In the Latest Blow to Singapore’s Fledgling Art Market, the Inaugural Art SG Fair Has Been Delayed for a Second Time

Organizers now hope to open the event in November 2021.

Art SG is scheduled to be held at Marina Bay Sands. Photo courtesy of ART SG.

The inaugural edition of Singapore’s Art SG has been postponed for a second time, with organizers moving the event back to November 4 to 7, 2021, “out of consideration for the health and safety of all involved,” they announced in a statement .

The event, first announced in July 2018, was pushed back a year from its original opening date in fall 2019 due to “requests from galleries and key participants… to have more time to prepare,” according to the fair, which is led by director Shuyin Yang and cofounder Magnus Renfrew.

No exhibitor list has been released yet for Art SG, but several major galleries, including White Cube and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, said they supported the postponement in a press release.

“We understand and appreciate the prudent decision taken by Magnus and his team to delay the inaugural edition of the fair and believe that it is in the best interest of all stakeholders during this uncertain time. We look forward to participating in Art SG 2021,” said Nick Simunovic, the managing director of Gagosian’s Asia operations.

Art SG was originally part of a regional expansion effort by Art Basel’s parent company, MCH Group, and was to be held in collaboration with Sandy Angus and Tim Etchells, the cofounders of Art HK (now Art Basel Hong Kong). But MCH backed out in November 2018, and has since divested from regional fairs, selling shares in Art Düsseldorf last May and the India Art Fair in September.

Singapore’s other major art fair, Art Stage Singapore, had its 2019 edition abruptly cancelled just days before its January opening. The event has shrunk dramatically in recent years, from 170 exhibitors in 2016 to just 35 for the cancelled 2019 fair.

There are other recent signs of market uncertainty in the country, with the Affordable Art Fair cutting one of its two Singapore editions and the cancellation of plans to expand Hong Kong’s Asia Contemporary Art Show to the city-state.

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