Previously, Singapore’s art and design industry could not compare with that of other East Asia city-states like Hong Kong, and Singapore has had a lot of catching up to do. Policies on culture set by the ruling government worsened the situation. Works of art had and have to be judged before the committee with the government banning those seen to have gone beyond the boundaries of set markers. With the out of bounds markers not openly defined, art pieces focusing on delicate issues such as religion and race have failed to see the light of day.
What has made Singapore stand out in the otherwise anarchic East Asia has been its low cost of living within the city and eco-friendly modernization policies.
However, over time, Singapore has continued to show tremendous growth in its cultural variety. Differences such as religion, traditions, language, skin color, immigration policies, etc. that hindered continued progress in Singapore’s cultural harmony are being ironed out. A good example is their straightforward acceptance of foreign professionals into their economy, which makes it easy for them to acquire employment visas. Here’s more information on what is an employment visa.
Singapore is considered a bridge between the East and the West, and has played a considerable role in cultivating its cultural realm.
So, how has Singapore worked on changing its image to boost the scope of its artistic diversity?
Building and Renovation of Museums and Art Galleries
Almost ten years ago, tourists fascinated with works of art influenced by Singapore’s multicultural blends could only view them at overseas art and cultural institutions. Regional museums and other exhibition facilities had limited content containing Singapore’s modern-day art.
With the hope of making Singapore a world-renowned art center, the government has pumped a lot of cash into creating more art exhibitions and cultural centers. An example of this is the Esplanade and SAM at 8Q, a museum that displays revolutionary artwork.
Grass Roots Level Art Exhibition Platforms
Local Singaporean artists have created avenues for people to locally display their works of art by creating programs for this. A good example is Torrance Goh, a local architect and founder of an independent cultural scene dubbed Rojak that is hosted twice a year.
Through this, local photographers, filmmakers, painters, and other artists have a chance to exhibit their works. This is done in an attempt to boost Singapore’s previously restrained artistic expression. Other than that, it is also an honest attempt at encouraging Singapore’s local art and design industry.
Attracting Global Artists to Singapore
With local investors working to provide a stepping stone for local art, the Singaporean government is aiming to attract globally applauded artists to Singapore. A good example was the Art Stage Singapore debut of international artists such David LaChapelle and Anish Kapoor at an event organized by legendary art world star Lorenzo Rudolf. Thousands of global visitors thronged to attend the event.
Apart from the above endeavors by the government and private art organizers, local fashion designers and artists alike are also working to expand Singapore’s cultural borders. Shops and boutiques stocked with clothes only designed by locals are being set up to show that Singapore too has its specific brand.