Featuring Alan Koh; Art Fair Director
Here at the Co. we have always been deeply interested in all things cultural and are highly enthusiastic about sharing knowledge and insights with our Co.mmunity. So, when the opportunity to sit down with Alan Koh; Fair Director of the Affordable Art Fair, presented itself, we seized the chance to ask him some questions.
Q: What prompted the creation of the Affordable Art Fair, and what impact do you hope it will have on the Singaporean art industry?
A: The Affordable Art Fair, launched as a passion project by Will Ramsay 24 years ago, has undeniably revolutionized the art world. Its reach now extends to 11 cities, Singapore included, and it has emerged as a global art phenomenon. Under Will's visionary leadership, we've had the pleasure of welcoming over 3.1 million art enthusiasts, generating sales surpassing S$767 million, and seeing 567,000 artworks find new homes. We remain steadfast in our commitment to celebrating affordable contemporary art, making it accessible to people from all walks of life.
My hope is that art becomes a part of every household in Singapore and beyond. Even the smallest, most affordable pieces hold significant value, not only for the galleries but also for the artists themselves. Let's continue to nurture the vibrant art world in Singapore and beyond.
Q: What are your views on the perception of art as both an expensive investment-driven field?
A: For me, art is all about forming a profound emotional connection. It's not just an investment; it's the sheer joy of surrounding yourself with pieces that genuinely move you.
When it comes to art as an investment, thorough research is the key. Online resources like Artnet and ArtTactic can be invaluable. Dive into auction prices, explore diverse investment avenues, and consider collaborating with family offices or specialized art investment firms. Keep a keen eye on factors like liquidity, and you're on the right track.
Q: For those not directly involved in the art world, how can they explore, connect, and integrate into the art community in accessible and friendly environments?
A: We are fortunate that Singapore offers numerous options where we can explore, connect, and become part of the art community. Places like Playeum, ART:DIS, Visual Art Centre, Art Outreach, Objectifs, and DECK provide workshops and interactive art installations. I also like to discover ongoing art events in Singapore, by visiting the Singapore Art Gallery Guide.
It’s my firm belief that active engagement with art is the key to democratizing its appreciation."
Q: Can you share insights into the differences you've observed between local artists and those from overseas within the art community and discuss what's on the horizon for art world trends
A: Local and overseas artists bring unique perspectives to the art community. They infuse their distinctive backgrounds and cultural heritage into their work, with influences ranging from New York skyscrapers to Singapore's charming shophouses. Personal narratives breathe life into their creations, resulting in diverse styles, from abstract Western art to the storytelling Nanyang style of the 1940s-60s
As for art world trends, it's crucial to remember that they are driven by personal passion rather than rigid rules. Your heart should guide your investments, and the internet has made art research more accessible than ever. While abstract and figurative works continue to dominate, your individual tastes define the trends in your world of art
Q: Considering your strong focus on the personal connection with art, can you tell us about an artist and their work that has genuinely captivated you in recent times, and what makes this connection so special to you?
A: Justin Lim's 'Tell me about your daydream' has me hooked. It's a mix of vibrant colours and thoughtful depth that really speaks to me. What stands out is his knack for blending these vivid hues with introspection. And with a nod to my Singaporean roots, incorporating iconic red stools and Southeast Asian themes, it hits close to home.
Free admission tickets to the Affordable Art Fair
Members of the Co. with a workspace plan with us enjoy free admission tickets to the upcoming Affordable Art Fair, 10 - 12 November 2023. Check out our November newsletter or reach out to our Co.mmunity team for the redemption code or for more information.
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