Wealth of value in artists' existing works

Visitors enjoying a game on Singapore contemporary artist Lee Wen's Ping-Pong Go Round table at the Art Basel show in Hong Kong last year.
Visitors enjoying a game on Singapore contemporary artist Lee Wen's Ping-Pong Go Round table at the Art Basel show in Hong Kong last year.BT FILE PHOTO

THE issue of a ping-pong activity station at the Singapore Sports Hub during the recently concluded SEA Games has raised important considerations for the support of our local artists' ideas and works ("MCCY respects creative efforts of artists"; June 15).

As the gallery that represents artist Lee Wen's work, we submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) last year on the possibility of displaying Lee's work, Ping-Pong Go Round.

At the time of our proposal, Lee's Ping-Pong Go Round table was an existing artwork that was shown in May last year at the Art Basel show in Hong Kong.

It was, thereafter, seeking subsequent display, acquisition and usage support.

We saw that it was a timely and relevant opportunity for a proposal to the MCCY, in view of the recent near completion of the Sports Hub and the upcoming SEA Games, as the ministry oversees both art and sports development.

Ping-Pong Go Round could have been used to engage the public, instead of spending money to make a new piece.

We would have benefited from showcasing an existing artwork that had been highly publicised and was engaging audiences internationally.

It would also have been beneficial for our local artist for his work to be known among Singaporeans while the same work was gaining such positive publicity across the globe.

We hope the above can help serve as considerations for the future.

As the same ministry holds various portfolios on culture, sport and the community, we hope there can also be

synergies among these various areas of development, where budgets and plans may be reviewed and communicated within the ministry for any future events.

We also hope the Public Art Trust will consider supporting existing artworks by artists, beyond supporting only new commissions.

Many existing artworks were created from the purity of the artists' vision and concept, and are the best representations of their artistic ingenuity.

These works are equally deserving of merit and our people's support.

Helina Chan (Ms)

Managing Director


FORUM NOTE: iPreciation is the gallery representing Lee Wen and other Singapore artists.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2015, with the headline 'Wealth of value in artists' existing works'. Print Edition | Subscribe