Eugene Tan is an art historian, critic and curator. Born in Singapore in 1972, he received a BSc in Economics and Politics from Queen Mary College, London and a MA (Distinction) in Post-War and Contemporary Art from the Sotheby's Institute, London. He also holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Manchester.

Among exhibitions he has curated include Video Invitational at f a Projects, London in 2003, The Last Laugh: Humour and Contemporary Video Art, Painting as Process: Re-evaluating Painting and Jason Salavon: Brainstem Still Life at the Earl Lu Gallery, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore in 2004. He is also the curator for the Singapore Pavilion at the forthcoming 51st Venice Biennale.

He has written extensively for many exhibition catalogues as well as publications such as Art Review, Contemporary, Contemporary Visual Arts and Modern Painters. He has been a member of AICA (Association International des Critiques d' Art) since 1999.

He has also been invited to lecture and participate in panel discussions, on various aspects of contemporary art, in Singapore, Spain, Taiwan and United Kingdom.

He is currently the director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts. 

Source: Singapore Biennale 2006 Press Release


Re-evaluating Painting
5 June – 4 July 2004 · Earl Lu Gallery I & II, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts.

Says Dr Eugene Tan, Director of Earl Lu Gallery and curator of the exhibition: “Painting as Process re-evaluates painting’s relevance to contemporary art practice through an examination of painting’s processes. The works illustrate attempts at mediating expression with a conceptual mode of painting, in a manner that results in a new understanding of painting – demonstrating a rich myriad of possibilities for painting.”

Source: La Salle Press Release


Singapore at Venice Biennale: 51st International Art Exhibition

Lim’s exhibition at the Biennale will be curated by Eugene TAN. Both artist and curator were selected to develop Singapore’s participation at this year’s Venice Biennale through a process beginning with an open call to the visual arts community by the National Arts Council (NAC) in December 2004. Submitted proposals were evaluated in a two stage process and the final selection was made by a selection panel consisting of specialists in the visual arts headed by KHOR Kok Wah, Commissioner for this year’s Singapore Pavilion.

Eugene Tan is Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (ICA Singapore). Established by LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, the ICA Singapore is devoted to the exhibition and research of contemporary art in Asia. In late June, Singaporeans will have the opportunity to experience Lim’s work as the ICA Singapore will present a solo exhibition by Lim. This exhibition will not merely illustrate or document Lim’s exhibition at the Venice Biennale, but instead unveil a new work by Lim, which will give audiences in Singapore the opportunity to gain insight into Lim’s work and the processes which underpin his work.
We invite you to publicise the appointment of LIM Tzay Chuen and Eugene TAN for the Singapore Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale. Interviews and visuals are available.

Exhibition date : 12 June - 06 November 2005
Press preview : 09 June - 11 June 2005
Singapore Pavilion : Calle della Tana, Castello 2126, Arsenale, 30122 Venice, Italy
Commissioner : KHOR Kok Wah (Mr)
Vice-Commissioner : Paolo DE GRANDIS (Mr)
Artist : LIM Tzay Chuen (Mr)
Curator : Eugene TAN (Dr)
Organisers : National Arts Council
National Heritage Board, Singapore

Co-organiser : Arte Communications, Venice

Source: NAC Press Release


Singapore, 3 August 2004 – The winners of the first-ever nationwide Digital Defence Art Competition was announced by the organiser of the event, Green Dot Internet Services Pte Ltd (GDIS), the operator of MIW ( the National Servicemen (NSmen)’s portal. Supported by MINDEF, Singapore Art Museum and People’s Association, the competition attracted some 300 entries from Singaporeans from all walks of life, with varied interpretations of the theme, ‘Our People, At the Heart of Defence’.

The top prize was awarded to Cheng Ka Ki, a 25-year old student from Temasek Polytechnic, whose art piece depicted the Singapore homeland in shadows of the military, with a solitary individual carrying his rifle over a green field.

Launched in March this year, the Digital Defence Art Competition aimed to unleash Singaporean’s creative juices to capture the essence of defending our nation through digital art. The competition saw participants crafting their individual perceptions, values and aspirations about the nation’s defence and expressing them through the use of digital photography, multi-media design and other digital media.

“This competition is a timely reminder of Total Defence of our nation as we celebrate Singapore’s 39th birthday,” said Dr Francis Yeoh, CEO, Green Dot Internet Services, the company behind MIW.

The contest, which was open to all Singapore citizens and permanent residents, also aimed to raise the importance of civic duty and the need to build and maintain strong bonds between the different races and religions.

"I am heartened by the level of participation in this defence digital art competition. It is an excellent way for Singaporeans, both young and old, to express their thoughts and views about Total Defence through art. We hope that through these digital images, portraying Total Defence from different perspectives, the public will get a deeper insight and appreciation of what Total Defence is and means to us as a nation", said COL Bernard Toh, Director of Public Affairs for MINDEF, who will be giving away prizes to the winners.

Participants were judged on several factors:

(1) Originality - where the art piece should posses an X-factor or significant visual impact

(2) Aesthetics - how colours, images or special effects are used in the art piece

(3) Interpretation or Articulation of Theme - how well the theme “Our People, At the Heart of Defence” is addressed by the art piece and how well the visual communicates with the theme,

(4) Skills/IT Competency - this measures the participants’ design flair using the IT medium.

Determining the winners for the competition is a panel of distinguished judges comprising well-known faces in the arts industry, including Jean Wee, manager of the Education department at the Singapore Art Museum; June Yap, assistant curator of the Programmes Division at the Singapore Art Museum;
Dr Eugene Tan, Director of Earl Lu Gallery, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts; Dr Fischer Cai, Programme Director of NTU’s Strategic Research Program for Virtual Reality and Soft Computing and Mr Woon Tien Wei, a local artist.

“This competition brings out a lot of pride among Singaporeans for their homeland. It was evident that Total Defence is important to Singaporeans. Some of the entries were remarkable for their artistic flair but for the first prize, we were looking for something that comes closest to the hearts of Singaporeans. Cheng Ka Ki’s piece summed up essentially what the theme of the competition conveys,” says
Dr Eugene Tan.

Cheng Ka Ki won himself $5,000 cash, a Colorvision Spyder with PrintFix worth $1,300 and one unit of Adobe Photoshop CS worth S$1,239. Lee Feng Quan, an 18-year-old student from Temasek Polytechnic and Erene Teo, a 21-year-old freelance designer, won the second and third prize respectively. 15 consolation prizes were also awarded to the runners-up in the contest.

Source: PRESS RELEASE : Green Dot Internet Services Pte Ltd