The artrepreneurial ecosystem in Singapore: Enabling and inhibiting the creative economy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


One of the reasons why many artists remain poor is their ‘denial of the economy’ (Abbing2002: 34). Abbing argues that the strong ‘art-for-art-sake’ value makes it difficult for themto address the commercial aspects of their works and their profession. Simply speaking,talking about money makes many artists uncomfortable (Ooi 2010a). On the other hand,artists around the world, including those in Singapore, are encouraged to be more entrepreneurial. Instead of taking a Kantian view of unadulterated art, artists should take ona more economic-oriented approach, as they address different aspects of their craft andprofession. ‘Artrepreneurs’ see their art practice as business. Besides art making, they mustalso pay attention to promotion, marketing, pricing strategy, hiring a manager, engagingwith art consultants and reviewers, canvassing art collectors, and devising internationalization strategies in making their art into a business enterprise (Becker 1984; Grenfell andHardy 2007). They may also find ways to transfer their artistic skills into other industries.As an artistic entrepreneur or ‘artrepreneur’, the artist is more commercially pragmaticand business-like (Engelmann et al. 2012; Harvie 2015). Artistic integrity need not besacrificed and business is often framed as part of art practice. As a result, artrepreneursdo not feel guilty having to engage in business, and are usually not dependent on publicsupport.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Cultural and Creative Industries in Asia
EditorsL Lim, HK Lee
ISBN (Print)9781138959927
Publication statusPublished - 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'The artrepreneurial ecosystem in Singapore: Enabling and inhibiting the creative economy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this