The global art market made a strong recovery in 2021, with sales of art and antiques reaching an estimated US$65.1 billion—an increase of 29 per cent from 2020—according to the Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report 2022. High-net-worth collectors also purchased more art and antiques in 2021 than they did in the previous year, as indicated in a UBS Investor Watch and Arts Economics survey.
This is good news for the organisers of Art SG, a new contemporary art fair set to launch in Singapore from January 12 to 15, 2023 (with the VIP preview on January 11) at Sands Expo & Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands. Since it was first announced in 2018, the fair encountered a few stumbling blocks, including several postponements, but is now back on track with its vision intact.
“We saw a huge opportunity for an international-level art fair with strong participation from galleries in Southeast Asia and Asia as well as some of the best galleries in Europe and America,” says Art SG co-founder Magnus Renfrew. “It’s interesting when you look at how Southeast Asia has developed as a whole. You don’t quite realise that the region is at the same scale as Europe, and home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world.”
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As a gateway to the region, “Singapore lends itself as a good location for an international art fair, which requires international attendance,” explains Renfrew. Art SG brings together more than 150 leading galleries of the world, including mega galleries such as Gagosian, Pace and White Cube—with some showing here for the first time—alongside significant local, regional and international galleries.
“These major international galleries are coming to Singapore to meet the collectors here and in the region,” says Art SG fair director Shuyin Yang. “They’re not going to other cities and meeting Southeast Asian collectors who have travelled there; they’re coming especially to have that engagement with collectors here.”
The fair is structured into four sectors to highlight both the gallery programmes and the different types of curation. The main Galleries sector features galleries with an established track record, showing artists central to their history, identity and programming. “We can expect to see some of the top names in the international art scene and the exciting discoveries they’re debuting in Asia,” says Yang.