Research & Presentations

Public Presentations

July 2013, Speaker, The Southeast Asian art market/ scene : Recent development and critical issues hampering growth @ G-Seoul Art Fair and Arts Council of Korea.


(Left to Right)
Dr. Iain Robertson (Head of Art Business, Sotheby’s Institute of Art) : The Emerging Art Markets; Graham Steele (Director, White Cube Asia) : New Asian Art market by the western dealer’s perspective; Patricia Chen; JiYoon Lee, Moderator, SUUM project.


The Southeast Asian art market/ scene : Recent development and critical issues hampering growth @Arts Council of Korea.

March 2013 Speaker, Singapore and the “Southeast Asian art eco-system” @ Singapore Art Museum.

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April 2012 Moderator, Panel Discussions on the occasion of the opening of new OHD museum, Magelang, Indonesia

Panel 1 : Pitching Indonesian art to International Museums : issues, pitfalls and strategies

Panel 2 : Charting Indonesian art for growth in the international art market : issues, pitfalls and strategies

Panelists : Magnus Renfrew, Director, Art Hong Kong; Lorenzo Rudolf, Director, Art Stage Singapore; Pearl Lam, Director, Pearl Lam Gallery, Shanghai & Hong Kong; Helena Spanyaard, Art Historian, The Netherlands; Kwok Kian Chow, Special Advisor to National Art Gallery, Singapore; Dr. Oei Hong Djien, Collector, Indonesia

Nov 2011 Lecture to Master’s students and faculty of Sotheby’s Institute, London “An Introduction to the Southeast Asian Art Market

Nov 2010 Moderator, Panel Discussion : “If I had to start over

Dr. Oei Hong Djien, Collector, Indonesia; Deddy Kusuma, Collector, Indonesia; Marjorie Chu, Dealer, Singapore

Apr 2009 Presenter, Public Lecture – C-Arts Talk in collaboration with Singapore Art Museum @ Grand Indonesia, Jakarta : “The Southeast Asian art market and the global financial crisis”.

Oct 2008 Presenter, Public Lecture @ Art Singapore :”Southeast Asian art through the financial lens” to incorporate content of Master’s thesis, “Is the Southeast Asian art market riding on a bubble?”.

Master’s Dissertation*

Chen, P. (2008). “Is the Southeast Asian art market riding on a bubble? Deductions from the survey of the Southeast Asian regional art auction market 2003-2008“(Unpublished master’s thesis). Sotheby’s Institute of Art/ University of Manchester, London/ Singapore.

This is the first comprehensive and systematic examination of the Southeast Asian art market. It sets out to appraise the existence of an art market bubble by looking at developments in the trading of art in the region of Southeast Asia from 2003 to 2008. Although market activities take place at both primary and secondary levels, the regional auction market has been chosen as the window of inquiry due to reasons of accessibility, transparency and feasibility.

This research is anchored by the establishment of a database covering more than 6,000 transactions in Singapore and Hong Kong over 6 years. As no dedicated literature on the subject exists, the study involves a combination of detailed quantitative data analyses and extensive primary field work. It provides for many personal interactions with the region’s dealers, auction house representatives, art historians, curators, collectors and artists from Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia. 14 such representatives come together on this ‘virtual platform’ bringing varied and sometimes conflicting points of view, working methodologies and ideas. It results in the formulation and adoption of an amalgamated methodology in advancing the study of art and market within Southeast Asia, with many themes being discussed and connected for the first time.

In analysing the sustainability of the art market, the research combines results of correlation studies between the art auction market and other financial markets to reveal dynamic macro factors at work. The relationship between art market performance and the validation of artists is then paired to uncover price mechanisms that underpin the market in 2008. Observable market symptoms and behavioral patterns are then systematically assessed against established notions of a bubble to evaluate its legitimacy. This study has the privilege of telling the collective Southeast Asian narrative of art and business for the very first time – from the inside out.

* Part of the thesis was presented @ Art Singapore “Southeast Asian art through the financial lens” in October 2008.


Chen, P (2011), Database of Southeast Asian and Asian artworks in auctions (1994-2011). Unpublished.

This database includes auctions held by Christie’s and Sotheby’s in Hong Kong as well as key auctions in Singapore.


Chen, P. (2011). “The Southeast Asian art market 2005-2010 : An Overview“. MiFA, Melbourne, Australia. 

An essay in exhibition catalogue commissioned by MiFA, Closing the Gap : Contemporary Indonesian art. It profiles the growth of the Southeast Asian and Australian art markets in the years 2005-2010.

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