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Published: Friday January 17, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday January 17, 2014 MYT 7:21:45 AM

Homegrown artwork in hot demand

SINGAPORE’S premier fair for international contemporary art kicked off with unusually buoyant sales for homegrown artists. More than 7,000 people from all over the world were invited to the preview for Art Stage Singapore last evening.

The ticketed fair at the Marina Bay Sands Exhibition and Convention Centre opens to the public today and runs till Sunday. More than 158 galleries from here and overseas are represented in this fourth edition of the annual fair.

Within hours of the opening yesterday, one of Singapore’s hottest young painters, Ruben Pang, 24, sold all nine of his works. Priced between S$3,000 (RM7,762) and S$9,000 (RM23,273), they were sold by Singapore’s Chan Hampe Galleries.

Another emerging artist Sarah Choo, 23, represented by gallerist Vera Wijaya of Galerie Sogan & Art, also sold all her photography works within hours of the fair’s opening.

She sold five photography works, priced at S$6,500 (RM16,808) each.

Both artists drew mainly Singapore-based buyers, the galleries said.

Jumbo art: Korean artist Choi Jeonghwa’s huge inflatable pink elephant, affectionately titled ‘Love Me’, is one of the many works on display at the art fair. -The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Veteran artist Milenko Prvacki’s large 300 x 400cm acrylic on linen piece, Crossroad, was the top-selling artwork yesterday by a local artist, at S$120,000 (RM310,310).

Other homegrown artists whose works sold quickly were the late painter Chua Ek Kay and sculptor Han Sai Por.

Two of their works, priced at S$5,200 (RM13,446) and S$20,000 (RM51,718) respectively, were among the first pieces to be sold by the Singapore Tyler Print Institute, which had a booth selling Singaporean and international works.

Visitors have given the fair the thumbs-up for its range and depth. Singapore art collector Terence Lim called the fair “impressive and welcoming”.

The medical doctor, in his 30s, said there were a lot of works to see.

“Not just decorative artwork, but really challenging pieces,” he said.

Prominent collectors from around the world, such as American Dorothy Vogel, French couple Dominique and Sylvain Levy, Chinese-Indonesian Budi Tek and Swiss Uli Sigg, a well-known collector of Chinese contemporary art, were spotted browsing at Art Stage yesterday.

The fair, which has not disclosed its budget, is backed by the Government in its bid to make Singapore a top arts city. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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