Art What! Arts Preview

Art What!: The First Edition of ART SG Now Open

Installation shot of ART SG 2023 (Courtesy of ART SG and Ben Brown Fine Arts)

ART SG, the new international art fair for Southeast Asia, opens today with a VIP Preview at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore. Presented by Founding and Lead Partner UBS and organised by The Art Assembly, ART SG opens to the public from 12 – 15 January 2023. The fair presents over 160 international galleries from 35 countries and territories around the world. 

Magnus Renfrew, Co-Founder, ART SG said: ‘The opening of ART SG today represents a new chapter in the evolution of the art scene in Asia. We have gathered an exceptional line up of galleries who share our vision that Southeast Asia deserves a world-class international art fair. ART SG is a fair that celebrates the incredible creativity of artists from the region, and connects collectors from Southeast Asia with the very best galleries from around the world. Singapore is the acknowledged meeting place for the Indo-Pacific, and its increasing role as home to Asia’s wealthy sets a strong foundation for the development of its status as a major art market and cultural hub over the coming years. This is the Singapore moment.’ 

Installation shot of ART SG 2023 (Courtesy of ART SG and White Cube)

Shuyin Yang, Fair Director, ART SG commented: ‘ART SG will bring together substantial showcases of Southeast Asian art, alongside the best of global contemporary art presented by leading international galleries. Visitors to the fair will not only experience significant artworks by important names, but also discover emerging talent within the fair’s curated sectors and other critical programming such as installations, talks, and film. Within this rapidly changing global landscape, ART SG will create an opportunity for cultural dialogue, conversations, and new ideas through showcasing the most vibrant and innovative art practices of our present time.’ 

UBS is proud to be the Founding and Lead partner of ART SG, particularly during such a significant moment for Southeast Asia’s art scene with the launch of its biggest art fair yet.” said August Hatecke, Co-head Global Wealth Management APAC and Country Head Singapore at UBS. “As seen in our recent collector survey, the appetite for contemporary art in Singapore is growing significantly. It has a promising role as a key art market in the region and globally, bolstered by its excellent trade infrastructure.”  

Installation shot of ART SG 2023 (Courtesy of ART SG and BANK)

Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board said, ‘We’re pleased to welcome the inaugural edition of ART SG to Singapore as a highlight of Singapore Art Week. The event – which is Southeast Asia’s largest art fair – is testament to Singapore’s ability to host world-class marquee events, adds to our robust leisure events calendar, and reinforces our position as a compelling leisure destination. The strong list of galleries participating in ART SG, numbering over 160, is also a show of confidence in Singapore as a regional arts hub.’

Apart from the robust exhibitor line-up, ART SG will also present strong curation within the public spaces of the fair, insightful talks and education, and a film program screened in collaboration with the ArtScience Museum. 

Installation shot of ART SG 2023 (Courtesy of ART SG and Jaume Plensa)

ART SG PLATFORM showcases dynamic, site-specific installations and large-scale sculptures interspersed throughout the Fair, providing visitors with an opportunity to experience art of scale. A significant installation created especially for ART SG is a new curation of Isamu Noguchi’s iconic Octetra series. Conceived in 1965, the series exemplifies the artist’s attention to space, nature and sensory engagement. Other works featured include Kapok, a seminal work by Cambodia’s most internationally prominent artist Sopheap Pich; a multi-disciplinary installation, Fire Deity, by Lu Yang, as well as monumental sculptures by Robert Indiana (Ben Brown Fine Arts), Ashley Bickerton (Gajah Gallery), and Jaume Plensa (GRAY). 

ART SG’s Talks Program, sponsored by AXA XL, comprises three different modules: ART SG PERSPECTIVES: Reconnecting Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific, a series of conversations curated by Cosmin Costinas, Co-Artistic Director of the 24th Biennale of Sydney (2024) and former Executive Director of Para Site Hong Kong;  ART SG FILM: On finding a home for Southeast Asian video art and film, led by Gridthiya Gaweewong, Artistic Director of the Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok; and the REFRAME talks, an extension of the gallery sector for digital art, which is focused on the intersection of art and technology.

Installation shot of ART SG 2023 (Courtesy of ART SG and Gajah Gallery)

In a rapidly changing global environment, ART SG PERSPECTIVES: Reconnecting Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific, is conceived as a platform for the region to come together to share new strategies for relevance and collaboration, reimagining common geographies, ways of working, and future exchanges. The series includes a range of pertinent topics in today’s cultural community, including conversations around contemporary art in Southeast Asia, insights on collecting and advocacy, as well as the impact of museums and biennales today. Notable speakers include Prof. Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Bangkok Art Biennale, Rajeeb Samdani, Collector, Co-Founder and Trustee, Samdani Art Foundation and Founder, Dhaka Art Summit, Barbara Moore, Chief Executive Officer, 24th Biennale of Sydney, Michael Brand, Director, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Mami Kataoka, Director, Mori Art Museum, and more.

Free to the public, UBS and The Fondation Beyeler will present a talk titled ‘Conversation: Hans Ulrich Obrist with Hiroshi Sugimoto: Life of the artist, Life of the architect’ at the ART SG Talks Theatre on Thursday, 12 January from 6-7pm and will be live-streamed on and on UBS Global Art’s Facebook channel. As there are only a limited number of seats at this talk, to reserve your place, email

Installation shot of ART SG 2023 (Courtesy of ART SG and Tomio Koyama Gallery)

ART SG FILM is a film program screened in collaboration with the ArtScience Museum, Singapore. Curated by Gridthiya Gaweewong, Fabricated Realities: Video Art and Film from Southeast Asia and Beyond is presented in three short programs, in which the selected films address complex contemporary issues such as time, fiction-making, migration and artificial intelligence which challenge the perception of our history, and manifest the differing realities of the artists. 

ART SG will also feature NEW/NOW, a salon-style showcase of artworks priced below US $10,000, featuring rising talents as well as smaller or alternative format artworks by established names across different mediums. All artworks are available for sale. 

ART SG runs from 12th to 15th January 2023 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Tickets available here

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