Goodman Arts Centre - A New Meeting Place for the Arts
A Model for Art Making and Artistic Development
Over forty artists and arts groups are now tenanted at the Goodman Arts Centre (GAC). The GAC is a pilot of the NAC’s New Framework for Arts Spaces, first announced in December last year. The premises – formerly occupied by LASALLE College of the Arts, then School of the Arts (SOTA) – now houses the National Arts Council (NAC), alongside a diverse range of tenants from the visual, literary and performing arts (Annex A).
The tenant mix reflects a range of art forms, types of arts practices and organisations as well as a balance of emerging and more established practitioners. Managed by the Old Parliament House Limited (TOPH), GAC also provides various shared rehearsal, studio, seminar and gallery facilities.
One of the tenants, Lee Mun Wai of T.H.E Dance Company says, “Such a space will allow us to focus energy and resources better, as well as build long-term artistic practices and systems much better. GAC therefore is a much welcome development to our company. “
Artist and Curator Michael Lee, who is currently tenanting one of the units in GAC that has been remodelled from a former classroom into a functional art space says, "All around GAC are traces of history from its previous tenants, namely LASALLE and SOTA. There is a good mix of modern facilities and rustic charm, activity and calm. I feel like being on an art retreat every day, and I foresee my work to reflect this new energy. I predict GAC to be an important destination for artists, art lovers and bohemians alike."
Joey Soh of Artists Caravan, an independent arts collective based in Singapore agrees with Michael. She says, "With the physical studio spaces and facilities at GAC, we can be less dependent on commercial spaces for exhibition. That will allow us to effectively carry out projects and various output on a regular basis.” She continues, “To extend Artists Caravan's reach beyond local art scene and our circle, we are now able to arrange for residency and exchanges by visiting artists, curators, critics, etc. to give public talks about their works and discourses in art, wherever possible reflecting current developments in contemporary art”.
Appreciative of their space at GAC, Ma Gyap Sen, Artistic Director, Young People's Performing Arts Ensemble (YPPAE) says, “Children should be given the best in the arts, they have the right to enjoy good arts, and it is us adults who should be taking care of their needs. In return to what has been given to us at such a beautiful place, YPPAE will produce more theatre for children including drama, cross talks and children musicals in the coming years.”
Tan Tee Tong, GAC’s Director of Place Management, TOPH says, “We are really pleased to have so many established and emerging local artists from different genres populating GAC. No doubt GAC will become one of the most unique spaces in Singapore where creative energy sparks at every corner and multi-genre works are created among new friends. GAC will also offer a wide range of arts programmes where the public can come to experience the arts and get to know the artists in an intimate manner within this beautiful and charming space.”
NAC’s Sabrina Chin, Director of Place Making, adds “GAC allows NAC to work closely with our arts and community partners, and connects us directly with the industry we support. The closeness between the arts and public will energise and grow the arts scene from the deeper sharing and understanding cultivated. At the same time, NAC hopes this new centre will bring closer collaborations across artistic disciplines and a greater sharing of resources.”