Art SG Postponed for the Fourth Time
By Martine Ma
Third time’s not the charm. The international art fair Art SG has announced the fourth delay for its inaugural edition at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center, and is now slated for January 20–23, 2022. The event was previously planning to hold its debut in November, later this year.
Citing challenges posed by fluctuations in the art-world calendar due to Covid-19, co-founder Magnus Renfrew claimed that the fair’s newest move to January will be “permanent" to coincide with other major events on the city-state’s art circuit, such as Singapore Art Week and the art fair SEA Focus, which is run by the hometown gallery and printmaking workshop, STPI.
First launched in July 2018 for November 1–3, 2019, Art SG announced its first delay in November 2018 after Art Basel’s parent company, MCH Group, withdrew its involvement, shifting the inaugural event to late November 2019 to coincide with the Singapore Biennale’s opening. The next year in June, Art SG cited requests for more preparation time from participating galleries and artists as its reason for further postponing the event to October 30–November 1, 2020. In May 2020, amid uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the fair announced another deferral, this time to November 4–7, 2021.
Art SG was founded by art fair veterans Tim Etchells, Sandy Angus of Angus Montgomery Arts, and MCH Group, with the aim of replacing Singapore’s folded art events, such as Art Stage Singapore (2011–18) and Singapore Contemporary Art Show (2016–18). After MCH Group’s exit, Shuyin Yang, previously fair director of Hong Kong's Art Central, which was also co-founded by Etchells and Angus, was brought onboard as director. To date, Art SG has hosted several public programs, including a virtual tour and discussion of Tate Britain’s exhibition, “Kim Lim: Carving and Painting,” last November.
Martine Ma is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.