On The Cusp

On the Cusp: Early Contemporary Art Activities in Singapore (1976 – 1996)
Documentation from the Koh Nguang How Archive Collection

Curated by and seen from the perspective of Singaporean artist and archivist Koh Nguang How, this archival presentation pivots around his involvement, activities, collection and recollection as Curatorial Assistant and Assistant Curator during his time at the National Museum Art Gallery (NMAG) from October 1985 to February 1992.

Drawn from Koh’s extensive archival collection, two sets of archival lenses organise the material in this exhibition. The first broadly gathers into view the events, people and activities that, in Koh’s view, were leaning towards the ‘contemporary’, in the 20-year period between the establishment of NMAG and that of SAM, while the second offers a more refined observation of the same kind of events in, around and connected to NMAG and SAM, that he has personally documented and/or collected.

The exhibition includes rarely-seen documentation, such as More than 4…. (1988) by the artists Tang Mun Kit, Chng Chin Kang, Lim Poh Teck and Baet Yeok Kuan that involved installations and actions at SAM-SJI building, with guest performances by Tang Da Wu (Incident in the City [1988] and In case of Howard Liu [1988]); all offering memorable vignettes of SJI before it opened as SAM.

highlighted works