Art Stage Singapore 2017, the flagship fair of Southeast Asia and anchor event of the Singapore Art Week, closed its seventh edition yesterday. The Fair saw a significant presence of regional collectors, which largely contributed to the major sales made at the Vernissage on 11 January and over the next four days from 12 January to 15 January 2017. The support and presence of the collectors from Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia, increased significantly compared to previous editions, demonstrating that Art Stage Singapore’s efforts to match- make the region’s different arts scenes have shown positive results. On the other hand, despite the show of commitment by six leading Singapore-based collectors in opening their collections to the public at the Collectors’ Stage exhibition, local interest and engagement unfortunately did not correspond with international interest.
Art Stage Singapore 2017 drew a total of 33,200 visitors. The collectors who were present at the Fair included Mr Disaphol Chansiri from Thailand; Mr Soichiro Fukutake, Mr Tetsuyuki Oishi and Mr Daisuke Miyatsu from Japan; Mr Alain Servais from Belgium; Mr Dick Quan and Mr Stephen Shaul from Australia; Dato’ Noor Azman bin Mohd Nurdin, Dato’ Marcus Tan Ser Lay and Mr Pakhruddin Sulaiman from Malaysia; Mr Alex Tedja, Mr Deddy Kusuma, Mr Ir. Ciputra, Mr Prasodjo Winarko, Mr Haryanto Adikoesoemo, Mr Wiyu Wahono from Indonesia; Mr Leo Shih and Mr Stephen Wu from Taiwan and Mr Chong Zhou from China.
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. Works by Indonesian artist Rudi Mantofani presented by Singapore’s 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. STPI sold a work by Rirkrit Tiravanija for USD80,000 and reported sales of works by Singaporean artist Han Sai Por for 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. Singapore’s FOST Gallery reported successful sales of the entire series Being Together by Singaporean artist John Clang. Richard Koh Fine Art performed well with their Malaysian artists such as Anne Samat, Haffendi Anuar and Yeoh Choo Kuan who had a sell-out of his works at the Fair. Several emerging galleries at the Fair also made successful sales with their roster of upcoming artists.
The Southeast Asia Forum, which has become a pillar and institution of Art Stage Singapore, and Collectors’ Stage exhibition were also key successes of Art Stage Singapore 2017. The Southeast Asia Forum exhibition presented 24 works by 23 artists. Among the highlights of the exhibition was the performance piece Livin’ La Vida Imelda by Filipino artist Carlos Celdran which attracted large crowds at each performance. Untold Movements Act 1: Neitherland, Whitherland, Hitherland by Titin Wulia who will be representing Indonesia at the 2017 Venice Biennale resonated well with visitors of the Fair and Malaysia’s Ivan Lam’s Coma 38/500 gave many visitors the opportunity to purchase an artwork. The Forum’s lecture series was also well-attended. The talk titled Art + Money – A Dangerous Liaison? with speakers Alain Servais and Prof. Franz Schultheis of University of St Gallens and moderated by Lorenzo Rudolf, Founder and President of Art Stage Singapore drew a full house.
The Collectors’ Stage exhibition presented works from the collections of six Singapore-based collectors – Hady Ang, Jim Amberson, Kenneth Tan, Michael Tay and Talenia Phua Gajardo, Michelangelo and Lourdes Samson and a collector who wished to remain anonymous. The exhibition, presented in partnership with The Artling, hoped to foster an understanding about art collections and reveal the thought processes and motivations behind them. The exhibition was curated by one of Indonesia’s top curators, Enin Supriyanto.
“Art Stage Singapore 2017 was very successful. It was smaller compared to that of previous years, but that did not affect the quality of the art that was on show. Many of the gallerists that we spoke to said it was a great fair in terms of sales. So while the number of visitors seems to have been less than in previous years, the fair attracted the right types of collectors and art enthusiasts who saw the quality of the works offered. Collectors’ Stage was definitely a highlight of this year’s fair for me. I am grateful for the chance to share some of our pieces with a wider audience and it gave us the opportunity to see our Southeast Asian pieces in conversation with contemporary art from other regions, including Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and America. Collecting is a continuous journey and learning from other collectors and artists makes it so much more enjoyable,” said Ms Lourdes Samson, Art Collector.
“Ultimately, it is all about the art. Collectors are the audience that support the creation of art through their patronage and enthusiasm. Art Stage Singapore is an excellent opportunity for established and potential collectors to get enchanted and informed,” said Mr Jim Amberson, Art Collector.
Art Stage Singapore 2017 was on from 12 to 15 January 2017 at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.