Art Paris Art Fair: 17th edition



Each year, two major international art fairs (often with several satellite shows) open the Parisian art scene to Contemporary art from all round the world: the FIAC in October and Art Paris Art Fair in March (this year from March 26 to 29 at the Grand Palais). Art Paris Art Fair has distinguished itself with a stronger focus on young Asian artists. The 2014 edition put the spotlight on Chinese art. This year, Guillaume Piens, the fair’s general curator has concentrated on Singapore and Southeast Asia. Indeed, the fairs’ opening towards Eastern art over the last two years has added considerable weight to its international identity. In total, 20 countries are represented with half of the selected galleries from outside France, and many participating for the first time.

Singapore and Southeast Asia: guests of honor in 2015

Singapore has become a key hub for the Contemporary art market. Its strategic location at the crossroads of China, India, Southeast Asia and Australia has several advantages (its free port and governments supporting art in the region) for the development of the commercial exchange of art, and it is a magnet for gallery owners and artists (new artistic centers such as the Gillman Barracks, the Centre for Contemporary Art, the Yellow River Arts Center). In terms of auction revenue Singapore is now the 18th global marketplace behind Canada (with turnover of $29.6 million in 2014). Indeed from a global market perspective, the advantages of this strategic area are worth discovering. At Art Paris Art Fair the task of advertising these advantages has been entrusted to Iola Lenzi, curator and researcher specializing in the South Asian scene, author of the exhibition The Roving Eye: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia (presented at the ARTER Foundation in Istanbul, September 2014 – January 2015). A section is devoted to Singapore galleries (a dozen) including Art Seasons Gallery, Chan Hampe Galleries, Element Art Space, Veo Workshop, iPreciation, and Sundaram Tagore Gallery.

These galleries are presenting a selection of a little-known artist from Southeast Asian countries like Cambodia, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. The fair has also organized a series of conferences and videos as part of its invitation to discover the rapidly growing Southeast Asian art scene.

This forward-looking approach, which accounts for much of the fair’s DNA, is also reflected in the remarkable number of solo shows: no fewer than 30 artists have been accorded solo exhibitions within the fair). These solo shows cover the second half of the 20th century and early 21st, with certain artists who have “deep roots” in art history like Ivan MESSAC (Galerie Baudoin Lebon), Gérard FROMANGER (Caroline Smulders Gallery) or Sam SZAFRAN (Galerie Claude Bernard) and other emerging artists, like (Krampf Gallery) and Leah Bénétou (Galerie Des Petits Tiles).

Art Paris Art Fair will also be reiterating the projection of art videos onto the façade of the Grand Palais (every night during the fair from 6pm to midnight), with three digital creations: Mounir FATMI’s Les Temps Modernes – Une Histoire de la Machine (presented by the Analix Forever Gallery), the work of Japanese collective TEAMLAB (a group of 350 creators) that will transform the facade into a digital cascade (presented by the Bogéna gallery), and lastly, the optical illusions of Dominic HARRIS & Cinimod Studio (A Concentric Study, 2015, presented by the Sarah Myerscough Gallery) for the promotion of a living art, both inside and out.