The Substation Archive

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Early Years 1990-1995

Open Space Nov 1990

  • Verena Tay helped to coordinate substation's launch - she adds small footnote
  • KPK's comments on Diversity in the foreword to Open Space (two months into substation's running)
  • 3 Nov 1990 - The Flame of the Forest - nature inspired original compsitions in ad of the Malayan Nature Society
  • 7 Nov 1990 - My Mother said I never should - by charlotte keatley and presented by Actors Theatre Circle - mothers and daughters and their bonds of love and jealousy. directed by Rey Buono and stars Shirley Smith, Christina Sergeant, Sharon Suander-Rodrigues and Joyce Rasmussen.
  • 15 Nov 1990 - Cell City - written by Yeo Soh Choo, won 2nd prize in 1982 national Play Writing competition. Take 5 Theatrrical Ensemble. artistic direction by Lee Yew Moon.
  • 14 Dec 1990 - Murderers, Hope for Mankind, by Gungho Theatre
  • 21 Dec 1990 - Nicky and the SNowman by Le Petite Touche (children's class)
  • 28 Dec 1990 - Emily of Emerald Hill (Practice Theatre Ensemble) - dramatised in mandarin by jalyn han, directed by Ng Sin Yue
  • 3 Dec 1990 - Angkatan Pelukis Aneka Daya (APAD) - Association of artists of Various Resources - action '90
  • 8 Dec 1990 - Vision III - Established names like Iskandar Jalil, Rosihan Dahim, Salleh Jaafar, as well as newcomers like Rafaar Hamzah
  • 10 Nov 1990 - Bruce Robertson Playback Theatre and Improvisations (forum theatre)
  • 17 Nov 1990 - Adventure in Acting - introducing theatre and acting to beginners - KPK, Roger Jenkins (STARS), Christina Sergeant (Actors Theatre Circle), Yang Bishan (Luwei Ensemble)
  • 23 Dec 1991 - Prof Krishen Jit malaysian critic/director/historian gives talk on Five Years of Theatre-Going in Singapore
  • 18 Dec 1991 - Stella Kon the playwright reads from Dragon's Teeth Gate, a play exploring the destiny of Singapore
  • 3 Dec 1991 - Introduction to Scene Study Workshop by Christina Sergeant of Actors Theatre Circle - how to approach a script and bring playwright character to life
  • 25 Nov 1990 - With A Little Help From My Friends II - O'Donel Levy, BIll Holmberg Blues Band, Yinyang, The Oddfellows, Opposition Party, Amazon, Friends of Boondah, Calcutta Blues Band, and more
  • 9 Dec 1991 - Malam or Night - visual artists Rafaat Hamzah, Khairul Anwar, Ahmad Mashadi present a night o poetry recitation at the garden
  • Joe Ng gives personal account of With A Little help From My Friends I (sept 30 1990)
  • There seems to be a fair bit of batik - in Action 90 show and Vision III
  • Who attended KPK/s playwriting programme in 1990-1991?
  • Beng Luan

Open Space Jan 1991

  • 7 Jan 1991 - Mask Workshop conducted by Roger Jenkins of Phizzog Mask Theatre, artistic director of STARS
  • 9 Jan 1991 - creative drama workshop for young people conducted by Roger Jenkins of Phizzog Mask Theatre, artistic director of STARS
  • 31 Jan 1991 - Nuradee - The Night Ends with One Illusion with guest appearance by Tang Da Wu
  • 26 Jan 1991 - Chris Harris - Kemp's Jig - Kemp's Jig
  • 19-27 Jan 1991 - Manjeet - "Spring Dance" exhibition in gallery
  • 27 Jan 1991 - Making of a Bestseller - Joash Moo author of Sisterhood teaches aspiring writers the finer points of writing a best selling novel
  • 13 Feb 1991 - Introduction to Basic Mime Workshop by Christina Sergeant of Actors Theatre Circle
  • 2 Mar 1991 - Production and Stage Management discussion - Suven Chan Technical Manager of PPACL
  • 3 Mar 1991 - Ho Khee Tong Conducted a Basic Photography Workshop - professional photographer since 1975, portraits used in oral history dept in 1986
  • 9 Mar 1991 - Music forum cum demo in conjunction with the mini music bazaar, hardcore music, jazz, blues musicians invited to discuss music and give demos
  • 12-24 Mar 1991 - Master plans for Nature conservation in Singapore - Malaysan Nature Society
  • Images (fundraising exhibition) involved locat and oversseas artists such as the late Chen Chong Swee, Ng Yak Whee, Ong Kim seng, Pan Shou, Tan Leong Kheng, Tan swie Hian, Yeo Hoe koon - opened by Prof Tommy Koh
  • The Substation Logo based on the facade of the building stylised to look like a seal in abstract composition - designed by Tan Swie Hian - substation with doors and windows flung wide open as a symbol of welcome to the open space within.
  • former staff - Fattimah Ally

Open Space March 1991

  • 9 March 1991 - talk on jazz + Forum on Hardcore rock music and youth - role of hardcore rock music on youth of today. on the panel are bigo writers Martyn See and Rajesh, deejay/singapore Chris Ho, the editor of Aku Punya Suka, Khusaini and hardcore band leader Kheng. they will discuss culture, straight edge movement and the future of hard core rock music. [aku punya suka means I got love in malay?] - this one had an interesting paper from it. who made it?
  • 13 March 1991 - Music Space I
  • 24 March 1991 - Samagama: encounter, intersection, conjunction (indian dance)
  • 27 March 1991 - The Necessary Stage - Haresh Sharma - "Private Limited"
  • 11 April 1991 - "Find me, by Raffles Players RJC, English play about Verity Taylor, a social misfit
  • 11 May 1991 - Dance Forum 91 - taiwan modern dance company, formed in sep 1989
  • 19 April 1991 - Disabled Art Exhibition by Community Chest
  • 28 April 1991 - Tic toc show (mini show on antique and vintage clocks, watches, taken from private collections. (who made this show????)
  • 14 April 1991 - BIGO at Substation - corporate toil, opposition party, oddfellows, etc. contact nazir at garden
  • 28 March 1991 - Pantose theatre workshop - music and body language by German director producer michael erwin
  • 23 March 1991 - Joash Moo does The Art of Horror illustration workshop.
  • Suven Chan does Stage /Production manamgenet workshop - she is current technical manager with substation
  • Lim Leei Leei and Lim Bee Choo from NAFA do a children's Creative Art Workshop
  • Pamphylia Poh, lecturer with TP conducts course on Poster Design
  • Sunday Fete crafts and collectibles
  • Announcement of Budding Artist Scheme - compliation of artists directory
  • Do you know substation has its own song? composed by ken low and edison lauw, the song titled The dream has just begun was first launched at the round-the-clock concert.

Open Space May 1991

  • 17 May 1991 - Stretch Marks and Good Day double bill by Sharon lim & Ida Bachtiar (journalists)
  • 20 may 1991 - Kaki Ku (my leg) teater ekamatra based on poem by Lut Ali (founder of teater ekamatra)
  • 27 may 1991 - Theatre exposure programme - practice performing ensemble with students - to introduce theatre education to young people - sponsored by shell
  • 6 june 1991 - a dead visiting the survivors - mandarin drama by life drama society
  • 12 jun 1991 - redear by toy factory
  • 16 jun 1991 - baca puisi nusantara - poetry reading in malay by angkatan sasterawan '50
  • 20 june 1991 - the silly little girl and the funny old tree. directed by Lim Jen Erh at Open Space. Played by Guan Yushan and Huang Jiaqiang.
  • 25 may 1991 - White by Clifford Ess, exhibition of sculptural objects, conceptual and 3d
  • 1 jun 1991 - Batik Painting Exhibition by Jamal Haron - works in acrylic and batik
  • 21 june 1991 - The Tree Celebration
    • installation art - tang da wu, Chandrasekaran, Koh Nguang How. Theme of conservation of trees.
    • Readings of the man who planted trees written by jean giono in 5 languages french eng malay mandarin, tamil.
    • the silly little girl and the funny old tree. directed by Lim Jen Erh at Open Space. Played by Guan Yushan and Huang Jiaqiang.
    • photoexhibition by lim seng tiong and ho khee tong and friends
  • alternative rock concert - hard core lives! the round the clock concert which was called off due to rain on 2 jan 1991 is moved to 2 june
  • 14 may 1991 - art batik painting - ika zahri conducts batik workshop - he studied from his father, sarkasi Tzee, an established batik artist
  • 24 may 1991 - Suven Chan stage maangement workshop
  • Audrey's note: could the tree celebration be the first thematic multidisciplinary arts event in singapore?
  • the labels on the "what's on" table is funny. it was evidently written by a bilingual person. sometimes the details are in the english version, sometimes in the chinese, sometimes if you don't speak both you don't know what's going on unless you read inside because the english and chinese versions compliment each other.
  • do you know section page 7 is great random snippets
    • kelvin tan's folk songs in the afternooon
    • the donated piano - donor requested that "in poverty i strive, in wealth i give" be inscribed on the piano
    • nellie seng - 10 years old, played a song on the piano
    • artis the spoonman the travelling performer who makes music with forks and spoons made a cube out of bubbles (er..)

Open Space July 1991

  • Mini Music Fest ii - acoustic vibes - Amarjeet and friends, steve hogan and soon, pink urges, Nuradee, V. Mogan, Bruce Seah, Twang Bar Kings
  • TILES - were added to the garden (where are all these tiles? gone? was added by Lasalle students, ceramic tiles donated by fiona charlton)
  • 21 july 1991 - Talk on the collection of Chia by Lim Yak Chiew
  • 24 July 1991 - Origami Architecture by instructor Er Kok Beng
  • Batik class by Ika Zahri
  • Yoga class by Dori Sabapathy
  • 17 july 1991 - John lim semi and pure abstract painting workshop
  • Music Forum - musician vernon cornelius (lead singer of The Quest, most famous pop group in 1960s), music critic and bigO editor (since 1985) philip cheah (also singapore international film festival programmer), music and singers assocaition of singapore advisor Raymond Tan and Europa lounge owner Fennis Foo. is the local music scene healthy? are we moving positively ahead? Foreign artists boost or boon?
  • Elena Yeo lasalle graduate is first recipient of Budding Artist Scheme - had exhibition - but when??

