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Save, Not Splurge on Art!

Good quality art doesn’t need to be pretentious or expensive, but what are the pieces to spend on? Camilia Hewitson, Fair Director of the Affordable Art Fair Singapore, goes through the options.


For a crash course in South Korean contemporary art; works start at $1,400

Go to: Space Cottonseed. This contemporary art gallery, set up by Korea-born Janice Kim, represents mostly South Korean artists and draws on the artistic spirit of its predecessor, an incubator for local artists in Mullae Art Village in Seoul.

Art newbies will love the one-stop concept – you’ll find catalogues, books, talks and interactive activities that offer insights into South Korean contemporary art and the nation’s most established artists. The South Korean art scene has been flourishing for several years and attracting attention from experts and enthusiasts worldwide.

Camilia recommends: Artworks by promising South Korean artists Lee Jae Hoon and Yeong Seok Cha (from $1,400). Jae Hoon critiques the South Korean social system and values through his works while Seok Cha is lauded for his whimsical, intricate and delicately rendered pieces.

Space Cottonseed, #01-24 Gillman Barracks, 47 Malan Road, tel: 6694-3362/3367

Yeong Seok Cha’s Confidential Custom (75cm x 142cm, pencil and pen on paper), $4,500

Lee Jae Hoon’s Artificial – Our Daily Bread (58cm x 59cm, mixed media), $4,000.


For fascinating East-meets-West art, starting at $1,200

Go to: Hakaren Art Gallery. The 18-year-old gallery’s offerings, a curated selection of contemporary works by outstanding Chinese artists, comprise fine paintings and sculptures that fuse tradition and innovation.

Art newbies will love inherently Oriental pieces that incorporate Western painting styles. The keen juxtaposition between East and West as well as new and old – classic Chinese beauties depicted with Cubist and Fauvist influences, anyone? – promises to leave you intellectually entertained.

Camilia recommends: Sculptures by Chinese artist Wang Gang (from $4,200) that chronicle China’s rise as an economic superpower. His works offer a commentary of the loss of the sense of self amid increasing demands in life.

Hakaren Art Gallery, #02-43 Tanglin Shopping Centre, tel: 6733-3382


For works by local artists, starting from $500

Go to: Artcommune Gallery. Set up in 2009 by aerospace-engineerturned- artist Ho Sou Ping, the gallery aims to nurture and promote Singaporean artists, and to encourage more locals to pursue art as a full-time profession, much like Sou Ping himself.

Art newbies will love the quality art at wallet-friendly prices, a curated selection of works by first and second generation as well as up-and-coming Singaporean artists. In-house artists are also on hand to help you select something that suits your tastes. If you want to be more hands-on, the gallery also organises art appreciation courses such as introductory classes to modern art and to buying art for new collectors.

Camilia recommends: Works by Hong Sek Chern (from $4,500), a local artist famed for her unique Chinese ink depictions of landscapes and urban scenes. Another name to look out for is Hua Chai Yong, whose vibrant street scenes of old Singapore are rendered with oil on canvas (from $2,000).

Artcommune Gallery, #02-43 Bras Basah Complex, tel: 6336-4240

Hong Sek Chern’s Bukit Merah (88cm x 100cm, Chinese ink and colour on paper (collage)), $6,500


Looking for more ways to spruce up your digs without breaking the bank? Try these ideas!


By Tan Min Yan, Her World, Nov 2014

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