Published - Affordable Art Fair in Fah Thai magazine

Affordable art sounds like a misnomer nowadays, with the media regularly reporting on stories of the soaring prices of Asian art at auction houses. One might assume that buying a work of art from this part of the world, even if it’s created by a young artist, has become a pursuit now only restricted to the affluent. Defying that perception is the inaugural Affordable Art Fair Singapore. Promoting the mindset that you don’t need to spend a fortune or be an expert to appreciate or buy beautiful artworks, the prices for all the pieces displayed are guaranteed to be under US$7,600. “A lot of people feel intimidated going into a gallery, especially when prices are not up on the walls. Here all the prices are next to the artworks and we ask galleries to price 75 per cent of their works under US$5,701,” explains Camilla Hewitson, director of the fair, adding that their aim is to reach out to a new audience: “People – who for whatever reason – have a mental barrier to buying art works. It could be because of a lack of confidence or a perceived lack of knowledge.”
While the idea might be ingenious, it is not new. The fair is based on the concept launched in 1999 by gallery owner Will Ramsay in London, which soon gained popularity. Similar annual fairs have since sprung up in Bristol in the UK, and in Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, New York, Sydney, and Melbourne. The success of these fairs is built on “dispelling the myth” that collecting art is only for the rich, explains Hewitson. The AAF Singapore will showcase paintings, original prints, photography and sculptures, and is set to be a highly promising affair with 60 galleries participating out of which 50 are international ones. A few like the Korean Jay Gallery have already participated in fairs of this kind in other countries around the world.  It runs 19-21 November at the F1 Pit Building, Marina South. Read full story in Fah Thai this month