Big names in arts community behind plans to put out an arts manifesto
Some members of the Singapore arts community are mooting an Arts Manifesto to set out the broad principles and values that they consider are important to the arts.
The manifesto is currently still in its early stages but there are several key statements that have been put forward for consideration, such as: Do not attempt to define art; Art unifies and divides; Art is about possibilities; Art can be challenged but not censored; Art is political.
The key people behind the manifesto include theatre practitioners Alvin Tan, Kok Heng Leun, Kuo Jian Hong, Tay Tong and T. Sasitharan, playwright Tan Tarn How, academic Terence Chong, Arts Nominated MP Janice Koh, filmmaker Jasmine Ng, arts lecturer Audrey Wong and poet Alvin Pang. They met twice in February to come up with a framework for the manifesto.
They are all members of ArtsEngage, a group of artists, arts managers and observers interested in cultural policy issues. The group presented the government's censorship review committee with a paper pushing for a more impartial and open advisory and rating system in 2010, and held a discussion on street art, vandalism and the limits of artistic licence in 2012 after the arrest of graffiti artist Samantha Lo.