Singapore Art Show 2009




Celebrates Singapore Art


21 August – 4 October 2009


Arts, arts and more arts - from traditional painting to contemporary visual arts to public sculptures and art competitions for the young! The biennial Singapore Art Show is back again and will take place across the island from 21 August to 4 October this year.


Organised by the National Arts Council, the Singapore Art Show is a national visual arts platform celebrating distinctive and inspiring art created by local and Singapore-based artists. This biennial festival showcases the diversity of visual arts practices in Singapore, presents new artistic contents and further develops the capabilities of artists and curators. It also aims to encourage public appreciation of and engagement in visual arts in Singapore.


Said Mr Lee Suan Hiang, Chief Executive Officer, NAC, “Visual arts in Singapore has come a long way. Today, we not only have a fast-growing pool of Singapore visual artists, we also have a thriving arts ecosystem, where arts businesses like galleries and international auction houses are in place to further support the arts community. The Singapore Art Show brings together all these people, and more, to celebrate the diversity and excellence of visual arts in Singapore. Through our programmes, we want to spread the word that people can access art and exercise their own creativity in many different ways and places, thereby contributing to the diversity of the Singapore visual arts scene.”


The Singapore Art Show 2009 (SAS2009) will be held in over 60 different venues in Singapore. SAS2009 features a main platform, the Singapore Art Exhibition (SAE), as well as 50 partner programmes and satellite events. SAS09 will present unique art forms and curatorial visions, accessible and outreach activities and public artworks to engage people in a myriad of visual and interactive offerings.


As an umbrella platform for its various partners and supporters, including institutions, arts groups, and arts businesses, SAS2009’s collective approach provides something for everyone and activates the creative expression not only of artists, but also of the Singapore audience in general. SAS2009’s various programmes provide the opportunity to discover and nurture artistic talents, as well as develop the capabilities of young curators.


Singapore Art Exhibition

To be held at the Singapore Art Museum from 21 August to 18 October, the Singapore Art Exhibition (SAE) offers visual artists from all disciplines a national platform to participate via an open call for submissions.


The theme of this year’s Singapore Art Exhibition is ‘ART BUFFET SINGAPORE!’. The ‘buffet’ concept was adopted as a mode of display that hints at cultural consumption. Artists are empowered to select from a buffet spread of twelve themes to respond to. The concept also offers a visual feast for audiences to attune themselves to the creative production of Singapore artists. Suggested themes include Food, Material, Ritual, Spectrum, Signs, Gesture, Craft, Body, Time, Space, Order and Humour.


Curated by Seng Yu Jin, works from up to 45 promising and emerging artists culled from the 475 entries submitted will showcase and celebrate the creative talents of a variety of visual artists based in Singapore. The best submission will be awarded the Singapore Art Exhibition Prize – a $50,000 grant which can be used for professional or capability development through residencies or training, and for the creation and/or presentation of bold, new projects and works. The Voters’ Prize, comprising $5,000 cash, will be awarded to the participating artist whose artwork gets the most number of nominations from visitors to the exhibition. There will also be art competitions for students and interactive art workshops.


Celebrating Singapore Art: Highlights


In addition to the Singapore Art Exhibition, SAS2009 will showcase the breadth and depth of Singapore’s visual arts talent and infrastructure through an exciting range of 50 partner programmes and satellite events.


Public Art Showcase 

A new NAC initiative, the Public Art Showcase will turn the spotlight on the arts – visual arts, dance, theatre, music, and literary arts - in public spaces. This initiative aims to make the arts part of the landscape and the lives of the people in Singapore. The inaugural edition of the Showcase will be launched in conjunction with SAS2009, with the focus on public visual artworks. The will take the form of a dedicated guide map featuring over 50 iconic public artworks in Singapore, including sculptures and murals, and a race through Singapore’s urban landscape to search for these artworks in Amazing Race-style.


Curating Lab: 100 Objects Remixed 

Curating Lab is a pedagogical programme commissioned by NAC to create greater awareness to the significance of critical curatorial practice and its role in the production of exhibitions and development of new ideas. 100 Objects (Remixed) seeks to stimulate experimental approaches to curating Singapore art through a series of workshops and academic exercises.


Young curators and tertiary students will have the opportunity to conceptualise, test and develop their own series of exhibitions, in consultation with established Singapore artists and curators like Ahmad Mashadi, Heman Chong and Lim Qinyi.


Re-engaging Traditions

This popular series returns with exhibitions and workshops on Singapore’s unique cultural and artistic heritage by some 200 artists, including Cultural Medallion recipient Lim Tze Peng, and the Federation of Art Societies Singapore.


Cultural Medallion recipients Tan Lip Seng and Tan Swie Hian are also participating in SAS2009 with individual exhibitions entitled Painting with Light and Shadow – A 50-year Chronicle and A Poet’s Lens – Tan Swie Hian’s Art of Photography, respectively.


White Cubes

White Cubes refer to exhibitions and events presented by commercial art galleries, independent spaces, artists and arts clusters. Collectively, they represent an important arm of the arts ecosystem. SAS2009 will feature over 20 partner art galleries showcasing the works of a multitude of Singapore and Singapore-based artists.

Singapore Art Prize 2007 winner Jane Lee will stage her first major solo presentation at Osage Singapore from 25 September to 8 November, while five Singapore-based Korean artists will showcase their interpretation of Singapore at Andrewshire Gallery from 28 August to 4 October.


Public engagement

The Singapore Art Show is not only for the arts aficionado. One of its main aims is also to build new arts audiences. It seeks to engage the public and demonstrate the accessibility of art through a wide range of programmes to encourage individuals and communities to create and enjoy art.


The Singapore public can look forward to a stimulating spread of activities such as talks, workshops, pod-casts, and outdoor art fairs. Spend a lazy afternoon exploring arts clusters like Wessex Estate and the Old School, browse through arts bazaars or discover hitherto untapped artistic talent at outreach workshops at Raffles City Shopping Centre. One could even encounter a soul mate exchanging views over drinks at The SAS Unconference, speed dating style!


Artistic talent can be unearthed at all ages and in any forms – audiences can be part of the Singapore Art Show by designing their own “Art Is” T-shirts with winning designs produced and sold in more than 70 Graniph stores worldwide including Tokyo and Singapore, or send in their artworks on “Art Is” ZoCards to be displayed in public areas and magazines; while budding young artists can participate through art competitions, and hands-on arts activities such as painting, printmaking and sculpting.


Official Opening

The Singapore Art Show will open on 21 August at the Singapore Art Museum and will be officiated by RAdm (NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts.


Please find the following annexes enclosed for information: 

Annex 1 - Programme.pdf

Annex 2 - Programme details.pdf

Annex 3 - Fact Sheet.pdf

Annex 4 - Acknowledgments.pdf


For media enquiries, please contact:

Sharon Cheong

Corporate Communications Manager 

DID: + 65 6837 9730 | Email:


Chia I-Ling

Assistant Director, Corporate Communications & International Relations 

DID: + 65 6837 9729 | Email: