UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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SYNOPSIS:The presentation will cover the personal experiences of Koh Nguang How in photographing and archiving art in Singapore. Koh is currently working on the self-initiated “Singapore Art Archive Project”. For over two decades, he has been photographing art activities; collecting publications and materials related to art in Singapore. He has gone through the different roles such as museum worker, artist and art researcher. From having a sense of the need to record the activities of contemporary artists; to discovering lost histories of artists from earlier generation, he has accumulated a considerable amount of materials including: photographs, slides, negative films, exhibition catalogues, invitation cards, flyers, posters, newspapers, periodicals, books, audio tapes, videos, relics and art works. Increasingly, Koh is providing these materials to assist in the research and projects by people and institutions in Singapore and abroad. However, the task of making these materials comprehensive and accessible for use has been difficult working single-handedly. The presentation will also feature the art textbooks and publications on art education which were found in the collections of early Chinese artists and Chinese medium schools in Singapore. The audiences might be able to have a glimpse and compare the changes and developments in art education through these publications. They could also discover that most of the early generations of Singapore artists were actually art teachers in primary and secondary schools.

About the Speaker: Koh Nguang How. Born in Singapore, 1963, Koh Nguang How is an artist and independent researcher on Singapore art. His artistic practice started in 1988 and encompasses photography, collage, assemblage, installation, performance art, documentation, archiving, curating and research. He worked in the National Museum Art Gallery as a Museum Assistant from Oct 1985 to Dec 1991 and later as Assistant Curator (Jan - Feb 1992). He was a researcher in the pilot Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Researcher/ Curator in Residence Program 1999. He photo-documented the activities of The Artists Village since its first open studio show in 1989, to the “Post-Ulu Show” in 1999. In 2004 & 2005, he worked with a new curatorial initiative p-10 on a major project: “Errata: Page 71, Plate 47. Image caption. Change Year: 1950 to Year: 1959; Reported September 2004 by Koh Nguang How” (held at p-10, NUS Central Library and Singapore History Museum). Since 2005, he has been working on the self-initiated “Singapore Art Archive Project”. Facilator: Cecily Cheo, Visual and Performing Arts, NIE

18 October 2010
NIE Art Gallery

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