Culture / Art Republik

Singapore’s Affordable Art Fair 2023 Guarantees to be an Art Lover’s Paradise.

The 16th edition of Affordable Art Fair in Singapore cements it as the most enduring international art fair in the region and rightfully so.

Oct 24, 2023 | By Sanjeeva Suresh

The art industry can be an intimidating scene where it seems a small few hold the key in dictating what the rest of the world perceives as “good” or “bad” art. This is where the Affordable Art Fair comes in helping people fall in love with art by giving them the confidence to trust their own taste and style. In doing so, they are also disrupting the business model of art and the stronghold that art dealers and critics have over the industry.

2023 sees the Affordable Art Fair maintain its presence in Singapore as the longest-standing art fair in the region. In November, the F1 Pit Building will play host to the fair, transforming itself into an immersive space where rare art meets a contemporary lifestyle. Singapore’s Affordable Art Fair holds the same ethos from the day it started – that art is not just for the elite, it is for everyone – be it an art aficionado or a budding art collector just starting their own personal collection. Affordable Art Fair is the one-stop destination to indulge, explore and elevate your senses with art of all mediums. The Fair removes the elitism known to be held in the art community by presenting artwork from contemporary oil paintings to life-sized sculptures, for every space and budget.

Why the Affordable Art Fair is a Must-Visit:

The fair showcases a plethora of artworks in an environment that is free from intimidation or judgement. The Affordable Art Fair is about celebrating art in a space that is both friendly and transparent. Transparecy is particularly applicable for the pricing as all artworks are prominently displayed with their respective prices which are under SGD15,000. 75 percent of artworks displayed are priced below SGD7,500, and a delightful selection under just SGD1,000 making it easier for everyone to find that perfect piece that speaks to both their taste and budget. What also sets the Affordable Art Fair apart from other art events are its distinctive presence within the art fair scene which is attributed to Affordable Art Fair’s unique approach to an accessible, vibrant, and inclusive atmosphere that encourages education.

The fair is also a melting pot of cultures across 81 galleries as it is comprised of 36 percent local and 64 percent international galleries allowing visitors to experience a more holistic, international collective of art and culture. These galleries are comprised of over 20 different countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, and Thailand among many others.

The renowned Art Fair also makes a crucial step in supporting local artists as, by choosing art from Affordable Art Fair, you will be directly contributing to the contemporary arts ecosystem, supporting artists’ livelihoods, alongside the galleries that champion their work. Therefore, when you purchase a ticket to the Affordable Art Fair, you get the best of both worlds. Not only do you get access to thousands of artworks all under one roof; it’s also a chance to speak to the experts and gallerists.

Boo Sze Yang, “A Place Between Other Places”, 2016, Oil on primed Watercolour Paper, 36 x 45cm, Utterly Art

What To Consider When Purchasing Art

When collecting art, it’s good to expose yourself to industry connections and mingle with like-minded individuals to get a better grasp on up and coming trends, industry insights and other word-of-mouth hearsays and tips. Being on the ground, your ability to sense and indulge in the local art industry and energy gets more heightened, as opposed to appreciating it off your screen. Colours, techniques, pigments, expressions all come to life.

However, before we purchase art, it is important to understand why we are purchasing it. Would it be included in as part of a decorative switch up in your home? If so, would the piece be featured in your own private space on displayed in an open room? Style, colour, layout, dimensions are all of these are crucial component worth taking into consideration as well. Some pointers as stated by Singapore Art Fair’s Fair Director, Alan Koh are:

  • Measure up the space beforehand
  • Photograph the room and take these with you as a reminder of your décor
  • Check how different light could affect your chosen position
  • Consider if you need the artwork framed

Advice For First Time Buyers

Research is crucial. While the Affordable Art Fair is a prejudice-free space it is important to explore your options. Once inside the space, take your time understanding the different types of artworks on offer from methods, materials, colours and sizes, perhaps even listing out a personal pick of top five or top 10 selection and why you are drawn to those pieces. Next, always keep a budget in mind. If an artwork that catches your eye is over budget, that does not mean it is off limits. As Koh explains, galleries might have a smaller piece by the same artist up their sleeve – or they may offer a payment scheme to allow you to spread the cost over monthly or quarterly instalments. However, you happen to see a work of art you fall in love with but is out of your budget, keep in mind that many galleries offer a “try before you buy” scheme, where you can borrow work to view it in situ for a specified period, before your commit to that final decision.

Huang Zhi Yu, “LookOut”, 2022, Oil on Canvas, 60 x 50cm, Art District SG

Art and The Artist

One of the most exciting parts of collecting contemporary art is learning about established artists or discovering rising stars. Cultural background, heritage, techniques, methods as well as inspiration and motivations are important in drawing you into a piece as these build emotional ties between a collector and the artwork. Do your reseach into the artist’s background as well, what story are they saying with their work and does it inspire you? Examine the materials – pencil, charcoal and pastel drawings are both priced and presented differently as opposed to oil paintings or a bronze sculpture for instance.

Gabby Malpas, “Seafood Chowder”, 2023, mixed media on canvas display 25 x 25cm, Utterly Art

Be Open To Originaity

Embrace the unconventional and the original keeping in line with the realms of your own imagination and budget in mind. Art is meant to make you think, make you feel something from within. You should not buy an artwork because you think it is what you should be buying. Instead, make sure your heart and head take equal part in your decision. Collecting art is, ultimately, about developing and learning to trust your taste and the Affordable Art Fair is a great place to start.

To register and purchase your tickets for this year’s Affordable Art Fair, click here.

For more on the latest in the world of art, click here.

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