Open Space Nov 1991

  • Raw Theatre - "To Be Eve" / "Unbridged" "Blood and Water / "Babies in the Blender.
    • words in beginning of magazine - "Originality is the essence of art. Dynamic enermies often come bursting in raw forms. Invariable immature. At times shocking. Always disturbing." (no attribution)
    • 0001 (it is written as 0 Zero 0 1 later?) by Practice Theatre Ensemble
    • William Teo's 'Listen to the Dolor of Dolores' at the garden (the plight of filipino maids in singapore).
    • 'Switch off the lights, please' by Tang Da wu - the expression of the fear that plagues tang constantly - the threat of nuclear power.
    • Four in the Spotlight - shrotplays by VJC TS
  • 15 Sept 1991 - Jog For Arts Power - photos by koh nguang how and ho keen fi - 7.30 flagged off by Prof Tommy Koh, walked for 5km through hill street, victoria stree,t chinatown, and back to hte home for the arts. celebs who attended were Patrick "oddfellows" chng, kenneth "SBC" liang, Roger "STARS" Jenkins, Philip "BIG O" Chuah, Bonnie "excuse me are you a model" hicks, Joash "Sisterhood" Moo and more.
  • Before the sun rises - new year overnight concert was planned!
  • 3 Nov 1991 - Suzhou Ping Tan
  • 8 Nov 1991 - BigO Concert
  • 1 Dec 1991 - Singapore by the Back Door photography exhibition by Philip Little
  • 2 Dec 1991 - Made in Singapore concert in the Garden rap hardcore and folk organised by Mega-Z
  • 20 Dec 1991 - Action 91 batik acrylic oil painting
  • 13 nov 1991 - chinese opera talks - the role that colours play in chinese opera - talk by sng poh yoke with excertp from patriotic princess by Mdm woo wai fong and ms sally low with kong chow wui koon cantonese operat troupe
  • 17 Nov 1991 - teochew opera talk - russell heng journalist and lover of chinese opera presents personal view of teochew opera since 1960s
  • 13 Nov 1991 - The Magical Palm has Vanished - Master Lee Chye Ee. great glove puppeteer. retired from oral history department. was planning to do workshops but passed away suddenly in a car accident in july 1991. presenting an exhibition of his owrks consiting of photographs of performance, carved pupper heads, musical instruments, scripts, and a 15 min docu. (made possible by Tan Sin Yong, Eng Choon Clan association, master lee's family, Oral history department and SBC
  • Dance Fiezta
  • New drama director - May Wong, from HK.

Open Space March 1992

  • editor Haresh Sharma
  • editorial coordinator - samantha woo
  • daniel wong (art gallery, dance studio / classrooms)
  • heng leun (guinness theatre and garden)
  • Memories project
  • Substation's 1992 Memories theme
  • 26 Mar - Memories in Writing - first readings in conjunction with "memories' presenting works by catherine lim, gopal Baratham, and philip Jeyaratnam ("memories-in-writing")
  • Word Space in 1992 - aims to provide an encouraging atmosphere for creative writing to develop. advised by commitee comprising of russell heng, koh buck sing, max le blond, simon tay, aimed to be quarterly event.
  • 6 March 1992 - Low Yuh Shoei (NAFA / Sorbonne University) - basic landscape oil painting
  • 26 March 1992 - Ikra Zahri - Batik Painting Workshop
  • 4 Apr 1992 - Intermediate Mime Workshop by Christina Sergeant of Actors Theatre Circle
  • 21 Apr 1992 - John Lim Basic Semi and Pure Abstact Course for Beginners Part II - picture of Jasper John's Ballantine ale cans at the corner. was it related to this course?
  • 2 Mar - Xing Feng Cross-Talk Society with new works by Yang Shi bing, Huan Jiaqiang, Chen Tainci, and others
  • 28 Mar - ANNIAN by Agni Koothu, singapore's first avantgarde tamil theatre group - a microcosmic slice of the inevitable rat-race towards materialistic process an hte loss of humanity when one fails to hitch-hike along. translated and adapted from Alien, a mandarin play by Mr Han Lao Da (directed by Elangovan
  • Raw Theatre review: [audrey's note: raw theatre evolved into theatre fest under weng + audrey]
    • Raw Theatre Season began with Kuo Pao Kun's 0 Zero 0 1 (actor's innermost feelings, blunted dreams, painful traumas through use of space/movement)
    • William Teo's 'Listen to the Dolor of Dolores' at the garden (the plight of filipino maids in singapore).
    • 'Switch off the lights, please' by Tang Da wu - the expression of the fear that plagues tang constantly - the threat of nuclear power.
    • 'Four in the spotlight' - collection of four plays by TS students of VJC (amongst these - fendy?)
  • Comment on Raw Theatre "Although it is quite raw in the technical sense, the feelings and the initation of art, as well as the process of creation is not raw enough" pointed out Quah Sy Ren, a freelance writer
  • New Year's Eve bash review - music event with the bands: Eza, Take 5, AWOL, Daze, DOA, Shades, SUDS, Hard TIme, Hazzard, and Krush
    • "As it was written on the back page of life! - "Being good was not quite as important as being there"

Open Space May 1992

  • Singapore Festival of Arts - Festival Fringe 92 - very exciting programme for that year - mix of local and international
    • Xiang Dian Ethnic arts (drums creatin the rhythm and vibrant excuberating lifestyle of minority groups in yunnan and hunan province)
    • Sriwana (malay drama) - evneing of mime
    • I made Djimat Dance group from bali indonesia - styles of balinese dance
    • Steel drums from US
    • Ilotopie - la mousse en Cage - performance art from France - artists smeared with foam that sweels up and hardens gradually, forming human sculptures
    • Teater Ekamatra formed late 1988
  • Music Forum II - Brave new Frontier - local music scene forum - Chaired by Chris Ho, with panelllists steven tan from BMG, Ida Bachtiar (ST), Boniface De Souza (savoir Eaire) and Wee Teck (radio heart)
  • Necessary Stage "Tri-angles" 3 short exploratory plays
  • Jean Binta Breeze - dub poet from jamaica - with keith and inder
  • naveenamedai (modern stage, tamil drama group)
  • Theatre for africa - south african environmental theatre company - presents Horn of Sorrow
  • lab projekt philippines
  • Agni Koothu - Oodaadi (medium) written and directed by Elangovan
  • Art Forum 1 - NaFA graduates "CRE8TIVE SOURCE" - [name probably coems from diploma show - the cre8tive source showcase :8th Nafa graphic design diploma show]
  • Student Theatre Exposure programme (now called STE)
  • Music Space III - big hit with audience was Masatoshi Okuno's "Is it body language? no it is body music." / second half was Dr Stephen Smoliar doing a reading of John Cage's Lecture on Nothing. drifted to philosophical discussion at the end. - new music forms
  • 8 Feb 1992 - Storytelling under the Bodhi Tree... - en Bao Xian of beijing people's art theatre - household name as storyteller on radio beijing. he recited tales from yang family of patriotic generations as well as other several humous and touching short stories. - aim of the series was to "preserve the spoken word in an aage where electronic imaegs dominate"
  • 6 march 1992 - surprise visit from Prince edward of england. accompanied by dr tay eng soon senior minister of state for education and chairman of substaion tay kheng soon.

Open Space August 1992

  • memories multidisciplinary events in 1992 - review of 9 highlights
    • Memories on Old Records - goh lay kwee, an avid records and antique collector, spun evergreen hit in the garden!
    • Memories in Photos - phtoographic exhibition of young and veteran hotographers of 'disappearing sights in singapore'
    • Memories in Visuals - watercolour interpretations of "my place"
    • Memories-in-writing
    • memories on film - cartoon classics
    • Memories in reflection - Choo Ping Chyuan, Sabapathy, Tan Kheng Soon - accounts on linguistic deveopments / art / arch development
    • Memories in Old Paper
    • Memories in Children's Song - issues of past, stories, song, folklore, remininsce, cry
  • lots of garden activities - for the whole family - GUINNESS GardenPerformance series - chambermusic, love scenes from chinese opera, ghost stories (chinese), dance space, wayang kulit, percussion jam (steel, indian, african drums, etc, coordinated by JOhn sharpley, composer in resident at lasalle)

Open Space Sept 1992

  • gamelan journey - dr john sharpley, dance by marion d'cruz, lasalle gamelan orchestra under direction of dr patricia matusky, ethnomusicologist
  • romance in the garden - cantonese operas
  • the way through the wall... theatre performance?
  • Pamela Lim writes a review of the Fringe Club Substation (more like a description of events)
  • 18 Sept 1992 - A night of xinyao - young songwriting club
  • 9 Sept 1992 - after "The Space" - Zai Kuning's Solo exhibition
  • 17 Sept 1992 - A frame of mind - juliana yasin and Chen kunyi exhibition
  • 16 Sept 1992 - Necessary Stage - Blue remembered hills (directed by Chris Harris)
  • 30 oct 1992 - Children of the soil - singapore portraits and ceramaics by martin loh and jacqueline ng
  • 24 sept 1992 - WAx + Tjianting = ? contemporary batik by Jeffrey Yap, recent lasalle grad
  • Art 2 Shop - Vera, Tzi-Yan, Peter. For Art Paintings prints, ceramics, sculpture, art jewellery, books, for needs of collectors and novices?

