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May 25 2020

Third Postponement for Inaugural Art Fair in Singapore

by Charmaine Kong

View of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands complex. Image via Facebook.

The international art fair Art SG announced on May 22 that its inaugural edition, originally set to open this October in Singapore, will once again be delayed. Now slated to run in 2021 from November 4 to 7 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, this is the third time that the fair has been rescheduled since it was announced in July 2018.

The fair organizers explained in a press release that the decision was prompted by “the current uncertainty brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic,” as well as “the health and safety of all involved.” While the exhibitor list had yet to be finalized, the fair affirmed that it continues to “work with partners on a number of physical and digital activations.”

Singapore now has more than 30,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the vast majority of whom are migrant workers living in crowded dormitories, and implemented “circuit-breaker measures” in early April to stop the transmission of the disease.  

Initially planned for November 1–3, 2019, the fair was first delayed in November 2018 and  shifted to November 22, 2019, in a bid to coincide with the opening of the Singapore Biennale following the exit of one of the original organizers, MCH Group. The swiss art fair conglomerate, which owns Art Basel, was in the process of slashing its regional portfolio including the selling of its shares in Art SG, Art Düsseldorf, and India Art Fair. Later in June 2019, Art SG organizers announced that the fair will be further delayed to October 30–November 1, 2020, after taking into consideration “requests from galleries and key participants . . . to have more time to prepare,” as cited from its press release.

The fair aims to be the primary international art fair after the collapse of Art Stage Singapore in 2019. Originally a joint venture between Sandy Angus of Angus Montgomery Arts, Tim Etchells, and MCH Group, Art SG has been led by Singaporean director Shuyin Yang and Magnus Renfrew since MCH’s withdrawal. More than 70 local and international galleries will participate in the fair, which is supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, the National Arts Council, and Singapore Economic Development Board.

Charmaine Kong is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.

To read more of ArtAsiaPacific’s articles, visit our Digital Library.

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