The ‘Real’ World, Interdisciplinary Arts and the Community: An Interview with the Artistic Director of The Substation – A Home for the Arts

Noor Effendy Ibrahim, C. J. W.-L. Wee


Noor Effendy Ibrahim, interviewed by C. J. W.-L. Wee

What would you say are the present central goals of the historically first independent Singapore art centre, The Substation – A Home for the Arts?

I have been Artistic Director of The Substation since February 2010. The key goal is clear: to continue and develop the legacy of this centre through artistic strategies and methods that are sensitive to and aware of the current and immediate cultural, political and economic contexts that exist. The Substation aims to provide a rigorous and safe space for the development and research into art practices that have a primarily interdisciplinary orientation – in short, the aim is to be a venue where dialogues occur and artistic curation and creation can transpire.

It is apparent, though, that the physical infrastructure of The Substation is ageing, and that sufficient funding is also another key concern. So, a major issue is the re-thinking of how to make the available resources within The Substation itself good enough such that challenging artwork is possible, and so that the imagination of the larger arts community – the larger public, government agencies and possible funders – can be fired up to comprehend our commitment to interdisciplinary arts creation at The Substation, whatever the limitations and constraints of the moment.

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