Leadership direction, public engagement remain challenges for the arts in Singapore

Saw this quote in the article.

"Others, though, are not perturbed by instability at the top. Art collector and lawyer Ryan Su said: “I believe (leadership changes) really do not matter as market forces will eventually shape the arts landscape. For example, the public will decide what it wants to see with its dollar votes, and the relevant organisations will cater to that.”

Really?!? Doesn't leadership in cultural institutions matter? I think it is key. This is culture. We have to consider what kind of art scene would result here when the dollar gets to "vote". Emerging artists, artists whose practices are non commercial in nature but nevertheless important, museum shows that present art, thoughts and developments in certain parts of the world that do not have the MoMA or Guggenheim name attached to it, they would be non existent.

Yes there is a crisis in cultural leadership in Singapore. Years of concentrating on "bankable" subjects - engineering, accountancy, law, and what have you. Up till the 90's or 2000, one couldn't find any course in art history here. So when public money flow into the arts, where do we find the folks to run the institutions?



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