ASIA NOW A Success for Southeast Asian Art

New European collectors for works by emerging artists
By A&M

Komkrit Tepthian, ‘Giant Twins’, 2018, fibreglass, 50 x 31 x 12cm. Image courtesy of Art Seasons.

Komkrit Tepthian, ‘Giant Twins’, 2018, fibreglass, 50 x 31 x 12cm. Image courtesy of Art Seasons.

16,000 people attended ASIA NOW 2018, 20% more than the previous year, to visit the 42 galleries and seven special projects from across Asia. Southeast Asian galleries and galleries representing artists from the region gave positive feedback about their participation at the fair. 

Art Seasons from Singapore, which took part for the first time, sold seven artworks, from Burmese artist Min Zaw, Thai artist Komkrit Tepthian and Chinese artist Pan Yue. These all went to new European clients. Executive Director Terry Lee says, “The fair had a relaxed atmosphere and was in a good, convenient location, with friendly and efficient staff, and great support from the organiser.”

Manila-based galleries The Drawing Room, Finale Art File and Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery all had good outings at the fair. Third-time participant The Drawing Room met with Paris-based collectors and clients with whom they had become acquainted in previous editions, as well as new Asian collectors who were attending the fair. They noted that Vermont Coronel Jr. was particularly popular, with a number of pieces sold at EUR5,000, and that there was also interest for the other two Filipino artists Alvin Gregorio and Dominic Mangila at their booth. 

Finale Art File, which presented a solo show of artist Ayka Go had works priced between EUR400 and EUR2,800. The gallery sold several pieces, including the highest-priced work to a longtime collector based in Hong Kong who was visiting the fair, as well as another at EUR2,000 to a French collector.

Pinky Ibarra-Urmaza, ‘The Circle Game’. Image courtesy of Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery.

Pinky Ibarra-Urmaza, ‘The Circle Game’. Image courtesy of Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery.

Vinyl on Vinyl, which has taken part in numerous art fairs in Asia and elsewhere, was at a European fair for a first time. They brought works by Manila-born New York-based mixed-media artist Pinky Ibarra-Urmaza, who creates collage works inspired by memories and mementos such as nostalgic photographs and stained pages, Tekla Tamoria, who presented a video installation of her performance art in the Philippines and Reen Barrera who makes wooden sculptures, as well as another sculptor, Japanese artist Akira Miyamoto.

Most of the works at Vinyl on Vinyl’s booth were priced under EUR1,000, with the sculptures going for around EUR5,000. They sold out of works by Ibarra-Urmaza, bought by individual French collectors at between EUR650 and EUR800. Gallery Director Gabrielle de la Merced noted that she was very pleased with the quality of visitors, especially the collectors present at the fair, finding them inquisitive and expressing a genuine interest in learning more about the gallery and the artists presented. 

Brussels-based La Patinoire Royale Galerie Valérie Bach sold two works, including one by Vietnamese artist Trong Gia Nguyen. “The Fair was amazing: good organisation, good mood, good audience, very interesting collectors,” says Gallery Director Constantin Chariot. “We were very happy because it covered our expenses, and we made many new contacts as well. People were coming from everywhere, especially from Asia, but also from France and Belgium, and generally seemed to be very curious and well-informed about the Asian art market. We'll certainly try to come back next year.”

The fifth edition of ASIA NOW will take place between 16 October and 19 October 2019.