Art Stage Singapore, Asia’s premier international art fair focusing on the Asia Pacific art scene and market, makes its debut today. Featuring over 120 of the most exciting and promising contemporary and modern art galleries from 26 countries, the fair will present a balance of Asia Pacific galleries juxtaposed against carefully selected Western galleries. This first edition of Art Stage Singapore will also see the congregation of the art world at Singapore’s latest iconic destination, Marina Bay Sands.
With the support of key Singapore government agencies, including the Economic Development Board, the Singapore Tourism Board, the National Arts Council and the National Heritage Board, Art Stage Singapore will cement Singapore’s position as a vibrant city and leading arts destination on an international scale. Says Dr Beh Swan Gin, Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board: “The inaugural Art Stage Singapore marks a significant milestone in the development of Singapore as an international centre for contemporary art. Set in the heart of Asia, the event will see a strong mix of participating firms from East and West as well as of established and young galleries. This will promote an exciting exchange of ideas and trends and also encourage the discovery of new artists in Asia. The fair will help strengthen Singapore’s standing as a platform for international art businesses to connect, and expand into Asia and beyond.”
Works by both up-and-coming and established contemporary artists from around the world will showcase the best and most exciting of artistic creativity at the fair. In addition, special platforms such as Project Stage will provide an opportunity for unique projects by promising emerging Asia Pacific artists to be created and presented to an international audience. Remaking Art in the Everyday, the Singapore Platform of Art Stage Singapore curated by Eugene Tan with support from the National Arts Council, puts forth eight established Singaporean artists and their bid to explore the remaking of everyday life and experiences in contemporary societies through re-imaginings of popular culture, history and art.
Fair Director, Mr. Lorenzo Rudolf says: “We are extremely excited to be launching the first edition of Art Stage Singapore today and are looking forward to its success. With this inaugural event we hope to achieve our goal of creating a quality fair with a strong Asian identity. Our plan is to build Art Stage Singapore into a leading art fair in Asia and one of the most important events worldwide.”
Alongside quality contemporary visual art, Art Stage Singapore will also feature No Boundaries, a ground-breaking design showcase by young emerging designers. Comprising works across various disciplines that explore the thin line between sculpture, design and architecture, No Boundaries will feature the following designers: Nendo (Japan), Anon Pairot (Thailand), Tithi Kuchamuch (Thailand), DA+H (UK), Hans Tan (Singapore), Hunn Wai (Singapore), Jason Ong (Singapore), P.C.Ee (Singapore) and David Trubridge (New Zealand). Carefully curated to emphasise today’s synergy between design and visual arts, the modern designs presented in the showcase fittingly highlight this inter-relationship.
An extensive series of top-level side events have also been organised to flank the inaugural fair and deliver to Art Stage Singapore visitors a holistic and enriching experience. These programmes aim to showcase what Singapore has to offer and encourage dialogue amongst all present, from gallerists to collectors, artists, curators and art enthusiasts.
Mr. Rudolf continues: “The fair was developed to be more than simply a platform for commercial exchange. We wanted to ensure that by bringing the fair to Singapore we would be supporting the development of the Asian market and strengthening it through auxiliary events that would interest the Asian contemporary art insider, Western collectors and art lovers, and also students, interested young people and children.”
Educational programmes, special lectures and panel discussions by key figures in the art world will be held throughout the duration of the fair. Highly acclaimed photo artist David LaChapelle, for example, will present a talk on his prolific career and experiences as a young New York artist in the 80’s. In addition, visitors can look forward to a range of panel discussions such as Necessary Dexterity: Contemporary Curatorial Practice, helmed by top curators in the industry as well as discussions on the scope of contemporary art in various countries in the region. In addition, The Changing Roles of Private Collections of Contemporary Art will give the audience a rare opportunity to hear from a panel of top collectors from the region.
Adding to the fair’s atmosphere on the final day will be a special one-time only performance piece by Japanese artist Takashi Kuribayashi and friends. Travelling from city to city with his ‘Yatai’ (food stall), this performance sees Kuribayashi opening his little shop as a “playground” for people to meet, talk, drink, sing and dance. Strumming on his guitar, the audience is drawn into being part of the performance as the entire arrangement of the stall and its customers turn into a work of art. For the full list of Art Stage Singapore activities and side events please refer to Annex A.
Outside of the fairgrounds, a significant parallel event to note is Collectors’ Stage: Asian Contemporary Art from Private Collections, organised by the Singapore Art Museum in co-operation with Art Stage Singapore. This world-class exhibition presents a unique opportunity for art lovers to view Asian masterpieces normally kept behind closed doors, in the hands of private collectors. It shines a spotlight on the finest Asian contemporary artworks, all generously loaned for exhibit between 14 January and 17 February. The works, by iconic Asian artists including Ai Wei Wei (China), Shilpa Gupta (India), I Nyoman Masriadi (Indonesia), Nam June Paik (Korea), Yoshitomo Nara (Japan) and more, will be on display at the Singapore Art Museum, as well as ARTSPACE@Helutrans and Tanjong Pagar Distripark.
On top of this, private galleries including TAKSU Singapore, ICAS Galleries, Richard Koh Fine Art, Give Art and Art Seasons will themselves hold exhibitions of contemporary art from around the world, highlighting the breadth and variety of visual art content available in Singapore. Of particular note is an exhibition titled SO Contemporary, specially organised by Lasalle College of the Arts. The exhibition aims to raise awareness and appreciation for contemporary art collecting in Singapore by showcasing recent key acquisitions in S+O Art Forum’s collection.
Art Stage Singapore is open to the public from 13th to 16th January 2011. Interested visitors can access the official website at www.artstagesingapore.com for ticketing information as well as a schedule of all events.