18 07 2010

Performance Art in Singapore’s art history has spanned more than 20 years, since Tan Teng Kee’s “Lonely Road” a happening in 1979 as described by T.K. Sabapathy. Starting from the late 1980s, visual artists, from The Artists Village group, like Tang Dawu, Vincent Leow, Zai Kuning and Amanda Heng, have been presenting significant performance works in numerous exhibitions in Singapore and international events. In recent years, since 2003, local performance artists like Lee Wen, Kai Lam and Jason Lim has successfully and consistently organised “Future of imagination”, an annual international performance event that platforms local and international artists.

Despite, performance and time-based events occurring sporadically in Singapore, there is still a lack of substantial discourse, in practical and academia terms. There is a need to integrate performance art or live art form into the social structure and fabric more consistently. As the variable individual lifestyles that grow out of an urban society is constantly shifting, transforming at an increasingly erratic pace of change with its very own un-dreamed of social evolution.


Rites” as in traditional customs, social conduct is synonymous to a way of life; informing our everyday attitude towards practices, protocol, rituals, routines, decorum, etiquette, good form that is in need of review, re-examination and reiteration.

Rites” is a cross-disciplinary platform that presents time-based performances; electro-acoustics sound improvisations, experimental music, performative art projects, artists’ talks and workshops and discussions on performance-related activities. Its objectives are to present an eclectic mix of performances that is informed by visual aesthetics, technological integration and conceptual integrity involving art making and the social and cultural contexts that are related to performances. It explores art activities that are spatial, the way in which performance is linked to cultural, ethnic and geographical elements in identity, and at the same time exploring how all these elements can be bound and related to the global, technological, cultural and economic shifts in our daily life.

Photo credits:
top: “SAM, SAM, but different”, Tang Da Wu, 10 April 2010
on the left is Mr. Tan Boon Hui, Director of Singapore Art Museum (SAM)
(photo by Nel Lim)
bottom: “Goose Man”, Tang Da Wu, 1989
Artists Village, Lorong Gambas, Sembawang, Singapore
(photo by Koh Nguang How)



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