On the Cusp: Early Contemporary Art Activities in Singapore (1976 – 1996), Documentation from the Koh Nguang How Archive Collection, is an archival presentation curated by and seen from the perspective of Singaporean artist and archivist Koh Nguang How. The exhibition pivots around Koh’s involvement, activities, collection and recollection as Curatorial Assistant at the National Museum Art Gallery (NMAG) from October 1985 to February 1992, a position that launched his interest and commitment in documenting and archiving art activities in Singapore.
Koh’s extensive archival collection is widely acknowledged as the most comprehensive on Singapore early contemporary to contemporary art. Using material which Koh personally documented or collected, the presentation explores early contemporary art activities through two lenses. The first gathers events, people and activities in a chronological order that, in Koh’s view, were leaning towards the ‘contemporary’ in the 20-year period between the establishment of NMAG and SAM. The second offers a closer look at the events in, around and connected to NMAG and the former St Joseph’s Institution (SJI) building.
Navigating around these two trajectories produces both expansive and specific insights – from the groundswell within the Singaporean art scene as it transitioned from the modern to the contemporary, eventually contributing towards the establishment of Singapore’s first dedicated visual arts museum; to the relationships between artists, curators, organisers, collectives and communities in and around NMAG and the SAM-SJI building.
Session 1: Documenting Work with Koh Nguang How
3 February 2018, 2-3pm
Session 2: Documenting Work with Koh Nguang How
Sun, 25 February 2018, 2-3pm
Session 3: Art Commandos with Gilles Massot
Fri, 9 March 2018, 7-8pm
Venue: SAM Curve, 71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 188555
When: 1 Feb - 18 Mar 2018,
By: Singapore Art Museum (SAM)