Collector Jackson See and Singapore's way to become a new "ArtHub"

Art News from Switzerland. Published by ArtAndOnly - Platform for Art Collectors on Thursday 26 May 2016.

Art Collector Jackson See image

A conversation with renowned collector Jackson See revealed interesting perspectives about the needs of Singapore's art scene to become one day an even international "Art Hub"

As a Singaporean, what is your opinion of the local art scene?
In the context of Southeast Asia, Singapore has a different environment all together. Singapore has a completely different comfort level and this affects its artists’ behaviours. Singaporean artists are very conceptually strong but their narrative lacks the content. Likewise, in terms of skill, they are not quite there. At the end of the day, being an artist means you have a passion. Singapore may not have the facilities to cater for varying creative disciplines but being an artist means you have to find your own way and pursue it elsewhere, but make sure to come back. Lack of space or workshops should not be an argument used against the maturity of an artist’s practice.

How has Singapore developed artistically over the years?
In Singapore you must understand that priority is given to the economy. Over the last 10-15 years however we have realised that we are in need of a creative environment which is why there is such immense support from the government and local society. We do of course need the time to grow. We have the Singapore Arts Museum (SAM), the National Museum of Singapore, and as of last year we launched the National Gallery. To my understanding these are all the initial steps to provide for the next generation.
Take a minute to think about availability of space in Singapore and the cost of it. I believe that we have achieved a lot so far and have a lot to thank our institutions, our government, the National Arts Council and the Singapore Tourism Board for.

How do you see the local art scene maturing in the future?
I would say that in the context of Southeast Asia we are approaching the status of being an “Art Hub.” The government has provided us with the hardware but what we are lacking is the software. We may pose an argument stating that without financial backing how can we encourage the art scene to grow, but at the same time, with financial backing our artists’ are lacking the skill-set and motivation.
If we are to develop into an art hub we need to strengthen our logistics system. We may have the Freeport with its great facilities but we need to expand. Artwork is moving in and out of Singapore, and we need to find a way of managing it.

What exactly do you refer to when you talk about ‘software’?
By software I mean the soft skills that help guide the arts, from young practitioners to institutional collections. More specifically I would say…