Is collecting art a good investment choice in Singapore?
Tan Choh Tee
The average income of Singaporeans is one of the highest in the world. This is due to Singapore’s vibrant economy, the influx of foreign investments into the country, as well as Singapore’s strong and stable government. Since 2014, Singapore’s GDP per capita has exceeded USD$55,000 and ranks 7th in the world. Singaporeans lead prosperous lives with high standards of living, and thus expect a higher quality of life. Most people opt to purchase houses, cars, stocks, or luxury goods, and only a small portion of people choose to invest in art. Yet the return on art investment is not necessarily lower than that of cars, stocks, or luxury goods, so why do people not choose to invest in art?
Ong Kim Seng
Collecting art is actually a way of life. Art itself is rich in culture and history, and imparts an appreciation of the craft and aesthetics of art. Collecting art hence opens up a person’s ability to appreciate culture, and allows them to engage themselves spiritually. Each piece of art is unique and is limited in quality, which means artwork naturally possesses the capacity to rise in value over time. The art-collecting community is also small, which means that through collecting art, you will be able to make friends with like-minded people. From there, you will learn more about art and art collection, which will help expand your cultural and artistic horizons.
In the 60s and 70s, a group of art collectors, mostly early immigrants or locals who were Chinese-educated, were interested in traditional Chinese ink painting. As the value of artwork of Chinese artists was low, these collectors managed to obtain their works at a low price. These works have since grown in value by a hundredfold, some even a thousandfold. If the art collectors had waited to sell these pieces of work, they would have gained huge returns for their investments.