Kick off the art season with the best of Asian contemporary art as Southeast Asia’s flagship fair returns for its eighth edition with a focus on art and design. Since it was founded in 2011, Art Stage Singapore has had its finger on the pulse of the diverse art scenes across Southeast Asia, bringing them together to create a single dynamic art market, upping the competitive edge alongside more developed global markets in the West and China. Through the years, it has kept abreast with the new realities of the art market by continuing to innovate the traditional fair concept. The upcoming edition is no different. The anchor event of the Singapore Art Week 2018, the eighth edition of Art Stage Singapore takes place from January 26 to 28 (with the vernissage on January 25) at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre. With the theme of “interactions”, expect a diverse programme of events including three special selling exhibitions and the return of the Southeast Asia Forum, which aims to broaden the art discourse. This year’s forum sees a focus on the interaction between art and other creative industries, including design. Plus, look forward to the first-ever Signature Collectors’ Visits where Singaporean and Singapore-based art collectors, including Teng Jee Hum, Richard Nijkerk, as well as Michelangelo and Lourdes Samson, open up their homes to visitors for a peek inside their extensive private collections—highlighting the importance of the role of the art collector in creating a more robust art scene. Here are five things to look out for at Art Stage Singapore 2018:

1. Country Spotlight: Thailand

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Above Theatre Of The Absurd (2015) by Natee Utarit, at Richard Koh Fine Art

Staying true to its Asian identity, Art Stage Singapore remains committed to promoting Southeast Asian art. Previous fairs saw a focus on the art scenes in Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. The 2018 edition shines the spotlight on the flourishing art scene in Thailand where many new institutions have popped up in the last year including the MAIIAM Museum of Contemporary Art, and private museums by renowned art collectors. Thai and Thai-based galleries will be presenting museum-like exhibitions at the fair featuring leading artists including Kamin Lertchaiprasert by Numthong Gallery, Arin Rungjang by Tang Contemporary and Natee Utarit by Richard Koh Fine Art.

2. Going Beyond Art: The Artling Collectible Design Showcase

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Above System #3 by Dazingfeelsgood

Following two successful editions, the fair’s Southeast Asia Forum returns to explore the increasingly blurred lines between art and design practices with a series of talks addressing the question—Art Meets Design: Cultural Trend or Fashionable Lifestyle? The forum is anchored by The Artling Collectible Design Showcase, in collaboration with online art platform The Artling, featuring some of the region’s most exciting and emerging designers and studios that are at the intersection of art and design, including Singapore’s Dazingfeelsgood and Hans Tan, Thailand’s Aor Sutthiprapha and Apiwat Chitapanya, as well as the Philippines’s Gabby Lichauco and Jinggoy Buensuceso, bringing with them a curated selection of furniture, lighting, textiles and design products. Also, look forward to a separate exhibition exploring the interaction between art and fashion design.

3. Invest In Art: The Tiroche DeLeon Collection

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Above Cane Of Kabunian, Numbered But Cannot Be Counted (2010) by Rodel Tapaya

The first art fund based on a private collection, the Tiroche DeLeon Collection invests in contemporary masterpieces from developing markets, and this first-ever collaboration with Art Stage Singapore presents a unique selling exhibition of Asian contemporary works—acquired at previous editions of Art Stage Singapore from 2011 to 2016—curated by co-founder Serge Tiroche. The works of artists such as Singapore’s Donna Ong and Ruben Pang, Indonesia’s Agus Suwage and Eko Nugroho, Thailand’s Manit Sriwanichpoom, the Philippines’ Geraldine Javier and Ronald Ventura, as well as China’s Chen Fei and Zeng Fanzhi are re-exhibited within the context of a collection.

4. Art In Motion: Calder On Paper

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Above The Red Crescent (1969) by Alexander Calder

He redefined sculpture by adding an element of movement—these delicately balanced systems of discs and wires or “mobiles” by the late American artist Alexander Calder are often accompanied by brightly coloured goauches on paper that present a visual representation of his geometric forms. Omer Tiroche Gallery, London presents this unique selling exhibition that sees the biggest collection of Calder’s works on paper from the private collection of Micky Tiroche, the father of gallerist Omer. Two of Calder’s mobiles, Stabile (1968) and The Red Crescent (1969), are also be available for purchase.

Main image: Untitled (1965) by Alexander Calder

5. Figuratively Speaking: The Works of Fernando Botero

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Above Man Playing Contrebasse (1999) by Fernando Botero

Known for his distinctive depictions of voluminous figures and objects, the works of Colombian figurative artist and sculptor Fernando Botero have been a mainstay at previous editions of Art Stage Singapore. But this year, the fair pays tribute to its first honorary invited artist with a dedicated exhibition of his works in various mediums spanning his illustrious career of over 50 years. Plus, get private insights into the life and art of the artist from his son, Fernando Botero Jr. A 3.57m Botero bronze sculpture will also be on display at the fair, in memory of the late George Wong, founder of The Parkview Museum.


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