Inputs & Workshops Singapore

Darren Moore, born in Scotland, raised in Australia and based in Singapore, is a drummer and electronic musician who works in jazz, experimental music and multimedia throughout South East Asia, Australia, Japan and Europe.

In 2006 he moved to Singapore to become a Lecture in Music at Lasalle, where he taught popular music studies, drum set and creative improvisation. In 2015 he moved to Tokyo, where he worked freelance as a musician and taught a music appreciation course at Hosei University. In 2018, he returned to Lasalle to continue working as a Lecturer in Music.

Darren was an undergraduate student at the Western Australian Conservatorium, where he completed a Certificate in Classical Percussion in 1993 and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Drumming in 1997. His commitment to education and research saw Darren complete a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Queensland Conservatorium in 2013, which looked at adapting Carnatic Indian rhythms to the drum set.

Introduction to Singapore’s History and its Policy of “Multiracialism” | by Audrey WONG
Any visitor to Singapore would be struck by its multicultural society; ethnic and religious diversity is enshrined in our national pledge which states “regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society…” Multiculturalism is carefully managed by the government which has always been conscious of the dangers of communal fault lines and reminds Singaporeans about that risk from time to time. This seminar will discuss how Singapore’s multiculturalism has been managed, how it is manifested in our cultural policy and what the ‘lived experience’ of multiculturalism is like for Singaporeans.

Audrey WONG is an arts educator, arts advocate, arts manager and researcher. She is the Programme Leader of the MA Arts and Cultural Leadership course at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. Audrey was the first Nominated Member of Parliament for the Arts in Singapore (2009 – 2011) and was formerly the artistic co-director of The Substation, an independent arts centre in Singapore. She has served on boards and committees with the Singapore Art Museum, National Arts Council and Singapore International Foundation and is currently on the board of theatre company Nine Years Theatre. She contributed a chapter to The Routledge Companion to Arts Management (2019) and co-authored a report for UNESCO Bangkok, Backstage: Managing Creativity and the Arts in Southeast Asia (2021).

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Shared Stage for a Shared Society? | by Robert LIEW
An interactive discussion with actual examples of creative stage performances and societal acceptance, which in turn shapes state regulation.

Robert LIEW was born in Singapore in 1948, and is a pioneer in the Singaporean arts industry, serving as the artistic director of the Singapore Arts Festival from 1985 to 1988, and thereafter forming his successful impresario company, Arts Management Associates. Some of the more notable acts he was responsible for presenting in Singapore include Placido Domingo, Sylvie Guillem and the New York Philharmonic. He has served as Chairman of the Economic Development Board’s Performing Arts Task Force, and also on the Renaissance Singapore Committee. Today, in addition to running his own arts agency, he is also governor of the Federation of Asian Cultural Promotion and chairman of the Association of Concert and Event Managers in Singapore.

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The State and the Arts in Singapore: Where is the Periphery? | by Jeffrey SAY
The thematic thrust of the presentation is to look at Singapore’s contemporary art through the lens of the relationship between the State and the Arts in Singapore and how this has impacted the production, display and reception of the visual arts in Singapore. One of the arguments of the presentation is that the state’s intervention in the arts has led to a singular centre (the mainstream) and a gradual decline of the pluralistic margins (the periphery). This intervention can be seen in the conditions set by state funding and censorship mechanism.

Discussion question: To what extent does state funding or a lack thereof affect the production and quality of art?

Jeffrey SAY is an art historian specialising in Singapore and Southeast Asian art history. Importantly, Jeffrey undertook pioneering research and study of the history of sculpture in pre-and post-war Singapore. An author of numerous essays on art, his seminal co-edited work Histories, Practices, Interventions: A Reader in Singapore Contemporary Art (2016) remains a critical anthology for researchers, curators and students on Singapore art to date.
Prior to LASALLE, Jeffrey was a curator at the then National Museum, where he oversaw the collection of Buddhist and Indian artefacts. As a museum curator, Jeffrey curated exhibitions on Tibetan Buddhist Art, the Maritime Silk Routes and Alamkara: 5000 Years of India. In his professional capacity, Jeffrey has curated visual arts exhibitions and contributed essays to both local and overseas exhibition catalogues.
Jeffrey has been instrumental in developing art history studies at LASALLE supporting artists to develop a contextual and historical understanding of the evolution of visual arts. In 2009, he designed the world’s first Master’s programme focusing on Asian modern and contemporary art histories.
His current research interest is on Singapore’s modern and contemporary art histories. He has written an essay on the early contemporary art scene of Singapore, which offers a revisionist view on the beginnings of contemporary art in Singapore (published in the July 2019 edition of BiblioAsia). He is also working towards a reader on Singapore modern art which will be a co-edited volume.

Creating intercultural and interdisciplinary works and navigating the funding and censorship landscape in Singapore | by Andy CHIA

Drawing from Eastern philosophies and expanding from Asian Heritage, how does one reimagine producing and presenting in the current cultural landscape? The argument that arts funding and arts consumption are on a steady rise, but non-mainstream artists are finding it harder than ever to push the boundaries against funding and censorship. What might the resultant long-term effects on Singapore’s artistic landscape and Singapore’s cultural standing on an international landscape?

