January 2021
Singapore Art Week

Talk: The Future of the Singapore Art Scene

19 January 2020

19 January 2020

Tent B – Talks
S.E.A. Focus, Gillman Barracks
Admits entry with a valid S.E.A. Focus ticket

4.30PM – 6.00PM

Usha Chandradas, Co-Founder/Writer — Plural Art Mag
Shubigi Rao, Artist/Artistic Director for Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2020
Connie Wong, Founder — SEED The Art Space

Moderated by Honor Harger, Executive Director of ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands

The past decade and a half have witnessed an explosion in Singapore’s visual art infrastructure, with the inauguration of the Singapore Biennale, numerous art fairs, the Gillman Barracks precinct and the National Gallery Singapore. Singapore today finds itself firmly embedded in regional and global circuits of production, display and discourse. A growing number of local initiatives such as collector and patron led spaces and artist-run spaces have also emerged. Amidst this, challenges have also risen, including perceptions of infrastructure without “software”, and of slowing growth and comparisons to other dynamic cities and economies in Asia. With these in mind, panelists will discuss, debate and ponder the future of Singapore’s art scene.

About the speakers:

Usha Chandradas is a tax consultant, educator and publisher. She worked as a lawyer for over 12 years before embarking on a Master’s Degree in Asian Art Histories from LASALLE College of the Arts where she met Pauline Gan, another former lawyer. Together, they co-founded Plural Art Mag, an online magazine featuring accessible writing and stories on modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art. The website, together with its social media platforms, is a fast-growing community of readers who hail from both art and non-art backgrounds. Being a fluent Malay speaker, Usha’s particular research interests are centred on Indonesian modern and contemporary art.  

Artist and writer Shubigi Rao’s interests include archaeology, neuroscience, libraries, archival systems, histories and lies, literature and violence, ecologies and natural history. Rao has also been featured at international biennials and festivals such as the March Meets 2019 as part of the 14th Sharjah Biennial; the 4th Kochi Biennale, India (2018); the 10th Taipei Biennial, Taipei, Taiwan (2016); 3rd Pune Biennale, Pune, India (2017); Singapour Mon Amour, Paris, France (2015); Digital Arts Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark (2013); and the 2nd Singapore Biennale, Singapore (2008). She is currently Curator for the upcoming Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2020.

Connie Wong is a Director of the board for the newly formed non-profit, SEED The Art Space Ltd. (SEED), aiming to support artists who need space to explore ideas and to promote collaboration between art managers, educators, researchers and art communities. Wong holds a Master’s in Asian Art Histories from a joint program between LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore and Goldsmiths, University of London. She also holds a Bachelor’s in Investment and Financial Risk Management from Cass Business School at City, University of London and a Master’s in Global Finance from Stern Business School of New York University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Honor Harger is the Executive Director for ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. A curator from New Zealand, she has a strong interest in artistic uses of technologies and in science as part of culture. Harger brings with her over 15 years of experience of working at the intersection between art, science and technology. Through her career, Harger has held several key appointments in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, and has curated many international exhibitions and events around the world. She has lectured widely including at the conferences TED, and LIFT, as well as at the European Space Agency, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, California Institute of the Arts and the American Film Institute.