The seventh edition of Art Stage Singapore (12-15 January 2017) at San Marina Bay Convention Center will take place in a context of strong local market contraction. The truth is that despite very significant investment in the cultural domain in this region of the globe, the last three years have seen a decline in its overall attractiveness for the art market. Still… the fair’s director, Lorenzo Rudolf, is doing everything possible to offer a comprehensive and coherent vision of the Asian cultural scene. In August 2017, the Art Stage art fair with have a sister operation opening in Indonesia… Art Stage Jakarta.
Art Stage Singapore is the Art Market’s first rendezvous in 2017… i.e. the first major art fair in the annual calendar. With this 7th edition, the fair aims to project Southeast Asian art into the international arena more than ever before, bringing together the very best Contemporary Asian art. After expanding in 2016 to 170 galleries (vs 160 in 2015) the San Marina Bay Convention Center will host just 132 galleries (from 27 different countries) this year – mostly from Bangkok, Taiwan, Seoul, Mumbai, Jakarta, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong – in four days of intense activity. Among the major galleries we note the presence of Mark Hachem and Pearl Lam; however, this year, neither the White Cube nor Galerie Perrotin will be present.
The Singapore auction market has suffered a sharp slowdown in recent years. In 2015 the auction companies operating in Singapore posted a total turnover of $17.9 million compared with $35.9 million the previous year. The city-state nevertheless ranked 28th in the world ranking of Fine Art auction marketplaces. Although Singapore stands as the number two Fine Art auction marketplace in Southeast Asia, its turnover for the full year 2016 amounted to $11.6 million. Prior to the subprime crisis in 2008, it generated three times more turnover on twice the volume of transactions. The auction record for an artwork sold in Singapore dates back to 1996 when Raden Saleh’s The deer hunt (1846) fetched $2.4 million at Christie’s. Since then, both Christie’s and its rival Sotheby’s have left Singapore, and the city-state rarely hammers an art result above the million-dollar threshold. Over the past three years, the Philippine capital, Manila, has became the leading art auction market in the region.