The whole thing reminds you somewhat of an déjà vu. True, in 2016, the parent company of Art Basel, the MCH Group, had already announced once that it wanted to expand its global influence with the help of minority holdings. This involved shares in regional art fairs such as the India Art Fair, Art Düsseldorf and ART SG. However, the commitment had the epic length of a blink of an eye. This was probably due to the resignation of CEO René Kamm in 2018. The shares were sold in the same year.
Apparently, the wind has now turned again - especially towards the East. In Asia, Art Basel wants to become more active. Hong Kong is not enough. Especially not if you want to keep up with the enormous growth of the Asian art market. Even the pandemic could not slow down the demand for art.
The MCH Group has already taken a first step by supporting Art Week Tokyo and S.E.A. Focus in Singapore, both smaller events. Now it is taking a minority stake of 15 percent in Arts Event Singapore, the organizer of ART SG. Beat Zwahlen, CEO of the MCH Group, justifies the commitment with the desire to strengthen its position in an attractive geographical area. ART SG was originally scheduled to start in 2019. According to the current plan, ART SG will be held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre from 12 to 15 January 2023.