Executed in 1997, Singapore Börse shows humanity and capitalism in all their lurid and colourful glory. Milling around on the exchange floor, a hive of traders is reduced by Gursky's cold and scientific eye to an abstraction, a mass of colour and activity. The coloured jackets of the traders form intriguing, fortuitous contrasts that appear artistic. Gursky's images of stock exchanges take advantage of this to introduce a strange colourism, pointing out the party-like jackets whose appearance is so much at odds with the serious and weighty business at hand. In this way the figures are reduced to a mass of colourful dots, to abstraction, and ultimately to absurdity.
Only if we look close-up at Singapore Börse do we see the wondrous web of tiny human details, the splendid wealth of colour and character that, at a distance, takes on the appearance of a highly formalised work of abstract art. Gursky has used technology as well as his own unerring eye in order to pare down the image to this concentrated, intense form. 'My pictures are becoming increasingly formal and abstract,' he stated. 'A visual structure appears to dominate the real events shown in my pictures. I subjugate the real situation to my artistic concept of the picture... You never notice arbitrary details in my work. On a formal level, countless interrelated micro and macrostructures are woven together, determined by an overall organizational principle. A closed microcosm which, thanks to my distanced attitude towards my subject, allows the viewer to recognize the hinges that hold the system together' (A. Gursky, quoted in L. Cooke, 'Andreas Gursky: Visionary (Per)Versions', reproduced in M.-L. Syring (ed.), Andreas Gursky: Photographs from 1984 to the Present, exh. cat., Munich 1998, pp. 13-16).