As part of our newly-launched #ArtInMyCity campaign, each week we will shed light on a different city in the region to share the various efforts being made locally to help the arts community cope during this time. This week, The Artling takes a closer look into the ways in which the vibrant city-state of Singapore has implemented measures to protect its arts and creative industry.
With the necessary coronavirus (COVID-19) precautions carried out in Singapore and its government’s most recent ‘circuit breaker’ measures put in place, entertainment venues, arts centres, and institutions will see their temporary closure till 4 May, 2020. With widespread cancellation of events island-wide, many creatives, local artists, and professionals within the arts industry have taken a big hit – leaving many in a state of uncertainty.
In Singapore, the government has implemented various measures in order to support its local arts and cultural sector during these trying times. On top of an initial SGD 1.6 million set aside for arts groups amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, the state has most recently promised an additional SGD 55 million as part of its Arts and Culture Resilience Package (ACRP) in a bid to protect jobs and safeguard its local arts ecosystem. A major incentive for this funding is to encourage individuals involved in the arts to expand their technological skills, specifically in the digitisation of their content.
National Design Centre, Singapore
Image courtesy of SCDA Architects
The National Arts Council (NAC) has implemented two schemes to support the arts community from challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Arts Resource Hub also details suggested programs, training areas, and courses that arts professionals in Singapore can take up during this time. Another initiative, Good Design Research, by the DesignSingapore Council (Dsg) aims to help local designers and design enterprises "find their unique value proposition in designing for impact through research and experimentation, and a network of knowledge partners". They also provide an extensive list of COVID-19 support schemes for affected designers and design businesses.
Darren Soh, S11 Dormitory, Punggol, While You Were Sleeping, 2014
Image courtesy of Darren Soh and Objectifs
As the increase of COVID-19 cases have significantly spiked amongst the Singapore migrant worker community, initiated by Darren Soh, a group of eight Singaporean photographers: AikBeng Chia, Gareth Phua, James Tan, Jimmy Sng, Mindy Tan, Nicky Loh and Tham Kok Leong will be selling their prints to fundraise and support these workers. All proceeds will go towards the Covid Migrant Support Coalition, a group of 4 NGOs (Migrant x Me, Itsrainingraincoats, Citizen Adventures and Singapore Migrant Friends) and HOME (Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics). Prints can be purchased from Objectif's online shop, and will be available for pick up from 19 May 2020 onwards.
Take a look at a selection of locally-based artists in Singapore that you can support.
Genevieve Chua is a painter who works primarily through abstraction. Chua employs a method of working that unfurls and reveals the painter’s process through diagram, palimpsest, syntax and the glitch. While notions of nature and wilderness persist across several works, the form taken by her exhibitions – image, text or object – is disrupted through painting.
Most recently, Chua’s solo exhibition at STPI entitled ‘Twofold’, has been her largest solo exhibition to date. Work featured in this show included new print-based works from her residency which began in November 2019, as well as paintings from two ongoing series in her practice, Edge Control (2016 -) and After the Flood (2010 -).
Born in Malaysia, Andy Yang is a visual abstract artist based in Singapore. Andy received his fine art education from the renowned Malaysian Institute of Art in Kuala Lumpur, and graduated in 1994. In the mid 2000s, a trip abroad took him vis-à-vis artworks by artists such as Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso. The profound impression left on him by these experiences led him to broaden the horizons of his creativity and to explore visual artistic languages.
A distinctive character of the artist’s art making process is the way he applies the carefully selected colours. Andy does not proceed deliberately and in full control. Instead, he uses air blown from various implements to allow the colours to be dispersed in a way that combines harmoniously the antithetical forces of control and fortuity: space, materials, implements become co-creators alongside the artist.
Represented by Gajah Gallery, Singaporean artist Jason Lim has been regarded as Singapore’s next master ceramist as a result of his exponential growth over the last decade. Also a performance artist, Jason combines skilled craftmanship in sculpting with influences from performance art. The result is ceramic pieces that transform and go beyond being merely objects of beauty, to subjects that provoke thought and interaction with the viewer.
Deliciously earthy yet fragile, the duality in his works prompts one to ponder over the creation process, while their asymmetry provokes a rethinking of balance and symmetry.
Jason most recently participated in Gajah Gallery’s group exhibition ‘GENSET’. The title of the exhibition, which is the abbreviation for ‘generator set’, casts light on new trajectories in Southeast Asian art, and examines the relationships between mentor and mentee artists.
Singaporean visual artist Robert Zhao Renhui’s practice is centred around photography, but he often adopts a multidisciplinary approach by presenting images together with documents and objects. Renhui’s work include textual and media analysis, video and photography projects. His work addresses man’s relationship with nature, and related issues of morality and ethics, paying close attention to how our attitudes and opinions shape our assumptions about the natural world.
Renhui received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Photography from Camberwell College of Arts and the London College of Communication respectively. His works are held in the collection of The Singapore Art Museum, UBS, Statoil Art Collection, United Overseas Bank and The Kadist Art Foundation.
Born in Malaysia, Noreen Loh Hui Miun expresses the norm in her own unique visual language. She is known for her creativity, experimental spirits and unpretentious sculptural, yet delicate works.
In PLANTAE III which comes from Miun’s 2016 series ‘The Marriage II’, imagination and reality come together in this collection of mixed media floral sculptures. Very much inspired by the structures of real flowers, each art piece blurs the lines between form and beauty, fantasy and life. An artistic re-imagining off the wonders of nature, in all its whimsical glory
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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