Singapore to Conquer French Contemporary Art Market – artmarketblog.com
Having focused recent posts on the Southeast Asian art market, I found it particularly interesting that Artprice have announced that Singapore should soon overtake France in the field of Contemporary art sales. Although 2011 was a better year for France than 2010, the French art market is still lagging behind other major art market centres. Currently fourth in world art market rankings, France may be heading further down the list if Singapore continues to rise through the ranks.
Evidence of the growing profile of Singapore as an art market hub is the success of the Art Stage Singapore art fair first held in 2010 and currently taking place in Singapore from the 12th to the 15th of January. According to their website: “Art Stage embraces Singapore’s unique position as a bridge between the East and the West in a celebration of both emerging new regional artists and international superstar names.” The inaugural edition of the fair attracted 121 galleries from 26 countries and regions, and 30 special projects, with the number of visitors hitting 32,000. This year, the show will host 120 exhibitors from 18 diverse nations and will be introducing 50 special projects. Adding to the hype of the 2012 edition of the fair is the inclusion of major international galleries such as White Cube, Haunch of Venison and Victoria Miro.
What first alerted me to the importance of Singapore to the market for Southeast Asian art was the number of works by Indonesian and Filipino artists being sold by Singaporean auction houses. The main auction houses with a presence in Singapore are Masterpiece Fine Art Auction, Borobudur Auction, Larasati Auctioneers and 33 auction. Enticing bidders with the lowest buyers premium in Singapore of between 10% – 12%, 33 auction auction have proven to be one of the main players in the Singapore art market. Having moved major sales of modern and contemporary South-East Asian paintings from Singapore to Hong Kong in 2007, both Christie’s and Sotheby’s may now be regretting this move. The move did, however, allow the regional auction houses to gain a foothold that has resulted in a strong regional art auction market that continues to grow.
Without the same high profile as artists coming out of Indonesia and the Philippines, Singaporean contemporary artists still have a long way to go before they catch up to the success of Singapore as a destination for Southeast Asian art. But, with the way the Singapore art market is heading, it may only be a matter of time before we see some big prices for Singaporean artists – and the French being left behind by the Singapore art market machine.
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.
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