Singapore Art Fair / ME.NA.SA.ART
By Marybeth Stock
Until recently, Singapore had been accused of being a cultural wasteland. But over the last several years, the Little Red Dot has made up for lost time: now, international and regional galleries jockey for local real estate; homegrown talent compete for residencies and funding while winning accolades here and abroad; and contemporary art hubs emerge fully fledged—all thanks to an intensive government-backed arts blitz. Where once there were pleas for arts-related events, by the end of this year, Singapore will have hosted no less than seven visual and performing arts fairs and festivals.
The newest of these is the Singapore Art Fair (SAF), billed as the first modern and contemporary art fair in Asia to focus on art from the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia—thus its tagline, “ME.NA.SA.ART.” During the fair’s inaugural edition, the 59 galleries in attendance represented 22 countries and featured over 230 artists. Alongside familiar local names, such as the Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, Mizuma Gallery and Ota Fine Arts, were the innovative Laura Arce Art Gallery from Buenos Aires, Bangkok’s Adler Subhashok Gallery, Beirut’s Galerie Janine Rubei, Mazel Galerie from Brussels, and Marrakesh’s Galerie Noir sur Blanc.