If, like me, you’ve started taking an interest in figuring out whether contemporary art is as good an investment as wine, whisky and designer handbags, then you’ve probably also started researching which art gallery of Singapore to visit, or which art events to attend. With so many options, how do you work out where to buy art in Singapore to start the ball rolling?
Good news! There’s an easy way to begin your art collecting journey. Just immerse yourself in the diversity of contemporary art and culture at the Singapore Art Gallery Weekend (SAGW).
What to expect at this contemporary art event in Singapore
This is an annual event organised by the Art Galleries Association of Singapore (AGAS). This year’s SAGW runs from 15 September to 1 October across 30 art lifestyle businesses and art gallery of Singapore. In that time, you’ll find a range of contemporary art on display, and programmes by both local and foreign artists.
Audrey Yeo, President of AGAS, says that the unique event showcases the unwavering dedication of galleries throughout the year. It also emphasises their commitment to presenting exceptional contemporary art content across the island. “Singapore Art Gallery Weekend invites art enthusiasts to embrace a decentralised experience, exploring galleries and events on foot and immersing themselves in the myriad visual and cultural experiences throughout our city.”
This year’s edition runs concurrently with major international events. These include the Singapore Grand Prix, Singapore Design Week and TOKEN 2049. Together, they bring in art enthusiasts and collectors from around the Asia region and beyond who are looking at where to buy art in Singapore. New to art events in Singapore? Expect plenty of mingling with art lovers and artists alike.
Which art gallery in Singapore to go to and what to see
Don’t know how to start enjoying the array of art at SAGW? Pick one of the exhibition’s four themed categories – “Gallery Hopping”, “Living With Art”, “The Art Lifestyle”, “Talking About Art” – and off you go!
#1 Gallery Hopping
As the name suggests, you’re encouraged to hop into as many contemporary art galleries spread across different districts to get the full SAGW experience.
From the neighbourhoods of Tanjong Pagar to those of Orchard Road, as well as the surrounding areas of the Gillman Barracks, there’s a diverse selection of hidden artistic gems and emerging talents in each art gallery of Singapore to experience.
A highlight exhibition is Cheong Soo Pieng: A Retrospective, at Artcommune gallery. The 80 works selected provide a look into the prolific artist’s career over 40 years. Soo Pieng is a pioneer of the Nanyang art style and a renowned figure in the local art scene – one who has left a deep impression on the Singapore art landscape.
Other solo presentations to keep a look out for include:
- Natee Utarit, one of the leading painters in Southeast Asia, at Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery, Gillman Barracks.
- Brandon Tay at Yeo Working Contemporary Art, Gillman Barracks. For his inaugural solo exhibition at this art gallery in Singapore, the digital practitioner presents five 3D-printed sculptures with an immersive gallery environment that offers live simulations from virtual ecosystems.
- Hazel Lim at Art Porters Gallery. She explores colours through the interplay of paper foldings, textual constructions and the periodic table for this art event.
During the Gallery Weekend, The Private Museum will also hold a solo exhibition of works by Kumari Nahappan. This will mark the launch of its new home in a colonial building on Wilkie Road.
Meanwhile, over at the Arts House, there’s a nod to the Singapore Grand Prix – featured on its official programme is an exhibition of 10 artists’ work of upcycled art from floodlights that illuminated the night race here. This event is organised by the Dino Zoli Foundation.
#2 Living With Art
How does living with art look like? This section aims to provide an insight through programmes that showcase both renowned and emerging talent.
This includes lifestyle-oriented talks, such as the one about Art x Design at the FIND Design Art Fair happening from 21 to 23 September at Marina Bay Sands, as well as exclusive tours of private art collections in Singapore that reflect the possibilities of living with contemporary art in homes.
#3 The Art Lifestyle
Want access to VIP programmes and lifestyle perks during the SAGW? The Art Lifestyle series is available only with the Patron’s Pass, which is acquired in the form of an NFT (non-fungible token).
This NFT lets you enter a world of special breakfast tours, hotel collection tours, luxury brand experiences, free drinks, F&B perks and discounts, and concierge services throughout the duration of this art event in Singapore.
In fact, the ticket for The Art Lifestyle is itself a collectible artwork. The Patron’s Pass can be purchased here.
#4 Talking About Art
SAGW encourages people to delve deeper into art by talking about it! The exhibition has a line-up of lectures that are designed to provide interested enthusiasts with a deeper understanding of the art world, art collecting and where to buy art in Singapore and beyond.
The range of topics covered include art history, investment in the art world and the art ecosystem.
Find out more about Singapore art events at SAGW 2023
The SAGW 2023 website is constantly updated with information. If you’re attending, join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #SGGalleryWeekend to share your personal discoveries of contemporary art and culture in Singapore.