Art Stage Singapore Revs Up

The WSJ’s Scene Asia blog is plumping for Singapore’s upcoming Art Stage art fair that begins on January 12th and has been organized by Lorenzo Rudolf. They’re hoping he can do for Singapore what he did for Miami. But the Journal has some doubts:

But to build Singapore’s reputation as a regional arts hub, Mr. Rudolf still faces a steep climb. The city-state lacks an auction scene, which many view as an integral element of any arts city. Though some smaller auction houses hold sales in Singapore, the big ones – Christie’s and Sotheby’s have consolidated their Southeast Asian art auctions in Hong Kong in recent years. Singapore enthusiasts note that Basel, the Swiss town that hosts the annual Art Basel fair, lacks an auction market, too.

But the larger question on many people’s minds: Is the Southeast Asia big enough for two successful art fairs?

Hong Kong’s annual art fair, Art HK, had a banner year this spring with 46,000 visitors, a 60% increase from 2009. If international collectors choose to attend only one Asian art fair, Singapore may lose out. To many collectors and gallerists in both the East and West, Hong Kong has already established itself as Asia’s arts hub. But Mr. Rudolf says he hopes the two fairs will come to complement each other.

Will Art Stage Singapore Boost the City’s Image? (Scene Asia/Wall Street Journal)