Affordable Art Fair Singapore closed on 19 November 2017, after welcoming more than 11,000 visitors – slightly less visitors than the last AAF in Singapore (12,000 visitors). This year’s AAF reached sales of over S$3.7 million. Visitors enjoyed browsing through artworks from over 500 local and international artists from 70 galleries at the F1 Pit Building. The fair continues to expand its audience’s art knowledge by presenting both emerging artists at the start of their career such as local favourites Andre Tan, Rubén Pang and Fiona Koh alongside well know names such as Tracey Emin and Zhang Dali.
The fair’s Young Talent Programme (YTP) 2017/2018 winners were announced after a strong showing by its eight finalists in a multi-disciplinary exhibition including wax sculptures, lost and found objects, architectural inspired works as well as marble sculpture teeth. The artists, Faris Nakamura, Che Xinwei, and Yom Bo Sung, the latter receiving the People’s Choice Award, were selected by the Young Talent Programme Committee to participate in a 10-month mentorship programme under the tutelage of the programme’s curator, Tzi-Yan Seah which will culminate in solo shows for all three artists in the fall of next year at ION Art Gallery, the fair’s YTP partner.
New talents were commissioned for this year’s fair to provide fresh content throughout the weekend. These included a large wall installation by street artist Didier ‘Jaba’ Mathieu of the well-known wall mural at Haji Lane’s Piedra Negra. The fair mural, titled ‘Time Travellers’, provided a fun backdrop for Jaba’s well-attended art talk, ‘Graffiti vs Street Art’ as well as other art talks and tours which included topics such as mixed media, photography, modern impressionism and granite as a medium.
A sound and video installation by mutli-disciplinary artist Chloe Manasseh drew crowds and provided crowd participation in the form of photo and video opportunities. ‘Taking a nap, feet planted, against a cool wall’, incorporated two 30-minute live performances, called ‘100 Sounds Singapore’, with musicians responding directly to the video work through improvised, un-rehearsed sound. These collaborative performances took place at Thursday night’s Private View and Friday night’s Arty-Licious Evening.
A hands-on, Virtual Reality art activity for the John Fawcett Foundation charity to launch their CATARART initiative was offered giving visitors the opportunity to experience what it would be like to create an art piece with partial blindness, while the Children’s Art Studio saw tremendous participation with hands-on activities for children hosted by Art Wonderland including a ‘Garden of Tomorrow’ workshop as well as a more in depth creative workshop, ‘Explorers At Work’, which included a learning tour around the fair and a tangible art making session. To showcase the best new artists exhibiting for the first time, the fair introduced a new platform called #Spotlight which gave visitors the chance to see the breadth and depth of new artists on offer.
The Affordable Art Fair announced over the summer the consolidation of its two fairs to one annual event. Art lovers can look forward to more fresh programming and new artists next year when the fair returns to Singapore 16 to 18 November 2018.