In Depth

Art Stage Singapore puts the spotlight on south-east Asia

Now in its seventh year, the highly anticipated annual fair brings the region's best art to the attention of the world

Since its first event in 2011, Art Stage Singapore has swiftly become Asia's leading contemporary art fair. Every January, thousands of art dealers, collectors, curators and art lovers gather at the Marina Bay Sands hotel to discover the very best in creative talent from south-east Asia and beyond.

Art Stage Singapore has a distinctly Asian identity while acting as a bridge to the global art market. In an interview for Forbes online, fair director Lorenzo Rudolf says that the event puts "Southeast Asian art in a global context".

Rudolf goes on to explain the fair's wider appeal and influence, claiming it's "part of an entire movement in shaping Singapore as a professional and serious contemporary art hub that is respected all over the world". The Swiss art collector and curator has impressive credentials. He masterminded the global expansion of Art Basel in the late 1990s before setting his sights on the Asian market.

Now in its seventh edition, Art Stage Singapore returns later this month to Singapore's most famous five-star hotel, which is home to numerous museum and gallery spaces. More than 170 galleries from 33 countries have gone through the fair's rigorous application process to take part in the four-day event. The participating galleries have been chosen to reflect the diversity of contemporary Asian art, while the fair provides a platform for emerging talent.

This year, Art Stage Singapore will welcome the return of Southeast Asia Forum, a series of specially curated talks and exhibitions. The 2017 forum is titled Net Present Value: Art, Capital, Futures and will explore themes of capitalism in the context of contemporary art. It brings together an intriguing mix of business leaders and economists, as well as speakers from the art community. The exhibition includes work from Asia's most exciting contemporary talents including Ivan Lam, film-maker Kent Chan and multimedia artist Jose Tence Ruiz. 

Another highlight of this year's fair is the Collectors' Stage event. Inspired by its sister fair Art Stage Jakarta, which made its successful debut last summer, the Collectors' Stage is a collaborative project between Art Stage Singapore and the online art hub The Artling, where six leading Singapore-based collectors have been invited to showcase their prized collections.

Art Stage Singapore takes place at Marina Bay Sands between 12 and 15 January; artstage.com

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