Based in Singapore, Art World Forum is a global platform which builds valuable networks between art professionals and business leaders. With the intent of providing unique informational, marketing and networking opportunities, Art World Forum recently concluded their third consecutive art business conference in Singapore. Themed “Sustainability”, the conference tackled key topics including technology, behavioural trends and the need to nurture young talents. The event held at One Farrer Hotel and Spa brought together a diverse group of participants and speakers from both local and international art and corporate experts. From Singapore, Mohit Mehrotra, Strategy Consulting Co-Leader at Deloitte APAC. From across the globe, Jezamine Fewins, Partner at Stephnson Harwood LLP and more to address the million-dollar question currently affecting the art market and its players – is it sustainable?
We spoke to Art World Forum Director Anni Oates to find out more about Art World Forum and how she intends to grow AWF in the future.
Could you introduce yourself and your background?
My name is Anni Oates and I am the CEO of Art World Forum. Since young, I have always been intrigued by the art world, specifically its key players and the discussions arising from the industry. I started my career as a hands-on art practitioner but soon realised that my attraction to the art world was not in my talents as an artist. From there, I decided to cater to the other side of the spectrum, which is the art market. With a curiosity to explore the various aspects of art, I travelled across the world, encountered new cultures, and applied these skills to galleries, art fairs, and media environments.
What inspired you to start the AWF?
After various meetings with artists, dealers, and collectors during my time in Singapore, I saw an opportunity to create an inclusive and accessible platform advocated to the art market. Thus, Art World Forum is formed with goals to help the art industry with a greater audience outreach, and also cope with the lack of transparency and creation of original contents by artists. To date, Art World Forum has grown to host events in 5 different cities, including Asia and Europe.
Any reason why the theme of this year’s conference is sustainability?
Sustainability was a recurring topic from last year’s discussions. With a growing demand for sustainable products, tactics, and methodologies across all industries, we decided to settle with the theme of sustainability for this year’s conference. Key players of the art industry, including the National Arts Council of Singapore and the global art landscape, as well as sponsors and speakers, have also addressed their concerns relating to sustainability, specifically on the topics of targeted concerns, aspirations and practices for future generations.
How is this year’s edition different from the previous?
This year’s edition focused a lot more on the need for change, critical thinking, and open-mindedness. All invited speakers have openly addressed relatable points that have helped create a platform for constructive dialogues and exchanges. Perspectives from various key players, including artists, collectors, corporates and entrepreneurs have also expressed interests and supplied us with knowledge in being part of a bigger conversation to inflict change for a greater good.
How is Singapore’s conference different from London’s?
As a Singapore-registered company, Art World Forum has always considered Singapore as its flagship location for the event. With more than 120 art and corporate professionals each year, this year’s conference specifically addressed the growing need for international art market engagement in the heart of Southeast Asia.
On the contrary, the event in London focused more on work dynamics between entrepreneurs, who are equipped with an established mindset that can help to tackle opportunities, challenges, and changes in the art market. As our first conference in one of the world’s key art centers, London, we partnered with START Art Fair, where we added significant value in terms of content and attendance.
How does AWF see itself developing in the future?
Art World Forum is looking to grow and establish itself in the world’s key art centers. With an ongoing demand and support for market-focused discussions, we will be looking to host more events next year. Additionally, we will also be producing content and events for partner organisations. Therefore, I encourage all readers to subscribe to our newsletter to keep yourselves up-to-date with our future events through our website and social channels.