5 galleries to visit at the Affordable Art Fair
Art by Ai Wei Wei or Damien Hurst costs millions of dollars.
That’s just what the organizers of The Affordable Art Fair (AAF) -- an annual contemporary art fair in eight major cities -- want to change. The fair sells art by artists and new talent of 60 galleries from 17 countries, at affordable prices of S$100 to S$10,000, with 75 percent of the works going for less than S$7,500.
“Quality is not reflected in the price," says fair director Camilla Hewitson. "A print, a sculpture, a young artist’s work; all these factors can mean that their work is priced lower. But it does not mean that it has less quality than something with a larger price tag. This is what AAF helps to debunk: the myth that contemporary art has to be expensive.”
Here are five Singaporean art galleries worth checking out.
This contemporary art gallery (69A Pagoda Street; Tel: +65 6222 7809) next to Chinatown MRT focuses on emerging artists from Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Australia. Debbie, the owner, says “All artworks are priceless to the artists as well to the gallery. For us, it’s also a chance grow with several potential new artists.”
I admire…: “Anthony Chua Say Hua. I met him at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). He is a practicing artist for more than 18 years and continues to push himself towards higher goals at his group and solo exhibitions.”
Cheapest artwork: "Colours Palette on White" by Chua Say Hua (S$100)
Give Art (64 Spottiswoode Park Road; Tel: +65 9005 4850) specializes in Southeast Asian-based contemporary artists. It has an online service where you create a gift list of artworks and source for micropayers to help fund that gift.
Why join the AAF?: “Artworks at big international art fairs usually start at S$10,000 which is an intimidating sum of money if this is your first work. In contrast, AAF provides an accessible entry point that enables early career artists and young galleries to take part in an international fair, allowing them to interact with collectors, curators and the wider art community.”
Cheapest artwork: 'Bouquet' by Genevieve Chua (S$510)
Located at Chip Bee Gardens, Sunjin Gallery (43 Jalan Merah Saga #03-62, Work Loft @ Chip Bee; Tel: +65 6738 2317) has represented some of the best artists in the region such as Jolly Koh, whilst promoting new talent such as Skyler Chen and Tomoaki Tarutani.
Why join the AAF?: “Unlike consumer goods, this is not a sale. The AFF is a respectable art fair. This is the time to discover new talents. And most of our works are within this price range.”
Cheapest artwork: "Untitled 1" by Tomoaki Tarutani (S$850).
Click on the next page to see what Vue Privee and Utterly Art have to offer.
Photography-inspired limited edition artworks rule at Vue Privée (20 Cairnhill Road; Tel: +65 6339 6271). Olivier Henry, professional photographer and founder, started the gallery because “I wanted to expand my love and passion of photography and towards the arts in general to a wider public.”
Why join AAF?: “Art should be accessible to a wider audience. We created museum-quality limited editions of photographs and photography-inspired artworks [that are cheaper than fine art gallery works]. By democratizing art, hopefully everyone can own at least one original artwork, numbered and signed, in their home.”
Cheapest artwork: "Afternoon" by Gabe Chen (S$150).
Utterly Art (229A South Bridge Road; Tel: +65 6226 2605) specializes in Filipino artists.
“It’s about the quality and standard of the art, rather than the reputation or seniority of the artists," says owner Dr Pwee Keng Hock. "We are quite willing to give good young artists a chance.”
I admire…: “It would be a piece that attracts me, speaks to and connects with me, with technique and content that I admire. Whether I can afford to buy it is a separate issue, but it won't stop me from admiring it.”
Cheapest artwork: "Verdant Walkway" by Tan Ai Ngin (S$100).
The Affordable Art Fair is held from November 19-21 at F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Boulevard. It costs S$10 per entry.