Singapore’s TodayOnline profiles ART Singapore’s Chen Shen Po:
Before Chen joined ART Singapore in 2002, the 45-year-old mother-of-four held marketing and managing director portfolios at record labels BMG, Polygram and Universal. “I was flying around with Kylie Minogue and Take That, eating sushi with Andy Lau, working with Jacky Cheung,” she quipped good-naturedly. She also joined a start-up company that eventually went bust. “And then I thought I would be a housewife.”
Except that she got a call from her friends at the Art Galleries Association (Singapore), who were struggling to run this small art fair called ART Singapore.
For its first edition in 2000, the fair started with 19 galleries showcasing their wares at the MICA building atrium. The following year, more galleries started trickling in, and they moved to Suntec. But there was still a lot to be done.
Enter Chen, an MBA graduate from California State University, who was convinced by her AGAS friends to run the show as fair manager. That 2002 edition raked in $1.3 million and featured a rising Chinese artist named Yue Minjun – whose multi-million-dollar works could be bought for a mere US$20,000 ($26,700) at the time.
There was to be no ART Singapore in 2003. SARS forced it to be postponed a year, after which Chen finally took over as director. Her first task? To get on a plane.
All’s Fair in Art and War (TODAYonline)