ‘C.F Lifestructurism – no. 15′, 2008, LED, IC, electric wire, 41.5 x 61.3 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery.
The new format attracted several first-time attendee galleries to the fair, such as London’s Lisson Gallery, which presented works by Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima at the Japanese platform. Lisson Gallery’s Director Greg Hilty told ARTINFO:
One of the issues for galleries showing in a new territory is recognition. So it’s always helpful to work with the right partner. […] The space is great, the curator is great, and the platform is a clever idea, one with interesting results.
Artist Sarah Choo with curator Louis Ho. Image courtesy Art Stage Singapore 2014.
Singapore in context
This year, art from Singapore was absorbed into the Southeast Asia platform, the largest of the eight platforms. Rudolf said that this was in order to show Singapore in context, as it is a part of Southeast Asia. Nine artists represented Singapore.
TODAY’s Mayo Martin approved of this approach, writing:
The Singapore presence is subtly felt throughout the space. The home-grown artists are everywhere. Walk into a gallery and – boom – another one. […] And it all feels like they belong here, jostling for attention with the rest. No institutional spoon-feeding and babysitting, they’re slugging it out with the best.
Positioning collectors as VIPs
Art Stage Singapore this year made several efforts to lure a high-end collector audience, positioning them as VIPs, and offering several special programmes and a dedicated VIP lounge.
Art Stage guided tour. Image courtesy Art Stage Singapore 2014.
Before the fair opened to the public, a VIP preview evening was held on 15 January 2014. The strategy seemed to have paid off, with Deepika Shetty of The Straits Timesnoting that,
Singapore’s premier fair for international contemporary art kicked off on Wednesday night with unusually buoyant sales for homegrown artists.
We are quite surprised to see that collectors are now more eager to ask for overall information of the artists displayed, including their plan for the future. We think that in the future collectors will be keener to collect artists who are focused, determined and resilient in achieving their artistic ambition.
Indonesian artists have proven particularly popular with investors and collectors, as have works by contemporary Japanese, Chinese, and Singaporean artists. In terms of price and medium, large-scale painting and photographs in the region of SGD20,000 to SGD60,000 have captured the attention of visitors to the fair.
How Art Stage fared compared to other fairs
ARTINFO’s final sales round up quoted various gallerists comparing their experience at Art Stage with fairs such as Art Basel. Mr Hidenori Ota of Ota Fine Arts Japan/Singapore was optimistic about the market:
This year at Art Stage we welcomed visitors from all over Asia – from Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei, Indonesia, Malaysia – all were there. It was a similar crowd to that of Art Basel in Hong Kong, and it is evidence that there is circulation in the market.
We have been visiting Art Stage since its first edition and it has developed into a world class art fair at the speed of light! We consider it better and more courageous than any of the Art Basel fairs. The art of the future will come predominantly from Asia and Art Stage has positioned itself as the art fair to be.
Martin Clist of London’s Rossi & Rossi was, however, slightly more measured in his opinion, saying:
Our impression of the fair is that it still has a lot of work to do to rival Art Basel Hong Kong – there are too many make-weight galleries included – but if the pending sales come off we shall be happy.
The flagship Asian art event, Art Stage Singapore, closed its fourth edition yesterday on a high. The 5-day event saw an increase in visitorship from previous years with a total of 45,700 visitors visiting Art Stage Singapore 2014, as well as a rise in significant sales figures reported by participating galleries.
Art Stage Singapore has made a name for itself as the big art event of Southeast Asia. “We are especially humbled by the overwhelming response we received at our fair preview and Vernissage which saw a total of 14,600 visitors. I would like to thank all our local partners, the Singaporean public as well as regional and international visitors for their continued support of Art Stage Singapore,” said Lorenzo Rudolf, Founder and Fair Director, Art Stage Singapore.
Most of the 158 exhibitors from around the globe were impressed with the presentation and visitorship seen at Art Stage Singapore 2014 and are pleased with the quality of conversations and contacts made. Notably, the demand for entry-level works by emerging artists was proven to be strong, and a significant amount of sales were made in this segment of the market, showing an increasing interest and growth in the arts scene around the region.
