SAM to partner Australian museum

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (Qagoma) will begin from next year a five-year collaboration that will see both art institutions exchange expertise on curatorial, research, training and programming matters.

The cooperation, which may be extended, will also result in a jointly curated contemporary art exhibition to be held in both countries from 2019.

The partnership was formalised last Friday with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two art institutions. It builds on an earlier memorandum of understanding signed between Singapore and Australia in June last year on cooperation in the fields of art and culture.

Qagoma is a key Australian art museum with a collection of more than 17,000 works of historical, modern and contemporary art. It also has a long-standing focus on the contemporary art of Australia, Asia and the Pacific region.

This collaboration will be SAM's longest and most significant partnership with an art institution since its corporatisation in 2013.

The memorandum of understanding is also Qagoma's first wide-ranging formal agreement with an institution in Asia.

SAM's curatorial co-head Joyce Toh said the partnership is "forged on common interests to promote and advance the art of this region". Similarly, Qagoma's director Chris Saines said it is "delighted" to partner SAM, with whom it shares "the vision of presenting the most thought-provoking contemporary art from our region".

Both museums have been collaborating on projects over the past two years, including the co-curated exhibition, Time Of Others, which showed at SAM for three months from November last year. In June and last month, Qagoma also hosted two groups of staff from the Singapore museum to learn about its collections and operations.

These collaborations led to discussions between both institutions about the possibility of signing a memorandum of understanding to facilitate closer cooperation, said Ms Lynn Sim, SAM's head of marketing communications and international relations.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2016, with the headline 'SAM to partner Australian museum'. Print Edition | Subscribe