Coronavirus: Online art galleries hold steady even as brick and mortar stores lose sales


SINGAPORE - Singapore-based online art galleries are holding steady, even as their brick-and-mortar counterparts see sales plummet due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Co-founder and director of Addicted Art Gallery, Ms Elena Assini Thomson, says demand has remained stable despite the Covid-19 situation.

The gallery, which was founded in 2015 and has about 300 pieces of artwork in its collection, is still offering local delivery, although its installation services are suspended during the circuit breaker period.

It offers urban art, pop art and contemporary art and works by artists from Singapore, United States, Europe and Australia.

By shipping through global postal service FedEx, the gallery is able to fulfil its international deliveries as well, says Ms Thomson.

Two other online art galleries - The Artling and Mayinart - The Straits Times spoke to have also kept up their business during this period.

Mayinart was holding its yearly show, If Walls Could Speak, at Ion Orchard mall when the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition was raised to orange on Feb 7, leading to a drop in sales and attendance.

Still, over the last five weeks from April to now, sales at the gallery has been holding steady.

Founded in 2015 and with a collection of more than 1,500 art pieces by artists from countries including Indonesia and India, the gallery has seen 30 to 40 per cent more traffic on its site, some of which have converted to inquiries and sales.

Hard Candy, the work which features studded red lips, is influenced by Pope's experience as a magazine art director and shoe designer. PHOTO: ADDICTED ART GALLERY/SARA POPE

A spokesman for The Artling says it has seen a shift among clients towards digital and online art platforms as a result of the physical closure of galleries and museums.

The gallery, which was founded in 2013 and also has an office in Shanghai, lists works from more than 2,500 artists and 250 galleries on its platform.

"Although the online shopping experience differs drastically to viewing pieces in real life, we aim to ease any friction by using some of the latest technology, utilising augmented reality and ensuring that images are as high-resolution as possible," she adds.

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