Open Space Nov 1992

  • Guinness Raw Theatre 2 (GRT) - impt - 5 productions in 3 languages - not quite finished works in progress, always challenge one's perception. exploration of new forms and interpretation of sensitive issues.
    • 4 Dec 1992 - the black echo that keeps coming back created by ang gey pin
    • 15 dec 1992 - who presents what / VJC ts students
    • 9 Dec 1992 Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble - Surrounds
    • 12 Dec 1992 Agni Koothu - Puli (tiger)
    • 20 Dec 1992 - Lim Jen Erh - afternoon and evening - a prolific bilingual theatre director
  • 4 nov 1992 - the necessary stage - my mothers wooden chest - lim jen erh
  • 4 nov 1992 - Expression in Landscape exhibition organised by Art 2 Shop at the gallery - works by thomas yeo, goh beng kwan, yeo kim seng, etc. advice from art 2 on art and paintings for home and office.
  • old times - cantonese film series (50s and 60s) - by the lekong river, sor chuan, tears of yuan yang river, etc
  • 20 nov 1992 - mdm ng kwan lai - talk on cantonese old movies - chinese people really liked this event and movie talks
  • 22 nov 1992 - wu weicai & ma shangxiang - talk about cantonese old movies - things of the 50s and 60s
  • Student Theatre Exposure programme (now called STEP, previously STE oddly enough) - review of Drink the Mercury. directed by may wong. p 5, 6 , s1, 2 students.
  • Advert for Round-the-clock year end music bash. "the most eccentric and determinely unfashionable place"
  • editor for this one Eunice quek

Open Space Jan 1993

  • Blue Remembered Hills writeup by verena tay who was production manager for the play. TNS worked with Chris Harris via British Council. adaptation of children playing during ww2 to singapore context in 1949. not only a story of innocence but also evil sides of youth. verena's favourite detail was the set - "You were no longer metres away from the busy National Library bus stop but transported to another time and place. Now, that's what imagination is for."
  • 12 feb 1993 - An evening of xinyao
  • 2 feb 1993 - introduction to theatre lighting and sound - suven chan (technical manager) + colin ho (technician of victoria theatre)
  • 10 feb 1993 - stage makeup workshop - melina quek - inhouse make up designer of singapore lyric tehatre
  • 22 Feb 1993 - Introduction to arts management by wong han juan acting manager of substation
  • Memories theme continued from previous year
    • Memory Search - 3 mth theatre project led by Ang Gey Pin
    • A Dialogue with memory - Daniel Wong current works in the area of painting sculpture photography, printmaking and installation by artists who lived and exhibited in the 80s
    • Documentaries from National Archives with talks
    • Wordspace II

Substation news July 1994

  • interesting reflecting on raw theatre 3 8-21 may 1994 - now called RT Raw Theatre - Alvin Tan of The NEcessary Stage, Tan Pei Hwee, cordirector or Cetacea, Otto Fong (playwriter and codirector of we are family
    • they comment on disappointing lack of media interest / low audience turn out issue - not enough discussion between different participants?
    • Weng: "The Process of learning is not about end-products but interaction amongst peers"
    • important to stimulate dialogue between practitioners

Substation news Sept 1994

  • memories shaping and reshaping
  • good intro here by KPK
  • growing up in singapore - Verena Tay (writer/ theatre), Yen Chua (artist / story of being a centrepoint kid), Vincent Leow (artist)
  • 2 Sept 1994 - "past into art - how to make archival materials relevant to your art today" - two panels one in english - chaired by kwa chong guan + dr daniel chew (ad, oral history centre) + Pitt Kuan Wah (ad. technical service, national archives). chinese was chaired by Quah Sy Ren + Irene Quah (research office oral history centre, david chng (ad archives service, national archives) + lim soon lan - playwriter / journalist - find out more about this?
  • 4 sept 1994 "Remembering Singapop" - BigO workshops - george chua, dominic fernadex, fahmi ismail, nina rahmat, wati rahmat, olivia tay - research and video "are we listening" followed by panel discussion with philip cheah, vernon cornelius, lance alexander (perfect 10 dj) and x'ho
  • 1 Oct 1994 - The Rite of the Quilt presented by Action for Aids and The Substation

Substation News Nov 1994

  • editor Chu chu yuan
  • broadsheet format
  • Memories 3
  • Conference on Heritage
    • Kwa Chong Guan - Remembering ourselves - lamenting how nostalgia and superficial appreciation is now the norm
    • janadas Devan - forgetting as the condition of Singapore
    • dr lau wai har - tension between the two worlds of english and chinese educated
    • Multiculturalism - brought up in paprs by low pooi fong, max le blond, arun mahizhnan, koh tai ann
    • brenda yeok and lily kong on "the notion of place in the construction of history, nostalgia and heritage"
  • what people have to say about it:
    • kwok kian woon - member of organising committee - intertwined memories and stories - not just superficial integration indeed; all trying to articulate the possibliites of our place in time, our life together.
    • Lee weng choy - what is striking is that it didn't take place in institutions although so many academics were involved, but in substation, because it is a place where people all feel welcome. it is also not just about the carthasis of speaking out - but the meeting of minds. there has to be dialogue. weng comments on being disappointed by janadas devan's my countyr and my people and how raman daud (commentator) agreed with it saying as being malay he forgets some in order to accept singapore nationalism, his response being a 'concrete illustration of janadas' thesis'
  • 25 sept 1994 - memories of Senses workshop and performance
  • 2 Dec 1994 - Steps After II - Solo exhibiton by Elena Yeo (budding artist programme recipient)
  • 18 nov 1994 - Teng Chok Dee and Siak Fahn-Ein "Rememberance & A Sheep in the Box"
  • Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble, SINDA, Urban Village THeatre, Theatre People, Southern Arts Society, John Bittleston
  • Art 2 - Shop for art - corner of foyer
  • 5 nov 1994 - Forum for the Arts 1994 - talks for Collectors - organised jointly by plum blossoms gallery and sotheby's singapore

Substation News Jan 1995

  • Dance Space 1995 - audrey: possibly the biggest independently organised dance festival in SIngapore in those days with cross disclimpinary elements
    • Open Forum with Tan Woon chor, Bunty Mathias, Najip Ali
  • Living Space - courses for the homeproud!
    • [audrey: inventive public arts education programme coordinated by amanda Heng]
    • Talking Space - lydia fong - architect talking about intro to vocabularu of space and the elements of architecture
    • Experiencing Space - Mok Wei Wei - architect partner with William LIm Associates
    • Imaging Space - Eddy koh - design commercial values cultural values transcending these all
    • Acting Space - Gulsum Nalbartoglu - spaces and how they induce one to act out the space
    • Workshop - home planning and how it affects your life
  • still ongoing are ika zahri's batik classes, suven chan's intro to production /stage management workshop, photography course by lim seng tiong
  • article on small theatre movement in taiwan by tao fu lann (founder and artistic director of tao's dance theatre which is participating in dance space 95
  • contributors to news: ong boo chai, daniel wong, amanda heng
  • introduction to sharon tan in this copy of the news!

1996 - Sasi on board

Substation Newsletter May 1996

  • [Audrey read up to this issue]
  • New Artistic Director T Sasitharan
  • Endowment Fundraising Drive
  • New Criteria - the urban condition: anxieties and analgesics - 1 may 1996
  • Dance Space
  • Raw Theatre
  • Septfest
  • Music Space
  • Forum for the Arts
  • Arts Education programme (no less than 14 a year)
  • Publications
  • Company in Residence - taking on William Teo's Asia-in-Theatre REsearch Centre / Zai Kuning and Ang Gey Pin as Artistes in residence for 1996 / 1997
  • interesting change of tone - this issue sounds a bit more formal - and looking towards things to come? audrey as editor?
  • Fringe Binge (Singapore Festival of Arts Fringe)
    • zai kuning and friends acoustic band performances
    • Theatre Ox excerpts from Valley play
    • Action Theatre
    • Carpet Burns I and Carpet Burns II - filmlet screenings
  • lunchtime concerts - pipers' guild, formed in 1984, medieavel renaissance and baroque european music
  • 1 may 1996 - New Criteria exhibition - info in catalogue (where is catalogue?) - kumai nahappan - 360 vessels from the temple
  • 1 may 1996 - english literary event - word of mouth - poetry - theme on young writers - lee weng choy, gitanjali kolanad, simon tay
  • 2 may 1996 - chinese version - quan sy ren and liu su
  • Cosmoprof, many balloon artists, etc.
  • Memories of Senses by Very Special Arts Singapore.
  • 5-6 june Sound Salvation - formerly known as Tragedy 253, this group won the total local band award at music quest 1994, they present bukan suara ramai, an interactive mix of acoutic music and poetry
  • Zephyrdom - computer projections and dance mime drawing poetry
  • passage into a paper sea by sha sha higby - sculptures or costumes through which a lyrical drama is presented
  • sim seow khai, singapore's famous balloon man will teach you have to make balloon figures?
  • Children's Puppet Castle formed in 1980s

Substation Newsletter Jul 1996

  • Music Space 96 - collab intensive 7 day between 2 japanese, 2 french, two korean musican, plus dancer from japan and two performers from singapore - effendy and zai kuning. tetsu saito.
  • 18 May 1996 - rock the garden concert - return of stompin ground and concave scream, damien sin the hardcore troubadour, humpback oak, flow...
  • artist in residence programme - theatre ox - ang gey pin, tan pei hwee, and koh leng leng , and zai kuning
    • focused daily training, showing works in progress, community tours, build new audiences, increasing community support for arts
  • section on zai kuning - "growing madness" apparently puzzled many because of lack of narrative login, zai explains that his interest was not to construct a narrative with a beginning and end, but to bring together fragmentations of many different experiences, constructed within the logic of life itself. zai's work emphasises process and is in a sense unfinished. which is why it works for Raw Theatre

"Art is always interested with what is beyond its realm. it is the same with 'us" we are not only interested with how we look and feel but we are also interested with what is beyond us and out surroundings, 'others'.

