SINGAPORE: Affordable art has been on the rise in Singapore, with burgeoning websites and increasing art fairs and brick-and-mortar stores showcasing the works of emerging and established artists that won’t burn a hole in our pockets.
The trick is to look for the sweet spot between original Warhols and IKEA’s framed prints – read on to find out how you can acquire quality art without paying Picasso prices.
Launched last year, ARTO is an online app that allows you to discover and purchase affordable art directly from your phone.
Similar to the algorithms of Spotify and Tinder, ARTO learns more about a user’s taste of art the more they swipe (left or right) on artworks to denote a like or dislike, eventually making better matches between the user and the expansive art world. You can even chat with the artist or gallery to find out more about the artwork you’re interested in.
Currently only available on iOS, the mobile gallery displays over 15,000 artworks from around the world. Set the filter to less than US$1,000 to browse the most affordable pieces in its database.
Showcasing both established and emerging names curated by the best in the Asian art world, The Artling is an online gallery that offers everything from photography and sculpture to mixed media, design object and illustration.
The site sorts its offerings by style and price, making it easy to browse through its impressive collection according to your preference. Prices start at US$25 for a print, which makes the platform an accessible starting point for budget-conscious art lovers.
Founded in 2014, Art Loft aims to nurture emerging artists in Asia by connecting them to both seasoned and new collectors. The Singapore-based online gallery introduces these relatively new names through an educational profile section that shares personal stories of each artist.
Entry-level collectors will appreciate the accessible price range here – prints can be purchased from S$35. Potential buyers can also choose to rent pieces for a low monthly fee.
AFFORDABLE ART FAIR
This is the art fair where many budding collectors purchase their first contemporary art piece. If you find the number of artworks from over 65 exhibitors daunting, check out the fair’s art preview here – the pieces have been categorised by budget (under S$1,000), Singapore and Chinese artists, as well as print highlights (from S$650).
The next edition of Affordable Art Fair is from Nov 17 to 19 . For more information, visit the website.
Art Stage is one of Asia’s largest contemporary art fairs, with a focus on connecting Asian art with the rest of the world.
Although a majority of the artworks tend to be beyond most people’s budget, the fair also provides other opportunities to carry affordable art pieces home.
At this year’s fair, there was a vending machine installation created by Malaysian artist Ivan Lam that dispensed S$20 artworks – limited edition prints in clear acrylic boxes made by other artists.
The next edition of Art Stage happens in January 2018.
ART APART FAIR
As the first hotel-based boutique art fair in Singapore, Art Apart Fair gives visitors a rare opportunity to envision how artworks may look in a home setting as they are artfully showcased in corridors, lounges and rooms of the exhibiting hotel.
The fair focuses on works by lesser-known names in both the local and international art scenes that collectors can bring home. Art Apart Fair also provides a platform for Very Special Arts, a local charity organisation dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to contribute to the community through works of art.
While artworks may go up to S$35,000 for a large painting, a limited edition lithography print from Matisse was purchased for S$280 in the past, so keep your eyes peeled for budget hunts.
The next edition of Art Apart Fair is to be confirmed. For more information, visit the website.
Enjoy a nice cuppa as you admire artworks at this cosy gallery-café found in the historic Kampong Glam district. Artistry prides itself on providing emerging artists with a platform for their debut exhibitions, as well as hosting talks and performances.
The hybrid space is home to artworks across a wide range of mediums, from photography to paintings, with a penchant for the quirky – so check it out if you’re looking for an affordable artwork with a twist.
Artistry is at 17 Jalan Pinang. Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, 9am to 11pm; Saturday and Sunuday, 9am to 3pm. Closed on Monday.