SPEECH BY MR YATIMAN YUSOF,
SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY FOR INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE
ARTS, AT THE OPENING OF SCIENCE FICTIONS, AN EXHIBITION BY EARL LU GALLERY,
LASALLE-SIA COLLEGE OF THE ARTS, AT THE ASIAN CIVILISATIONS MUSEUM, EMPRESS
PLACE ON THURSDAY, 5 JUNE 2003 at 6.00 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am happy to be here this evening to officiate the opening of the exhibition of Science Fictions, held in conjunction with Singapore Arts Festival 2003. This exhibition brings together 17 distinguished artists from 10 countries across the world. I understand that some of them are with us here this evening. To these very special people, I would like to extend a special warm welcome to Singapore.
I imagine that it is not an easy task to put on an international exhibition of this scale. It requires a considerable level of research and investment of resources, extensive network with artists, and a high level of curatorial acumen. Some years ago, major exhibitions of this scale and sophistication were largely curated or presented by the Singapore Art Museum and the National Arts Council as part of their on-going visual arts programmes. Today, I am glad to note that new players and independent curators are coming onto the scene to curate or present significant shows that provide new insights into art from Singapore, the region, and beyond.
In this respect, I applaud Earl Lu Gallery at LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts for its efforts in the last few years for curating international exhibitions of interest and quality. From Text and Subtext focusing on art by women, Site and Sight focusing on issues of globalisation, and now Science Fictions exploring truths or untruths in a post-colonial world, these exhibitions have provided thought-provoking insights into the world we live in, as well as provide opportunities for Singapore artists to be exhibited within a regional or international context. The success of Earl Lu Gallery in securing international tours for these exhibitions is also important in underscoring Singapore's ability to be a centre of creativity, and in originating projects that have a resonance with the rest of the world. I hope to see Earl Lu Gallery continuing to expand its horizons and search for new opportunities.
While the adrenalin rush and glamour of putting together large scale art projects are attractive and appealing, smaller scale visual arts projects by other independent curators and galleries are no less important or valuable to visual arts development in Singapore. Collectively they inject fresh perspectives and new energy, and particularly they are significant for their role in discovering and developing new art talents from Singapore and the region. In this, the contribution made by the Substation, the Sculpture Square, Plastique Kinetic Worms, the galleries under the Art Galleries Association of Singapore, and the new Jendalah Gallery at the Esplanade are critical to Singapore's visual arts development and maturity.
In the next few years, new exhibition spaces brought on by the new campuses of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, the extension of Singapore Art Museum, as well as the further development of projects like the Nokia Singapore Art, and Singapore's participation at international art events, will open up further opportunities for our artists and curators. In particular, I hope to see more Singaporeans venturing into the field of curatorship and art criticism. Curators and critics help 'frame' and communicate the works of artists and are therefore vital to sustaining the future eco-system of visual arts development in Singapore.
Singapore is at the crossroads of the various countries of Asia and the rest of the world. This presents us unique opportunities to initiate, develop and communicate our artistic endeavours. Today's exhibition, Science Fictions, epitomises Singapore's connectivity with the world.
Put together by two curators, Ms Binghui Huangfu of Earl Lu Gallery and well-known Philippine curator Ms Marian Pastor Roces, I understand that negotiations are ongoing for this exhibition to travel to New Zealand, Stockholm and Spain. My congratulations to them for successfully curating and presenting Science Fictions. My best wishes also to all the artists who have participated in this exhibition.
It is now with great pleasure that I declare the exhibition of Science Fictions opened.