What’s your opinion on the art scene in Singapore?
The increasingly vibrant art scene in Singapore is mainly driven by the convergence of wealth from the region into Singapore. As wealth increases, so does the demand for lifestyle products like art. In addition, government support is also important. With three major art schools in Singapore offering tertiary education, this helps to raise overall art literacy.
How do you think this has helped in the development of art in Singapore?
Of course, some of this vibrancy will directly translate into art purchases. The infusion of cash from the private sector is the second wing to help sustain our artists and enable them to further develop their trade. The other wing being governmental funding.
What are the challenges faced in promoting Singapore artists?
The question is two-fold actually. One is generally the challenge in promoting art in Singapore, and then promoting Singapore artists. The level of art literacy and the vibrancy of the art scene has definitely picked up in recent years. However, compared to mature markets, we are still not getting ourselves into the sweet spot yet. The challenge is in how to get more people to be interested and buying art. One strategy our gallery adopts is through active and innovative engagement of corporations. With increased literacy and exposure, people become more predisposed to buying art.
As for promoting Singapore artists, the occasional challenge may be the unrealistic expectations they may have. We are however generally able to overcome them with creative working arrangement to align them to our strategies.
How do you think Singaporean artists can further make their mark globally?
Singaporean artists could seek further breakthrough by having key representations and showcases with reputable platforms or galleries overseas. The Art Fellas’ vision is to establish ourselves well in the global art scene, bringing our Singaporean artists to a bigger stage.
Who are some of Singaporean artists that have caught your eye?
They would be our key artists from our gallery such as Leo Hee Tong, Yeo Siak Goon and Chan Chang How, just to name a few. Most of them have decades-long track record, with art award wins and a unique stylistic identity in their work.
This story first appeared in Vol 6 of Gallery & Studio.