Singapore Art Week Art Symposium 2021

Singapore Art Week Art Symposium 2021

27 – 29 January 2021
Victoria Theatre, 9 Empress Place (go to Google maps)
2pm – 5pm
Free Admission

Singapore Art Week Art Symposium 2021

The inaugural edition of the SAW Art Symposium brings together local and international cultural leaders, policymakers, as well as industry movers and shakers in a series of curated talks and panel discussions. They will discuss topics relevant to the arts ecosystem in Singapore and its global partners in light of the prevailing global pandemic, as well as its implications for the future. Unfolding over a series of seven sessions, the Symposium’s speakers reflect on issues regarding space and placemaking, arts programming, technology and the art market. The Symposium is produced by Plural Art Mag and supported by the National Arts Council. 

The Symposium will be streamed on Sistic Live for audiences tuning in remotely. Recordings of talks and panel discussions from the Symposium will also be made available after the event. Register here for the physical symposium or tune in to the livestreams and VOD here.

Speakers include:
Daniel Birnbaum, Artistic Director, Acute Art
Most recently Director of Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Daniel Birnbaum joined Acute Art in January 2019. Acute Art brings together renowned international artists, new media and technology to produce and exhibit compelling, cutting-edge visual artworks in Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR). Works produced include those by Marina Abramovic, Olafur Eliasson, Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons and others.

Emily Sullivan, Curator, Kaldor Public Art Projects
Emily Sullivan is a Sydney-based curator, writer and producer. Major projects include works by prominent Australian and international artists; Agatha Gothe-Snape, Alicia Frankovich, Anri Sala, Asad Raza, Ian Milliss, Michael Landy and Miralda. Most recently, in her role as Curator, Kaldor Public Art Projects, Emily co-curated do it (australia) with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, London, commissioning new work by 18 Australian artists and creative practitioners for the organisation’s first digital art project.

Photo credit: Mao Yamamoto

Fram Kitagawa, General Director, Echigo-Triennale
Fram Kitagawa is the founder of Art Front Gallery, Co. Ltd, and has served as the General Director of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale since 2000. Amongs others, he has also served as the General Director of the Setouchi Triennale, the Boso Satoyama Art Festival: Ichihara Art x Mix, Northern Alps Art Festival as well as the Oku-Noto Triennale. His book on Echigo-Tsumari Triennale has been translated and published in USA, China, Taiwan, and Korea. His co-authored book on Setouchi Triennale (with Soichiro Fukutake) has been translated and published in China and Taiwan.   


Shubigi Rao, Artistic Director, Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2021
Artist and writer Shubigi Rao’s interests include libraries, archival systems, histories and lies, literature and violence, ecologies, and natural history. Her art, texts, films, and photographs look at current and historical flashpoints as perspectival shifts to examining contemporary crises of displacement, whether of people, languages, cultures, or knowledge bodies. Her current decade-long project, Pulp: A Short Biography of the Banished Book is about the history of book destruction and the future of knowledge. 
Takashi Kudo, Communications Director, teamLab
After Takashi graduated from Waseda University, he started working as an editor. He worked at a publisher IDG Sweden in Stockholm for 4 years as Editor in Chief for a video game magazine. After returning to Japan, he started out his career as Branding Manager / Communications Director at teamLab. Takashi now manages teamLab’s entire branding aspects while committing himself to specific projects that need growth hacking. 

Image courtesy of Singapore Art Week.

Day 1

27 January 2021, 2.15pm – 5pm 

Welcome Address
2.15pm – 2.45pm

Rosa Daniel, CEO, National Arts Council and Deputy Secretary (Culture), The Ministry of Culture, Comunity and Youth

Panel 1
3pm – 3.45pm

Creating and Holding Space – For Art, Artists and Audiences

Aaron Seeto, Director, Museum MACAN
Wilson Tan, Deputy Chairman, National Arts Council & Chairman of Arts House Limited
Teoh Chin Chin, Director, The Jockey Club CPS Limited

Moderator: Usha Chandradas, Co-Founder, Plural Art Mag

This panel explores the impact of cultural policy and urban planning, with a focus on the importance of arts and cultural sites, as well as arts facilities (e.g. arts housing, art spaces, art institutions) in defining and shaping distinct characteristics of urban districts. What’s the way forward in balancing land needs as a society? Are there lessons to be learned from this ‘new normal’ in our approach to spaces and public engagement?  This panel explores a regional perspective, hearing from art spaces on how they negotiate these issues.

