A new art hub in Singapore

A new art hub in Singapore

A cluster of international galleries, all with ties to Asia, will set up in the site of the former British military barracks in Singapore. They include Takashi Murakami's Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Mizuma Gallery, Ota Fine Arts and Tomio Koyama Gallery from Japan, along with Shanghai's ShangArt and Pearl Lam Galleries, and the Drawing Room from Manila.

The Singapore Government came up with the idea of converting Gillman Barracks into an arts cluster in 2010 and has since invested $10 million into the project. An open tender was made last June for galleries to apply for a space in the barracks and 13 have been selected. “We thought hard about galleries that would have the effect we want and that could make Gillman Barracks a catalyst for the Singapore arts scene”, said Eugene Tan, a director at the Economic Development Board.

There is only one Singaporean gallery in the lineup which has raised questions about local galleries being frozen out, but putting pressure on local galleries is “partly the plan”, says Eugene Tan. “We want them to raise their game.”

Also anchored within the barracks will be the newly established Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), which will be one of the key programming platforms at the new art destination. CCA will include an international artists residency programme and a centre for contemporary art research.
Image: Gillman Barracks, Singapore, circa 1970