Traveling for a residency is a tricky proposition right now, but in a clear vote of optimism for the future, the Singapore Art Museum is starting a multifarious residency program that will begin to operate fully in July. Slots in the initiative will be open to those living in the city-state and abroad. Applications go live next week.
The residencies, which will last for one to six months at sites in Singapore, come in four flavors, with one apiece dedicated to artists or collectives, curators or researchers, those involved in community or education work, and an arts organization based in Asia. (That last one, formally called the Ex-Situ: Arts Space Residency, can be applied to only by invitation.)
Eugene Tan, SAM’s director, said in a statement that public engagement would be “at the core of the program,” with a focus on “community interactions to foster understanding amongst our audiences on art, artists, and their artistic processes.” (In-person interactions sound pretty good in a place where new coronavirus cases have been in single digits in many recent days.)
As a test run, SAM is planning to host three residents (in the communication/education and curatorial/research realms) from January to March. (Those, too, are by-invitation-only, and they will be available to people already based in Singapore.)
SAM, which focuses on contemporary art, opened in 1996 and hosts the Singapore Biennial. It is currently undergoing a $67 million renovation of its main building. Helmed by SCDA Architects, that work is slated to be completed in 2023. In the meantime, it is staging events and exhibitions at other venues around the city of about 5.6 million.