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A day with… an Art Collector: T.K. Quek


A day with… an Art Collector: T.K. Quek
T.K. Quek, Deputy Chairman, STPI

Mr Quek T.K. is the Deputy Chairman of STPI, an architect and Director of RT+Q Architects Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based architecture firm. He is a member of the Acquisition Committee of National Gallery Singapore and the Istana Art Collection Advisory Committee (IACC). He also previously served as Board Member of the Singapore Art Museum (SAM).


What is your typical art fair routine? What is the first thing you do when you enter the hall?

Every morning I read the newspaper by thumbing through every page to get overall view on international, local and other news. This is the same mode when I get to an Art Fair i.e. I walk through quickly and get an overview on what’s being shown. Of course this is not the perfect system as I often get distracted by things that catch my interest. Invariably, I do meet fellow collectors and friends whom will add to the distraction.

Any particular artists or galleries you are looking forward to see?

In the case of ABHK, I am not looking at any particular artist, but I do look out for what is shown by Korean artists which currently interests me.

It can be daunting or overwhelming to see so much art, give us your top 3 tips - how to tackle an art fair.

As time is of the essence, it is best to get an overview of what you like or may not like to see or interest you. I would then discard the others, which are of no interest and concentrate on the one that catches my eye.

What do you like or dislike most about art fairs? 

I like what an Art Fair brings to art collectors. However because sometimes so many things are happening at the same time, it is not possible to see everything, which is often a pity.

Any advice for new or budding art collectors?

Keep an open mind and learn. There will be things that obviously will attract or distract you or offend you. Have a look at them and run through your mind on what they do to determine what you hope to collect.

Favourite bar or restaurant after a hard day’s work visiting the fair and galleries?

This is the area I know very little about and I leave it to my Hong Kong friends to introduce us. Invariably they take me to some outstanding restaurants.

During this time in HK, what are the must-see art; any special events or exhibitions we shouldn’t miss? 

The main fair of course is a “must see”. There is a wide selection of other shows and attend the one that you want to see and discard the ones you are not interested in.

T.K. has been actively involved in the art scene including the participation as a International judge for Tun Foundation Bank’s Annual Painting Competition in Myanmar. As a self-confessed “hobbyist” publisher, he produced the publication of Ahmad Zakii Anwar, Drawings, Paintings, Prints 1991-2007 at STPI in 2007. 

In 2010 he published 30 Artfriends: Appreciating Southeast Asian art, followed by a publication Figurescape of the landscape works by Myanmar artist Min Wae Aung in 2011. 

In Jan 2014, T.K. launched the sequel publication 30 Artfriends Vol 2, featuring essays written by 30 art collectors from Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. The stories reveal their passion and individual journeys in collecting art.  



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