YourLetters

National Arts Council scouting for more sites for public art

We thank the writers for their interest in bringing art to public spaces, expressed in their letters (Give free rein to art and culture in civic spaces, April 1; Public spaces opened up for art can be misused, April 8).

The National Arts Council (NAC) believes that public art has the power to rejuvenate and transform our urban spaces, making Singapore a distinctive city and giving the public greater access to the arts as part of their daily lives.

An example is Baet Yeok Kuan's installation outside the Asian Civilisations Museum commissioned under the Public Art Trust.

The People's Association's (PA) PAssionArts initiatives also provide opportunities for the public to participate in and enjoy art together in their own communities.

Among the good examples are the islandwide art villages that were organised by the grassroots volunteers as part of PA's annual PAssionArts Festival.

Current locations offering spaces for ground-up arts initiatives include the Aliwal Arts Centre, Goodman Arts Centre and *Scape.

As public sites are accessed by everyone, there is a need to be sensitive in the type of artworks which are presented.

To expand such spaces, NAC has reached out to property owners to free up more sites for artists to create good public art in our neighbourhoods.

To date, over 30 sites have been secured, including spaces in town centres and sports centres in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bukit Panjang, Clementi and Woodlands.

NAC can also facilitate discussions for street artists keen to approach other site owners to negotiate the use of their spaces.

As public sites are accessed by everyone, there is a need to be sensitive in the type of artworks which are presented.

Artists - whether students, hobbyists or trained practitioners - should work with the owners of sites in the responsible creation of such public art.

We hope that with the increased opportunities offered through public art presentations, more home-grown artists will showcase their talents to a wider audience, making art engaging and accessible by everyone.

Ms Linda de Mello
Director, Sector Development (Visual Arts)
National Arts Council
 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 15, 2018, with the headline 'National Arts Council scouting for more sites for public art'. Print Edition | Subscribe