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Art What!: Singapore Art Museum launches open call for its inaugural Residencies Programme


Singapore Art Museum (SAM) has announced the launch of its inaugural Residencies programme. The museum-run Residencies programme will feature four residencies, which will be open to artists, curators, art organisations and artist-run spaces, as well as community and education-focused art practitioners. Developed in line with SAM’s vision of engaging local and international artistic communities across a wide range of disciplines, the residencies will also actively involve local communities and the public through a diverse lineup of activities. SAM will be accepting applications for three residencies from 9th December 2020 to 28th February 2021. The fourth residency is by invitation only and will host two Asia-based independent art organisations and collectives.

The SAM Residencies programme is designed to engage both the art community and the public at large. For the art community, it serves as an incubator for new approaches to artistic and curatorial practices through supporting dialogue within and beyond the field of contemporary art. It offers a platform for artistic experimentation and encourages the exchange of ideas and opportunities for future collaboration, as well as network building. The Residents will also be encouraged to interact with or involve local communities and the public in different ways, through presentations and programmes such as open studio visits, talks, workshops and other activities.

“The SAM Residencies programme will be process and production based, with a multidisciplinary approach that will stimulate capability development and professional growth of the art community in Singapore and internationally. With public engagement also at the core of the programme, more space will be created for community interactions to foster understanding amongst our audiences on art, artists, and their artistic processes, as well as for meaningful encounters to take place between artists and our public. The SAM Residencies programme is a natural extension of our work as a museum,” says Dr Eugene Tan, Director of SAM.

The SAM Residencies programme is a studio-based residency with each residency taking place within a period of one to six months. Of the four residencies, the Community & Education Residency and EX-SITU: Art Spaces Residency will be unique to the Southeast Asian region. The topics and themes explored in each residency cycle will reflect contemporary concerns, with the 2021 cycle focusing on artistic practitioners whose processes engage with notions of “intimacy” and “infrastructures”, and the impact on technology on contemporary life.

The residencies are: Artist Residency, open to artists and collectives who are looking to develop artistic practices and emergent modes of artmaking; Community & Education Residency, open to practitioners who explore the relationship between art practice and forms of education or whose core practice engage with local communities or the public in various ways; Curatorial & Research Residency, open to curators and researchers who are working on new modes of curatorial thinking and research process; and EX-SITU: Art Spaces Residency, for art organisations based in Asia, including independent non-profit art organisations, artist-run spaces, and community-led initiatives, exploring innovative ways of activating public spaces to engage with the local art scene and public (by invitation only).

To kick off the SAM Residencies programme, there will be a pilot with three residency places across the Community & Education Residency and the Curatorial & Research Residency. The initial launch will be by invitation only. This process is unique to this period as a response to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. Taking place from January to March 2021, these residencies will host participants based in Singapore, and will be conducted both digitally and physically. The residents for this pilot will be announced in December 2020 on the SAM Residencies webpage.

SAM Residencies will be accepting applications for three residencies – the Artist Residency; Community & Education Residency; and Curatorial & Research Residency from 9th December 2020 to 28th February 2021. The application forms and residency details are available here. Selected residents will begin their cycle between July 2021 to March 2023. These residencies will be open to those based in Singapore or internationally and will take place in physical spaces in Singapore. The location of these residency spaces will be announced at a later date.

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