Pathways: The state of the arts in Singapore

Professional artists require a different level of support, both from the state and the public, if they are to carry on making art for a living.

Sculptor Antony Gormley’s Horizon Field Singapore at the Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden. PHOTO: ST FILE
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Artists all over the world strike a balance between their artistic practice and the vicissitudes of daily life. When I think about my own path over the past 20 years, I am reminded that Maya Angelou's first job was as a streetcar conductor. William Carlos Williams was a doctor. Charles Bukowski had a 10-year spell as a postal clerk. All of them kept alive a love for poetry around careers that either kept food on the table, or, in the case of Williams, was also a life calling.

In my journey, I have been a teacher, voice-over artist, photographer, scriptwriter, video editor, event organiser, soundman and grip. The path isn't always clear, and many times, it seems untenable to live "bohemian" in Singapore, with its astronomical cost of living and limited demand for certain forms of art.

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