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Art SG 2024: 9 Questions with Fair Director Shuyin Yang

After a spectacular debut at last year’s Singapore Art Week, ART SG returns for its much-anticipated second run. As the massive art fair descends upon the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre once again with a smorgasbord of local, regional, and international galleries, Fair Director Shuyin Yang reflects upon ART SG 2023, shares her tips for visitors and aspiring collectors, and tells us what to expect at this year’s edition.

1. Do you have any thoughts and reflections after 2023’s edition of the fair that you’d like to share with our audience?

We received a great turnout for ART SG 2023 with over 30,000 unique visitors across all 3 days of the fair. ART SG was the first art fair, after the pandemic, and it felt like a big reunion with collectors, gallerists, and friends. 

The pandemic brought about alternative modes of viewing art, such as e-catalogs and digital viewing rooms. Aside from digital art, viewing a piece in person is really just not the same. If there’s anything that the pandemic has taught us, it’s that people are hungry to see art in person. We saw this in 2023, and we’re sure to see it in our second edition as well. 

ART SG 2023 marked a new chapter for Singapore and Southeast Asia, establishing Singapore as a major player in the art scene.

ART SG Fair Director Shuyin Yang. Image courtesy of ART SG.

2. Are there any lessons you’ve learned from the first edition? If so, what are they, and what changes will you be implementing in 2024’s edition?

As always, ART SG maintains an emphasis on curation and quality. Having successfully launched the fair, we are now focusing on building an even stronger platform and market, which highlights the best of art practice hailing from Singapore and Southeast Asia to the international art world, and creating meaningful engagements for visiting international gallerists with our growing collecting audience.

3. What do you hope to achieve for this year’s fair?

There are so many things we hope to achieve as a fair. 

We have 39 new galleries joining us this year, with notable players such as Taro Nasu, Kaikai Kiki, Sabrina Amrani, Asia Art Center, Bangkok CityCity, Polígrafa Obra Gráfica, Chi-Wen Gallery; as well as up-and-coming artists. It is our hope that the wider public gets to interact with some of the best in contemporary and Southeast Asian art at ART SG. 

Carlos Aires, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (2023), cotton archival photo paper, pins, cardboard, gold leaf-covered wooden frame, glass, 160 x 120 x 10 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Sabrina Amrani.

4. What advice have you got for our readers who find art fairs overwhelming and intimidating?

Art fairs can feel overwhelming and intimidating at times, because of the sheer volume of guests, galleries, and art to consume.
Come with a curious, open mindset, a good pair of walking shoes, and — a friend or two always helps. Viewing art does not have to be a solitary thing. All booths will have gallerists, and sometimes, the artist present — and they will not bite. The best part about art fairs is that you get to engage with the person curating pieces, or the person creating pieces, so it’s like visiting a museum, but interactive.
There’s so much programming and breadth of works available, that we’re sure you’ll be able to connect with a range of pieces.

Eko Nugroho, Fence for Our Beautiful Garden (2018), embroidered painting, 274 x 319 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf.

5. Which artists / galleries should visitors look out for at ART SG?

ART SG 2024 will be offering a diverse range of presentations, from international mega-galleries to emerging spaces and curated solo exhibitions. 

There is a strong line up of Singapore and Southeast Asian galleries such as BANGKOK CITYCITY, Yavuz Gallery, Sullivan + Strumpf, FOST Gallery, Rissim Contemporary, Richard Koh Fine Art, Gajah Gallery and Nadi Gallery

We’re also showcasing Southeast Asian artists that have been featured in international galleries, such as Christine Ay Tjoe at White Cube, Dinh Q Le at PPOW, Mit Jai Inn and Sawangwongse Yawnghwe at TKG+, and Rirkrit Tiravanija at neugerriemschneider. 

Established names at ART SG 2024 include Tracey Emin, Olafur Eliasson, Antony Gormley, Ai Weiwei, Ashley Bickerton, Nam June Paik, Ryoji Ikeda, and Xu Zhen. 

We’re also proud to introduce upcoming artists to a Southeast Asian audience for the first time — such as Tai Shani, Hew Locke, and Carlos Aires.

Tai Shani, THE NEON HIEROGLYPH / FESTIVAL DEI DUE MONDI (2021). Image courtesy of the artist and The Gathering.

6. Do you have any advice for young collectors who are looking to purchase their first piece?

Be curious and explore everything. 

Art is a personal journey. The works that you will enjoy long term are usually not those that simply captivate you visually at first glance, but where the visuals, practice and artist’s intention all feel fully resonant with the collector — and there is always an element to appreciate and enjoy, even after living with the artwork for many years.

Tracy Emin, Move Me (2015), neon, 69.9 x 26.2 cm. Courtesy of the artist and White Cube.

7. What are some rising contemporary artists that visitors can expect?

Upcoming Southeast Asian artists to look out for include Chulyarnnon Siriphol, Tae Parvit, Orawan Arunrak (all from BANGKOK CITYCITY), Marcos Kueh (The Back Room), Alvin Ong (Yavuz Gallery), Prateep Suthongthai (SAC Gallery), Saiful Razman and Paul Nickson Atia (Rissim Contemporary), and ubatsat (Warin Lab).

Saiful Razman, Flats (2023), medical gauze, tissue paper, acrylic, polyvinyl adhesive, polycrylic on canvas, 240 x 180 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Rassim Contemporary.

8. We’ve seen a couple of contemporary art trends come through in 2024 – which trends are most prevalent at ART SG?

Tech and art are highlighted in our Digital Spotlight, featuring pioneering artists who first made use of machine intelligence and creative coding, and new ways of incorporating artificial intelligence in art making.

Also, check out our FOCUS sector, where insightful solo or duo artist presentations allow a deeper exploration into the artistic practice.

Abdul Abdullah, Quality time (2023), oil on linen, 198.5 x 162.5 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Yavuz Gallery.

9. In one sentence, tell our readers why ART SG is a must-visit during Singapore Art Week 2024?

With over 100 galleries across 2 floors at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, a thought-provoking talks program, and a film sector hosted at the ArtScience Museum, ART SG has the best of Southeast Asian and international contemporary art, and is a must-visit during Singapore Art Week 2024.


ART SG runs from 19-21 January 2024 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Click here to find out more, including ticketing information and timings for public programmes.

Plural Art Mag is a media partner of ART SG. Header image courtesy of ART SG.

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