Andy CHIA (MA) is an Artistic Director, Artist/Musician, Producer, and Composer.
He is the first professionally trained Chinese Flutist in Singapore and the first non-native Chinese to receive a Masters of Arts in Dizi performance from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music as a National Arts Council (Singapore) scholar. Andy is also the Co-founder, Artistic Director, Producer, and resident artist of SAtheCollective Ltd (A Major Grant Company supported by the National Arts Council, Singapore).
Andy’s pursuit is in the evolving relationship between Humans, Nature, and Technology. His study uses shamanic and ritualistic teachings alongside interdisciplinary and intercultural manners in search of harmonious, unified existence between all three entities on the planet we call home. His art has been described as hypermodernism, drawing from ethnic roots yet modern.

Besides an extensive resume as an Artist and producer in the local scene with the Singapore International Festival of the Arts, National Gallery Singapore, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre; Andy is also well connected with international artists, having been commissioned by major festivals such as OZAsia, Sydney Festival, AngelicA Festival Internazionale di Musica across Asia, Europe, and North America. His latest works includes the inaugural “SIFA X: Oneirim” – a mini festival within Singapore International Festal of the Arts; “Poetic Pandemic” – an interdisciplinary exhibition featuring Dr. Ng King Kang, Andie Chen, Alan Tan, and SA.

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The Pure Mix | by WANG Chi-Sui
While realising that we are all being the entity of the “Pure Mix”, ethnically, cultural, even in gender and etc. We should explore and express ourself in reality terms – by saying so, I mean to translate your identity into something or some art form  that could represent who you really are.

Dr. WANG Chi-Sui 王綺穗 (Ph.D degree in Fine Art) highlights questions of the temporality and the materiality of images in her fine art practices. Her creative works and curation have been widely exhibited and published internationally. Since 2004 she began her academic career in Taiwan and in Ireland ( 2008-13, Dublin City University). Currently she is an associate professor in Animation Department, Taipei National University of the Arts where she is also the Executive Curator of KuanDu International Animation Festival (KDIAF). Meanwhile, she curates for Animated Short Film Programme for East Asia Film Festival Ireland (EAFFI) and being the core curatorial team for Taichung International Animation Festival (TIAF) and other animation festivals. She is also a freelance producer for animated shorts.

Positioning of the ‘Tamilian*’ Body | by Dr. S. CHANDRASEKAN
According to Giddens (1997), we live in a secular age in which individuals are responsible for defining their own body, free to (re)shape the body “in our image” or in line with the body ideals of the time.

As a performance artist, I need to redefine the meaning of the ‘Tamilian’ body to perform constantly within the multicultural settings in Singapore. It is because it seems to trigger disharmony in Indian society. Also, it seems to disrupt the balance in maintaining the multicultural frameworks in Singapore. It is within these contexts the presentation will address the following concerns:

•             How has the body been sociologically conditioned by society?
•             How provocation becomes a tool to address these challenges?
•             How do we stay relevant to challenges and continue our artistic practice?

Finally, is it possible to position the ‘body’ globally and be relevant locally when facing common experiences such as COVID, Black Life Matters, the Ukraine War, and the Virtual Stock Market crisis?
*  A person of Tamil ethnicity

Dr. S. CHANDRASEKAN is an accomplished artist, who has represented in major exhibitions, such as Havana Biennial (Cuba), 1st Asia Pacific Triennial (Brisbane), Asia-Pacific Performance Art Festival (Canada), International Performance Art Festival (Poland), 49th Venice Biennale (organised by International Artist’s Museum).  His performance titled Bioalloy and Body was nominated for APBF Signature Art Prize (Singapore).

In 2015, he was invited as a keynote speaker for Cross Media Arts 2016 – 1st international Conference on Social Arts and Transdisciplinarity at University of Evora, Portugal. In 2019, he performed at Taipei University of Arts for New Ben Arts Festival. He was invited to exhibited at ‘The new (ab)normal’, RMIT, Melbourne, 2020.  In 2022, he was invited to First International Performance Art Festival of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, ‘LATITUDES HYBRIDAS’ (Bolivia), Lacuna Contemporary Art Festival- Clash (Spain), Canvas Venice International Art Fair (Venice), Postproduction: From the Art Collection of the Art Stays Festival (Slovenia), Nothing is Forever – Rethinking Sculpture, National Gallery Singapore and 4th International Forum of Performance Art, Greece.
Currently, he is a Senior Lecturer at McNally School of Fine Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts.  He is a Founder/Artistic Director for Biological Arts Theatre (BAT), which is a new media experimental theatre for Life Science, and Arts. His research interests are Cross-Cultural Studies, Asian Aesthetics, Life Science and Experimental Theatre

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The End of Art Report and Other Stories | by Urich LAU WAI-YUEN
A look into the speaker’s art practice that reveals his interest in art and technology. Working in various formats of video, photography and media art, the artist examines the symbolism and representations in his subject matter and conceptual frameworks in contextual irony through the audience’s perceptions and perspectives on socio-political and cultural interpretations with methodological interactions, interventions or interruptions. Relating to key concerns in the Singaporean artistic and cultural landscape, the speaker will touch on the ‘health’ of the art scene, and the ebb and flow of local art communities and collectives.

Urich LAU WAI-YUEN, works in the mediums of video art, photography, and printmaking. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

He has exhibited locally and internationally, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, China, Japan, Australia, Germany, Serbia and the USA. Recent group exhibitions include Intimate Moments at Platoon Kunsthalle, Berlin, and Project Glocal – Cityzening at Jorge B. Vargas Museum, Manila. Upcoming exhibitions include the Singapore Biennale 2013 and VII Tashkent International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Uzbekistan.

He is also an independent curator, having presented exhibitions in Singapore, Indonesia and China. His curatorial projects include Videologue, a series of two exhibitions at the Sunshine International Art Museum, Beijing and Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore; Mirror of Otherness at Gaodi Gallery, Shenyang; Performance In Frames: Video Mobiles at The Substation, Singapore; and Displacement Project: Bandung – Singapore 2006 at Bandung Center for New Media Arts.
He works as a lecturer at LASALLE College of the Arts, in addition to being the President of The Artists Village and a resident-artist at the Goodman Arts Centre.

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The Artists Village (TAV) is a contemporary art group in Singapore started by prominent artist Tang Da Wu in 1988 at the rural Lorong Gambas in Sembawang district. He enabled like-minded artists to critically relook and examine existing assumptions, values and concepts of art-making in Singapore. TAV was known as the first art colony in Singapore, which empowered artists to explore radical ways and ideologies in creating art that is contextual to societal changes and state affairs in the late 1980s. Despite losing its base at Lorong Gambas due to urban development in 1990 and since then has been operating without a permanent space, TAV continued with its relentless efforts in presenting cutting-edge shows and striving to be at the forefront of Singapore contemporary art. Over the past two decades, members of TAV have been playing active roles in their contributions to the arts in Singapore through initiating and presenting exhibitions, residencies and exchange programmes, collaborative projects, workshops and performances on both local and international level.

Navigating complexities | by Jennifer Teo
A walking tour of Little India, Kampong Gelam and Little Thailand, which highlights the multiple positions and positionings taken by people, state and capital through more than 100 years of history.

Jennifer TEO, born and based in Singapore, is a cultural worker who works primarily as an artist and curator. She considers herself a global citizen, and enjoys living and working in multiple cities around the world. She has a wide interest in socio-cultural issues, particularly those related to care, climate, community, feminism, food, knowledge, and spirituality.

She is co-founder and director of Post-Museum (from 2007), co-founder of p-10 (2004-2008), and a member of The Artists Village (from 1999).

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The Art of Casting: Craft vs Reality | by Dayal Gian SINGH
In previous decades, actors have taken on the challenges of morphing themselves into characters that oppose the base canvas of their own physical form. Race/ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexuality were all areas that actors found intriguing challenges that they wanted to explore. However, the landscape, perception and voices involved have changed. New voices have risen into the ranks of power that used to dictate what was appropriate and what was not. In Singapore’s entertainment industry, challenges arise when attempting to represent different races while trying to craft unique and interesting characters. What does one do in a multicultural city with so much media content created? How does one navigate the craft of acting and the reality of implementation?

Dayal Gian SINGH works internationally across a wide range of areas as a producer, actor, singer, writer, filmmaker and corporate trainer.

As a performer, Dayal has performed across a range of media. He has toured with numerous plays and musicals across the globe, featuring in performances at the Royal Opera House (UK) to Marina Bay Sands (Singapore) in The LKY Musical. In Perth, Australia, he is linked closely with local production house The Penguin Empire, working on numerous award-winning projects over the years. Recently he was involved in a feature film that saw him taking part in Sundance 2019.

Venka PURUSHOTHAMAN is an academic, award-winning art writer and arts & cultural leader with a distinguished career in arts higher education and the cultural and creative industries.

As an academic and educational leader, Venka has led significant transformation at LASALLE College of the Arts in response to the morphing cultural landscape in Southeast Asia. He is responsible for the quality of practice-led arts education, steering the development of industry-sensitive programmes, student-centred curriculum and profile of the College globally in arts higher education.

Venka advances artistic and cultural networks, and cultivates arts and cultural leaders sensitive to the emerging shifts in culture and society in the 21st century. His pedagogic philosophy is to ensure that contemporary Asia is given appropriate place and voice in curriculum, thereby representing the voice of a new generation of artists. In this regard, he steered the development of numerous path-breaking programmes and founded the collective, Asia-Pacific Network for Culture, Education and Research (ANCER) to facilitate cultural leadership and research in Southeast Asia. He is a founding member of the Global Design Initiative/Faculty, involving five international universities exploring cross-cultural design pedagogies and practices. Venka continues to lecture internationally on the evolving role of arts higher education in the creative economy, and seeks to give voice to an emerging generation of 21st century artists.

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