  • section on theatre ox - ang gey pin speaks about her influence from teachers like liu jing min, james, slowiak, jairo cuesta... which influenced her physical theatre work
  • Annual Septfest Conference - Making Art: Materials, Methods, and Manipulations

Substation Newsletter Nov 1996

  • small a4 size again
  • 29 nov 1996 - bluemonkish - by zai kuning and friends
  • 30 nov 1996 - drumming songs by theatre OX
  • Singapore born pianist seow yit kin returns to singapore as part of endowment drive. piano concert
  • Contemporary 96 - organised by APAD
  • art donated by Prof Arthur Lim (eye surgeon and art collector) - short comment on how the conference went - with talks by dr early lu, art gallery manager luliette lepage, art gallery owner marjorie chu and bro joseph mcnally. prof lim surpriseing painting of desker road
  • interesting review of Raw Theatre by audrey - article acknolwedges that audiences do not understand and lacks education about theatre. artists also want to experiment. so first persuade audience to brave the unexpected. to have the will to learn more. need to provide information to help undertstand the unfamiliar - to organise talks, discussions, or other events to give the audience a better understanding of both new work as well as the basics.
  • phan ming yen the writer went on trip to edinburgh festival - talks about how art is abstracted from life?
  • 26 Jan 1997 - my name is stone, ETCeteras, portable plays
  • 20 Nov 1996 - I remember by Drama Box
  • 21 Dec 1996 - B-cycle by Dance Dimension Project - does modernisation mean loss of eastern culture and heritage?
  • 2 Nov 1996 - visual arts management student adelene bek organised exhibition Fresh 5 for Fun with Abu jalal sarimon, steve and mary bessant, michael cu fua, and valeriu sepi
  • 30 nov - le traces d/amour a singapore - exhibition by philippe laleu (french artist resident in singapore?)
  • up to this point the cafe was called the Or Ten Tik Cafe. Who ran it?

Substation Newsletter Jan 1997

  • Launch of FAT FROG
  • no more billingual side by side newsletter. chinese bits at one end, english bits at the other.
  • new editor joins next issue, Winifred, as Development Exec
  • DanceSpace 97 - theme Translations.
    • Living Room by Gillian Tan, Kewk Swee Boon, Wong Wai Yee
    • Murmur under the Skin / Body of Sand by Keiko Kitano
    • The Beheaded by Gitanjali Kolanad
  • a look back at 1996 in this issue:
    • New Criteria in May 1996 - kumari Nahappan's Monument, Dolly Soh's RaTrap
    • dance space 96 - the theme was interdisciplinary collaborations between dancers and visual artists
    • Arts Fission Company presented flower eaters I, the first in a series of multimedia performances based on baudelaire's poetry, gitanjali kolanad and ray langenbach collaborated on the incoruity of counterparts - reworking bharata nattyam with video projects, iris schalleck and foa foa temese presented "sincerely yours" on the eternal conlict in male-female relationships
  • A-I-R - Zai Kuning and Theatre Ox's ang gey pin, koh leng leng, tan pei hwee, low yuen wei
  • "write songs, for what?" - young songwriter's society - chua chee how, connie woo, collin koo, lim koh pang, roland ang, loke oye lyn

Substation Newsletter Mar 1997

  • new Moving images programme introduced - need to build up film culture and community of people with deep appreciation and knowledge of film as artform and not just entertainment
    • 24 March 1997 = young guns screening of student works
    • 12 April 1997 - singapore international film festival
  • monthly screenings
  • courses/talks/forums
  • guerilla film workshop
  • Guerrila Film Workshop run by Monster Films - Phillip Lim, senior producer at mtv asia on air promotions, jonathan foo, senior producer at mtv asia regional productions, sandi tan, film critic with straits times her film "moveable feast" film - super 8 cameras
  • 7 March 1997 - Terence Tan and heman Chong - "flickering punctuations" - "change" two young photographers explore photography in relation to journeys taken by their friends
  • 25 march 1997 - directions 3: ceramics, ocarina, sculpture exhibition - by lim guan huat, andrew chua, chua soo kim
  • 21-30 April 1997 - Exhibition of Scottish Artist Lesley Banks via Royal Over-Seas League. ROSL also made it possible for Ming Wong to exhibit in Edinburgh and london last year.

Substance May 1997

  • new editor, winnifred wong. called substance now which is the synthesis of material and form.
  • masthead and cover design by heman chong.
  • AIR - Theatre OX went to poland in April 1997.
  • AIR - Tang mun Kit as new artist in residence. engineer by training but fulltime visual artist and sculptor since 1985.
  • programme/dev execs: ng su may, selvaraj velyatham, audrey wong, winnifred wong
  • 9 May 1997 - new criteria - writeup by curator of New Criteria V - lee weng choy
    • "T Sasi: "The Substation is alternative by default."
    • departure from other years NC in that the exhibiton takes place everywhere in the building except the gallery - installation as intervention and engagement of everything from the formal to historical to imaginary dimensions of the site.
    • lamenting the dearth of arts discourse. some insitiutitons recognise the singificance of contepmporary art but on the whole media and sponsors seem unfamiliar or disintered with contemporary developments in arts. also education for arts not serious enough?
  • the issue of asian modernity. comparisons with west are inevitable. but western art is not model for history of southeast asian modern art. do we come to it late, or is it already ready made? singapore does not want to be west. not just champion of west but more that claiming that asian values will make ita better modern capitalist society than america or britain....
  • Review of Siddhartha, by Asia-in-theatre research centre (ATRC) directed by william teo, stage adaptation by sonny lim, music by rajakanth, played by v subramaniam. review by Braemar Mathi and Falaq Kagda.
  • Review of Ox outdoors in various sites reviewed by Kok Heng Leun.
  • more photos noted by Jerome Ming
  • 1 May 1997 - Sheep by Dance Dimension Project
  • 13 May 1997 - Amp Theatre's Will Three Do (in mandarin)
  • 25 May 1997 - moving images presents - one day experimental film workshop - phillip lim from Monster Films
  • 21 June 1997 - joyce lim innerworld versus outerworld
  • 14 june 1997 - Visual expression 4 a group exhibition of oil and acrylic paitings by local art teachers ranging age 55-64
  • 5 June 1997 - Moving images introductory course on film appreciation and analysis - timothy white NUS ELL

Substance nov 1997

  • in the world - hk return to china.
  • One Table Two chairs with local theatre practicioners.
  • Lai Chee Kien's review of Geylang people in the net. in the play, a businessman (played by johnny ng) peddles the idea of the geylang food and sex megamall which reconstructs the area in one complex. all former inhabitants can have their stuff but... underground. reminds chee kien of calvino's invisible cities. tapetries of layers of cities. "This invisible tapestry of any place is made more complicated when layers of history and multiple-level relationships are interwoven into a complex, unique, and dynamic multidimensional entitye, which in my opinion can never be replicated nor replaced by any comprehensive set of two-dimensional plans on paper. / eg watching peter bodganovich's saint jack does not show what the singapore river is truly like.
    • "I once dreamt of the discovery by paleontologists of the largest (at that time unknown) pre-historic dinosaur and its habitat buried beneath the entire island of Singapore. Archaeologists and wealthy financiers world-wide were willing to offer money and assistance to build another singapore elsewhere in the world while the excavations were carried out over a period of 10 years. will we move out of this place we call our home, and will we recognise and re-build it when and if we return?
  • audrey's one year review of Moving images. made of fortuitious meetings. one audience member wrote "less boring stuff, more R(A) please". but there we should make room for less populist stuff still. small victories. an air of anticipation of whatever else was to come.
  • 1 nov 1997 - The Expanded Field (no. 4) - amenda heng and jason lim present past works
  • 8 nov 1997 - The Expanded Field (no. 5) - leewen and koh nguang how talk about their work
  • 15 nov 1997 The Expanded Field (no. 6) - talk by Lee Weng Choy and John Low
  • ng su may - editorial laments the loss of understanding of the older generation of chinese art forms. odd, almost contradictory, to accuse us of embracing the new or foreign too willingly. losing our own knowledge after exposure to rest of world. (i don't agree with this bit)
  • great flyer image for vincent leow's MOUNTAIN COW MILK FACTORY - just those words in a box no other words.
  • the discord of monoculturalism - Selvaraj Velayutham's review about david tan's exhibition on 12 sept 1997 at septfest - David Tan Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship 1997
    • septfest theme was multiculturalism: on paper and in practice
    • david imagines monocultural identity - new cultural order a result of daily iteraction in singapore. b/w photos obliterate colour of ethnicity. selvaraj says david is talented but his images are good beautiful faces of somewhat occidental descent. ironic? out of context? he says monoculturalism cannot be captured momentarily or exhibition. has to be experienced or lived. we are products and in the process of cultural hybridity. (interesting profile - david tan - this explains all....)
  • Septfest Singapore multiculturalism: on paper and in practice ** extra from paper by isa kamari - based on his coming novel in malay titled satu bumi...
    • "story begins at chance meeting of swee mei (aminah, a chinese girl adopted by malay)'s grandson with gravedigger at bidadari. visiting the grave for last time before exhumation because of mrt line building designed by the civil engineer grandson himself. buried mysteries of life revealed during their shared time in vigil over the bidadari mosque. story ends at separation of negaraku (my country) and negaranya (their country). for whom do the tears flow? for the country one so beloved or the ones who died? - "it is a process of the deepening of the soul for which only a gravedigger can offer. (do you need death to fulfill it?)
  • 16 dec 1997 - isolated moments - ken cheong debut exhibition museum curator with passion for photography and local history
  • 18 dec 1998 - apocalpyso! apocalpyso! presented by spell #7.

Substance July 1998

  • times - feeling impact of asian economic crisis!
  • fund-raising event with singapore artist henri chen
  • Sasi: it is when times are bad that humans need the consolation of art
  • Rajaknath - associate artist - a familiar figure at fat frog, music director of local music group ankara. "i'm a music artist, but instead of doing just music, i could begin to look at collaborative works with dance or with visual arts, and experiment with different combination of the various art forms at substation.

