Event Details

27 - 29 Jan 2021, Wed - Fri

2pm - 5pm

Victoria Theatre

Event has ended

The inaugural edition of the SAW Art Symposium brings together local and international cultural leaders, policymakers, as well as industry movers and shakers in a series of curated talks and panel discussions. They will discuss topics relevant to the arts ecosystem in Singapore and its global partners in light of the prevailing global pandemic, as well as its implications for the future. Unfolding over a series of seven sessions, the Symposium’s speakers reflect on issues regarding space and placemaking, arts programming, technology and the art market. The Symposium is produced by Plural Art Mag and supported by the National Arts Council. 

The Symposium will be streamed on Sistic Live for audiences tuning in remotely. Recordings of talks and panel discussions from the Symposium will also be made available after the event. 

Registration opens 21 January 2021.  



Day 1

27 January 2021, 2.15pm – 5pm 

Panel 1
Creating and Holding Space – For Art, Artists and Audiences

Speakers include: 
Aaron Seeto, Director, Museum MACAN
Wilson Tan, Deputy Chairman, National Arts Council & Chairman of Arts House Limited
Teoh Chin Chin, Director, The Jockey Club CPS Limited

Moderator: Usha Chandradas, Co-Founder, Plural Art Mag

This panel explores the impact of cultural policy and urban planning, with a focus on the importance of arts and cultural sites, as well as arts facilities (e.g. arts housing, art spaces, art institutions) in defining and shaping distinct characteristics of urban districts. What’s the way forward in balancing land needs as a society? Are there lessons to be learned from this ‘new normal’ in our approach to spaces and public engagement?  This panel explores a regional perspective, hearing from art spaces on how they negotiate these issues.

Panel 2
Art and the Digital Realm 

Speakers include: 
Dr June Yap, Director, Curatorial Collections & Programmes, Singapore Art Museum
Daniel Birnbaum, Director, Acute Art
Takashi Kudo, Communications Director, teamLab

Moderator: Russell Storer, Director, Curatorial & Collections, National Gallery Singapore

Is there any turning back now that art and arts programming’s expansion into the digital sphere has been accelerated by the pandemic? This panel explores how digital technology impacts the way that art is created and experienced, from the perspectives of curators and artists alike.

Day 2

28 January 2021, 2pm – 5pm

Panel 3
Art for the Public – Commissions and Cultural Philanthropy

Speakers include: 
Emily Sullivan, Curator, Kaldor Public Art Projects
Jan Boes, Head of Client Strategy, Global Family Office APAC, UBS
Mae Anderson, Chairwoman, Art Outreach Singapore
Fram Kitagawa, General Director, Echigo-Tsumari Triennale 

What is the role of private support and cultural philanthropy in nurturing the art industry through public art, and what does it mean for art to be in public, and for the public? This panel explores the relevance of public art in fostering connections within the community that it resides in, and how the public can be involved in the creation and commissioning process.

Panel 4
Cities and Art

Speakers include:
Shubigi Rao, Artistic Director, Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2021
Emma O’Neill, Festival Director, Art Month Sydney
Alia Swastika, Independent Curator & Arts Writer
Juliet Knapp, Co-Director, Kyoto Experiment

Moderator: David Chew, Deputy Director, Festivals & Precinct Development, National Heritage Board

Large-scale arts programming in the manner of biennales, triennales and city-wide events have been much affected by the pandemic. In the wake of COVID-19, is there still room for such events, and if so, how? This panel reflects on the learning points, challenges and possibilities for post-pandemic programming for the arts.

Day 3

29 January 2021, 2pm – 5pm

Panel 5
How Sustainable is Art Going Digital?

Speakers include:
Natasha Kaye Whiffin, Head of Art Fairs & Strategic Partnerships, Artlogic
Kim Tay, Gallery Director, The Artling
Chong Huai Seng, Founder, The Culture Story

Moderator: Pauline Gan, Co-Founder, Plural Art Mag

Tackling the question at the forefront of our minds, this panel of gallerists, collectors and fair directors give their perspective on the impact that the digital format has had on the art market, its pros and cons, and how one can best harness technological tools to stimulate the art economy.

Panel 6
ART SG X UBS Discussion Series
Tigers and Art: The Economic, Social Demographic, and Consumer Context for the Art and Luxury Market in Southeast Asia

Speakers include:
Kelvin Tay, Managing Director, Regional Chief Investment Officer, UBS AG
Patti Wong, Chairman, Sotheby’s Asia and Chairman, Sotheby’s Diamonds
Dr Melanie Fasche, Lecturer MA in Art Business, Sotheby’s Institute of Art
Alain Jacques Gilbert Li, CEO, Asia Pacific, Richemont

Moderator: Magnus Renfrew, Co-Founder, ART SG and Co-Director, Taipei Dangdai

Presented by ART SG, this panel of art market experts surveys Singapore’s rise as a financial centre and role as one of the four Asian Tigers, and embarks on a comparative survey of its art and luxury market development vis-à-vis economic growth alongside the other Tiger countries (Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea) and Tiger Cub Economies in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam).

Panel 7
Grounded and Ready for Take Off: Flight Plans for 2021

Speakers include: 
Dr Yanyun Chen, Artist and Academic
Khai Hori, Director and Partner, Chan + Hori Contemporary
Adele Tan, Senior Curator, National Gallery Singapore

Moderator: Nadya Wang, Founder and Editor, Art & Market

With our feet firmly planted on the ground and poised to take flight as pivoting opportunities present themselves, what can we learn from our experiences in the past year to elevate our collective efforts? In this roundtable event presented by Art & Market, we look to various players in the art industry to get a sense of the big picture and devise a plan with which to reach towards a brighter future.