With the aim that art and artistic activities should fill every corner of the new campus for the benefit of its students and for the general public, the inaugural art exhibition SMU’s Visual Arts Initiative (VAI), was held this year, showcasing works by 11 artists from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, USA and Australia. Entitled Artery, it ran from 12 January to 3 March and was held at The Gallery of the School of Economics & Social Sciences and along The Concourse. The exhibition featured three themes: MURMUR, featuring works by Anthony Poon, Chua Ek Kay, Pinaree Sanpitak, Jane Lee and Delia Prvacki. Testimonies, featuring recent portraits in ink by Tang Dawu, photographic works by Francis Ng, and Dadang Christanto’s 2005 Testimonies of the Trees series. Looking In Looking Out, featuring commissioned works by Heman Chong, Tan Kai Syng and Ana Prvacki.

Gracing the opening of Artery, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts & Health, Dr Balaji Sadasivan said,

“SMU is a fine example of an institution that shares our vision for Singapore to be a Global Arts City where our people are creative and our artistic talents nurtured. SMU delivers a pedagogy that develops well-rounded students through its unique brand of curriculum and strongly encourages learning beyond books.”

At the opening ceremony, artist Pinaree Sanpitak collaborated with local executive chef Jimmy Chok, to create culinary delights using her pre-sculpted breast stuppas. On the following day, there was a talk by artist Dadang Christanto, who shared his views on art and social activism and what it means for an artist to live and work away from ‘home’.

SMU will continue to develop and host exhibitions and enrichment programmes and will also be developing an institutional collection of contemporary art, with Southeast Asian art as the principal focus.