Visual arts cluster Gillman Barracks celebrates 5th anniversary with food, art and concerts

Live music acts such as local electro-pop band Disco Hue will perform at Gillman Barracks on Friday.
Live music acts such as local electro-pop band Disco Hue will perform at Gillman Barracks on Friday.PHOTO: BASIL TAN

Visual arts cluster Gillman Barracks is celebrating its fifth birthday this week with its twice-yearly open- house party Art After Dark, as well as a special print edition of its online arts newsletter.

The 224-page Art-In-Sight will be launched on Friday before Art After Dark's concerts and gallery crawl begin at 7pm.

The printed book includes an overview of the arts cluster's five- year history and essays on contemporary art in Singapore and the region. There are also interviews with artists who have exhibited works at galleries in the former barracks.

About 2,000 copies of Art-In- Sight have been specially printed for the anniversary and will be distributed via galleries in the cluster. Other issues of the bimonthly arts newsletter are distributed online.

The first issue came out in July and it will be published until March next year. It is a collaboration between Gillman Barracks and online art platform Ocula.

The publication is part of Gillman Barracks' strategy to be a centre for educating art enthusiasts, as well as a collective of galleries.

  • BOOK IT / ART AFTER DARK

  • WHERE: Gillman Barracks, 9 Lock Road

    WHEN: Friday, 7pm to late

    ADMISSION: Free

    INFO: www.gillmanbarracks.com

There are 12 galleries in the cluster off Alexandra Road, including international names such as Pearl Lam Galleries and Sundaram Tagore Gallery.

Mr Low Eng Teong, assistant chief executive officer of National Arts Council, says: "Gillman is not meant just for collectors, but also for people who love art and want to know more about art."

An anchor tenant at the arts cluster is the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA), a research centre under Nanyang Technological University; art education programme Art Outreach and Playeum's Children's Centre for Creativity. NTU CCA, set up in 2013, hosts visiting art academics and offers artists space to create and research. It also runs master's and doctoral programmes for artists and curators.

Gillman Barracks welcomes about 500 visitors a day, but the number rockets to more than 4,000 during open-house events such as Art After Dark, last held in January during Singapore Art Week.

On Friday, there will be free concerts, pop-up food stalls and a gallery crawl.

New exhibitions launched during Art After Dark include Sundaram Tagore Gallery's solo show of abstract paintings by India-born Antonio Puri and Mizuma Gallery's showcase of Indonesian artist Angki Purbandono.

Selections from Singapore private collections are also up for view on Re|Collecting Asia organised by The Ryan Foundation with support from Gillman Barracks, Lotus Fine Arts Logistics, and ShanghART Singapore. It is curated by Ms Khim Ong, deputy director, curatorial programmes at NTU CCA.

Viewers can nosh on offerings from burger joint The Lab SG and urban izakaya Neon Pigeon, among others, or visit a makers' market.

At Block 9, live music acts run from 7.45pm and include Singapore acts Disco Hue, Strangerfox and singer-songwriter Linying.

Gillman Barracks opened in September 2012 as a joint development by the National Arts Council, Singapore Economic Development Board and JTC Corporation. Five galleries exited the cluster early last year, but old-timers such as Mizuma Gallery are staying put.

Gallery liaison Marsha Tan says Mizuma Gallery benefits from events such as Art After Dark. More such place-making programmes have been started since last year.

The gallery also gets support for artists. It represents art duo indieguerillas, which created two new works in January, thanks to Gillman Barracks - one for the NTU CCA Idea Fest and the other for the cluster's public art showcase Lock Route. "We may not get a lot of traffic in our location, but there are great chances for collaborations," says Ms Tan.

•Subscribe to the Art-In-Sight online newsletter at eepurl.com/p5MAf

Correction note: The earlier story incorrectly stated that the exhibition Re|Collecting Asia is curated by The Ryan Foundation.
The exhibition is organised by The Ryan Foundation, but curated by Ms Khim Ong, deputy director, curatorial programmes at NTU CCA. We are sorry for the error. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2017, with the headline 'Food, art and concerts at Gillman Barracks' birthday bash'. Print Edition | Subscribe