At the inaugural Art World Forum 2016, the recently concluded conference saw a diverse group of art and business speakers, and attendees come together at St Regis Hotel, Singapore, to address pressing issues in the art market. The list includes Jennifer Scally, Asia Managing Director of AXA Art, Mohit Mehrotra, Partner at Deloitte Consulting and art collector Guillaume Levy-Lambert.
Entitled Navigating the Global Art Markets, the conference was co-founded by Anni Oates and Veronica Neo when the two identified a gap between the art and business communities. Driven by the aim of bridging the art market with supportive corporate sectors, the dynamic duo set out to create a conducive platform for international networking opportunities in the art and business industries.
“The initial steps took were to identify our focus,” says Anni. ” – Who we are? What is our aim? Who do we cater for? I would say Art World Forum is an ideal reflection of our backgrounds, our experience, and love for art.” Coming from an art based background – with Veronica having had more experience in the corporate sector, the pair leveraged onto their networks for collaborations, reached out to new networks, bootstrapped, and formed collective advisory committees that guided their strategy and development of the conference.
We had the opportunity to speak to two of the presenters, Maranda Barnes, Co-founder, Director of Corporate Communications and Business Development of TWG Tea Company Pte Ltd and the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) on the experience with the event.
1.Why did you choose to partner Art World Forum?
EuroCham: Art World Forum is an emerging global platform and EuroCham wanted to support this great initiative in the art world. Furthermore, EuroCham felt compelled to support an event as such and to help the Art Scene in Singapore to grow and get better visibility in the region.
TWG Tea: There is a lot of alignment between the objectives of Art World Forum and TWG Tea. TWG Tea takes pride in artisanal craftsmanship and there is a strong emphasis on art in our products. This can be seen from the crafting of our exquisite tea blends to the details of our packaging. Within our tea salons & boutiques, great care has been taken to ensure that wonderful works of art are displayed to engage customers with our brand. When we were approached by Art World Forum to partner the event, we were very honoured to loan our support and align TWG Tea with this initiative.
2.What kind of role does art have in the world today?
EuroCham: People often forget the significance of art in the discourse of social, cultural, and global concerns. Arts organisations need to emphasize art’s contribution to, and its relevance in, civil society. For that reason, EuroCham believes that art organisations can assume the role of illuminator through various means and in keeping with the theme of educating the public.
TWG Tea: Art has the power to create an emotional connection with anyone, regardless of culture or language. Art can foster meaningful collaborations between individuals or even between artists and corporations; which leads me to our next answer…
3. Why is this important for your company?
EuroCham: EuroCham understands that the role of arts organisations in civil society is constantly evolving and that members of a community may even find it easier to be captivated by the messages expressed by an arts organisation, for that reason we wanted to stand back the Art World Forum.
TWG Tea: TWG Tea is a brand that prides itself on fine craftsmanship, a passion which has led us to create wonderful works of living art that you see in TWG Tea Salons & Boutiques around the world. One that you would have noticed would be the exquisite hand-painted tea tins that adorn the hardwood shelves in any TWG Tea Salon & Boutique. These tea tins are a result of a dynamic collaboration between TWG Tea’s co-founder, Taha Bouqdib and a celebrated French artist, and we are privileged to have commissioned over 500 different tins, each totally unique. Featuring sublime creative interpretations of the most beloved TWG Tea fine harvests teas and blends, these hand painted tea tins requires 36 hours of continuous craftsmanship and meticulous attention to each detail. This collaboration has truly elevated the realm of tea and art, and have since lent their unique appeal and style to every TWG Tea Salon & Boutique around the world with their colourful, eye-catching designs.
What was the experience like, working with art world forum?
EuroCham: EuroCham felt that the experience was compelling and very engaging. The organisation from start to end was very professional and definitely will consider continuing the partnership.
TWG Tea: It was a great pleasure to work with Art World Forum, especially as it was a first for TWG Tea to reach out to a different professional audience. Speaking as a panelist on the topic of “Corporate Patrons of the Arts: What, Why and How”, I was most interested in presenting art’s impact on our business and our customers. There is a strong congruency between the creative designs that have come to represent the brand and the loyalty of our customers, who have come to relate to the works of art and typography with their experience at TWG Tea, making the art come alive to the senses. TWG Tea was also honoured to co-present the Speaker’s Dinner at TWG Tea on the Bridge at Marina Bay Sands and it was an engaging evening, meeting other like-minded art enthusiasts and celebrating the launch of the inaugural Art World Forum.