National Gallery Singapore and Singapore Art Museum have come together to launch a new local initiative of unprecedented scale and scope, titled Proposals for Novel Ways of Being. The project will see the museums join forces with 10 other local art institutions and independent art spaces and collectives to present a series of exhibitions and programmes, both physical and online, that feature the works of over 170 local artists and cultural workers. A united response by the visual arts community to the changes brought about by COVID-19, these exhibitions and programmes will open between August 2020 and February 2021. Audiences can look forward to a wide range of art experiences that explore new ways of living in a world irrevocably changed by this pandemic, and imagine new possibilities for the future.
Proposals for Novel Ways of Being references an earlier name of the virus, “2019 Novel Coronavirus”. The title serves as a sombre yet hopeful reminder that COVID-19 is not the first pandemic or crisis the world has encountered, nor will it be the last. It is a reminder that we need new ways of being.
Elaborating on the compelling reasons behind the development of the Proposals for Novel Ways of Being initiative, Dr Eugene Tan, Director, National Gallery Singapore and Singapore Art Museum says: “As we grapple with the “new normal”, we consider how art can respond to the global pandemic and propose new possibilities for our changed world, as well as how it can inspire hope in these times. As national art institutions, we ask ourselves how we can show solidarity with the local network of independent art spaces, institutions and collectives to engage and support members of the art community, and how we can highlight the role that art can play in times of crises such as the current pandemic.”
The Programme Partners of Proposals for Novel Ways of Being include seven institutions: ADM Gallery, NTU School of Art, Design and Media; LASALLE’s Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore; National Gallery Singapore; National Museum of Singapore; NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore); Singapore Art Museum; STPI, and five independent art spaces and collectives: Coda Culture; Grey Projects; INTER-MISSION; soft/WALL/studs; and The Substation.
To support the wider network of art professionals and practitioners, Programme Partners have invited independent guest curators to each propose projects that involve up to 15 artists based in Singapore. The projects presented can include new commissions or existing works, and may take the form of physical or digital exhibitions, and include programmes such as talks, performances and community engagement events.
Audiences can look forward to Coda Culture’s exhibition, which brings together artists who produce works using found objects; National Gallery Singapore’s range of works by a diverse group of emerging contemporary artists, which embody poetic contemplation; National Museum of Singapore’s series of digital works created in collaboration with artists and creatives, which respond to the pandemic; NTU CCA Singapore’s showcase of experimental works by artists who engage with sound, bodily movements and performances; Singapore Art Museum’s presentation of contemporary artworks that reflect on the passage of time and various acts of care-taking; and soft/WALL/studs’ suite of interconnected activities and projects that navigate the themes of (dis)repair, maintenance, and cultivation by artists and curators, presented on digital platforms and at their physical site.
Exhibitions and programmes for Proposals for Novel Ways of Being will open between August 2020 and February 2021. More information about the Programme Partners and their respective projects will be made available soon.
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