Art Loft: Taking art out of the (white) box

Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Art is never finished.” True enough, it goes through constant change: breaking boundaries and stretching creative possibilities. And for years, art has seen an evolution of sorts with artists expressing themselves through unconventional means, brilliant art installations and a new wave of gallery exhibitions.

Following the footsteps of many Western initiatives, Art Loft prides itself to be the first Asian platform to bring Asian art online. Moving past the traditional white box gallery setting, the initiative tackles many issues faced by conventional art like limited wall space and a vast number of artists yet to be unearthed.

According to Art Loft’s chief curator Michelle Chan, “Asia is a fascinating region with so much undiscovered talent and we’re fortunate to be based right in the midst.” Reiterating that point would be the story behind Art Loft’s inception.

Art in the bedroom? Why not, as the pop-up gallery demonstrates. 

Visiting Michelle’s family-run gallery, co-founder Tian Qiuyan stumbled upon an interesting piece by a Laotian artist, who’s a policeman by day and painter by night.

“Hearing the inspiring story sparked the idea of bringing the artist’s story to a global audience via the Internet,” says Qiuyan.

Related: Carsten Nicolai lights it up at Art Basel Hong Kong

Hosting an exhibition in lieu of their launch party in Singapore, Art Loft gave many prospective customers a glimpse of what to expect. Held in a cosy residential area, the home was transformed into a pop-up exhibition, which aimed to put many into the perspective of viewing art pieces as if at home themselves. This echoes with Art Loft’s overall theme of “Home is where the art is” and reflected  Art Loft’s aim to make art as fun and accessible as possible.

Benny Goerlach’s play of humour and local quirkiness is evident in his two statement pieces Cardboard Auntie and Fatboy.

Creative director Alexandra Eu shares that “Creating pop up exhibitions and branding ourselves in this way shows that we are trying to break down barriers and demystify art.”

It can be said that much of the fun in art collecting and curation lies in exhibitions, where fellow enthusiasts share opinions and also have pleasant exchanges with the artists themselves. The online platform maintains this dialogue with a holistic approach: having educational workshops, informative artist interviews on video as well as an open exchange looking for things that tickles the fancy of those visiting Art Loft.

“At the end of the day, its not us curating content but rather co-curating it with our audience,” explained Alexandra. The online gallery also offers a rental service for periods of time, which dismisses the dated stereotype that art can only be afforded by the rich.

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