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Inaugural Singapore Art Fair closes on a high note; Total of 10,500 visitors attended the four-day fair
At the Singapore Art Fair, galleries from the regions connected and have begun discussions on how they could collaborate and forge closer working ties.

SINGAPORE.- The inaugural Singapore Art Fair ended on 30 November 2014 on a positive note. It hosted a total of 10,500 visitors across four days. Some 59 galleries from 22 countries, featuring more than 230 artists from the Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia (ME.NA.SA) participated in the inaugural Fair.

“The first instalment of the Singapore Art Fair is a great success. We have learnt a lot in the lead-up, during and even after the Fair. What was most significant was we have found that the Singapore community has a curiosity for ME .NA.SA art and is intrigued by it. We are very honoured to have been given an opportunity to contribute to Singapore’s arts scene, strengthening the position of the city state as an arts hub in the region” said Ms Laure d’Hauteville, Founder and Fair Director, Singapore Art Fair.

On the response, Mr Jason Ng, Executive Director, Singapore Art Fair, said, “The turn-out at the Singapore Art Fair was very heartening for us. We are very glad we were able to deepen visitors’ knowledge and appreciation for ME.NA.SA art and more importantly, providing a gateway for galleries and artists from these regions to showcase their works in Asia.”

Amin Bagheri, Singapore Art Fair Honorary Board of Patron added, “ This fair is the best gathering of works from different regions. We see Middle Eastern and North African works that have never been showcased in Asia, represented here at Singapore Art Fair. This fair indeed offers a platform for the ME.NA region, allowing the artists and their works to gain visibility.”

At the Singapore Art Fair, galleries from the regions connected and have begun discussions on how they could collaborate and forge closer working ties.

Mr Yaser Askar, Managing Director and Partner of Gallery Ward (Egypt/UAE/KSA), said “Singapore Art Fair has introduced us to people who m we have not met before. New friendships developed as a result. We are confident that visitors will continue to show an interest in works by Middle Eastern artists.”

Nadine Majdalani Begdache, owner of Galerie Janine Rubeiz (Lebanon/Beirut) further reiterated, “We may not be that well-established in Singapore a s compared to other galleries in this region. However, we are heartened to see interest from the public in our artists’ works.”

This was affirmed by several galleries exhibiting at the Fair. Mr Ryo Wakabayashi, CEO of Mizuma Art Gallery (Singapore/Japan) said, “The Fair has provided us with opportunities to collaborate with galleries from the Middle Eastern and North African regions in the long term. Together, we can strengthen awareness of ME.NA in Asia and Asia in the ME.NA regions.”

Majority of galleries enjoyed good sales during the fair with many of their important pieces being sold. Mr Cruz Phua, Managing Director of Art Fellas Gallery (Singapore) added, “ We are pleasantly surprised with the quality of visitors. Though our investment in a larger booth was initially bold, we are glad to announce that all the works by Indonesian artist, Dadi Setiyadi, have been sold. Interestingly, all these works were mostly bought by Singaporeans.”

Key highlights of the Singapore Art Fair which received positive response from visitors included:

• World premiere of Roger Moukarzel’s “So Far, So Close”, where the world renowned Lebanese artist featured his travels across the world in more than 50,000 images

• ME.NA. Pavilion curated by Catherine David, Deputy Director of the National museum of modern art, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris

• Lebanese Pavilion titled, “Contemporary Lebanon: Art Beyond Violence”, curated by Janine Maamari, Founder of Libanart

• Dato’ Ibrahim Hussein Pavilion where the collection of seven pieces of his works gave visitors a rare glimpse of the entirety of the artist’s works

• Street Art Performance titled, “A Journey to the East”, featuring the collaboration between Antz, Darbotz and Yazan Halwani from Singapore, Indonesia and Lebanon respectively

• Public Art Showcase where 11 artists exhibited their monumental sculptures and installations across the fair ground

• Education talks offering visitors comprehensive insights into art collection and art appreciation

Heartened by the enthusiastic response, the organisers of the Singapore Art Fair are exploring how it can be taken to greater heights for future editions. The next fair has been scheduled to be held for 19 to 22 November 2015.

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