Newsletter - Success in Singapore with Sol Gallery

I was thrilled that the Sol Gallery, Dublin, was presenting at the Singapore Affordable Art Fair (AAF), 23 - 25th May at the famous F1 Pit Building in the heart of Singapore.


This was the second international show where the Sol Gallery was showcasing my work, following their appearance at the AAF in Milan in March.

Before we get to hear from the owner of the Sol Gallery, Martin Davis, here is a bit of background on the AAF. It was originally conceived by a Will Ramsey in 1999, kicking off in Battersea, London, where he concentrated on presenting friendly and accessible galleries, with a great mix and range of art, selling affordable art in a very user-friendly manner. The popularity and success of the early fairs in the UK and America encouraged Will to explore other markets and the Affordable Art Fair now takes place in cities including Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan, Singapore, Hamburg, Mexico City, Seattle, Stockholm and Hong Kong. Globally, over 1.4 million people have visited an Affordable Art Fair.

The Sol Gallery was the only Irish based Gallery at the AAF in Singapore and were showcasing 15 of my vibrant, uplifting and totally unique paintings.

Here are some thoughts from Martin Davis of the Sol Gallery on the trip to Singapore.

How was the trip over?

Martin: Yeah it was a big trip, headed over to London first and then connected from there. I have to say it was very exciting, even though in total it was about a days travelling. It was great to land and go for a good sleep before the action really started the following day with set-up etc.

I should say we did ship all the paintings in advance, so that helped a lot !!

What were your first impressions of Singapore?

Martin: Well immediately as you step off the plane you realise you are in a humid / tropical climate, which I have to say I like.

I was really taken aback at how modern the city is, it has a 'modern city blueprint' look and feel about it - its like what I imagined a really modern, even futuristic city would look like. Very impressive.

Having just come from London, the underground system in Singapore makes London's tube seem prehistoric!!

I haven't seen the older part yet, but looking forward to discovering that. No doubt there'll be be a few surprises.



What is it like setting up for a big Fair like Singapore AAF?

Martin: Well we do present at a few international fairs like Milan, Edinburgh, London and myself and my son Jay have a good routine and system running. But Singapore was particularly exciting as it was our first time there and we were the only Irish Gallery there. There were a number of strong UK galleries there but we were the only Irish one.

You can sense the mix of cultures on the floor with 80 galleries presenting from countries such as Singapore itself, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Australia, as well as galleries from London & New York ... and many other places ...!!

Having said that you'll always bump into the Irish when you are way so even during set-up it was nice to meet an Irish lady Linda who studies in Australia but who is working for an Italian gallery. She left Dublin 25 years ago!!

Tell us about the Special Preview Evening, what was it like ... tell us about how people reacted to what you had on show?

Martin: It was a warm and humid evening but the crowds came out and it was very, very busy. Singapore people are very refined and came in wonderful elegant dress wear, the atmosphere was electric and everyone was in great form. Thankfully the air conditioning was on and people buzzed about the stands. 

How did people respond to Niall's pieces?

Martin: There was a very good reaction to Niall’s work in Singapore. What I like about Nialls work is that it tends to catch peoples eye and draws them into the stand.  In the different shows where I’ve shown Nialls work it tends to be pretty unique and there does not tend to be anything else quite like it. It’s also very well priced and people like that. 

It was great to see some of Niall’s medium sized pieces and larger pieces finding new homes in the Far East.  


What was the highlight of the weekend for you?

Martin: Well it was many things really. I really enjoyed the show overall and it went well. But its the memories of meeting such a mix of interesting people that will stay with me the most. 

What's next on the horizon for you Martin?

Martin: Well I’ll manage to take a couple of days downtime here before heading back. This will be important as we are facing in a busy summer, with a show in London coming up and our Summer Show back in Dawson Street in Late June and into July.

I’ve been impressed with this show here in Singapore so I think I’ll be looking into future opportunities to show here. 


Many thanks Martin for making the time to share your really interesting insights. 

On a final note I would really like to thank people in Singapore, including the Irish & UK expat communities who visited the show. Many thanks for your support. 


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