Art What! Arts Singapore

An Inside Look At Affordable Art Fair 2017: Autumn Edition


Think that art is a luxury we cannot afford? Think again, as the Affordable Art Fair returns to the F1 Pit Building once again this weekend, with 75% of the works on sale priced at under $7,500!


Now in its 8th year, the Affordable Art Fair has since become a mainstay of the annual local visual arts calendar, growing with each new edition and introducing curious visitors and AAF veterans to exciting new artworks. Said Alan Koh, AAF Fair Director: “Over the last 8 years, the Affordable Art Fair has grown beyond its beginnings in paintings and photography. We hope that we also serve as an educational platform, introducing visitors and buyers to new marketable mediums such as 3-D sculptures and multi-disciplinary art.”


One of these multi-disciplinary artists is Londoner Chloe Manasseh. Although primarily a painter, the Winstedt School’s (Singapore) Artist in Residence has recently been delving into new media such as video and sound installation. At the AAF this year, she will be presenting ‘Taking a nap, feet planted, against a cool wall’, an installation inspired by the domestic space and how she attempts to put down roots even in Singapore. The installation will also be accompanied by a live performance art piece called ‘100 Sounds Singapore’ tonight at the Arty-licious evening, where musicians respond directly to Manasseh’s artwork with a 30-minute improvised performance.


Meanwhile, Colombian-Belgian artist and Nanyang Polytechnic lecturer Didier ‘Jaba’ Mathieu will also be diving into new technology for his art work. Having lived in Singapore for the last 10 years, Jaba will be going beyond his usual medium of graffitti to explore the ancient art of fresco in a huge wall mural entitled ‘Time Travelers’. During the AAF Jaba will also be exploring the medium of Virtual Reality. Says the artist, who previously worked on digital design for Lucasfilm: “VR is a new dimension for me and it really frees me from the usual limits of physical space. Above all, I hope that when people see my art, it’s accessible to them, and that they can an immediate emotional reaction to it without having to think too hard.”


Speaking of VR, the fair will also be, for the first time, using a Virtual Reality experience to raise funds for charity. Organized by the John Fawcett Foundation, ‘CATARART’ offers artists a chance to temporarily ‘give up their eyesight’ via virtual reality, replicating what people with cataracts experience on a daily basis. Under the influence of this augmented vision, artists will attempt to create a work inspired by the experience, before replicating it in their normal vision. These pieces will be sold at the fair to raise funds for the foundation, which aims to raise awareness of more affordable, simple cataract removal procedures. It was particularly interesting how in the ‘cataract’ influenced works, artists had to rely more on their instinct, foregoing detail to create more intense, emotional work, which visitors seemed to enjoy more than the standard, non-cataract works.

Finally, the finalists of the AAF’s Young Talent Programme will also be doing a show during the fair, showcasing some of the finalists’ immensely creative works. Of note would be Bo Sung Yom’s tongue-in-cheek found object works, including a bedazzled iPhone box and a Parliament House constructed completely out of country erasers, as well as Liza Markus’ interactive artwork commenting on the manipulation of history and memory. Of the eight, up to three finalists will stand a chance to present a solo exhibition with ION Art Gallery in August/September 2018.

Each new edition of the Affordable Art Fair brings something new to the table and constantly reinvents itself to present increasingly exciting works each time. Without a doubt, we were enthralled by the selection displayed at the fair today, and we’re certain you will be too. Come on down to the 8th edition of the Affordable Art Fair’s Autumn Edition, and have an arty-licious weekend this November!

The Autumn Edition of the Affordable Art Fair runs from 17th – 19th November at the F1 Pit Building. More information and tickets to the Affordable Art Fair available here.

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