Programmes and events at The Substation are quite diverse, ranging from traditional to contemporary dance and theatre; from established visual artists hosting exhibitions to new, young poets holding readings; from gigs featuring local rock bands to regional conferences on arts and culture; from international film festivals to screenings of works by first-time filmmakers.
InHouse events are designed, curated or presented by The Substation. These include events from core programmes such as Moving Images, Associate Artist, and Open Call. Co-productions, where The Substation contributes towards the programming or funding of an event, are also included in this category.
OpenHouse events are designed, curated or presented by artists, collectives, and other organisations. These events are staged without any curatorial or artistic assistance from The Substation. OpenHouse events may qualify for rental subsidies, as part of The Substation’s mission to support the arts.
The Substation’s flagship InHouse programmes include:
The Substation’s Moving Images is Singapore’s first year-round programme dedicated exclusively to independent and short films. Established in 1997, Moving Images is known for its diverse and innovative programming focusing on experimental films, shorts, and documentaries, nurturing local and Asian filmmakers and connecting them internationally. The Singapore Short Film Awards and the Experimental Film Forum were first hosted in 2010, while the Singapore Indie Doc Fest and First Take were first launched in 2004.
Open Call // Visual, Performance and Sound Art
The Substation Open Call was first initiated in 2008 as a visual arts platform to support and realise strong artistic, critical and rigorous visual arts proposals. In 2010, Open Call expanded to include an incubation programme for performance art. The Substation introduced a sound art component in 2011.
The Substation started to develop its music programming in 2010. The Tribal Gathering music programme was initiated with the series Tribal Gathering of Tongue Tasters, hosted monthly in alternate quarters, which brings together sound, visual and performance art. The first Tribal Gathering of Jaw Benders, an annual music festival, will be held at the end of 2011.
Literary Art at The Substation has included events which debate and discuss novels, plays, and art criticism. The Substation’s Love Letters postcard project was initiated in 2009, and is ongoing. It brings together a large number of writers of different ethnic, sexual and linguistic backgrounds to write poems around the theme of love, loss and longing. The Substation has also commissioned and published a number of publications, including works of fiction. The latest novel, Several Islands, was published in 2011.
Associate Artist Research Programme
The Substation’s Associate Artist Research Programme (AARP) is a two-year residency programme (2011-2013) where selected art practitioners will be provided with curatorial, financial, administrative and operational support to develop individual interdisciplinary art research and practice at The Substation. The programme replaces the previous Associate Artist Scheme first initiated in early 2002.
The Substation celebrates its anniversary annually on 16 September. The SeptFest arts festival was created as a month-long celebration of performance, visual, sound, filmic and literary art. Traditionally, the Open Call events are staged during this period, and are often accompanied by specially commissioned events, conferences, seminars, exhibitions and parties.
The Substation has always devoted part of its resources to public education and arts appreciation programmes. Now formalised into four individual programmes available to Primary and Secondary schools, JCs/CI and ITEs, these programmes instill and nurture critical thinking and creativity in young minds. The Substation is committed to researching, designing and presenting stimulating and exciting programmes that will contribute to a more holistic educational experience for students.