Contemporary art is growing in popularity around the world, particularly in and around Asia – making it an exciting time for the art industry. Contemporary art exhibitions and works have not always opened to the sound of applause, often quite the opposite and the evolution of art and culture is a welcome change.

Art often brings contentious issues to the forefront, challenges ideals, traditions, political regimes, and even the fabric of many societies that many people find offensive or simply don’t like.

However, art has seen many movements and genres via its journey through time, and if art isn’t there to challenge, inspire, or to be moving – then what is it for?

The Asian Contemporary Art Scene

Artists from Asia are increasing their international presence and enjoying more attention from collectors internationally. Key examples of this are Zao Wou-Ki, Yayoi Kusama and Park Seo-Bo’s all who have practised different styles and techniques but are all tremendously famous in the contemporary art scene.

One of the more contentious facts of Asian contemporary art for many decades is that challenges that it poses through storytelling and political rhetoric – often banned in public speech, but cunningly hidden under the vail in works of ‘contemporary art.

For that reason, it has been extremely hard over time for artists from Asia and surrounding regions to breakthrough, become recognised and to effectively make a difference.

In an essay on modern art in Yogyakarta, Jim Supangkat expressed that contemporary art is the centre of gravity & is focused on defending those on the losing side – people who are oppressed, treated unjustly or abused.

However, as the geo-political environment has evolved, so has the ability for many emerging and established Asian contemporary artists to come out from behind the shadows and make an impact on the global stage.

As the Asian contemporary art scene has evolved, as has the number of events, exhibitions, galleries and exposure the industry as a whole has enjoyed, two events, in particular, include the Singapore Biennale 2019 and the upcoming S.E.A Focus 2020 held in January.

Singapore Biennale 2019

Launching its 6th iteration of the event, the Singapore Biennale will showcase 77 artists and art collectives from Singapore, Southeast Asia and the world. Titled ‘Every Step in the Right Direction’, the international contemporary art exhibition invites participation through the act of artistic exploration, drawing on the importance of making choices and taking steps to consider current conditions and the human endeavour to change.

S.E.A Focus in Jan 2020

The S.E.A Focus will return to Singapore’s Gillman Barracks from the 16th to the 19th of January 2020, bringing with it a showcase of contemporary art from Southeast Asia, S.E.A. Focus provides a platform to foster greater appreciation and engagement with the art and artists from the region for collectors and art enthusiasts.

In a time with such contention in the geopolitical space, climate change, political change, technological changes, the Singapore Biennale will showcase works that will challenge the past, present and future generations in ways that one can only imagine.

As a collector, enthusiast or investor of art or alternative investments, these two Singaporean events are the perfect avenue into the world of contemporary art.

Should you wish to delve into this space as a first-time investor or an experienced buyer, the expert team at Art Works can assist you to work through your goals, your style and introduce you to the world of emerging and established artists within the contemporary space, while ensuring your purchase realises bother personal and financial goals.

Speak to the team today on (65) 6557 2250 or email at to find out more.