|Debut of Art Stage Singapore a Resounding Success (20.1.2011)|
|Singapore – The inaugural edition of Art Stage Singapore, Asia’s premier international art fair, came to a close on Sunday, 16th January 2011. The four-day fair and VIP preview saw a total of 32,000 visitors attend the event which showcased quality contemporary artworks from 121 galleries representing 26 countries.|
Fair Director, Mr. Lorenzo Rudolf says, “We are very pleased with the results of the first edition of Art Stage Singapore. It was important that we created a quality fair with a strong Asian identity that would put Singapore on the art world’s map. Art Stage Singapore showcased art in context and with platforms like Project Stage gave Asia Pacific galleries the opportunity to rise to a level of international prominence, competing strongly in the global arena. I believe we ushered in the international art season with an event worthy of worldwide attention. This debut reminds me of when I first rejuvenated Art Basel and I look forward to seeing other Asian fairs following suit with the introduction of dedicated projects.”
Contributing to the success of Art Stage Singapore was the generous support from various key local government agencies including Singapore’s Economic Development Board, National Arts Council, National Heritage Board and Singapore Tourism Board. The backing from these agencies serves as an encouraging reminder of Singapore’s readiness and commitment towards becoming a meeting point for discussion and dialogue on contemporary art. It highlights the beginnings of planned co-operation to develop Singapore into a centre for contemporary art in Asia, with the fair as a flagship event leading this.
Dr Beh Swan Gin, Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board says, “The strong attendance at the inaugural Art Stage Singapore is a very good sign that it has the potential to become one of the leading art fairs in the world. Galleries that participated in Art Stage Singapore have also commented that they enjoyed strong sales including acquisitions by important collectors. This will help anchor Singapore as an international centre for contemporary art.”
Art Stage Singapore proved to be a get-together of the art world with art lovers, collectors, gallerists as well as artists congregating at the fair. With artists rarely making appearances at fairs such as this, Art Stage Singapore offered a real opportunity for collectors and artists to meet in person and engage with one another. The fair was attended by visitors from around the world including top collectors from Singapore as well as those from USA, Europe and from countries around the region including India, China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Hong Kong. Highly respected artists who attended the fair include the likes of Takashi Murakami, Zeng Fanzhi, Yoshitomo Nara, T.V. Santhosh, Jitish Kallat, Shen Shaomin, Agus Suwage, Ronald Ventura, David LaChapelle, Wim Delvoye, I Nyoman Masriadi and many others.
Art Stage Singapore saw the sale of works across all price categories. This includes those by superstars of the art world including David LaChapelle, Takashi Murakami, Anish Kapoor and Chu Teh-Chun. Significant sales include Murakami’s Snow Moon Flower triptych which went for US$2.2 million, Li Chen’s four bronze sculptures from the Soul Guardian series of wind, fire, thunder and rain at US$480,000 and Mao Yan’s Posie Musgrau, which sold for over US$100,000 within the first hour of the fair.
Other notable sales include Russell Young’s Marilyn Crying, “what do I wear in bed, why Chanel No. 5, of course” for US$59,000, Geraldine Javier’s Three Dead Trees for US$55,000 and Ranbir Kaleka’s Cul-de-sac for US$54,000.
Works by Singaporean artists were also popular choices for collectors. Jane Lee, who exhibited as one of the eight Singaporean artists in the specially curated Singapore Platform, Remaking Art in the Everyday, had one of her works purchased for US$24,000. In addition, David Chan’s sculptures Chimerative and Centauree were purchased for US$58,000.
With strong sales seen, most of the galleries participating this year have already indicated their interest in returning for next year’s edition. Many new galleries have also approached fair organisers with strong interest in becoming involved in upcoming editions.
The second edition of Art Stage Singapore is set to take place between 12 and 15 January 2012.