Sept 1998

  • Morni Mohd offers his view from the box office. he mentions the undying dedication of instructors like Dori Sabapthy for yoga, kim seng tion for photography, ika zahri for batik painting, dr timothy white for ilm appreciation, lee mei ling for weaving ,and khoo seow hwa for chinese calligraphy. he mentions art shop Art-2 and Fat Frog Cafe.
  • 14 August 1998 - Metabolic Theatre Laboratory (MTL) and The Substation - Circle of Rings - MTL artistic director Zai Kuning performs to the music of Japanese double bassist Tetsu Saitoh. Those of you who missed Saitoh and his clever improvised sounds at The Substation’s Music Space ‘96, don't miss this unique team-up. As Saitoh and Zai’s works are improvisational in nature, no two performances are the same. Since 1996, Zai has collaborated with Saitoh in over 10 performances in Tokyo. Also appearing are well-known Singapore Malay musicians Kuning Sulaiman (accordion), Aznah Kanah (vocals) and Nasir (tabla).
  • 29 August 1998 - Septfest ‘98 - Danger Museum - This is intended as a challenge to the conventions of presenting the arts in museum and gallery spaces. A variety of artworks will be presented - from drawings and water-colour paintings to more contemporary medium like video and sound installations. The Danger Museum aims at making art and viewing art fun and relaxing. There will be guided tours and artist talks. The artists involved are 11 young Singaporean artists, 2 visiting artists from Japan and America and as number of works by children.
  • 6 Sept 1998 - Ankara reworked - Local music group Ankara collaborates with Ramesh, a trip-hop drum ‘n bass deejay, to explore Asian sounds with the inclusion of future beats. Ankara is led by Rajakanth, Associate Artist of The Substation.
  • 2 oct 1998 - Happy Birthday - local young artists Ler Hock Chuan and Chua Say Hua
  • 3 oct 1998 - Word of mouth - Reading poetry in The Substation Garden are Green Zeng, Darren Tan, Lawrence Lim and Mohd Khalil bin Mohd Adis. Tan Teck Howe reads his own short stories.
  • 18 September 1998 - Substation Conference - theme Looking Back at Singapore Theatre. The 4 sessions will deal with topics like Theatre and History; Singapore English-language theatre and Multiculturalism; Singapore Theatre in the Region; and Theatre and its Publics.
  • 13 sept 1998 - BigO 13th anniversity gig - acoustic stripped down one - involving bands like stroll, the trip, ecrus garage
  • forum for the arts (going strong) - thai buddhist art, qing dynasty porcelains, chinese contemporary paitning, archaeology of ancient singapore (miksic speaks!)
  • article on youth theatre in singapore by Brian Seward - the importance of having youth theatre
  • article by lee chee keng on theatre ox's training at the grotowski workcenter, italy - one year training stint in pontedera, tuscan town in italty
  • 8 Oct 1998 - mama looking for her cat by toy factory theatre ensemble
  • 3 oct 1998 - ikan cantik (beautiful fishes) by teater kami

Nov 1998

  • el nino (some comments about the weather in the garden)
  • programme executives - grace poon, jennifer teo, audrey wong
  • jennifer teo's editorial on how artists in singapore lack space in physical and mental sense of the word. at this point there are few other galleries which alllow experimental art or works by young artists. also about kiasuism, commercial galleries only wanting to show things for money, money being regarded more important than the art, the problem of singaporeans being wary of new things, the need to educate public, perceptions are hopefully changing, citing Plastique Kinetic worms opening by young experimental artists as good sign. "I do hope that one day in the near future, all Singaporeans will see art as a vital part of life and be appreciative and supportive of all brands of art. Only then, will Singapore be able to have a truly happening art scene. And perhaps we might even have 5 Substations"
  • 27 Nov 1998 - Double bill with Teater Ekamatra in malay - Madu II directed by Khairuddin Hori. playwriter alfian saar. Kampung Wak Hassan. the final days of kampung wak hassan, the last kampung in singapore. the kampung as essence of malay romanticism. is it possible to build a kamping real or imaged in present day singapore? - gene sharudyn
    • emphasis on organic progress - constant dialogue between plyawriter and director. text is point of arrival for playwright, point of departure for director.
  • 4 dec 1998 - stone moon by SRT Young Company -
  • 11 Dec 1998 - NOalibi by Metabolic Theatre Laboratory, director Zai Kuning, Cast: gene sharudyn, dennis tan, mohd azmy, fared, chin mun wai.
    • interview with Zai Kuning - in tokyo collaboration seem to be a big thing especialyl the socalled international collaboration. to me its all about long term relationship. it that does not exist i think you are just wasting your time trying to polite and favoured by others. so id rather stay at home doing very small important things and once in two months or so, improvise with tetsu, motofuji, and a few others than try too hard to know too many people in the dance and music scene.
    • interesting statement by Zai kuning on why he likes Tetsu's music - tetsu makes a sound describing the human body in despair and loneliness. it made zai feel he is just a meaningless statue trying to imitate his cry. is visible world not necessary then? body seems invisible. it is not about being a good musician, but how we see and feel out life and desire to express what we sense with our skin or soul. zai says he learned more about his desire and depth of loneliness. :-(
  • grace poon speaks to phillip lim on how he made The Teenage Textbook the movie. auditions had been held at substation. 300 people came.
  • looking back on Singapore Theatre Today conference by Dr CJWL Wee - Lee weng choy chaired it, theatrework's Ong keng Sen, Lucilla Teoh (arts lecturer), Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble's Goh Boon Teck, Necessary Stage's Alvin Tan - KPK gave keynote address on 18 sept 1998 on role of chinese theatre in rising political consciousness which led woards nationalism and independence
    • arrogance of english language theatre - drawing from historical legacy of english langauge in ethnically plural singapore - english as neutral lang for unity based on pragmatic approach to economic development. chinese educated feel it is arrogant of english ed people to say english is language of the national theatre. in english lang theatre tho often one continues to ask the question who are we are singaporeans?
    • ong: what is the singaporean play? but then, national identity issue need not be the primary target of artistic investigation. ong says inter-culturalism more important. if at the cultural border, who bankrolls it then?
    • alvin tan says he sees himself as intra-cultural. interrelationship of diverse cultures in one geographical space over a period of time. still mutliethnic context perspective. tellign stories from different ethnic backgrounds. director not just the most powerful. allowing actors to sort out their own bilingual workplay. (dr wee notes that if you mix too many there will not be depth though so beware)
    • lucila teoh speaks of potential role of institute for the arts. training for artists important. broadbased arts education. practice thinking artists.
  • "branded arts" not necessarily a good thing
  • 1 march 1999 - Tk sabapathy art historian proposes ways of seeing and reading
  • this month they were compiling an artist directory for the website. advert inside.
  • old fat frog cafe $3.80 for a mug of beer / $15 for a jug

Substance Sep 1999

  • audrey's editorial about leaving for a year to london for studies
  • substation as palce where things just happen. how working at substation makes your aware of change. but also regulars. zai kuning, green zeng, jason lim, tammy wong, alfian saat, royston tan, lim seng tiong, perhaps theatre ox back from itality. maybe the office cd player will still have the barry white song on repeat.
  • artists have grown by this point, new art psaces, etc
  • septfest 99
    • 3 sept 1999 - premiere of Noalibi by Zai kuning
    • Naga Naga presents Wailol
    • Peti Kayu Ibukik, malay version of ng xin yue's chinese play My Grandmother's Chest
    • Walking Naked, contemporary indian dance by Gitanjali Kolanad
    • Writers in Soicety - Literatre and Ideologies" - writers conference
  • commentary about septfest art conference as centerpiece of septfest
  • at a time when there was very little self-awareness of about the arts, let alone art criticism, the conference served as magnet for comuity interaction, discussion and debate
  • ut now there are also other platforms - eg necessary stage post production forum, talks by directors like theatreworks ong keng sen, year round discussions at the singapore art museum. so septfest readapting....
  • heman's closing time - photo series of mdm chua
  • chris ong's through the little window - new box office administrator

Substance Sep 2000

  • now in colour
  • editor wahyuni adiputri hadi
  • design asylum designed it
  • yuni: "like a child in history class, loking back at 10 years, substation has survived, brings about a foreign pride. is run by the predecessors. faceless force behind the programme. celebrating the 10 year anniversary.
  • AIR - zai kuning, Ang gey pin, rajakanth, tang mun kit, and most recently Sanjot Kaur.
    • great interview review of all of them on occasion of 10 years
  • international partnerships - eg Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre (adelaide australia + Substation)
  • works from raymond lau, michael cu fua, joint exhibition between 20 australian artists and 2 singapore artists sanjot kaur sekhon and aleksandar obradovic (who was also programme exec, visual art)
  • 15 Sept 2000 - Instructions. Michael Cu Fua Manila born artist familiar signs used in most satirical form. how signs/symbols we see read and confirm coerce us to conformity as we observe them with mandatory reverence.
  • 21 sept 2000 - "cotton and jade" - brian seward, verena tay, about women in the family
  • 7 sept 2000 - local flavour, film night with alterasias - iris rice bowl docu about katong bread house by waun sun, rogers park by tan pin pin, molotov cocktails by heman chong

Substation Sep 2001

  • 7 sept 2001 - "Open Ends" is an exhibition of images, objects and videos documenting the range of performance art practised by Singapore artists over the past 2 decades. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring interviews with visual artists who have been involved in performance art. The exhibition and catalogue is the first phase of a long term research and documentation project into performance art, initiated by artists, which has been on-going since last year.

This is the first phase of a long-term research and documentation plan initiated by Singapore artists. Open Ends will exhibit photographs, slides, text and videos documenting the range of performance art practiced by Singapore artists over the past 2 decades. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring interviews with visual artists who have practiced performance art, including Amanda Heng, Suzann Victor, Tang Da Wu, Teo Eng Seng, Vincent Leow, Lee Wen, Ray Langenbach, Noor Effendy Ibrahim, Felicia Low, Jeremy Hiah, Margaret Tan, and others. The title of the exhibition reflects the ongoing process of this project. Materials collected and interviews conducted will be kept in an archive to be housed for the moment at The Substation.

