Art @ NUSS

For several years now, I’ve been quietly volunteering with the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS). I persuaded them to convert their (once full of massage chairs) members’ lounge and a corridor of bathroom doors into an art gallery. It took six months for them to paint the walls white because they were reluctant to destroy their yellow-orange  interior design, to install track lights and paintings rails. Of course, I made sure that works hanging on the walls of bathroom doors would not be at risk of damage by water. I checked and found that there were large storage cupboards … Continue reading Art @ NUSS

Art Volunteerism

From year 2018, this blog has also become my platform for sharing my stories as an arts volunteer. By “arts volunteering”, I refer to arts promotional activities pursued by someone who is NOT a paid arts administrator in an arts agency. These are arts promotion activities pursued on an unpaid basis, as an interested citizen of Singapore. While still working with Singapore Pools, I was invited to volunteer on NAC arts panels until they decided, I suppose, that they were tired of hearing my stories from the past and in need of fresh newer world-views.  I also sat on the … Continue reading Art Volunteerism

Outside the Arts Sector

After the Singapore Arts Centre Co. Ltd, I joined Singapore Pools in April 1997 where I stayed 16 years (nearly as many years as in arts management!) as Community Affairs / Corporate Social Responsibility Director until November 2013. One of my functions in Singapore Pools was to manage the Community Funding Programme and I did this till 2004 when the function was transferred to Tote Board which bought Singapore Pools from Temasek Holdings. In the funny way karma works, I was thrust into a position where I had the opportunity to advocate the cause of the Esplanade Theatres (“Juliana, please explain to … Continue reading Outside the Arts Sector

On the Inside and Outside: Theatre from the Viewpoint of an Arts Manager and Audience Member

Article published in conjunction with Esplanade’s Studio 50 (May 2015) Sea Change Around 1986, when I was at the Ministry of Community Development, I initiated an arts database (early version of KPIs), to gather information on audienceship levels and arts … Continue reading On the Inside and Outside: Theatre from the Viewpoint of an Arts Manager and Audience Member

Singapore Musical Society

This old Straits Times article on pianist Fu Tsong, reminds me that the National Music Competition of the 1980s was co-organised with the Singapore Musical Society. Indeed, it was the Society that started the tradition of annual music competitions. Quoting from framed-up document found in a former President’s home, “The Singapore Musical Society, known in the early days as the Singapore Philharmonic Society, was founded in 1902. It was a non-profit making society organisation set up to develop and promote the love of music in our Community. In addition to providing sponsorship for local and visiting musicians, the Society also … Continue reading Singapore Musical Society

Art Allies, 1980s

In the 1980s when money was very scarce in the Ministry of Culture and its departments, our museum and my ernest curator friends (Choy Weng Yang and Constance Sheares) depended considerably on the foreign diplomatic missions for our shows, both … Continue reading Art Allies, 1980s

Audiences of the ’80s

Between Aug ‘86 to Mar ‘87, the MCD Cultural Services Section conducted a full cycle of audience surveys, leveraging on the Drama Festival (Aug/Sep 86), Jazz Festival (Sep 86), Dance Festival (Dec 86) and the Festival of Choirs (Mar 87). Since manpower resources were scarce, it was all hands-on-deck and I remember standing in the lobby of the Drama Centre on Fort Canning, questionnaires and pencils in hand, persuading members of the audience to complete the forms while waiting for the show to start or for drinks and toilet during the interval. This first cycle of audience surveys revealed that: … Continue reading Audiences of the ’80s

Decluttering art-i-facts

I’m a sentimental person and a natural hoarder who has kept letters, postcards, dresses from primary school. It’s such a struggle to declutter but wanting to travel more frequently and free of encumbrances, cockroaches and silver fishes (which thankfully, have … Continue reading Decluttering art-i-facts

Tribute to Singapore Arts Personalities

October is Tributes month! On the evening of the concert of Zubir Said music, 12 Oct 2012, the Esplanade Theatres launched a “Tributes” website and exhibition of arts personalities aged sixty and above or deceased.  I was included among the first 150 personalities to be credited.  The launch party turned out to be a very warm gathering of old friends who had journeyed together through the ’80s /’90s.  I wondered however, if tribute paid to senior personages like former President Ong Teng Cheong and former Minister for Culture Inche Othman Wok would have been more appropriately accorded by either the arts ministry or … Continue reading Tribute to Singapore Arts Personalities