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Art & Law Symposium:  ‘Owning Contemporary Art: What it Means’

21 September 2013

Yeo Workshop Presents the Symposium this week  - ‘Owning Contemporary Art: What it Means to Collect Works in Non-Traditional Medium’, with speaker Henry Lydiate

Satelite Event of Grand Prix Singapore Season 2013

Sat, 21 Sep 2013, 12noon – 2pm, 1 Gillman Barracks 01-01

Free admission and limited spaces. For more information or to register, please email

A short presentation by renowned Professor of Art Law Henry Lydiate at this free, public symposium as he addresses issues relating to contractual arrangements when collecting art in non-traditional medium. Join Lydiate and seasoned curator Seng Yu Jin in an open forum on the responsibilities of collectors as custodians of contemporary art. Seng Yu Jin will also speak about strategies on collecting contemporary art.



Collecting contemporary art can be an intimidating experience and often, when confronted with a work such as a performance piece, a video work or installation, or conceptual art, the intent to collect can be deterred by an uncertainty over what it is that is being acquired. This symposium will address pertinent questions on collecting contemporary art – how can a performance work be collected? What is involved in collecting a site-specific installation? What do we actually own when we collect a conceptual work?

In the first session, renowned Professor of Art Law Henry Lydiate will address issues relating to contractual arrangements when collecting art in non-traditional medium. In the second session, seasoned curator Seng Yu Jin will discuss the various strategies collectors can employ to collect contemporary art in its diversity of materials and practices from the ephemeral to the invisible. Emphasis will be on collecting strategies through documentation, display, technology and materiality will provide insights into how collecting contemporary art can be negotiated and mediated.

Audiences are then invited to join in an open forum discussion with the speakers on responsibilities of collectors as custodians of contemporary art.



12noon – 12:30pm     Presentation by Henry Lydiate - 'Owning Contemporary Art: What it Means’

12:30pm – 12:50pm   Break

12:50pm – 1:20pm     Presentation by Seng Yu Jin - 'Strategies to Collect the "Uncollectable" in Contemporary Art’

1:20pm – 2pm            Open Forum moderated by Henry Lydiate



Henry Lydiate, Professor of Art Law & Director of The Henry Lydiate Partnership LLP, UK, has specialised in business and legal issues relating to international art business for over forty years. He advises on a range of issues surrounding art and cultural property law including artist-dealer agreements, commission, sale and consignment agreements, and authenticity of an artwork. He has written a regular column for Art Monthly since its first issue in 1976 and his collected articles are published as the Artlaw Archive by Artquest. He has lectured at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Southwestern University Law School Los Angeles, and the University of the Arts London.

Henry Lydiate will be lecturing on Art Law & Business: Hot Topics in Contemporary Art at the Arnoldii Arts Club from 18 - 21 Sep 2013. Please refer to Afternoon/ Evening Courses for more details.


Seng Yu Jin worked as a Senior Curator heading the Southeast Asia Gallery at The National Art Gallery, Singapore. He is currently researching on artistic activities and its histories, focusing on the history of exhibitions as sites of discourses and artist collectives within the larger framework of how the different artworld systems operate in shape artistic production, reception, and dissemination. He is working on unfinished and unrealised artworks to understand the processes of art making as a productive field of enquiry, and its surrounding elation climax, but also unfulfilment. His curatorial interests extend into the history of collectivism, the history of exhibitions that shape the modern, and conceptualism in Southeast Asia. He is currently a Lecturer in the Faculty of Fine Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts, focusing on the Masters Asian Art Histories programme. He has curated exhibitions such as From Words to Pictures: Art During the Emergency, Affandi: A Painter of Genius, and co-curated Masriadi: Black is My Last Weapon, FX Harsono: Testimonies, and Cheong Soo Pieng: Bridging Worlds.