Art Stage Singapore 2014 showcased curated sales exhibitions featuring works from Southeast Asia, Australia, Central Asia, China, India, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Many received critical acclaim from collectors, artists, art professionals as well as general fair visitors, with numerous mentions of the Platforms which met the objective of providing a contextual understanding of the Asian art scene.
“Art Stage Singapore 2014 was phenomenal,” says Marc Wong, Managing Editor of Art Republik, “I truly felt that Art Stage outdid themselves with their new Platforms approach, the fair’s new format comprising of eight countries and regional platforms, which included Southeast Asia, India, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Australia and Central Asia. And it was moreso evident in the constant high attendance throughout the fair. Not only did it showcase an immensely diverse range of art works, but also significantly provided much insight into art scenes of countries and regions that are quieter.”
Heart Media is immensely proud and honoured to be the official media partner of Art Stage Singapore 2014, and we look forward to continuing this partnership in the next edition of Art Stage, which will undoubtedly be an even more inspiring and immersive experience for art enthusiasts around the world.
SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
Art Stage Singapore puts region’s art in global spotlight
Art Stage Singapore is helping to put the region’s artists in the global spotlight, writes Clara Chow
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 January, 2014, 4:14pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 January, 2014, 4:56pm
The independently curated Indonesian pavilion at 2013’s Art Stage Singapore
Ask Art Stage Singapore’s Lorenzo Rudolf how the contemporary art fair he founded, co-owns and directs has managed to stay in the game, despite competition in the region, and he’ll reply with a mischievous answer: who are these rivals that people speak of? “I don’t see so many players,” he retorts.
One could, of course, reel off names such as the India Art Fair in New Delhi, the Affordable Art Fair in Singapore, SH Contemporary in Shanghai and Art Basel Hong Kong, to name but a few.
We are not a fair that wants to copy a western fair. People need to see the strengths of Asia
lorenzo rudolf, art stage singapore founder and director
Smiling at the mention of Art Basel – Rudolf, a former director, is credited with transforming that modest event into a glitzy Miami Beach-style success – he says: “Competition is the best thing for the business. There are only two places where you can make an international art fair in Asia: Hong Kong and Singapore. It’s the best thing that can happen for Asia – the biggest continent in the world and two fairs.
“Count all the fairs in Europe – it’s 10 times more. Asia is a continent that’s growing, increasing, which means they need platforms like that, a successful top fair in Hong Kong and Singapore, as long as the two fairs are not at the same time and do not have the same concept,” the 54-year-old Swiss says, adding he is happy that his old colleagues from Art Basel have ventured to Asia.
Lorenzo Rudolf, Art Stage Singapore founder and directorSince it was launched in 2010, Art Stage has become a highlight in the art calendar for collectors in the island republic and beyond. Last year’s event attracted about 40,000 visitors – up from 32,000 the previous year. And the number of booths has held steady at between 130 and 135, although Rudolf says the number of applications has doubled. Multimillion-dollar works have also been changing hands, although the fair does not keep track of total transactions.
“It’s not a question of an increase, but a question of what you want,” says the fair director. “It is typical of every contemporary art fair to try to balance both sides: not just a fair for billionaires, but also quality works, young art that [is] not expensive. The importance is to have the entire balance.”
This year’s event, from January 16 to 19, also aims to strike a balance between the business of selling art, and that of educating collectors. To that end, a new format will be introduced at its fourth instalment, with eight curated country and regional platforms taking up 2,000 square metres – or 20 per cent of total floor space at the fair – to be held at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Dedicated to art from places such as Southeast Asia, India, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Central Asia, these will be “museum-like” showcases, put together by the likes of Mami Kataoka, chief curator at Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, and independent Chinese curator Huang Du.
“Every artist presented in this exhibition is backed by a gallery, but not in the form that they have a booth. They are integrated into an exhibition where everything is for sale,” says Rudolf.
Last year, he drew flak over the fair’s independently curated Indonesian pavilion as Singapore artists questioned why their government-supported event was championing foreign artists over them. Among the projects for this year’s platforms is an on-site installation-cum-performance, titled Intermission on Stage, by Myanmese artist Soe Naing.
