There is a need to go back to the original core intent of Gillman Barracks when it was first set up (Sullivan+Strumpf to move out of Gillman Barracks, Sept 29).
The cluster was conceptualised as an art hub akin to Beijing's famous 798 Art District, with international galleries featuring top-notch artists and superior programming.
We should press on with the original intent and double down as follows:
• Transfer the management of Gillman Barracks to private entrepreneurs.
• Revive funding to the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, extend its tenancy at the site, and expand its scope to include a larger commercial angle with curator Ute Meta Bauer in charge.
• Create a sense of excitement or vibrancy through night activities and diverse programming. Singapore Art Week needs to incorporate an international fair.
• Revitalise Gillman Barracks by quickly replacing the tenants that have left and securing new galleries with a South-east Asian focus and artist residencies.
• Appoint advisers like art dealer Valentine Willie or art collector Chong Huai Seng, who have much knowledge and international experience to share and impart for the betterment of the arts ecosystem.
We need to do this urgently as we are an important player in the international art scene, and well placed to represent South-east Asia, which is very likely to gain more prominence as a global art player in the post-Covid era.
Hua Tye Swee