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Self-Improvement & Hobbies

Affordable Art Fair gets bigger

Spread over 4,000 sq m, the event will feature more galleries this year.
The Straits Times - August 15, 2012
By: Deepika Shetty
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Affordable Art Fair gets bigger -- PHOTO: ST FILE

Keep your flip-flops ready this November.

The popular Affordable Art Fair, which aims to make art- buying accessible to the masses, is returning to the F1 Pit Building with more space, more galleries and more art.

From Nov 15 to 18, budding art collectors can expect to walk through another 1,000 sq m of space as the fair will span an area of 4,000 sq m, up from 3,000 sq m last year.

There will be about 85 galleries compared to 78 last year. The booth rental fee ranges from $6,000 to $18,000, depending on the size.

Over lunch at the Royal Mail Restaurant at Ascott Raffles Place, fair director Camilla Hewitson told Life! that more than 145 galleries have applied for the 85 spaces. There has been a surge in interest from galleries in India, South Korea and Vietnam.

"Our focus is on Asia, so this is good," she said.

The full list of galleries is being finalised but there will be around 35 from Singapore. Paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures make up most of the art that will be sold, with prices starting at $100 and going up to $10,000. About three-quarters of the offering will cost less than $7,500.

Prints by celebrity artists, including Japan's greatest living artist Yayoi Kusama, will be presented alongside works by Singapore artists such as Justin Lee and Ang Sookoon.

"The fair brings a new generation of collectors to the market, breaking down the barriers for new buyers," said Ms Hewitson, 32.

Last year, the fair doubled its sales from $1.75 million to $3.05 million and drew 13,500 visitors to the three-day event at the F1 Pit Building.

This year, organisers hope to draw around 15,000 visitors and chalk up sales of $3.5 million.

In addition to the art, the organisers have planned other fringe activities including print-making demonstrations, art workshops for children and more serious art talks for adults.

A young talent programme will promote upcoming local talent under the age of 25 by giving them a platform for exhibiting their work and will lend a distinctly Singaporean flavour to the event.

The fair, which originated in London in 1999, is now in 13 cities worldwide, including New York, Milan and Mexico City.

Local gallery Utterly Art, which has been among the top-performing galleries at the Singapore fair in the previous two editions, has signed up for the third.

It will present works of some artists who have done well before, including painter Boo Sze Yang and street artist TR853-1, together with a selection of work by newer artists such as painters Zhang Kexin and Kitti Narod.

Utterly Art's managing partner Pwee Keng Hock, 48, said: "We are a good fit as our roster of artists has always been affordable. We do not focus on budget- busting auction works but just good, affordable art. The fair and our gallery share the same philosophies.

"The fair works because it has no pretensions about being an event for the exclusive few. Its marketing campaign has been highly effective and it obviously reaches out to everyone, judging by the crowds that appear every day of the fair."

AFFORDABLE ART FAIR

Where: F1 Pit Building, Marina Bay South

When: Nov 15 to 18, noon to 8pm (Thursday), noon to 6pm (Friday), 11am to 8pm (Saturday), 11am to 6pm (Sunday)

Admission: $12 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens. $30 for Arty-Licious Evening on Nov 16 from 6 to 10pm. Tickets go on sale end of next month from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg) or at the door

Info: Call 6736-1430 or go to www.affordableartfair.sg

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