The exhibition and publication of the catalogue are overseen by a committee that includes Amanda Heng, Matthew Ngui, Susie Lingham and Lee Wen and The Substation's team (Lee Weng Choy, Audrey Wong, Celine Yeo). The interviewers working on the catalogue are Chu Chu Yuan, Brandon Wee, John Low, Sinclair Ang, Suzann Victor, Wong Chee Meng, Wilkie Tan and Low Kee Hong. The aim of the exhibition is historical, documentary and educational, showing the different approaches taken by various artists practicing that genre known as performance art, and situating this within visual art history. The exhibition will also reflect the different points of view among Singapore artists on the nature of performance art.

Substation Sept 2002

  • septfest 2002 - The Substation's annual arts festival, features a mix of local and overseas artists, young emerging talent and established names. Septfest 2002 is from 5 September to 14 October, and the theme is "Cultural Currents and Currencies".
  • 5-7 Sep 2002 - Various Gangsters by Spell #7
  • 10-13 Sep 2002 - Moving Images: Asian Film Symposium
  • 17-29 Sep 2002 - Untitled - A solo show by Matthew Ngui
  • 21-22 Sep 2002 - Conference: "Cultural Currents and Currencies"
    • 21 Sep speakers: Marian Pastor Roces, Lee Weng Choy, Audrey Wong, Heman Chong, Isabelle Cornaro, Matthew Ngui and Zai Kuning
    • 22 Sep speakers: Lee Chee Keng, Sharaad Kuttan, Arul Ramiah and Low Kee Hong
  • 27-28 Sep 2002 - Abhinaya - My Journey of Return Performance by Arul Ramiah, Photography by Ken Seet
  • 29 Sep 2002, LiterARTi co-organised with Awakening Productions
  • 3-4 Oct 2002 The Darkroom Devil and the Spoon Circus A performance by KYTV
  • 5 Oct 2002,- I'm Not Kylie Minogue by An Acoustic Gig
  • 5-14 Oct 2002 - The End of Travelling - A video essay and installation by Heman Chong and Isabelle Cornaro

Substation Sept 2003

  • A celebration of the legacy of Kuo Pao Kun The Theatre Practice presents KUO PAO KUN FESTIVAL - Three young directors from Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong give us their interpretation of some of the classic plays of the late doyen of Singapore theatre, Kuo Pao Kun. The performances are in Mandarin and Malay, with English subtitles.
  • For the first time, The Theatre Practice and the Theatre Training and Research Programme join The Substation to present Septfest 2003 in a celebration of the life and work of our mutual founder, Kuo Pao Kun. The programmes include the Kuo Pao Kun Festival, held for the very first time, exhibitions, live music and launch of a new publication on Kuo Pao Kun.
  • Speakers at the media launch include T. Sasitharan, Director of the Theatre Training and Research Programme, Wu Xi, Co-Artistic Director of The Theatre Practice and Audrey Wong and Lee Weng Choy, Artistic Co-Directors of The Substation. Guests will include Visual artist Ye Shufang, Taiwanese theatre director Poo Hong Chen, Malay theatre director Aidli Alin Mosbit, and filmmaker Lee Thean-Jeen.
  • 5 – 14 Sep 2003 - An Exhibition by Ye Shufang - Centering on impermanence, audience interaction and site-specificity, these issues form a premise within which Shu Fang deals with ready made and simple practices.
  • Saturday, 27 September 2003, 6pm, The Substation Gallery - 'Stitch A Quilt of Memories - Stories about Kuo Pao Kun'
    • Edited by Tan Beng Luan and published by Creative O Developers' Lab, the book is a Chinese collection of reminiscences and photographs of Pao Kun's friends, colleagues, students, fellow artists and relatives. They share their personal stories about Pao Kun, who passed away on 10 September 2002. The book will offer readers further understanding of the man who has greatly influenced the arts and cultural development of Singapore.
    • Contributors include Mrs Ho-Li Lien Fung, Tay Kheng Soon, Kwok Kian Woon, Quah Syren, Prof Eddie Kuo, Phoon Yew Tian, Verena Tay, Tan Beng Tian, Janadas Nevan, Foong Choon Hon etc. While most articles are written in Mandarin, a few are written in English, with Chinese translations.
    • Below are extracts from the book:
    • 'Although he was in a delirious state, Pao Kun was waving his hand in the air like a master puppeteer and kept murmuring 'Where is my chi-pern ..., where is my chi-pern (script)? Jing Hong could not keep a straight face and decided to play along and asked her dad ....'

-- Patrick Low

    • 'Pao Kun's most significant encounter with Japan took place when he stayed in a rural mountain village in Nagano Prefecture. In this deep snowy village called Niino, he rented a friend's house and had a peaceful and creative time. One day he was surprised to find a sign in the village saying 'the young man had dies in 1937 in Henan province in China...'

-- Tatsuya Tanami (Japan)

    • 'Pao Kun and I met at The Substation at Armenian Street one morning. He wanted an opinion on the possibilities of using the place as an arts centre. The place was overgrown with weeds and banyan trees sprouted between the cracks ......'

-- Tay Kheng Soon

The Substation presents

The Home that Pao Kun built

Kuo Pao Kun is one of the most important figures in Singapore arts. Not only did he produce a major body of theatrical work - as both a playwright and a director - he also founded three major Singapore arts institutions: Practice Performing Arts School, The Theatre Practice and The Substation - a home for the arts.

With this exhibition of archival photographs we aim to tell some of the many stories about these three institutions, and about his work in Singapore theatre. The highlight will be images of Pao Kun at work in the theatre and in the 'homes' for the arts that he built.

The Theatre Training and Research Programme is offered by Practice Performing Arts School, founded in 1965. Singapore's first bilingual theatre company, The Theatre Practice, was founded in1986. When The Substation was founded in 1990 as Singapore's first independent contemporary arts centre it was managed by Practice until 1995.

The Substation's Artistic Co-Director, Lee Weng Choy says, "Looking through our archives for the exhibition 'The Home that Pao Kun built', we find all sorts of surprising things ... like our early 'Open Space' newsletter that was edited by Haresh Sharma. Haresh, of course, is now resident playwright of The Necessary Stage. This just goes to show how foundational Pao Kun's home for the arts was in the early 1990s, how so many of today's major figures were affected by, contributed to, and were drawn together by Pao Kun's vision."

Substation Sept 2004

  • "SeptFest 2004: Artists & Other Animals"

Humanimal Forum The Substation Guinness Theatre: Saturday 11 September 10am - 6pm Join a lively dialogue with over twenty invited guests, scientists, artists, academics, activists, TV & media workers & public personalities The Substation Guinness Theatre: 10am-12am 1) "Captive Creatures: Key Concerns for Regional Animal Welfare Groups", Moderator: Lucy Davis, Editor, focas, Forum on Contemporary Art & Society Panelists: Bernard Harrison Former CEO, Singapore Zoo Louis Ng, ACRES Dawn Kua, Cat Welfare Society, Deirdre Moss, SPCA, Dr Lou Ek Hee, AVA Singapore Dr George Jacobs, Vegetarian Society Statement by AnimalWatch Singapore Dr Ken Gold, General Curator Singapore Zoo Respondent: Chris Dickinson, Wildlife Asia Film Festival.

The Substation Guinness Theatre: 1pm-3pm 2) "Captive Publics: Mobilisation Strategies for Regional Animal Welfare & Conservation Groups" Moderator: Juggi Ramakrishnan, Saatchi & Saatchi Panelists: Vincent Chow, Scientific Consultant, Johor National Parks Corporation, Hardi Baktiantoro, Profauna Jakarta, Dr Ho Hua Chew, Chair, Conservation Committee, Nature Society (Singapore), Grant Pereira, Singapore/Sea Shepherd, N. Sivasothi, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Karen Ann Niedermeyer, Staff co-ordinator P.A.W. Global Concerns Group United World College of South East Asia

The Substation Guinness Theatre, 4pm-6pm 3) "Captive Imaginations: Representing Human-Animal Relationships" Moderator: Sharon Siddique, Sociologist Panelists: Ho Tzu Nyen, Artist, Theorist Vikram Channa, Animal Planet/Discovery rep(TBC); Chris Dickinson, Wildlife Asia Film Festival project, Alfian Bin Sa'at playwright, poet Lee Weng Choy, Artistic co-director, The Substation, Lucy Davis, Editor, focas, curator Regional Animalities

Visual Art Show: Regional Animalities, Part I The Substation Gallery 1-5 September 11am - 9pm daily Free Admission Zai Kuning and Yuen Chee Wai will conduct a five day, video, sound, performance and philosophical exploration into our everyday relationships with meat and the killing of animals for food.

Sleeping Dogs Lie on The Causeway, Chickzilla the Mutant Battery Chick, Women and Apes in Trees on Hills, Hairy Virgins, Furry Landscapes, Interrogatory Insects, A Conference of Birds, Elephants in Exile and Dancing on Egg Shells in The Jungles of our Dreams.

Artists from Singapore and Malaysia have been invited to explore various aspects of human-animal relationships for this show. Alongside raising awareness for particular animal and conservation issues, the works explore ways in which animals provide raw materials for our symbolic order, our dreams and urban imagination-putting pressure on the boundaries between animals and humans.

Visual Art Show: Regional Animalities, Part II The Substation Gallery, Blue Room and Garden, 11-26 September 11am - 9pm daily Official Opening 7pm, 11 September Participating Artists Chang Yoong Chia, Tian Chua, Paul Lincoln, Annette Notfors, Colin Reaney, Rizman Putra, Teresa Teo Guttensohn, Andree Weschler & Joshua Yang.

Some Highlights Teresa Teo Guttensohn will conduct a durational performance where she will nest for an extended period of time in a tree in The Substation Garden. Her performance draws upon mythological tropes of Women & Apes, including the contemporary icons Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Birute Galdikas - the anthropologist Dr Louis Leakey's "Angels" - while highlighting the nest building practice of our region's last great ape--the Orang Utan.

Tian Chua presents a meticulous diary of his relationships with insects, compiled during a more involuntary period of contemplation. Chua's Malaysian, "field diary" also recalls the often violent dissection of Natural History under the Colonial gaze.

