NAC Announces Recipients of Major Grants & Traditional Arts Seed Grants for FY2012


Singapore's Position as a Contemporary Art Destination Strengthens Gillman Barracks Art Galleries Line-up


(Updated on 27 May 2012)

Singapore, 12 January 2012 - The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), JTC Corporation (JTC) and the National Arts Council (NAC) jointly announced the list of 13 contemporary art galleries selected as pioneer tenants for contemporary art destination Gillman Barracks.

The list includes well-established galleries that have participated in major international art fairs (e.g., Art Basel and ArtHK) such as ShanghART Gallery, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Tomio Koyama Gallery and The Drawing Room. Also on the list are newly set-up galleries helmed by prominent gallery directors such as Deddy Irianto (Equator Art Projects) – founder of Indonesian gallery Langgeng Gallery – and Janice Kim (Space Cottonseed) who worked for major Korean galleries Gallery Hyundai and Kukje Gallery. The galleries hail predominantly from Asian countries such as China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines and Singapore. [See annex B for complete art gallery list and profiles]

Art collectors can expect works by top-selling contemporary artists Zeng Fanzhi (ShanghART Gallery), Yayoi Kusama (Ota Fine Arts) and Agus Suwage (Equator Art Projects) at Gillman Barracks. The 13 galleries boast strong artist line-ups, representing acclaimed contemporary artists such as Takashi Murakami (Kaikai Kiki) who is best known for his collaborations with luxury brand Louis Vuitton.

“Singapore becomes even more exciting as a contemporary art destination for collectors with these new galleries. They complement the successful Art Stage Singapore, and are supported by excellent art infrastructure such as The Singapore Freeport and art logistics firms,” said Programme Director Eugene Tan, Lifestyle Programme Office, EDB. “With a good mix of contemporary art galleries from different parts of Asia in Gillman Barracks, art collectors can access and enjoy Asian contemporary art in a single location.”

Gillman Barracks is envisioned as an iconic international destination for contemporary art. The 13 galleries will occupy five out of a total of 14 buildings in Gillman Barracks.

Also being established within Gillman Barracks is The Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Singapore. The CCA will be one of the key programming platforms to grow the Singapore visual arts ecosystem, particularly in the areas of art production through artist residencies, as well as thought leadership through research and groundbreaking exhibitions.

“Gillman Barracks marks another example of Singapore‟s cluster development strategy at work. It will be an enclave of visual artists networking with curators, collectors and 2
art lovers from Asia and other parts of the world. This will encourage an exchange and infusion of ideas which can further generate new ideas and collaborations,” said Mr. Leow Thiam Seng, JTC‟s Director for New Business, Housing and Amenity Cluster.

“To retain the historical heritage of the area, we have made a conscious effort to conserve the military barracks that date back to 1936. Gillman Barracks will be a unique visual arts hub with a difference, a one-stop marketplace for arts businesses located in a place with distinctive character,” said Mr. Leow.

An evaluation panel comprising members from both the public and private sectors selected the galleries based on criteria such as exhibitions portfolio, artist representation, participation in internationally recognised art fairs, gallery director experience and programming plans.

“I‟m very pleased with the selection quality. The galleries‟ proposed programming plans for the next two years look promising with strong and exciting content to look forward to,” said panel member Mr. Rudy Tseng, a full-time art collector actively involved in the international art scene. Mr Tseng has built a wide collection of Chinese, European, American and Asian contemporary art over 20 years.

“Singapore stands a chance of becoming an arts hub in Asia, given its status as one of region‟s most developed cities and the progress it has made in developing its visual arts space,” Mr. Tseng added.

Mr. Khor Kok Wah, NAC Deputy Chief Executive Officer and panel member concurred: “This EDB-JTC-NAC partnership, together with commitment from the commercial art galleries, is an excellent step in the development of Singapore‟s visual arts scene as we work towards establishing Singapore as an arts and cultural capital in Asia.”

“I‟m especially pleased that Singapore‟s FOST Gallery is one of the selected pioneer tenants. Further, with Gillman Barracks comes increased opportunities for Singapore talents to be exposed to international professional practice and make inroads overseas, through the international networks offered by these galleries,” Mr. Khor said.

Download full press release here.