The article misreports the comments given by National Arts Council (NAC) Chief Executive Officer Mr Low Eng Teong. His responses were taken out of context by the journalist and juxtaposed with other parts of the article written by the journalist. As a result, the article is misleading, at least in relation to the portions which quote or refer to Mr Low.
NAC would like to clarify as follows.
NTU CCA’s 10th Anniversary Celebration spans three days with a variety of different performances. Mr Low was Guest-of-Honour at the launch of NTU CCA’s 10th Anniversary and was present to deliver his remarks. He was later approached at the sidelines by the journalist and asked expressly if there will be more LGBTQ pieces in our educational institutions and public spaces. Mr Low did not answer this question. Instead, Mr Low observed that artists are continuously exploring and making works in response to different topics and themes that speak to our times, and the present context of our society.
It is thus misleading for the article to cite Mr Low as basis for one of the main points of the article, that “LGBTQ-themed arts performances in public spaces in line with the times”. This attribution also appeared in the headline of the article, which was misleading.
NAC would like to take the opportunity to reiterate its position that it takes a measured and calibrated approach to performances which touch on issues that are not widely accepted as the norms of our broader society, or might serve to create conflict or misunderstanding in our multicultural and multi-religious society. We have consistently taken the position that whilst we celebrate and welcome diversity of expressions as well as embrace open and balanced dialogues in the arts, it is also important that we have regard to the overall views of all of society, and strive to maintain social cohesion and stability. NAC seeks to promote art which achieves this. This has been NAC’s consistent position and there is no change to the guidelines in NAC’s policies.
Clarifications have been sought with TODAY Online. NAC notes that the article, as well as its title, has been amended. Notwithstanding, NAC has issued this statement to make clear its position as it remains important for NAC to express its intentions clearly and independently.