The Artists Village: Openly Intervening in the Public Spaces of the City of Singapore

Adrian Tan 1
  • 1 Nanyang Technological University Singapore (NTU), , Singapore

Abstract

This paper focuses on how the social, dialogical and collaborative strategies and practices of The Artists Village openly intervened in the public spaces of Singapore at various times in the city-state’s history from 1989 to 2015. The objective of this paper is to draw out how the artists collective used social situations to openly produce relational, participatory and socially engaged art in public spaces with specific functions, history and importance. These various forms of artistic interventions took place on a farm, in shopping malls, on public transport networks and at national monuments during different moments in Singapore’s rapid urban transformation. From these examples, one is able to understand why The Artists Village openly intervened in the public spaces of Singapore and how these interventions functioned in their limited scope. Through this study we are able to assess how the varying levels of collaboration, openness and criticality present in their public art projects enabled them to grow outside the centralised system of the nation-state in inserting their practice into the public sphere and engaging the masses.

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