In the wake of the not unexpected cancellation of Artstage 2019, Singapore’s premier contemporary art fair, the spotlight is now firmly turn to the new kid on the block, S.E.A. Focus, an initiative created by Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI)’s Executive Director, Emi Eu and S.E.A. Focus Project Director Audrey Yeo in response to the growing need to create a deeper appreciation and demand for SE Asian modern and contemporary art, delivered through both local and international galleries. So what do they have to offer?
The boutique fair located at the Gillman Barracks has three focused areas to the festival:
- S.E.A. Spotlight, provides talks and panel discussions from some of Singapore and SE Asia’s cultural thought leaders on a range of subjects from ‘The Globalisation of Art Markets’, to ‘Building New Cultural Capital for Southeast Asian Art’ to ‘Fostering Art Diversity in the Art Ecosystem’.
- S.E.A. Community will provide tours by Friends of the Museum docents, highlighting their favourite pieces in the fair and Arts Management students from NAFA, will provide bi-lingual tours in Bahasa, Malay and Mandarin.
- S.E.A. City includes presentations by partner institutions and galleries around the city such as the NUS Museum, an art tour at Kampong Bugis and a cross cultural cook up feast at SIRI House.
The fair’s director, Eu has promised to, ‘present an ambitious range of experiences’ and, ‘provide…diverse programmes’ with, ‘varied entry points to appreciate art in a relaxed ambience’.
Does the programme really sound all that different from anything we have seen at Artstage? While the quality and curation of the artwork will be everyone’s first concern, as an arts engagement specialist in Singapore, I am very interested in how the S.E.A. Focus team will disseminate the artwork to the audience – talks, tours etc are very run of the mill on the art scene here, let’s hope that this dynamo team behind the great programming at STPI has something unique up its sleeve to inspire and excite the Singaporean art world. More than that, let’s hope the audience is inspired and in the mood to buy, find new collaborative opportunities and embrace this new and clear focus or 2019.
The self styled boutique art fair will be running from 24th to 27th January, have a closer look at the programme here. As a media partner, look out for our coverage hot off the press from the press launch and Vernissage.
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