[Panel Discussion] “To bring the arts of Singapore to the People of Singapore …” | Arts Festivals in Context

With speakers:
Alvin Tan, Founder and Artistic Director, The Necessary Stage
Goh Ching Lee, Executive and Artistic Director, CultureLink
Mary Loh, Head, Talent Development and Programming, NUS Centre For the Arts

Moderated by Chang Yueh Siang, Curator, NUS Museum

The NUS Museum presents a panel discussion about the Arts Festivals in Singapore and how they have contributed to and affected the development of the local art scene. Beginning with the 1955 Arts Festival put together by Michael Sullivan and the Chinese School Students’ “arts festivals” movement of the 1950s, the topics of discussion will touch on the historical, cultural, and political contexts of that arts festivals in their time, up to the present.

The title of the panel discussion draws from one of the chief aims of the Singapore Festival of the Arts organized in 1959, to mark “a new chapter in the cultural life of Singapore”, “[bringing] the arts of Singapore to the people of Singapore.” This panel discussion is organised under the Museum’s Foundations series, which was conceived in relation to the current permanent exhibition, Between Here and Nanyang: Marco Hsu’s Brief History of Malayan Art. The series aims to contextualise art and artistic practices against the backdrop of nation-building and independence in the period of Merger between Singapore and Malaya. Drawing on the content of the book that the exhibition was based on, A Brief History of Malayan Art by Marco Hsu, the series features talks, panel discussions, film screenings and walking tours to facilitate various formats of knowledge enquiry and production.

This panel discussion is organised in-conjunction with the NUS Arts Festival 2016 (www.nusartsfestival.com).

About the speakers

Alvin Tan
Founder and Artistic Director, The Necessary Stage
Alvin is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Necessary Stage. He was conferred the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture, and the Cultural Medallion for his artistic excellence and contribution to Singaporeʼs arts and cultural landscape in 2010 and 2014 respectively.

Goh Ching Lee
Executive and Artistic Director, CultureLink
Goh Ching Lee is the Executive and Artistic Director of CultureLink, an arts consultancy and artist management agency she founded in 2009. She is the former Director of the Singapore Arts Festival from 1999-2009, during which time the Festival was noted for its innovative approaches, and intercultural and interdisciplinary interests. She played an instrumental role in creating Singapore Season, a programme showcasing Singapore’s arts overseas that first appeared in Wellington in 2004, then London in 2005, later in China (Beijing, Shanghai) in 2007 and in Edinburgh 2009. She also initiated the Association of Asian Performing Arts Festivals and served as its first chairperson from 2004 to 2009.

Ching Lee is a recipient of the Officier and Chevalier dans l’Orde des Arts et des Lettres awarded by the French government, and Public Administration Medal (Silver) from the Singapore government. She is also currently serving on the Artistic Advisory Committees of the Japan Foundation, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, and as Arts Advisor to the National Arts Council.

Mary Loh Chieu Kwuan
Mary Loh has held various positions in local and international arts companies including General Manager of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Company, Managing Director for Empire M+C Consultants, Singapore’s first dedicated arts and entertainment marketing company, Director, Audience Development for Old Parliament House Ltd and Director, Theatricals in Resorts World Singapore. She was part of the Steering Committee for Singapore Arts Festivals from 1998 to 2002.

She presently heads Talent Development & Programming Division in NUS Centre For the Arts where she oversees the development of 22 student arts groups and programming. She is Festival Director for NUS Arts Festival, the University’s flagship arts event.

[Image Credit: Detail from Chen Wen Hsi, Dance, 1954, Oil on canvas, 154 x 200 cm, Gift of the artist.]
Event Timeline
  • The event description was updated. Diff 2016-02-15 03:40:43
Wed Feb 17, 2016
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM SGT
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NUS Museum
Arts Festivals in Context (Wed, 17 Feb, 7.30pm)
Venue Address
50 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119279 Singapore
1. Car/taxi: By Clementi Road, first entrance from the highway. The museum is right after UCC. 2. Kent Ridge MRT: Internal Shuttle Bus D2. 3. Clementi MRT: Svc 96. 4. Kent Ridge Terminal: Svc 151.
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