SAM S.E.A Focus Announces Art Fund For Contemporary Southeast Asian Art

SAM S.E.A Focus Announces Art Fund For Contemporary Southeast Asian Art
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S.E.A. Focus, leading platform for Southeast Asian contemporary art, announces the inauguration of the SAM S.E.A. Focus Art Fund: a new programme established to recognise iconic works of contemporary Southeast Asian art and to ensure their longevity for current and future generations by facilitating their entry into Singapore Art Museum (SAM)’s collection. Outstanding work(s) presented at the fifth edition of S.E.A. Focus, taking place from 6 to 15 January 2023 at Tanjong Pagar Distripark, will be chosen by a selection panel and acquired directly from the exhibition for the SAM collection.

The fund will kick off with the support of founding sponsor, the Yenn and Alan Lo Foundation, established by the Hong Kong and Singapore-based husband-and-wife arts patrons Yenn Wong and Alan Lo. Lo is a keen art collector who has served on a wide range of art and culture non-profit organisations and museum committees, including the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, the TATE Asia Pacific Acquisitions Committee and Design Trust. Launching with a seed amount of USD25,000 per edition, Wong and Lo have committed to support the Art Fund for the next three years.

The selection panel for the inaugural edition will comprise Eugene Tan (Director, SAM), Ong Puay Khim (Deputy Director, Collections, Public Art and Head, Biennale Office, SAM) and Guest Juror, Dr Lesley Ma (Ming Chu Hsu and Daniel Xu Associate Curator of Asian Art, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

SAM S.E.A Focus Announces Art Fund For Contemporary Southeast Asian Art
Photography © Darren Soh

“We are thrilled to see this initiative planted in Singapore – something we already see happening in other parts of the art world but a first in Southeast Asia. We hope that it will inspire future artistic talents and nurture more art patronage in Singapore as demonstrated on this institutional level,” says Emi Eu, Project Director of S.E.A. Focus and Executive Director of STPI.

“We are pleased to have the support of the Yenn and Alan Lo Foundation to develop our collection with works that will be presented at S.E.A. Focus,” shares Eugene Tan, Director of SAM.

“Yenn and I are delighted to be supporting the SAM S.E.A. Focus Art Fund which we see as a crucial initiative to build and expand a meaningful legacy for art from Southeast Asia. Helping to enable important art works from the region to be made available to both local and international audiences is something we are incredibly excited and proud to be part of” says Alan Lo.

Commissioned by National Arts Council, Singapore since 2019, S.E.A. Focus has been actively pursuing new collaborations and initiatives to expand its influence in the Southeast Asian art ecosystem, cementing its role as a pioneering art platform from Asia. Conceived out of its commitment to advance Southeast Asian contemporary art and artists, this programme endeavours to encourage the galleries’ dedication in working with their artists, and to spur the presentation of more great works with each edition.

©2023 S.E.A. Focus, Darren Soh