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Affordable Art Fair
Fairs - 25 September 2019

#MyAffordableArt Singapore

We can hardly believe that not only does the Affordable Art Fair mark its twentieth anniversary globally, our very own Affordable Art Fair Singapore (22 – 24 November, F1 Pit Building) is also celebrating its tenth anniversary! Since the very first fair in 2010, over 170,000 art-loving Singaporeans have visited the fair, taking home almost twenty-thousand affordable artworks to enjoy for years to come.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Affordable Art Fair Singapore, we nostalgically reached out to some of our loyal art collectors and asked them to share the stories behind their #myaffordableart purchases. Read on for the inspiration behind their collections, plus their hints and tips for first time art buyers:



Janice Tan, Architect / Urban Designer

Can you tell us about the artworks that you’ve purchased at Affordable Art Fair Singapore?

I’ve been visiting the fair since 2016, and each year I’ve come home with an artwork. The first year I purchased a piece called “King Island” by Australian artist Carol Roche, the second piece is called “Love is Like a Pineapple” by South African artist Natasha Barnes. Last year, I bought another piece by the same artist, Natasha, titled “Don’t Waste Time Looking Back”.

When you visited in 2016, was this your first ever artwork purchase?

Yes! “King Island” was first piece of art I ever bought and have owned.

What inspired you to buy your artworks?

At that time of my first fair visit, in 2016, I was getting ready to move out of my parents’ place and into my own pad. I wanted a modern, minimalist feel for my apartment, filled with artwork that made me happy. Today, my apartment is no longer minimalist as it’s filled with plants, but the art pieces that I’ve hung on the walls really set the tone and colour scheme for the rooms they are hanging in.

Do you have any advice or tips for first time art buyers?

Buy pieces that speak to you and that spark joy. The value of the artwork is what you place on it. Everyone has different tastes in art, so there is no right or wrong. Sometimes your decision could be based on how the piece makes you feel - the emotions that are stirred up; or it could be based on the story behind the artwork. It doesn’t matter whether the artist is able to convey that story both verbally in a face-to-face interaction at the fair, or through the artwork itself, as long as it speaks to you. I try to take time to speak to the artist, if he/she happens to be around.


Janice Tan Architect and Urban Designer    Janice Tan


Christopher Chua and Nicolas Laville, Co-founder and Creative Director, KulorGroup. Hospitality Interior Design Consultancy

Can you tell us about your #myaffordableart works?

The first piece of artwork we bought from Affordable Art Fair Singapore was from ArtBlue Studio. An iconic oil on canvas piece by Bui Van Hoan that I fell in love with when I was researching for artwork pieces for another client for their living space. We were walking through the fair when we came to ArtBlue Studio and saw other pieces by the artist, but they weren’t quite right. In the end, they pulled out the perfect piece, and we were immediately so enamoured that we purchased it for ourselves instead of the client!

Was it your first art purchase?

No. We’re avid collectors of independent art pieces, sculptures, vintages posters and pieces all over the world. We love our collections to represent who we are and our personality.

Another much loved and talked about piece that we bought at the Affordable Art Fair was our Zen Trooper from TAG Fine Arts. And another year, we commissioned two portraits by Phuong Quoc Tri of ArtBlue Studio, because we saw a similar piece displayed in the fair.

What was your main motivation for buying art?

Our home is a large shophouse and we have multiple spaces and walls with different personas in each room. We wanted our living space to be a haven, hence we picked Bui Van Hoan's piece as it was calming, subtle and nuanced. It brought a serenity to the space and a tonal aspect that felt appropriate.

Do you have any advice or tips for first time art buyers?

The work has to speak to you personally. It's easy to get caught up in trends or what's in, especially in our age of social media and transience. Classic timeless pieces that makes you feel happy and tell your own personal stories will never become out of date. It doesn't matter whether your friends would appreciate it, it has to be personal.




Heather Riley, Business Owner, Diva Productions

What did you buy at Affordable Art Fair Singapore?

This fun-loving artwork titled ‘Vessel – Chanel’ which portrays a Chanel bottle on a pink background by artist Leo Liu. His work is a reflection of personal identity embedded within popular culture. This piece caught my attention when I visited the fair a few years ago and still is one of my favourite artworks.

What drew you to the artwork?

The colour of the artwork, the subject of fashion that is infused with a quirky element of childishness drew me to his work. As I learnt more about the idea behind this seemingly simplistic artwork, which reflects our current societal influences, it just made me love it even more.

Do you have any advice or tips for first time art buyers?

Buy art that really appeals to you and that you think you will still love in 20 years.




Laura Lim, Deputy Director in Public Service

Can you tell us about the artworks that you’ve purchased at Affordable Art Fair Singapore?

My first piece was by an artist called Max Zorn - it was a portrait of Audrey Hepburn. Max amazed me with his use of duct tape to create beautiful art pieces. The one that I bought was built over an old wooden tea box and with a light illuminating the artwork from behind. After that I started collecting other affordable pieces of work from various galleries every year.

Was it your first piece of art?

Yes it was!

What was your main motivation for buying art?

I’d never seen this form of art before; also, I got to meet Max in person and he was very affable, he taught us how to put the tape together and what shared what he was inspired by. His passion was contagious, and I love his form of art and expression. The other motivating factor also included the price - it helped that the first piece was affordable, and it added such a nice touch to my room. After this first piece, I was enticed to get more artworks to beautify the smaller spaces in my house.

Do you have any advice or tips for first time art buyers?

I'm not sure if I am in the best position to offer advice and tips, as it can get quite addictive! Especially if you see pieces of art that you fall in love with and can afford them. I think it's important that the artwork speaks to you; the ones that you are drawn to are the ones that emotionally resonate with you somehow - it could be the medium, the colours or the material used, but all in all – it should make you feel happy. It would not be prudent to spend money on art and not enjoy it! Art should be something you can enjoy and afford to indulge in, so for those who are starting to buy or collect art, Affordable Art Fair Singapore is definitely the right place to be!


Laura Lim, Deputy Director in Public Service    Max Zorn artwork owned by Laura Lim


Why not follow Laura’s advice and join us as the upcoming Affordable Art Fair Singapore (22 – 24 November, F1 Pit Building) for our tenth anniversary celebrations. Just snap up a ticket in advance, and don’t forget to keep an eye on our Instagram and Facebook channels to stay up to date with programming announcements in the run up to the fair. See you there!



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