Affordable Art Fair back with 300 artists' works

Visitors at the Affordable Art Fair last year.
Visitors at the Affordable Art Fair last year.PHOTO: AFFORDABLE ART FAIR SINGAPORE

The spring edition of the contemporary art fair aims to make art collecting fun

The Affordable Art Fair is back next month with works by more than 300 Singapore and international artists from 41 galleries.

The spring edition of the contemporary art fair will run from April 7 to 9 at the F1 Pit Building.

The fair aims to demystify art collecting and make it fun and accessible. All works are priced between $100 and $15,000, with 75 per cent priced under $7,500.

Advance sales of tickets cost $15. A ticket to a special evening party on April 7 with live art and music performances, workshops and a director-led tour, called #ArtHappy Evening, costs $20. Both types of tickets can be used to attend the fair on all three days.

The Affordable Art Fair was started in 1999 by gallerist Will Ramsay in London. It is now an international outfit, with editions in nine countries, including in cities such as Singapore, Milan and New York.

  • BOOK IT / AFFORDABLE ART FAIR

  • WHERE: F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Boulevard

    WHEN: April 7 to 9,noon to 6pm (April 7), 11am to 8pm (April 8), 11am to 6pm (April 9). #ArtHappy Evening is on April 7, 6 to 10pm

    ADMISSION: $15 (advance sales), $18 (door price). #ArtHappy Evening: $20 (advance sales), $25 (at the door). Tickets include access to the fair on all three days. Free entry for children below age 16 (go to www.apactix.com)

    INFO: www.affordableartfair.com/singapore

It is held twice a year in Singapore, with the autumn edition held in November. This is its seventh year here.

Last year's two fairs in Singapore saw 22,000 visitors and $5.3 million in sales. The organisers expect 10,000 people to attend next month's edition.

A fifth of the participating galleries are new this year. There will also be a distinct Asian presence, as more than half of the galleries are from Asia. For example, new participant KimJaeSun Gallery from South Korea will feature the sculptures of South Korean artist Byun Dae Yong.

Another new participant this year, Artify Gallery from Hong Kong, will be bringing in about 40 mostly small artworks that are suitable for most homes.

"We participated in Affordable Art Fair in Hong Kong for three years and we really love working with the team. We have always heard good reviews about Affordable Art Fair Singapore, so we decided to participate this year," says Ms Cherry Ho, Artify's gallery director.

Mr Alan Koh, the fair's Singapore director, chalks up its success to its "special sort of magic".

He describes the atmosphere of the fair as "fun and inviting", where new audiences "can discover the power of art in a way that speaks to them on their level". He also highlights the fair's programme, which includes hands-on and family- friendly activities.

For example, the popular gallery speed-dating tours will be back, with daily 35-minute tours of five to six galleries.

Also returning is the Children's Art Studio, which will have kids aged four and above engaged in activities such as viewing insect specimens and responding to them through clay sculpting and drawing, while their parents shop for art.

Three South-east Asian artists - Leo Liu from Singapore, Dani King Heriyanto from Indonesia and Lim Khim Katy from Vietnam - will also showcase their signature artistic styles on kids' strollers by Dutch brand Bugaboo.

Art lovers who want to give back to society can check out the charity feature wall with works priced at $500. Half of the proceeds go to the fair's charity partner this year, the Woodbridge Hospital Charity Fund.

Mr Koh acknowledges that the art market here has taken a beating in recent years. He says: "The market will always have ups and downs, both globally and locally, reflective of economies and politics which are outside of the control of the art market."

However, he remains optimistic about the Affordable Art Fair, saying that it has hit on a "formula of creating new buyers". He backs it with statistics - 21 per cent of buyers in the last edition of the fair were first-time buyers and 24 per cent of visitors went to learn more about art.

He says: "This directly correlates to how we build the confidence of art lovers through easy-to-understand art."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2017, with the headline 'Affordable Art Fair back with 300 artists' works'. Print Edition | Subscribe