My studio will be exploring the issue of creating an art gallery in Singapore. The direction of the whole project isn't exactly set in stone yet and the studio is currently engaged in preliminary readings of essays written on museums and art galleries.
To kick off the project, we will be going down to the Singapore Art Museum tomorrow where the director of the museum will give us a little presentation. From there, we will proceed to a quick visit of the 2 proposed sites. Another presentation by a museum curator/ exhibition designer has also been scheduled for Friday.
So, the first real studio session will be on friday where by then we would have some grasp of the issues we are dealing with.
In fact, at this pt of time, some questions are already forming inside my head.
1-What are the challenges faced by museums in the short-term and the long-term?
2- Is there enough audience in Singapore (population of 4 million) to support another art gallery/museum? Note that now we already have the asian civiisation museum, the art museum, an arts house, a national history museum, an upcoming national art gallery,an upcoming arts school.
3-Most of these art gallery/museums in Singapore are located within refurbished historical building. Is there a possibility that ppl visit these galleries because of the history of these buildings rather than the contents?
4-What is the role of these art galleries? Do they see themselves as agents of cultural and social change? if yes, then how?
5-If they are agents of change, then the contents of these galleries are probably the means to provoke change. So how are the contents decided? Are the artowrks selected by a committee? (which they probably are) and if so, what gives this committee the authority to decide what the public should see?
6- Art museums/galleries as symbols of culture status/ as gauge of how sophisticated a country is (?) So, are these galleries then merely a show-off collection? Have culture also become a consumption good?
Hope to discuss some of these questions discussed in studio. Would be interesting to hear what the archinect community response to these questions would be.