What Traders Said About ART SG in Singapore – ARTnews.com

The arrival of a major international art fair, with the participation of high-profile exhibitors, usually means that the local art market has reached a certain inflection point. What dealers think of the new art fair says a lot about their expectations, how the art market is changing, and where art collectors are.

ARTnews He spoke with many art dealers before and at ART SG In Singapore, the world’s newest fair, this week is about why they chose to attend (or not attend), their thoughts on the Asia Pacific market, and how they think this fair compares to those elsewhere in Asia.

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Long exposure photo showing people at an art gallery opening.  Many people are not clear.

distinct from Hong Kong

Although Fabio Rossi, co-owner of Rossi & Rossi in Hong Kong and London, did not go to Singapore – expenses and fatigue were factors – he said ARTnews that ART SG will capitalize on the current interest in the Southeast Asian market and a strong portfolio of galleries, adding that it will provide an international art fair for a university community that is very different from Art Basel Hong Kong, the well-established fair in the region.

“First, competition is good anyway, because it pushes you to be better,” said Rossi, who is also co-chair of the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association. “I think there is space for competing and complementary exhibitions and events in the region. Some will be larger, some will be smaller, but there is room for that.”

Many dealers have cited ART SG’s founder’s proven track record Magnus Renfro As one of the biggest reasons they come too Recent activity in the region by galleries and auction houses as encouraging signs of Singapore’s status as an emerging market. However, they cautioned that ART SG should be seen in addition to, and not as a competitor to, other Asian art fairs, such as Art Basel Hong Kong and Frieze Seoul, which launched last September.

“The evidence is that we’re adding art centres, we’re not trading them,” said Marc Glimcher, chief executive of Base Gallery. “I ascribe to the additive theory of the art world, rather than the zero equation theory.”

Lyman Maupin New manager based in Singapore Kin Tan echoed this sentiment: “It’s not an either/or, divide-and-conquer strategy with the rest of Asia.”

Accurate calculations

Ahead of the fair, dealers said they expect a mix of attendees, primarily from Singapore and other countries in Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, with collectors also from Australia, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. (Some were martyred China’s borders opened earlier this week (A big reason why many Chinese collectors decide to visit at the last minute.) The exhibition seems to live up to its promise in this regard.

Liu Xu, Senior Principal, David Zwirner In Hong Kong, ART SG’s first day was an “incredible and unparalleled experience” that involved meeting multiple generations of collectors from different parts of the region. Xu said that the most important thing for ART SG’s success would not be the presence of international collectors, but the long-term development of the local collecting community.

After exhibiting at Art Basel Hong Kong for five years, PPOW in New York decided to try Singapore instead, eager to meet their existing clients in the region and make new contacts. Wendy Olsoff, co-founder of the show, said that although there was speculation about Singapore’s rise, there was still a level of uncertainty on opening day. “I think traders are gamblers, but we can afford that gamble,” she said.

To help manage the financial risks, Olsoff brought just two employees with her and said she planned to sell all of the work on sight to collectors and institutions in Asia. “We’re trying to be aware of our carbon footprint, so I don’t want to bring work to Singapore and then ship it back to America,” she said.

Different approaches to grouping

A trend Shaw noticed in his meetings with collectors was that the younger generation had an understanding of contemporary art. Many of the parents of these young collectors may have collected Buddhist relics and statues in the past. Now, they found a new collection area.

“Parents are the ones who get inspired by children’s tastes and then get involved,” Shaw said. “These are amazing new clients who are discovering contemporary art through art galleries, and they have far more wealth compared to their children.”

While many of the VIPs wore couture, high-end watches and rare six-figure handbags, that didn’t necessarily translate into early sales of expensive artwork, which were few and far between at ART SG.

But Emi Eu, director of STPI Gallery Singapore, said the recession wasn’t the reason expensive artworks weren’t shown or put up on day one. “Here, people are not used to spending that kind of dollar on art,” she said. “There are very few people who would spend that kind of money. It takes time to get them into that kind of territory. Art is a luxury item, but it’s consumed in a different way. It’s a boundary or boundaries that we need to help them cross.”

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