Joshua Yang has constructed a contemporary fable creature - a human-sized mutant called Chick-Zilla, who surveys and processes the comings and goings of the world with nodding wisdom.

Substation Sept 2005

SeptFest Forum: The arts in everyday space 3 Sept 2005, 2:30 - 5 pm The Substation Guinness Theatre Free Admission, all are invited This forum invites theatre practitioners to share their views on the role of the arts in daily lives – in public spaces, common spaces, everyday living spaces, individual interior spaces. Practitioners will draw from their own experiences in working with community groups, with non-artists, or actively engaging with social issues and social change. They will share concrete examples of how the arts works alongside everyday activities, and the aims and objectives of such work. Issues to be discussed may include: what drives practitioners to take their art out of conventional or 'traditional' theatre spaces into other spheres and venues not usually thought to be theatrical spaces? Is the separation of 'art' from 'daily' activities - of high art from mass culture - a problem and how can this be addressed? What drives outreach and community art practices? Are these activities as efficacious as we hope for them to be? What are the social and community benefits of these activities? Can art transform daily life, and vice versa? What is the role of the artist in contemporary, globalised society?

Invited speakers and respondents will be theatre practitioners from Singapore and the region: writer/director Yani Mae from Bandung, Indonesia, Cecilia B. Garrucho, incumbent President of PETA/Philippine Educational Theater Association, and director/performer Li Xie from Singapore.

The forum is convened with support from Magdalena (Singapore).

The other SeptFest Forum is on Sat morning and it is: SeptFest Forum: Art Spaces and Artistic Directions 3 Sept, 10.30 am – 1 pm In "Art Spaces and Artistic Directions", we focus on visual art spaces in Singapore, and will also make comparisons with the situations in Malaysia and Hong Kong. We aim to reflect upon the artistic directions (or lack thereof) in key independent arts organisations. By definition, an artistic direction is a deliberate attempt to intervene in shaping the contexts of presentation of art. So how have our art spaces responded over the years to the shifting conditions for art in Singapore? Speakers include Kai Lam from The Artists' Village, Yvonne Lee from Plastique Kinetic Worms, Woon Tien Wei from p-10, Tobias Berger from Para/Site Art Space (Hong Kong), Yap Sau Bin from Rumah Air Panas (Kuala Lumpur), Tay Swee Lin from Sculpture Square, Amanda Heng from Witas, and Lee Weng Choy from The Substation.

Substation Sept 2006

Substation Sept 2007

Four Singapore-based artists – Andree Weschler, Ho Tzu Nyen, Nelson Chia, Paul Rae (spell#7) – have been invited by The Substation to present new performance works or works-in-progress for SeptFest 2007. As boundaries between different performance forms are blurred and as contemporary theatre, performance and visual artists are increasingly aware of their situation as people and artists located within particular political, historical, and cultural contexts, their awareness of the changing state of the world around them has informed their work and is embedded within the process of creation.

Substation Sept 2008

Substation Sept 2009

Substation Sept 2010

Substation Sept 2011

Substation Sept 2012

The Substation turns 22 this September and we’re celebrating with SeptFest! SeptFest is our month-long birthday celebration of art, culture and community and this year’s festival features the anticipated sound, visual and performance art projects selected for the coveted Open Call platform, the 5th Singapore Indie Doc Fest, selected performances from the Kuo Pao Kun Festival, a book launch, birthday party, and more

Substation Sept 2013

Substation Sept 2014


Substation Sept 2015


Call it "Raw Space"

Site specific works


Dennis Tan - Between the spaces

Music space / space - Sound artist Dennis Tan will present Between the Spaces, his first solo show in Singapore. Traversing the gaps between image and sound, Dennis will exhibit a series of kinetic sculptures in The Substation Gallery that aim to challenge conventional notions of perception.

During the exhibition, Dennis will also be conducting the Openlab Sessions. Conceived with the aim of generating free and open discussions about sound, music and improvisation, the Openlab Sessions will see him collaborate with four artists from different disciplines, for whom sound and music are important influences. The sessions will see Tan and his collaborators share, dissect, and experiment with different approaches creating music. Visitors to the gallery are welcome to participate by sharing their views, asking questions about the process, or just observing.

The schedule for the Openlab Sessions is as follows:

Riduan Mohamad – Monday 28 April 1pm Wu Jun Han – Tuesday 29 April 1pm Delphine Mei – Wednesday 30 April 1pm Ian Woo – Friday 2 May 1pm

Music Space 2011 Hommage à Kuo Pao Kun

Music Space 2011 Hommage à Kuo Pao Kun (1939-2002) Curated by Jun Zubillaga-Pow

On 13 March 1991, The Substation initiated a platform for experimental sonic arts. Music Space, an auricular experience pioneered by the first artistic director of The Substation, Kuo Pao Kun, was premised on the ideals of a borderless world among classical, popular and avant-garde disciplines.

Twenty years later, Music Space will pay homage to Cultural Medallion recipient, Kuo Pao Kun. Witness history in the making as this series converges multiple musical genres and revives the multicultural coherence of the Singaporean music scene of the 1990s. Music Space runs from May to October 2011.

See also

  • Nellie Seng (played piano at age 10 on the donated piano at Music Space I - now nafa pianist - ask donna ong) - mentioned in may 1991 open soace
  • (interiorities)(peripheries: 1 Dec 2013 – Feb 2014
    • Chua Chin Chin
    • Bryan Angelo Lim and May Lim (Qu’est-ce Que c’est Design) flyer designs which do not stack up - Flyer distribution: a common practice for which organisations and individuals transmit information. But upon scrutiny, the textual content and design elements of these flyers placed amidst the display racks of The Substation do not add up. Fact mixes with fiction, and illustrative graphics are rendered as visual misdirections; this mass media medium ends up messing up both the message and the reader.
  • Art-2 still exists - but changed in focus! Art-2 is also a founder member of the Art Galleries Association (Singapore). The director, Vera Ong, has had extensive experience in various aspects of art business and consultancy over the past twenty-two years.
    • 15 Sept 2000 - Instructions. Michael Cu Fua Manila born artist familiar signs used in most satirical form. how signs/symbols we see read and confirm coerce us to conformity as we observe them with mandatory reverence.
  • what hapened to jerome ming the photographer? - from, 1 Dec 2004 [cached] - Jerome Ming graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham, UK, and later attended The London Institute, completing his post-graduate studies in photojournalism in 1992. From 1993 to 2001, he lived in Singapore, teaching photography at Temasek Polytechnic and then joining The Straits Times as a staff photographer (1996-2000).Jerome has undertaken photographic assignments for various international magazines including TIME, Newsweek, Businessweek and Smithsonian.In 1989, he received the Prix FRAC (Lyon, France), and in 2001 he received the Singapore Nikon Media photographer of the year award.Jerome is currently based in Bangkok and is a regular contributor to Redux Pictures, New York.
  • Rajaknath from Ankara
  • Brian Seward - Brian has been working in Singapore since 1995 teaching Drama, writing and directing plays, and occasionally acting
  • Prof C.J. Wee Wan-ling Professor Division of English School of Humanities and Social Sciences College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences - who wrote on theatre
  • expanded field / unified field - tara
  • Sanjot Kaur Sekhon deals with the slippage between cultures that results from one's repeated migration from one country to another. Through the use of furniture and personal artefacts found in the home, Sekhon's work is about coming to terms with the shifting of one's identity. Sekhon continues to work in Singapore as a practising artist, and has shown in Singapore, Germany, Thailand, and Australia. She is a recent graduate of the Master of Fine Art (by coursework) - Painting programme at LASALLE-SIA, and is currently a Lecturer at LASALLE-SIA's School of Fine Art, Department of Graduate Studies.

Tell me more about

  • Or ten tik cafe - who ran it? what was it like? was there as a signboard? what food was there? why no one mentioned before? was it just very small?
  • Fat frog cafe - who ran it?
  • Substation song by ken low in 1992
  • Who managed "The Expanded Field"? (or who started it?
  • audrey, did you get letters in return to your call about letters discourse culture?
  • list of international partnerships between substation and other places
  • list of artist in residence / company in residence
  • list of associate artists
  • list of homage / looking back events (eg: 10 years of sub)
  • list of staff
  • "Open Ends" - 2001 - what happened to the materials? did the project go further?


  • Jog for Arts
  • Tree Celebration Poster
  • Hardcore Forum - typewritten note
  • 1990 - Stella Koh's play - Promo material - fake 1934 chinese newspaper
  • theme song - ken low and edison lauw - "the dream has just begun" at the round the clock 1991 concert. 电力站之歌
  • "lessees" - LESSEES GALLERY / LESSEES THEATRE files. could it be an outdated term for rental hires - that simply went out of favour over time? everyone's response: "was ever there someone called Lessee at the Substation?"

