01/22/2013 07:48 am ET Updated Jan 22, 2013

Asia’s Art-Fair Boom: Hong Kong And Singapore Vie For Top Spot

When photographers Rachel Rillo and Isa Lorenzo opened their Silverlens gallery in Manila in 2004 -- the first dedicated photography gallery in the Philippines -- they had few ways to reach buyers outside the country. But as the Asian art market has boomed over the past decade, so too have art fairs that allow galleries like Silverlens to hook up with nouveau riche collectors from China, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and beyond. Rillo says they were early to jump on the circuit, spending a good chunk of their budget to exhibit at fairs in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. "People just don't think of contemporary art and say, ‘Oh, sure I'll go to the Philippines,'" she says. "The influx of all these art fairs came at a great time."

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