Singapore Art Museum contemporary art in Southeast Asia SAM

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

1 February – 18 March 2018
SAM Curve

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.

Artist Talks
Artist Talk with Koh Nguang How | Sunday, 25 February 2018, 2pm
Artist Talk with Gilles Massot | Friday, 9 March 2018, 7pm,

Event details

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SAM Lawn Commission | Harvest (2018) by Gerald Leow

17 January – 1 April 2018

Singapore Art Museum’s latest commission for the museum’s Front Lawn, Harvest (2018) by Singaporean artist Gerald Leow, is a lumbung (Malay for rice granary or barn) that draws upon the graphic imagery of a more modern era.

The monumental structure harks to the history of Bras Basah, the area in which the museum is located, and that of the museum building itself. It is situated in the curved embrace of the colonial architecture of the Museum building – the former St. Joseph’s Institute (SJI) building that had its cornerstone laid in 1855. Constructed out of wood, the lumbung’s material echoes back to its forebears, and stands in contrast to the school building’s imposing stone and brickwork. Indeed, the wood used here is specifically recycled crate pinewood – the same kind of material used for the crates that freight artworks in and out for the museum’s many exhibitions. Imprinted with stamps and chops that reveal past passages and journeys, the wood also materially gestures to Singapore’s past-and-present as a transportation hub and port city. 

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Cinerama: Art and the Moving Image in Southeast Asia

17 November 2017 – 25 March 2018
SAM at 8Q

Cinerama brings together 10 artists and collectives from across Southeast Asia who work through the medium of the moving image. Spanning hand-drawn animation to immersive video installations, the works explore the history of the genre, its current-day expressions, and potential for the future.

While offering opportunities to reminisce the golden age of movie-making, the exhibition also dissects the filmic picture to uncover its constituents and constructions as well. In doing so, it retraces developments from the very first moving images, to the expanded cinema experience of today.

The range of works here examine issues of individual and collective memory, identity and politics, closely mirroring contemporary ways of being, and offering insights into what the future of cinema, video, and the realm of moving images, may come to be. #cineramaSG

Cinerama: Art and the Moving Image in Southeast Asia

Amy Lee Sanford | Hayati Mokhtar | Jeremy Sharma | Korakrit Arunanondchai and Alex Gvojic | Ming Wong | Narpati Awangga a.k.a oomleo | Sarah Choo Jing | The Propeller Group | Tromarama (Indonesia) Victor Balanon (Philippines)

Exhibition guide for Cinerama: Art and the Moving Image in Southeast Asia 11.27 MB

Download our education resource guide (recommended for ages 15 – 18) 10.30 MB

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