Flashback: an estimated 10000 people had thronged the open-air kopi garden on the last night of 1990 to welcome in the new year. but while the party spirit was willing, the flesh was definitely weak. by the first noon of 1991, less than 50 stragglers were left hanging on, and the end, 10.30pm was a distant possibility. (1991: Round the clock marathon)


  • The Piano with inscription - sold off
  • The Bronze Harp - placed inside the substation garden - taken back by Guinness at the end of sponsorship period

Newspaper Clippings - Articles ABOUT Substation

Hannah Pandian - "Will the show go on?" Straits Times Friday 14 September 1990

  • "Just two days before The Substation official opens on Sunday, Singapore's first centre of the arts lies wrapped in a silent cocoon of sawdust and brown paper. The cloying scent of varnish clings to the polished wooden banisters as the building waits in the wings. In a few days the cafeteria will flow with coffee and conversation. The 170 seat theatre, The Open Space will resound with the Necessary stages production Those who Can't, Teach and The half-finished mural on the wall of the Kopi Garden will be complete. The Substation will have become what artistic director and Cultural Medallion winner Kuo Pao Kun dreamt it would be - "a permanent place to do arts, see arts, talk arts, and live the arts". Or will it?
  • "In 1987, when the government approved the $1.07 million restoration project of the old power substation in Armenian Street, it was only the beginning of a long struggle for money"
  • Substation denied Institution of Public Character (Singapore Dance Theatre, Singapore Symphonic Orchestra) - need to pay taxes, donations not tax exempt at the time of opening. Taxation unit's asst director Miss Yena Lim says they are cautious about handing out IPC status even if the company satisfies the criteria as the government loses a large amount of money by way of taxation. (Side note: The Substation was granted IPC/Charity Registration on 05/12/1995 according to )
  • "In Mr Kuo's eyes, the Substation deserves corporate support because it offers that rare chance of a community arts project. He wants the companies to invest in the future, to groom young people for the arts in Singapore.
  • Ms Tan Beng Luan: "Any corporation that supports us will have to see themselves as pioneers. There is no point in looking at the returns in material terms; investment in art is long-term, not immediate."
  • "So, The Substation's future looks uncertain indeed and it will be a big loss if it does not take off."
  • "Given its strategic location in Armenian Street, within walking distance of the Drama Centre, the National Library and the National Museum, it has the potential to be a meeting place for the arts"
  • Mr Steven Howard, direct marketing director for Citibank, which has declined to be a sponsor said: "it would be a dark cloud to Singapore's really struggling performing arts if this thing were not to come to fruition"

"$3m budget to refurbish old buildings for the arts" Straits Times Monday Sept 17 1990

  • Old and vacant govt buildings to be refurbished and rented to arts groups at nominal rates
  • "The conversion of the former run-down PUB Substation into a multi-disclipinary arts centre is the first project under the revised scheme. This conversion also offers an opportunity to preserve a historical building. Mr Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Community development and foreign affairs, said "The PUB Substation is of the 'blood and bandage' style of which the Central Fire Station is the only other building." The fire station is built of red bricks and white cement. Built in 1928, the substation was left unused in the 1970s.

Kuo Pao Kun Quits as The Substation's artistic director (ST, 2 June 1995)

  • quitting to spend more time writing and directing plays
  • On his greatest contribution to he Substation: "That's a difficult question. Probably it is in getting people in the Substaiton and outside the Substaiton to agree that in art, a worthy failure is often more improtant than a mediocre success. You don't just go for the success but you are more concerned with what you are doing and that what you do is beyond what you have done before. Exploring new grounds is absolutely necessary."

crucible or stewpot, (ST, hannah pandian sep 13 1991, life cover story)

  • KPK: "everyone has art in them. in the way they dress, the way they beautify their homes. why should art be kept for an elite minority?"
  • "The first year of Substation activites look, in retrospect, like a jamboree. once, on the same day, an american theatre professor was giving workshops in the studio, to be used by cantonese diva ng kwan lai immediately. an english-educated group streamed out of the studio and ran smack into a bunch of chinese men and women, waiting for Ng, "straight from chinatown", as kuo puts it. That split second of surprise, curiosity and disorientation between the groups is the sort of confrontation that the substation wants to explore. this often buildings bridges between different racial groups. Nuradee, two malay brothers who sing and cut albums, met some xinyao (chinese singaporean ballad) artistes at the substation. the chinese artistes invited nuradee to perform on their tour of junior colleges in Singapore.

Making room for young artists to grow to maturity (st april 4 1996)

  • Sasitharan announced as new artistic director, retaining and developing new criteria (gathering of visual artists), Dance Space (dance platform since the cancellation of the singapore dance festival in 1991), Raw Theatre (theatre as process and not a product). Sasi approached playwright William Teo to be company-in-residency over nine months to devise a new play (Asia In Theatre Research Centre), Young artists Zai Kuning and Ang Gey Pin in artist-in-residence programme.
  • KPK: given the many conservative layers of the many layers of the substation's environment, i would not expect sasi to deliver many outright winners in t terms of full houses and commercial successes. rather i would keep my usual measurement for such pioneering works: in art, a worthy failure is always preferable to a mediocre success. and look forward to a stream of intellectual and artist challenges to 'subvert' our mololithic mindset.


Substation - Inspiration & Aspiration, Arts Alive (Source?) / LMH - featureworthy article (check NLB?)

  • "Where do you go for live concert performances, an exhibition, a hunt for some quaint looking artifacts? Followed by perhaps, a satisfying meal of tasty local minced beef noodles. All within a single visit? Where do budding artists go when all they ahve are their raw talents, unquenchable desire to share with the world what they have but no experience nor money to put up that first public show? (...) Where do artists by any definition go if they want to give of themselves to the Arts? The Substation - A Home for the Arts."
  • "The outcome - heartwarming performances including 'Nuradee's" an unknown duo whose offering is an eclectic music style; mixing indian, malay and chinese influences. This free spiritedness also saw many party goers refusing to leave one christmas party not too long ago. They persisted to the point of promising the organising committee that they would clear the venue the next morning. Certainly showing wrong the people who say 'free' spirits are irresponsible!
  • not everyone gets breaks here. behind every success story is many other not-so-successful stories. besides being supportive, it believes in letting its charges grow and experience life. as KPK said: "Worthy failure more valuable than a mediocre success."
  • "In poverty I strive, in wealth I give", this inscription is displayed in the administration office of the substation. This same inscription was requested to be inscribed onto the piano which a mystery donor gave to the Substation."
  • what distinguishes substation from other venues is the diversity, its 'Singaporeness', and adamance in maintaining this unique feature. Falsehood is evidently missing. And one cannot help recall the parallel between the early years of our young country struggling to carve a niche for itself in the 60's, to what the substation is presently undergoing. There is nothing false in it. perhaps it has to do with its struggle and its daring to be different.
  • Even the name 'substation' is apt. a substation is where electricity is passed on from a generating station into the general ystem. in this, lies the dynamics of the venue. what can give life to a place, but the activities and people within.
  • there was a time when entrepreneurship was encouraged. today, artistic creativity is sanctioned. do we dare envision the success of the arts scene in Singapore. can it take on the path of success as has our economy. necessity being the mother of invention, are we therefore at the doorstep of the station that will keep the arts alive? - LMH -

The Substation - A Home for the Arts / Generating power into the local arts scene (Executive lifestyle, unknown year)

  • "Speculation as to how long The Substation would last is nevertheless not absent among the public.

Singapore's Home for the Arts (attribution unknown, page 35)

  • begins with "last new year's eve, a boisterous group of Singaporeans ushered in 1991 in a different way - at a lively 24 hour rock concert that may not have exactly raised the dead, but certainly raised a lot of spirits...."
  • "For the first time in Singapore, all types of arts can roost under one permanent roof. It is hoped that from this creative interaction, something strong and viable will emerge - a form of art that is distinctively Singaporean, a united artistic form of expression as identifiable with Singapore as kabuki is to japan or the hula to hawaii. perhaps from this, a homegrown talent will emerge and place Singapore on the world artistic map.
  • "said mr kuo: 'i want the substation to be a place where young people are given a high profile, and also where new art forms which are experimental in nature can be shown."
  • "when you first attempt something original, unusually you are not welcomed because you are strange and unusual. very often you disturb people. but i believe diversity should be nurtured.

Newspaper Clippings - Articles ABOUT Events

Issues on heritage spark lively discussion at forum. Phan ming yen. ST sept 19 1994 monday. pg 5 Life

  • "our place in time"
  • Devan, Janadas. 1999. "My Country and My People: Forgetting to Remember." - based partly on an analysis of lee tzu pheng's poem of the same name. he argued that 'forgetting the past is a condition which some accept freely to be singaporean but at the same time, it is also a condition which 'just happens'. said mr devan: 'certainly much of what we have forgotten, should indeed be forgotten. for you cannot say 'my country singapore, my people singaporeans, without forgtting not only malayan nationalism but also something far more difficulty to forget, cultural nationalisms. the other forgetting is what history of singapore enforces. our history forgets. this second forgetting makes possible the first forgetting of course, but it is also without agency. it just happened.
  • session on saturday had opened with mr kwa chong guan, head of department of strategic sudies at the safti military instuitite who argued for a study of singapore's past dating back to the malay world of 16th century, an economic region that encompassed the johor river, the riau islands and lingga.

your old things are wanted. life at large. st. 23 june 1994. thursday

  • the substation invites participants in special hunt to bring items brimming with memories and carrying special meanings.
  • ms tan beng luan volunteer: "we want to gather things dear to ap erson, and which remind him of moments in life."
  • mr daniel wong, a programme coordinator at substaion is quick to add that preference will be given to objects that reflect the socio-economic conditions of the bygone era. example given: "luminous coloured shirt that belongs to a former centrepoint kid rather than another person's first storybook. - centrepoint kids used to be a social phenomena here a few years ago, latchkey children teenagers spending long hours at the shopping centre. Chu Chu Yuan, development executive, adds that the ideal item is one that triggers off other people's memories.
  • contributors wil lbe their own 'curators' and will write captions for their items.


moving images

For his latest exhibition, filmmaker and artist Kent Chan watched all the films shown under The Substation’s Moving Images programme in the last 15 years. Classifying the films not in typical genres like “action,” “comedy” and “documentary,” but in personalised labels that are often fun, endearingly colloquial and local, he introduces new ways of looking at film and Singaporean film, while maintaining that he is “not out to romanticise anything.” His efforts in classifying and dating the films are etched in detailed Excel spread sheets that also mark the launch of the Moving Images Archive. SINdie speaks to Kent about his solo exhibition and the ideas and experiences which shaped his journey. The interview then takes a decidedly broad turn, which, interestingly, acts as a sort of preview for his next exhibition.

K: About 4-5 months ago, I discovered that there was an available slot at the gallery in January 2013, so I approached Aishah (programme manager of Moving Images) to use it for a solo exhibition. We started talking about what we wanted to do and I was trying to look for certain thematic in the films screened under the Moving Images programme when Aishah pointed me to where the films were—sitting in about 16 cardboard boxes at the office door. They were kind of like, just collecting dust. So at that point, there wasn’t really an archive, it was more like a storage of films, stocked up over the last 15 years or so.