Art SG met the moment last week, drawing enthusiastic collectors to Marina Bay Sands for its inaugural edition from 12 to 15 January.
The VIP preview day saw thousands attend, with many collectors from Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Korea, and beyond flying in.
'We have been exceptionally pleased to meet many new faces during the first day of the fair,' said David Zwirner's Senior Director, Leo Xu.
Zwirner sold more than half their booth—a combined value of over U.S. $2.5 million—in the opening hours of the fair, including works by Katherine Bernhardt, as well as works by Neo Rauch, Carol Bove, Marcel Dzama, Oscar Murillo, Thomas Ruff, and Wolfgang Tillmans.
Lehmann Maupin's Ken Tan praised the sophistication of 'young and discreet' local collectors. They sold four new works by Mandy El-Sayegh for a combined total of U.S. $335,000, along with works by Tammy Nguyen, Dominic Chambers, and Billy Childish.
Among other notable sales, Xavier Hufkens sold a Zhang Enli for approximately U.S. $350,000, Pace sold James Turrell's sensorial installation Rama, Rectangular Glass (2021) for U.S. $950,000, and White Cube sold a 1981 Anselm Kiefer for EUR 1.2 million (U.S. $).
Among Asian galleries, Tang Contemporary Art reported a lively crowd and sold over half their booth on the opening day, including the three-metre abstract painting by the promising Chinese artist Wang Xiyao, who has four solo exhibitions at galleries around the world this year.
Singapore Art Week's second fair, S.E.A. Focus (6–15 January), returned with a select 25 galleries taking part. Led by STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery, in partnership with Art Basel, its close-knit group of predominantly Asian galleries were quick to praise the fair.
'With travel restrictions being lifted, it was great to welcome international visitors, gallerists, and collectors to experience our exhibition and programmes in-person once again', reflected Emi Eu, Project Director of S.E.A. Focus and Executive Director of STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery.
'We've been seeing very strong interest and a [keen] sense of discovery,' said Singapore's 39+ Art Space. A similar sentiment was shared by Stephanie Bailey, Ocula's Global Editor-at-Large, who—on behalf of Art Basel Hong Kong—curated three conversations for S.E.A. Focus' talks series, including, 'When Patronage Becomes Form: Who is the "Southeast Asian Collector"?'
Featuring institutional curators Lisa Horikawa of National Gallery Singapore and QAGOMA's Reuben Keehan plus collector and patron Nathaniel Gunawan, 'The talk was really generous, and expertly moderated by collector Margaret Wang, who was able to probe the practice of collecting from an institutional and individual perspective,' Bailey said. 'The thing that stood out the most was the synergy between both fields, given how much public institutions and private collectors can and do learn from each other.'
'Liu Kuo-Sung's show is an incredible celebration of one of ink painting's most radical masters, which also marks Liu's foundation's gifting of works by the artist to the National Gallery Singapore, affirming the museum's position as one of the region's greatest repositories of ink painting.'
Liu Kuo-sung: Experimentation as Method (13 January–26 November 2023) is among the 130 events and exhibitions taking over the city, where the Singapore Biennale continues through 19 March.
After raving about Haegue Yang's show at Kukje Gallery during Frieze Seoul, we were excited to see two of her 'otherworldly beings' sculptures at the Biennale, which helped her win the 13th Benesse Prize—for participants whose work shows 'an experimental and critical spirit'.
All the more reason to head to São Paulo for Qasi-Colloquial (25 January–1 May 2023), Yang's show at Pinacoteca—the first South Korean artist to exhibit at the Brazilian institution. —[O]
Main image: White Cube, ART SG 2023, Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore (12–15 January 2023). Courtesy ART SG.