S.E.A. Focus—spotlight on Southeast Asia: applications open

S.E.A. Focus

January 24–27, 2019
September 26, 2018
Vernissage: January 23, 5–9pm, By invitation only

Gillman Barracks
9 Lock Road
108937 Singapore

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An initiative by STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery, S.E.A. Focus will shine a spotlight on international and local galleries centred on Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art to foster greater appreciation and demand amongst audiences. From 23 to 27 January 2019, the first edition will take the form of a boutique art fair within a special pop-up structure in Gillman Barracks. S.E.A. Focus welcomes applications from commercial galleries that have been in operation for at least three years and have either a physical exhibition space or have presented at least three physical exhibitions in the last calendar year. Applications are currently open.

“I am very pleased by the positive response this homegrown enterprise has received from not just the local arts ecology but also from international galleries and industry stalwarts,” said Emi Eu, Executive Director of STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery. “The premiere of S.E.A. Focus will be a fresh addition to the Singapore Art Week and inject vibrancy into the region’s art marketplace.”

There will be an enthusiastic presentation from established Singaporean galleries ranging from Art Commune which specialises in local Modern Masters such as Cheong Soo Pieng to Yavuz Gallery who will exhibit Filipino social media sensation Yeo Kaa. Strong artistic representation from international cultural mavericks such as Commonwealth & Council (Los Angeles) and 47 Canal (New York) as well as regional leaders including The Drawing Room (Manila) and Lawangwangi Art Gallery (Bandung) underscore the industry’s interest to participate in a platform that amplifies the region’s creative networks. Jasdeep Sandhu, Gallery Director and Founder of Gajah Gallery welcomed this development, “I look forward to leveraging on the unique opportunity presented by S.E.A. Focus to showcase works by Indonesian artist, Octura Chan. The size of the fair makes it a good platform for such an artist to make her debut”, he shared.  

An Advisory Committee will provide strategic guidance to S.E.A. Focus in developing fresh presentations and enriching programmes. Its members include local and international art luminaries such as Jim Amberson, Kwok Kian Chow, Lu Xun and Aaron Seeto. Welcoming this endeavour, Aaron Seeto, Advisory Committee member and Director of Museum MACAN said, “To an external observer, Southeast Asia might seem like a homogenous entity, but on the ground, with its distinct geographies, histories, languages and cultural infrastructures, platforms such as S.E.A. Focus will increase visibility to the diversity and nuances of this region.” 

There will also be a suite of programmes to provide a comprehensive experience for visitors. #SEAcity will include presentations by partner institutions and lifestyle brands across Singapore; #SEAcommunity is designed for children and school groups to deepen their appreciation of art; and #SEAspotlight will be a talks programme featuring artists, gallerists, and curators from the region. Audrey Yeo, Project Director of S.E.A. Focus added, “Through providing a spectrum of arts and lifestyle experiences for international collectors and local audiences, we hope that S.E.A. Focus will engage new audiences and provide fresh perspectives into Southeast Asia’s rapidly evolving arts scene.” 

Supported by the National Arts Council (NAC), the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), S.E.A. Focus will be a highlight of Singapore Art Week 2019. It adds to the line-up of exciting visual art activities including curated exhibitions, public art, industry dialogues and multidisciplinary lifestyle events.