Rudolf says that for the duration of the art fair, Soe Naing will be ensconced in a large shipping container-sized “cottage”, where he will be producing his art – an extension of his daily drawing and visual journal-keeping. “Soe Naing plays, in a certain way, with his past as an artist and the past of Myanmar as a country occupied by a military regime, producing art in a clandestine way for himself.”
Soe Naing, 52, is curious to discover how he will be affected by this exposure as part of the Southeast Asian platform at Art Stage. “I usually work in isolation,” he says. “I wanted to know how I would paint differently when I am being watched, and that is why I am doing the installation – as an experiment. But the lack of privacy is a major concern.”
Also being presented at the fair’s Chinese platform is Chengdu-based artist Chen Quilin’s intriguing works made out of tofu. The avant-garde artist will riff on her Tofu-100 Chinese Surnames series, comprising characters of common Chinese surnames made from the basic beancurd staple in Han Chinese diets.
Chen, 38, writes in an e-mail interview that the work explores “how the transmission of culture and its meanings are impacted on” today’s world. “What I hope to get out of being in Art Stage is to present my work in front of an audience that once shared a common history with us,” she adds, referring to Singapore’s ethnic Chinese population.
In a way, it is precisely Rudolf’s combination of smooth, diplomatic persuasiveness, and his ability to change and improvise, that has kept Art Stage as a premier art fair in the region, and very possibly the most high profile in Southeast Asia.
As French collector Sylvain Levy, an Art Stage regular, puts it: “Art Stage is unique because it is mostly an Asian fair, specially dedicated to South Asian art. It is very well organised. It also gives us the opportunity to meet our friends from South Asia and Australia.”
Rudolf says: “On the one side, you have to have a clear strategy. You need a certain block [of exhibitors and selections] that is congruent. On the other side, you have to, year on year, do some changes.”
From his experience in organising art fairs, he says there’s a change of 25 to 30 per cent of galleries from year to year: “Art Stage is the only real fair in Asia with a real Asian identity. We are not a fair that wants to copy a western fair. People need to see the strengths of Asia.”
Citing the contrast between the brash commercialism at Art Basel Miami, and the esoteric aesthetic of the Venice Biennale, the fair director makes a case for bridging the two extremes in order to create a sustainable market.
“If you decide to do an art fair in Asia, it means you’re dealing with young markets. You have to educate, you have to introduce art,” he says. “You also have to be aware that you’re doing a fair in a continent that’s totally segmented.
“It’s not like when you go to New York, and you see what’s happening in America. Here, they are closed markets. If you say, ‘Give me an expert in China about Indonesian art’, I cannot [find one for you]. We are in the situation about increasing new markets, many new markets.”
Art Stage Singapore 2014 takes on strong Asian focus
by Zaki Jufri
InSing.com – 8 January 2014 12:00 AM | Updated 7 January 2014
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For art aficionados, the year starts with perhaps THE premier arts event of the year.
Art Stage Singapore returns in 2014 for its 4th edition with a stronger than ever showing of galleries from Singapore and the Asia Pacific region.
Underscoring the fair’s core Asian identity will be works from more than 100 galleries, of which 80 per cent are Asia Pacific-based.
A new fair format comprising eight country and regional “Platforms” including Southeast Asia, India, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Australia and Central Asia will also be introduced this year.
The ‘Platforms’ will take up 2,000 square metres – or 20 per cent of total floor space at the fair — and curated by the likes of independent Chinese art curator Huang Du as well as Mori Art Museum’s chief curator Mami Kataoka.
The new format will also provide everyone with an experience of art, and one with context.
Singapore performance artist Rizman Putra at Art Stage 2013. Photo: Art Stage
“This will give artists more opportunities to exhibit their works and find more avenues for financial support. It will also encourage galleries to look further for means of exhibiting their artists and generating interests. The opportunity to show in Singapore will generate a curiosity if not, interests to see more,” said Charles Merewether, curator of the Central Asia Platform.
“When we speak about Asia, we cannot speak about an undifferentiated, single Asian contemporary art scene as the region is highly segmented,” explained Art Stage founder and fair director Lorenzo Rudolf.
“We feel that it is important that we present a mirror of the dynamic and diverse art scenes across Asia Pacific through these ‘Platforms’. This will give visitors not only a holistic overview of artistic developments, but also a deeper understanding of contemporary art from the region,” said Rudolf.
