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Interview with Stella Chang


Interview with Stella Chang

How did Yavuz Gallery come about?

Mr Yavuz had been collecting and advising on art for almost 20 years, specifically Southeast Asian contemporary art, so opening an art gallery focused this was a natural progression from there. I joined the gallery shortly after its first exhibition. My background was in fine art and real estate, but this was my first foray into arts management. It was a big change, and there was a huge learning curve for the both of us, but it was nice that we both could learn together.


What is the gallery’s mission today and has it changed since its inception in 2010? What guides you in your selection of type of artists or exhibitions to show? 

The gallery’s mission has always been to put on well-curated and thought-provoking exhibitions, with a focus on Southeast Asia. These days, we showcases artists from other regions as well – Korea, China, Turkey and Iran – but the kind of artists and artworks that we are drawn to, has remained the same.

Most of the time, we choose artworks with strong a social significance. There are no strict regional, stylistic or generational guidelines in our selection, and we work with both emerging and established artists.

Installation view of Shin Kwang Ho’s solo show, Face Me. Image courtesy of Yavuz Gallery


What are your views on the Southeast Asian art market? 

More and more European and American galleries are now working with artists from this region. Institutions such as the Guggenheim are allocating resources towards Southeast Asian contemporary art. Most recently, ARTER (Istanbul, Turkey) showcased an extensive Southeast Asian exhibition, a project four years in the making and featuring some of the biggest artists from the region. In the coming years, I think that we will definitely see more exposure of Southeast Asian art globally. There will be more research and theory available on Southeast Asian contemporary art practice, which everyone – artists, galleries, collectors and institutions – will benefit from.  

The current exhibition by “Face Me” by Korean artist Shin Kwang Ho marks the inaugural opening of your new gallery space in Gillman Barracks. Can you share us your thoughts, why you decided to move?

The gallery has been in operation for almost five years now, so when the opportunity to join Gillman Barracks came up, it seemed like the right direction for its growth. We were impressed by Gillman Barracks’ development over the past two years, and with its vision to become one of the main gallery hubs in Asia. It was also very important for us to be close to other galleries, to be part of a larger arts community and be able to share ideas and resources with our neighbors.

What is the best advice you can give to young budding art collectors?

Listen to your heart, but collect within your means.

Installation view of Face Me. Image courtesy of Yavuz Gallery


Lastly, are there plans to further expand the gallery? And are there any major projects on the horizon we can look forward to?

We have no plans to expand at this time.

Our first exhibition of 2015 will be a solo exhibition by Thai photographer Manit Sriwanichpoom. This will be his first solo show outside of Thailand in about five years.

Outside of Singapore, the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Sydney, Australia will be presenting a major exhibition of artworks by Pinaree Sanpitak in this month, including a selection of Breast Stupa Topiary sculptures that were first shown at the gallery in January this year. Thai artist Jakkai Siributr will also have a solo exhibition in London in 2015 – his first time exhibiting in Europe.



Face Me by Shin Kwang Ho is on view from 27 Sept – 9 November 2014. Yavuz Gallery is located at 9 Lock Road, #02-23, Gillman Barracks. For more info go to:

Founded by Can Yavuz, Yavuz Gallery focuses on contemporary art, predominantly from the Asian region. Since its inauguration in 2010 in Singapore, the gallery has established itself as one of Southeast Asia’s key destinations for showcasing cutting edge art. 

Stella Chang, Director of Yavuz Gallery, has been with the gallery since 2010.



Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

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