Artbox 2023 Singapore Expo is a popular annual market and creative bazaar that brings together and showcases a variety of local and international art, fashion, food and lifestyle products. The event is held over two weekends and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Let’s take an explore of this year’s edition of the Artbox Singapore night market at the Singapore Expo.
Furthermore, the concept of Artbox originated from Thailand, where it was first introduced as a creative night market in 2015. The event was a huge success, and it quickly became one of the most popular markets in Bangkok. Also, this prompted the organizers to expand Artbox to other countries, including Singapore.
Since then. the event in Singapore was first held in 2017 at the Bayfront Event Space, and has since been held at various locations such as the Singapore Turf Club at Kranji in 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021.
Moreover, the event this year is conveniently located near expo MRT Station as well as Changi city point. Sitting in Singapore Expo Hall 6, you have the option to purchase tickets in site or online. Entrance fees are advertised to be $5, and $6 online with a $1 booking fee, which is the same as the $6 walk-in rate for a Friday. Saturday and Sundays costs more, at $7 per pax to enter.
I can guess the entrance fee corresponds to the higher costs which comes in hosting it at a convention hall here at the Expo. Also, there are hardly any queues and you be in under 5 minutes.
Artbox 2023 Singapore Expo Event grounds
Sitting centrally and the highlight feature price of the show is a stacked container piece. It has shipping containers arranged about to host a small seating and chill out area within. This central space is complete with beanbags, hammocks and screen projections on the containers.
Aside from the products on display, Artbox Singapore also features live performances, interactive art installations, and workshops conducted by local artists and designers.
Also, the event is not without several Instagramable spots for you to spread the Artbox love. Going on the pop culture theme, you can also find an official Tokidoki merchandise store. Also, Pocky has a container here decked out in their snack livery too.
Additionally, flanking alongside the container piece are inflatable sculptures in the likes of an alien spaceship, unicorns and bunnies. Interestingly, there are many instances of unicorns around here, from balloons and photo booths.
Artbox market and shops
Additionally, Artbox also serves as a platform for emerging artists to showcase their talent and reach a wider audience.
‘There are about 400 stalls spread over 10 rows offering a diverse range of products such as handmade crafts, clothing, accessories, and food from local and international vendors, as well as social groups such as the happiness initiative
Moreover, with a large number of artists in attendance. It is tad a small curation of the artist alley we saw at the Singapore comic convention too. There is also a Fortune town in a corner managed by SGSpark Squad.
Also, here, you can find a caricature booth doing inked sketches for an affordable $15 a pop, as well as a workshop area offering painting classes.
Notable items on sale here ranges from handmade and imported clothing, bags, homemade handicraft like croquet toys, leather products stickers and badges. Food and drink items include specially imported dried snacks and craft drinks.
The selection are quite extensive. Notably there is also a Balloon store here you can buy items for your Balloon fix. A popular novelty with patrons here are their Balloon headbands.
The far end of the Artbox hall sits the Food street. It is spread over 6 rows of food stores at the far end, and brought to you in the likes of Burple and Foodpanda.
Here, you can find stores like Ramen Shiba for quick to go meals, Pasta and fries and Easy eggs with a selection of Mentaikos eggs as well as delicacies from Taiwan like brasied pork rice ($7.90) and fired chicken. Interesting highlight items here includes durian ice cream and rolls, as well as butter beer. The latter is a completely different take on the butter beer from Harry Potter at universal studios.
You can wash down your meal with desserts at the Stinky bomb durian ice cream or Butterbeer or at the Beer gardens by Chang and Prime liquor.
In addition, I find the stores you see here are tad a clone of what you expect from most hip night markets. An example be the one we visited previously at Fort Canning Singapore Night Festival and iLights, with food stalls and beer gardens open till late. Also, as the stores mostly sell street and fingers foods, which won’t be sufficiently heavy for a dinner.
Hence, I would recommend having your dinner somewhere else, like the nearby Changi city point mall and Timbre+. Unlike the market stalls, where all stores are occupied, there were notably some rows of empty shops towards the back. Presumably the organizers not able to fill them up in time for the event.
Artbox stage performances
Wrapping up the offerings here are entertainment. There are two stages here at the event. One Artbox main stage for live music and performances, and another for a games area called the SGAG Stage. The SGAG stage is an interesting one, with regular physical shows to entertain guests.
The main stage also has rows of bench seating, together with hammocks and beanbags for patrons to laze about eating your meals, booze or just soaking in the music. Also, you can find more tabled seating and toilets on the far end of the convention hall. A drawback of an enclosed venue is limited ventilation. The air on the halls have the smell of deep-fried oil which lingers on your clothes.
SGAG main stage
Additionally, there is also the Beam of pain. The beam comprises of a balancing beam straying with a zig zag followed by a straight element. The beam course is laid with massage nodules and is padded with foam cubes on the sides.
I think a beam littered with Lego bricks might be more fitting for name of pain. Most participants gunning for the grand $888 in prize money finish the course under half a minute. Interestingly, the record timing is 4 seconds.
There is also a complimentary VR zone, where you can play games like beatsaber for free, subjected to crowds and availability. There is also a paid Arcade paradise towards the exit of the hall, complete with rows of claw machines.
All in all, you are good for navigating all of Artbox for an hour tops. And probably another hour if you were to grab a meal with a table and check out and enjoy the live music performances, interactive art installations, and workshops.
Last entry to the event is at 9:30pm, where you start to see stores stating to close, with the event running till 10pm. The event runs on two weekends at Singapore Expo Hall 6 which runs, 24th Feb – 5th Mar. We look forward to Artbox in their continued Night Market and their Night Bazaar, which continue to promote local creativity and entrepreneurship in Singapore.