Last year’s event attracted an estimated 40,000 visitors – up from 32,000 in 2012.
WHAT TO SEE
Soe Naing, ‘No.3, 2013’, Acrylic on canvas. Photo: Yone Arts
Among the highlights this year will be Myanmar artist Soe Naing who will be presenting an installation-and-art-performance piece, ‘Intermission’.
In this work, sketches drawn by the artist will line the interior of shipping container and then the sketches will be painted black. Throughout the fair, Soe Naing will create a series of “reverse” paintings by dissolving the black paint, thus revealing his sketches for the first time to the public.
Also being presented at the South East Asia Platform is Malaysian artist Justin Lim’s ‘There is no other paradise’.
This multimedia installation features a video projection over a fibreglass bathtub filled with white flowers made of resin, which alludes to the mandi bunga, a traditional form of ritual cleansing.
Nobuhiro Nakanishi, ‘Layer Drawing – Sunrise’, Laser graphic print on film. Photo: Yumiko Chiba Associates
Over at the Japan Platform, artist Nobuhiro Nakanishi deconstructs the photograph in his installation ‘Layer Drawing – Cloud/Fog’. Here, the Japanese artist uses 100 pieces of acrylic film each printed with a time-lapse image of a sunrise or fog. The images are arranged in sequence and when a visitor walks past the installation, it is like “walking” through a forest with dense fog or “experiencing” a sunrise.
Like previous years, the fair’s education and fringe programme is one of the fair’s major highlights.
Partnering with the likes of Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) and LASALLE College of The Arts, the fringe programme will offer a selection of panel discussion, talks and activities including talks by artists and curators at the respective country and regional platforms as well as professionally guided tours for visitors
Art Stage Singapore 2014 | Date: 16-19 Jan | Time: noon-7pm (Thu-Fri); 11am-7pm (Sat); 11am-6pm (Sun) | Venue: Sands Expo & Exhibition Centre | Address: Marina Bay Sands, 1 Bayfront Ave. | Tickets: $33-63
Art Stage Singapore 2014 takes on strong Asian focus
Art Stage Singapore 2014 Sales Report
Excellent sales report on Art Stage Singapore from Nicolas Forrest in Artinfo Australia:
Arndt Singapore: Eko Nugroho embroidery for US$30,000, a Fendry Ekel painting for US$28,000, an Entang Wiharso sculpture for US$22,000, two Rodel Tapaya paintings for US$20,000 and $US23,000, and the entire solo show of seven paintings by Filipino artist Jigger Cruze (US$8,000 to US $18,000) within the first 10 minutes of the fair.
Galerie Mark Hachem: sold four works by Egyptian-born artist Yves Hayat for an average price of EUR 10,000, one painting by Palestinian artist Laila Shawa for EUR 30,000, two paintings by Algerian-born Paris-based artist Nacer for EUR 12,000 each, and one Polles sculpture for EUR 5,000.
Sundaram Tagore Galleries: sold “Mount Edziza Provincial Park #1, Northern British Columbia, Canada, 2012,” by renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky for US$27,820, “Iceberg between the Paulet Island and the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica,” 2005, by Brazilian-born Paris-based photographer Sebastião Salgado for US$38,734, two pieces by Indian-born Copenhagen-based poet, artist, and Tantric guru Sohan Qadri, each selling for US$63,130, and “50 Faces” by Singaporean artist Jane Lee For US$66,000.
Galerie du Monde Hong Kong: four paintings by Chinese artist Zhu Yiyong on the opening day, all from his “Memories of China” series. Three 90 x 90cm paintings sold for US$49,000 each and one 170x100cm sold for US$80,000.
Ota Fine Arts Japan/Singapore: a painting by Yayoi Kusama during the preview. Indonesian artist Ay Tjoe Christine also proved popular for the gallery which reports having a long waiting list for the work that they have brought by the artist (“Big Portion Only For the Red”).
Galerie Ernst Hilger: sold one work by Ai Kijima for SGD$14,000.
