What can I tell you about Art Stage Singapore that you already don’t know? It is the city-state’s inaugural contemporary art fair featuring more than 100 galleries, mostly from the Asia-Pacific region. It is helmed by Lorenzo Rudolf, best-known for having transformed Art Basel into what it is today. It is the premiere event in a weeks-long celebration of art full of gallery openings, museum exhibitions, and art walks.
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I, humble blogger, received a complimentary media pass to Wednesday afternoon’s preview. Most interested in Singaporean or Singapore-based artists and their works, I quickly found myself in conversation with Dr. Eugene Tan, Programme Director (Special Projects), Lifestyle Programme Office, Singapore Economic Development Board and Curator, Remaking Art in the Everyday, a platform for Singaporean artists at Art Stage Singapore.
I asked him to help me to contextualize the eight showcased artists and make sense of this moment in Singapore’s journey to establishing itself as a “leading cultural capital” and a “distinctive global city.” We had a lively discussion about Western and Asian art history and contemporary art trends influencing artists working in Singapore.
He explained that many of the artists in Remaking Art in the Everyday were represented by galleries overseas. “Contemporary art is shown here in museums, in biennales, and in public spaces,” Dr. Tan said. “This platform allows these artists to be showcased in a commercial venue” and gives serious Singaporean or Singapore-based collectors a context for understanding the commercial value of these works.
Art Stage Singapore “is a big deal for these artists,” he said. “It’s a big deal for Singapore.”
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Over the next few weeks, I will be checking out Collector’s Stage at Singapore Art Museum and Artspace@Helutrans; revisiting the incredible Singapore Tyler Print Institute; and attending the program launch of Art Link: Connecting History to Contemporary Art Practices at Chan Hampe Galleries.
FYI, tickets to Art Stage Singapore are SG$10 (students, seniors)/SG$30 (single-day pass)/SG$60 (“season pass”) and available at the venue. Go! And come back here and tell me what you think.
(Additional credits: Images provided by Art Stage Singapore. From top to bottom: Donna Ong, In Xanadu Did Kubla Khan, 2011. Mixed media installation. 1.5m x 0.9m x 1m; Robert Zhao Renhui, #243, after 321 days, 2010. Archival Piezographic print. 84cm x 121cm.)