Art Stage Singapore returns for a seventh time in January, kick-starting the international season with work from the pinnacle of Asian contemporary art, bringing together 108 exhibitors from 26 countries. With innovation at the forefront of the event, the fair engages with issues that are relevant to the political, economic and cultural dimensions of today. It has central role in the eco-system of modern creative practice in Singapore and southeast Asia, developing and bridging regional markets and creating a platform for the exchange of ideas.
Lorenzo Rudolf, Founder and President, states: “Never has it been more urgent for us to re-examine the role of art in our societies than it is today. Against the backdrop of the weak global economy and changed political landscapes, art fairs such as Art Stage Singapore must re-think our role. As the performance of art markets is inextricably linked to the health of the economy, maintaining the same market positions is unrealistic in the current economic climate.”
With this philosophy as a background to the next edition of the festival, the event emphasises its focus on southeast Asia. In bringing together individual regional markets, to create a singular stronger force, the forum highlights the importance of developing a cohesive eastern market to compete with the global industries of the west and China.
Also in 2017, the second Southeast Asia Forum runs as part of the festival. This element of the fair consists of an exhibition and a series of lectures that offer in-depth views into global issues that directly impact on the region. With the aim to emphasis the balance between creative practice, commerce and content, this year’s forum focuses on Capitalism, titled Net Present Value: Art, Capital, Futures. Exploring imagination and progress, the forum brings together economists, business leaders, policy makers and figures from the industry to examine, through different methods, challenges relating to the inequality left in the wake of the international capitalist system.
Through the work of socially engaged artists, the forum stresses the importance of creating alternative forms of capital in order to achieve equality in an increasingly complex worldwide environment. Amongst others, work from Jim Allen Abel, Jenny Holzer, Eldwin Pradipta, Noberto Roldan, Jose Tence Ruiz, Svay Sareth, Yudi Sulistyo and Tintin Wulia are included. Kent Chan’s If Not, Accelerate examines the roots of migrant labour in Singapore through a collection of videos, text and sculpture that unravels the city, its socio-economic politics and anxieties. Also exhibited is Ivan Lam’s Vending Art, a fully operational machine distributing small original artwork, triggering questions on the commodification and consumption of art.
This leading Asian art fair connects the industry to the global contemporary markets. The festival highlights the diversity of creative practice from the southeast, acting as a catalyst for increased economic activity in the region.
Art Stage Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, Sands Expo & Convention Centre, 12-15 January. For more information: www.artstage.com/singapore
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1. Kent Chan If Not, Accelerate (2016). (Courtesy of the artist and Grey Projects)