is emerging as a hub for Asian contemporary artists as more of them
shift their focus to the region, according to a London-based art
Niru Ratnam, director of Prudential Eye Programme, told Yahoo Singapore
that the Prudential Eye Awards 2016, held in conjunction with the
recently concluded Singapore Art Week, underlined the growing importance
of Singapore as a world-class venue for contemporary Asian art.
Awards brings together artists from across Asia. For instance, this
year we have artists from China, Bangladesh, Japan and Cambodia, among
other countries, so you really have to choose somewhere that has a
regional significance as Singapore does,” said Ratnam.
infrastructure and spaces in Singapore have also been put in place to
support the growth of the regional arts scene, he added, citing the new
National Gallery Singapore and Gillman Barracks.
super-important to have a combination of commercial galleries, such as
the ones in Gillman Barracks, for example, with non-commercial spaces
such as the National Gallery or non-commercial ventures such as the
Prudential Eye Awards. Artists need both sorts of spaces in order to
the hardware development is the comprehensive approach by Singapore’s
authorities to promote arts education, said Thai artist Sakarin Krue-On,
who received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Awards.
a strategy will boost the understanding and appreciation of Asian
contemporary art, further embellishing Singapore’s reputation as an arts
hub, he added.
shifting trends of arts appreciation in Asia are also bolstering
Singapore’s aim to be the foremost venue to showcase regional
Cramer, show director of the inaugural Singapore Contemporary Art Show,
which ended on Sunday (24 January), said higher disposable income,
rising popularity of art investment and stronger official support have
fuelled the growth of the Asian arts market in recent years.
Hong Kong, we have expats who are more interested in buying Chinese
art. In South-East Asia, we have expats who are interested in buying
South-East Asian art. We see interest from locals too,” Cramer told Yahoo Singapore.
artists have also risen in stature among art lovers and investors due
to their globalised outlook, said Ratnam. They no longer need to seek
appreciation for their works from the traditional arts capitals like New
York, London and Paris as this can be achieved in regional hubs like
Singapore, he added.
Asian contemporary artists are confident enough not to necessarily need
that validation. They confidently combine an international language of
contemporary art with local, specific nuances,” said Ratnam.
growing reputation as a hub for Asian contemporary arts has allowed
local artists to exhibit their works to a wider audience. Among them is
Robert Zhao, who was nominated for the Best Emerging Artist Using
Photography Award at the Prudential Eye Awards.
“It’s a great time to be an artist in Singapore now and I enjoy a lot of arts that is happening in Singapore,” said Zhao.
Prudential Eye Awards Exhibition 2016 showcases 15 emerging
contemporary artists from Asia. It will be held until 27 March 2016 at
the Marina Bay Sands’ ArtScience Museum.