Gajah Gallery: four works by Indonesian artist Yunizar. Three of the works are the artist’s most recent bronze creations, in editions of three, which were realized during his time at the Gajah Gallery’s Yogya Art Lab in Indonesia. Two of the bronze sculptures sold for SGD$29,000 and one sold for SGD$27,000. The fourth work by Yunizar that was sold by the gallery is a painting entitled “Silver Sun,” for SGD$63,000. [T]hree works by contemporary Chinese artist Li Jin.
Chan Hampe Galleries, which is presenting a solo exhibition of work by Singapore painter Ruben Pang, reports SGD$50,000 worth of sales in the first hour of the VIP preview.
Edouard Malingue Gallery had a very busy first day selling several paintings by Chinese artist Yuan Yuan and an installation by Hong Kong-based installation and media artist Joao Vasco Paiva.
Galerie Sogan & Art sold their entire stock of five photographs by Singapore-based emerging multidisciplinary artist Sarah Choo.
Galeri Apik Indonesia, reports selling two works by contemporary Indonesian artist Yarno that were created especially for Art Stage Singapore. “Night Forest” was sold for SGD$ 30,000 to a Taiwanese collectors and “The Growth” for SGD$24,000 to a Malaysian collector.
de Sarthe Gallery: sold a work by Zhou Wendou for US$3,500 and a work by Weng Guofeng for US$30,000. Weng Guofeng’s “2012, No.1,” 2013 – a 300 x 642 cm Giclée print exhibited by de Sarthe Gallery as part of the China Platform – was sold to the Long Museum in Shanghai.
Frantic Gallery has sold three works from their solo show of Japanese artist Cousteau Tazuke including “The work with acrylic resin surface 2013.10.21” for EUR 9,000, “The work with acrylic resin surface 2012.10.10” for EUR 18,000 and “The work with acrylic resin surface 2012.03.22” for EUR 3,000.
Zemack Contemporary Art had a fantastic start to the fair, selling three works by the New York-based hyperrealist painter Yigal Ozeri for SGD$50,000 each. In addition the gallery sold an oil on canvas by French artist Philippe Pasqua for SGD$120,000.
Equator Art Projects reports selling a number of works with interest in several more. According to a gallery spokesperson, “We are very pleased with the response to Sherman Sam’s solo booth, Nikki Luna’s lightbox installation at the Southeast Asia platform, and to Awiki. We look forward to more people visiting our Gallery Booth (E7a) to have their portrait painted by Awiki.”
Scream London sold a significant work by Beijing-based artist Ye Hongxing for SGD$24,000 during the opening of the fair.
Galerie Paris: “We’ve sold one of the biggest piece of our booth to a significant Singaporean collector (a video by Yang Yongliang priced at USD$100,000), we sold many photographs by Chinese performer Liu Bolin at around USD $20,000 each, and a painting by young Chinese painter Ma Sibo at USD$25,000.”
7Adam Gallery reports selling nine bronze sculptures by Singaporean artist Kumari Nahappan ranging in price from SGD$672.00 to SGD$13,200.
CUC Gallery is the first gallery from Vietnam to participate in Art Stage Singapore. Ms. Pham Phuong Cuc, founder of CUC Gallery, says that she has sold two works by Vietnamese artist Ly Tran Quynh Giang for SGD$11,000 each.
The fourth edition of Art Stage Singapore closed on a high. We bring you the highlights.
Top image: Mark Justinian, The Drawing Room
Last week, a total of 45,700 visitors – up from 40,500 the previous year – thronged the three massive halls of the Marina Bay Sands Exhibition and Convention Centre where the 4th edition of Art Stage Singapore was being held.
158 galleries from around the world took part this year, with crowds gravitating towards the Singapore and Asian galleries, no doubt indicative of the strengthening interest in art from the region.
As Art Stage Singapore Founder and Director Lorenzo Rudolf said during the packed media conference, “There is really a [growing] momentum for Southeast Asian [art]. And I think we can be glad that we are a part of this movement and also a catalyst for this movement.”
100 Names in Tofu by Chen Qiulin (A Thousand Plateaus Art Space) at the China Platform
He added, “Singapore is also becoming more and more a centre for contemporary art. Many of the local galleries are not [only] going to show you Singaporean artists, but artists from the entire Southeast Asia region.”