Sotheby’s Return to Singapore With a First-in-Southeast-Asia Whisky Auction


Sotheby’s makes another visit to Singapore and this time it arrives with a whisky auction that is its first ever in Southeast Asia, alongside an art exhibition.

Open to the public from 28 November to 1 December 2023, the art and spirits exhibition is held at Pan Pacific Orchard hotel. A much awaited follow-up since the summer showcase at Marina Bay Sands, this exhibition will feature over 40 mixed-media works by groundbreaking artists over the span of three centuries on top of the auction.

Anish Kapoor’s art is on display at the Sotheby’s exhibition in Singapore..

With the debut of ‘Fine & Rare Whisky’ at this four-day exhibition, Sotheby’s is expanding its Spirits offerings to Southeast Asia, a region that has shown a steady increase in interest in this category. Visitors can expect a sensory extravaganza at the exhibition, which includes a variety of rare Scotch and Japanese whiskies as well as a curated art exhibition PAST PRESENT FUTURE.

This exhibition brings together over 40 breathtaking works of art, including paintings, sculptures and NFTs that investigate the ways in which art can transcend boundaries of time, place, and culture.

Artworks by the Who’s Who of the Art World

With the hope of starting discussions about the enduring value of collecting art from different eras and how it tells a shared global narrative, this exhibition juxtaposes works by artists such as Pierre Auguste Renoir, Yayoi Kusama, Antony Gormley, Fernando Zobel, Affandi, Hendra Gunawan, Christine Ay Tjoe and other future visionaries with those of Singapore Nanyang pioneers.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir_Roses’s Staircase.

The fact that some of the artworks are on loan from local private collections demonstrates the company’s commitment to supporting local artists and art collectors while also expanding its reach outside the area. The showcase is set to bring the most exceptional offerings from around the world to the region, as well as experiences, such as specialist-guided curated private tours, whisky tastings, and collaborations with collector collectives. This reaffirms Sotheby’s dedication to providing a comprehensive experience of art and luxury.

Lagavulin 12-Year-Old White Horse Clear bottle in original case.

Sotheby’s hosting of the the brand’s inaugural auction in Singapore, the gateway to one of the most thriving markets for spirits and wine, was a source of satisfaction for Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Global Head of Spirits. Fowle elaborated that these products will be part of Sotheby’s last Spirits sale of the year in Asia, giving whisky enthusiasts a chance to buy a fascinating assortment of vintage bottles and famous classics.

Southeast Asia’s First Spirits Auction

Over 200 bottles, valued between 2.4 million and 3.4 million Singapore dollars, are up for grabs in this auction. Included in the sale are Scotch whiskies bottled between the years 1970 and 1990 by renowned distilleries and independent bottlers, along with a variety of well-known Japanese whiskies, including the Karuizawa Geisha series.

Marc Chagall Scène de Cirque (1958)

Global demand for alcoholic beverages has caused a meteoric rise in the wine and spirits industry in recent years. Collectors from Singapore have increased their spending at Sotheby’s sales in this area by over 20% compared to previous year. Collectors from Singapore have spent three times as much this year as they did in 2020 on spirits alone, a trend that Sotheby’s has also noticed. Expanding the focus to the entire area, Sotheby’s noticed how Asian collectors have become the driving force behind 54% of Spirits purchases in 2023. Nearly the past three years, almost half of the total purchases in this category have come from purchasers aged 39 and under, indicating that there has been an influx of young collectors into this market.

Past Present Future

The tension and conversation in PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE are derived from the pairing of artists from different time periods and backgrounds who share commonalities in their visual language or fundamental feelings and perceptions. Christine Ay Tjoe is one of the most prominent abstract artists in Southeast Asia. Her multi-layered paintings are expressive works that rely on the viewer’s imagination and emotions. This groundbreaking piece from the artist’s seminal series bravely composes her powerful feelings. The picture is on display with an early, striking self-portrait by Affandi that highlights the concept of “self” and the common man’s artistic position.

The Past, Present & Future gallery.

In PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE, the visual experience is broadened to include various materials, such as the sculptural explorations of the human body’s relationship to space by the illustrious British artist Antony Gormley. The show features the work of contemporary and notable artists, including Aditya Novali, Fernando Zobel, Lee Ufan, Maria Taniguchi, Sopheap Pich, Udomsak Krisanam, and others, whose grid patterns are juxtaposed with his iconic grid-like sculpture.

Dates: Fine & Rare Whisky | The Inaugural Singapore Auction. Online auction, open for bidding until 2PM SGT, 1 December 2023


Modern & Contemporary Art Exhibition. Both On View: 28 November – 1 December 2023 | 11 AM – 6 PM. Claymore Ballroom, Pan Pacific Orchard, 10 Claymore Road Singapore 229540


About Author

Marky is a travel writer and photographer. He narrates his experiences wandering the tropical paradise of the Philippines, South East Asia, Sri Lanka and India on his travel blog Nomadic Experiences.

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