Panel 2
4pm – 4.45pm

Art and the Digital Realm 

Daniel Birnbaum, Director, Acute Art
Takashi Kudo, Communications Director, teamLab
Dr June Yap, Director, Curatorial Collections & Programmes, Singapore Art Museum

Moderator: Russell Storer, Director, Curatorial & Collections, National Gallery Singapore

Is there any turning back now that art and arts programming’s expansion into the digital sphere has been accelerated by the pandemic? This panel explores how digital technology impacts the way that art is created and experienced, from the perspectives of curators and artists alike.

Day 2

28 January 2021, 2pm – 5pm

Panel 3
2.15pm – 3.15pm

Art for the Public – Commissions and Cultural Philanthropy

Emily Sullivan, Curator, Kaldor Public Art Projects
Jan Boes, Head of Client Strategy, Global Family Office APAC, UBS
Mae Anderson, Chairwoman, Art Outreach Singapore
Fram Kitagawa, General Director, Echigo-Tsumari Triennale 

Moderator: Tamares Goh, Head, Curatorial Programmes, National Gallery Singapore

What is the role of private support and cultural philanthropy in nurturing the art industry through public art, and what does it mean for art to be in public, and for the public? This panel explores the relevance of public art in fostering connections within the community that it resides in, and how the public can be involved in the creation and commissioning process.

Panel 4
3.30pm – 4.30pm

Cities and Art

Shubigi Rao, Artistic Director, Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2021
Emma O’Neill, Festival Director, Art Month Sydney
Alia Swastika, Director, Biennale Jogja Foundation
Juliet Knapp, Co-Director, Kyoto Experiment

Moderator: David Chew, Deputy Director, Festivals & Precinct Development, National Heritage Board

Large-scale arts programming in the manner of biennales, triennales and city-wide events have been much affected by the pandemic. In the wake of COVID-19, is there still room for such events, and if so, how? This panel reflects on the learning points, challenges and possibilities for post-pandemic programming for the arts.

Day 3

29 January 2021, 2pm – 5pm

Panel 5
2.05pm – 2.50pm 

How Sustainable is Art Going Digital?

Natasha Kaye Whiffin, Head of Art Fairs & Strategic Partnerships, Artlogic
Kim Tay, Gallery Director, The Artling
Chong Huai Seng, Founder, The Culture Story

Moderator: Pauline Gan, Co-Founder, Plural Art Mag

Tackling the question at the forefront of our minds, this panel of gallerists, collectors and fair directors give their perspective on the impact that the digital format has had on the art market, its pros and cons, and how one can best harness technological tools to stimulate the art economy.

Panel 6
3pm – 4pm 

ART SG X UBS Discussion Series
Tigers and Art: The Economic, Social Demographic, and Consumer Context for the Art and Luxury Market in Southeast Asia

Kelvin Tay, Managing Director, Regional Chief Investment Officer, UBS AG
Patti Wong, Chairman, Sotheby’s Asia and Chairman, Sotheby’s Diamonds
Dr Melanie Fasche, Lecturer MA in Art Business, Sotheby’s Institute of Art
Alain Jacques Gilbert Li, CEO, Asia Pacific, Richemont

Moderator: Magnus Renfrew, Co-Founder, ART SG and Co-Director, Taipei Dangdai

Presented by ART SG, this panel of art market experts surveys Singapore’s rise as a financial centre and role as one of the four Asian Tigers, and embarks on a comparative survey of its art and luxury market development vis-à-vis economic growth alongside the other Tiger countries (Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea) and Tiger Cub Economies in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam).

Panel 7
4.15pm – 5pm

Grounded and Ready for Take Off: Flight Plans for 2021

Dr Yanyun Chen, Artist and Academic
Khai Hori, Director and Partner, Chan + Hori Contemporary
Adele Tan, Senior Curator, National Gallery Singapore
Josephine Kelliher, Facebook Open Arts Lead EMEA & APAC

Moderator: Nadya Wang, Founder and Editor, Art & Market

With our feet firmly planted on the ground and poised to take flight as pivoting opportunities present themselves, what can we learn from our experiences in the past year to elevate our collective efforts? In this roundtable event presented by Art & Market, we look to various players in the art industry to get a sense of the big picture and devise a plan with which to reach towards a brighter future.