Sarah Choo Jing | DAZED

Singapore and the realities of growing a new contemporary art scene

by Sarah Choo Jing

by Sarah Choo Jing

Photographer Sarah Choo’s work was shown at a talk with Audrey Yeo, S.E.A Focus Project Director during Singapore Art Week. Choo explains that her images centre on social alienation and isolation by employing themes such as the “gaze of the flaneur, voyeurism, and the uncanny”. Over email, she reveals a positivity about Singapore’s developing interest in the arts. “Art appreciation is definitely on the rise,” she writes. “It’s encouraging to know that we do have a generation of young collectors, taking on an active role in the art community. The creative scene is a small, tight fraternity, but extremely diverse and vibrant. There is no doubt that our contemporary artists are pushing boundaries and consistently challenging the status quo.” She states that Singaporean artists are forward-thinking but they also see the importance in embracing the artistic traditions of the country’s past: “These circumstances create for complex art-making and reception in a relatively young nation.”

Choo also applauds the government’s support for art’s future in Singapore. “Compared to our counterparts in the world, I do see significant support from the Singapore government in recent years,” she explains. This, she adds, has come in the form of opportunities to participate in exhibitions and showcases both locally and internationally. However, she notes that it is not just the government’s responsibility but that Singapore’s society at large which needs to elevate the importance of creative work in relation to its economy. “Young artists need time and space to experiment, fail, learn and develop,” she explains. “We need to embrace failure and uncertainty – these take time. That is how we build sustainable, complex ecosystems for the creative arts to thrive.”

Read full article here.