Use more vacant areas as affordable art spaces

Last year, the National Arts Council (NAC) and Arts House Limited said that open calls for tenants at Goodman Arts Centre in 2016 were oversubscribed by three times (Rent woes at Goodman; July 22, 2017).

However, I have noticed that the container studios in Telok Kurau Studios - part of the NAC's Arts Housing Scheme - have been left vacant for more than a year.

Why are the container studios unoccupied when there is demand for studio space?

Perhaps the Singapore Land Authority can use more vacant spaces to cater to the demand for affordable art spaces.

The empty spaces under Bukit Merah Viaduct and the West Coast Viaduct were transformed for community interest projects and new business uses by social groups and entrepreneurs.

The authorities should consider transforming other empty spaces under viaducts to build more affordable spaces for artists.

They should also consider renting out more vacant properties to artists, albeit on a temporary basis as it has always been.

Art is one way for Singapore to spread its soft power, and artists should be supported.

Kim Ong Seok Khim (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2018, with the headline 'Use more vacant areas as affordable art spaces'. Print Edition | Subscribe