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Target Audiences and the Publics of Art

April 7, 2012

| $25

The Substation Conferences presents:
Target Audiences and the Publics of Art
Saturday 7 April 2012, 11am – 5pm
The Substation Theatre
Admission: $25
from the box office contact Mishaal 6337 7800  /
To reserve your seats online please click here to submit an online registration form
Please note seats are limited and reservations will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis

// Introduction

Target Audiences and the Publics of Art

The purpose of this conference is to examine the many concepts of audience and public: from general audiences to target audiences; publics for and of art.

The audience is a term often used by arts administrators — an object of desire, to be counted and coveted. Whereas the public is something that art-makers seem more concerned with. Audiences may be out there to be reached, but publics are always constituted by some sense of purpose or identity. Arts spaces are not just venues for the consumption of contemporary culture. If they do their job well, they become sites where where individuals, from artists to audiences, gather together and feel some sense of belonging. Speakers include Lee Weng Choy, Kathy Rowland and Tan Tarn How.

For more information, and the schedule, please see below:

// The Substation Conferences by Lee Weng Choy

In the 1990s, The Substation hosted a series of landmark annual conferences. The inaugural event, Art vs Art, held in 1993, was remarkable for bringing together audiences, academics, activists, and a full range of arts professionals — from actors to administrators, painters to playwrights — who all came to discuss art in terms hitherto unexamined in public.

Nearly twenty years have passed since Art vs Art, and while the arts scene in Singapore has changed dramatically, many of the issues that were debated back then, about the mainstream and the margins, about art and its communities, remain as important to engage as ever. Precisely because the contexts and conditions for culture are always evolving, the arts community needs come together regularly to reflect on what has been happening locally, regionally and globally.

This year, The Substation is launching a new conference series, with three conferences scheduled for this year, the first being Target Audiences and the Publics of Art. The second and third conferences will investigate the themes of interculturalism and independence/censorship, respectively. This inaugural series of conferences is convened by Lee Weng Choy.


// Conference Schedule:

The conference comprises three sessions. Each session includes a lecture and panel discussion. Panel discussions involve moderators, commentators and questions from the audience.

Speakers Lee Weng Choy, Kathy Rowland and Tan Tarn How
Moderators Lee Weng Choy and Yu-Mei Balasingamchow
Commentators Terence Chong, Felicia Low, Sean Tobin and Ye Shu Fang

// Speakers

Lee Weng Choy is an art critic. From 2000 to 2009, he was artistic co-director of The Substation arts. He has taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Singapore, and the School of the Art Institute, Chicago. Weng Choy serves on the academic advisory board of the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, and is president of the Singapore Section of the International Association of Art Critics. His essays have been published in many journals, catalogues, and books, including: Broadsheet, Forum On Contemporary Art & Society, Over Here: International Perspectives on Art and Culture, Shifting Boundaries: Social Change in the Early 21st Century, and Theory in Contemporary Art since 1985.

Kathy Rowland has been writing about the politics of culture for the past 10 years. She co-founded the online Malaysian arts magazine, and ran it from 2001 to 2009. Her articles on censorship of the arts, theatre practice, and politics have been published in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. She recently moved to Singapore from China.

Tan Tarn How is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies. His research areas are in arts and cultural policy and media and Internet policy. He has written on the development of the arts in Singapore, fostering partnerships between the people, private and public sectors, on the creative industries in Singapore, China and Korea, on the history of cultural policy in Singapore, on censorship, and on the management of media in Singapore. He has also carried out research on the impact of the Internet and new technology on society, the regulation of the Internet, the role of new media in the 2008 Malaysian election and the 2006 Singapore election, and the impact of new media on old media. He was a journalist for nearly one and half decades before joining IPS. He has also been a teacher and television scriptwriter and is an award-winning playwright.


April 7, 2012
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