The New York Times describes the growing number of auction houses in Singapore despite the art slump and the increasingly favorable terms offered in Hong Kong:
Last month, another new auction house appeared on the Singapore scene. Advertising itself as offering extremely low entry price points to contemporary art, Ziani Fine Art Auction house enticed bidders to its Sept. 20 debut auction with lucky draw prizes, including up to 10,000 dollars in cash, iPhones and Blackberries, picked at intervals throughout the all-day sale. Some of the art on offer had reserves as low as a dollar and sold for as little at 200 dollars.
“When you launch a new business you need to attract new people,” said Frank Veyder, a banker and partner in Ziani, before the auction. “We are very conscious there is a risk that people might think it’s just a fly-by-night, gimmicky house, but we’re holding this auction in a five-star location and we’re offering quality art.
“The pieces are not of the level you would see at Christie’s or Sotheby’s, but we’re not trying to play in that space,” Mr. Veyder added. “Our marketing is targeting to a wider, middle-class crowd.
Innovative Asia Fights a Downturn (New York Times)