Art Basel’s Swiss parent company MCH Group will launch an art fair in Singapore called ART SG in November 2019, expanding its regional art fair enterprise to Southeast Asia.
The fair is a joint venture between MCH Group and the Asian art market insiders Sandy Angus and Tim Etchells, who founded Art HK, Hong Kong’s first art fair, in 2008. (Art Basel bought Art HK five years later and renamed it Art Basel Hong Kong.)
The first edition is expected to attract around 80 galleries from both Singapore and around the globe, and will take place at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
“It is the right time for Singapore, as a flagship art city and key art center in Southeast Asia,” Angus and Etchells said in a joint statement. “It is less than a two-hour flight from every major city in the ASEAN zone which represents a collective market of 620 million people, significantly larger than that of North America, the Eurozone, or the Middle East.”
Despite the region’s potential, the Art Newspaper noted that existing fairs in the city-state have struggled for consistency. Art Stage Singapore, which launched in 2011, has seen its participating galleries dwindle in number, from 170 in 2016 to 131 in 2017 to just 84 this year. Then in May, Art Stage announced the cancellation of Art Stage Jakarta, its neighboring fair in Indonesia.
Despite the struggles of its local competitors, MCH Group is confident that its expertise and experience can transform ART SG into a successful and sustainable event, especially against the backdrop of Singapore’s rapidly developing art scene. “With the new National Gallery, in addition to the Singapore Art Museum and Centre for Contemporary Arts, the Singapore art scene is firmly established and deserves an art fair of significance,” Angus and Etchells said.