The inaugural Milan Image Art & Design Fair in Singapore is hoping to attract a new collector base in Asia, with a mix of photography and design. “We think 30- to 40-year-old professionals who are starting to have the money to invest in art — and are happy to do so — can get a chance to start a collection without investing too much money: at our fair, prices start at around $5,000 and rise up to $50,000,” explained Lorenza Castelli, director of the MIA&D Fair.
Running October 24‑26, the fair will present 50 booths, with 60% of the galleries coming from Europe and the rest from Russia and Asia (including five from Singapore).
This is the first international edition of the Milan Image Art Fair and while the larger fair in Milan, which had 150 exhibitors this year, has each booth dedicated to a single artist, the Singapore edition is allowing participants to include several artists. “We feel that there is still a lot of education to be done for photography, hence our single artist per booth format [in Milan], it’s quite educational for the public. But I think that for a first edition it would be risky for the galleries to only present one artist, if they don’t get the right artist. That said, we’ve asked the exhibitors to keep to a small number of artists so for a smaller booth of 12 sq. m, they will only present two artists, for the bigger booths up to five. About 10 galleries have decided to present just one artist,” Castelli said.
Another novelty for the Singapore fair will be the presentation of collectable design furniture along with photography, offered at six booths, “to help contextualize both,” Castelli said. “When Maison&Object came here earlier this year it was a big message for the market that interest in design is rising. In Milan, I don’t see the point of including design, but here I think it will interest collectors,” she added.
The fair is supporting a platform dedicated to Mekong artists with an exhibition curated by Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani around the theme of “Water: Lifeline.” The exhibition will present works for sale by Piayatat Hemmatat and Supaparinya Sutthirat from Thailand, Nge Lay from Myanmar, and Thao Nguyen Phan from Vietnam, Bounpaul Phothyzan from Laos from Thailand, and Lim Sokchanlina and Anida Yoeu Ali from Cambodia.
Castelli said Singapore was chosen over Hong Kong, because it was easier to find exhibition space in Singapore but also noted Hong Kong’s art fair calendar is already quite crowded. “We also believe Chinese collectors are more likely to focus on Chinese art, while in Singapore collectors are more open minded to international art — not that Hong Kong is not open minded, but I think here would be easier.” she added.
The fair will be held in conjunction with the Singapore International Photography Festival, organized by 2902 Gallery, which is also participating in MIA&D.