Speech by SIF Governor Mr David Chong at the Launch of the Art of Sustainability Exhibition in Shanghai, China
Ms Jing Ying, Vice President, Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries,
Mr Tan Kee Chor, Consul Singapore Consulate-General in Shanghai,
Ms Terry Lu, Executive Director, Shanghai Dayuntang Art Gallery,
Distinguished guests, artists, curators,
Ladies and gentlemen
Good evening. I am delighted to be here today at the launch of the Art of Sustainability: Pulse of a City exhibition. Art of Sustainability is an art exchange project between China and Singapore, co-organised with our longstanding partner, Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (SPAFFC). This project marks the Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) first Arts for Good initiative in China.
What is “Arts for Good”, you might ask. The SIF believes in the potential of arts and culture to help foster inclusive communities. For instance, arts can be a powerful platform to raise awareness on and acceptance of people with disabilities, the aged and youth-at-risk. It can also help promote sustainable urban living and enable livelihood. The possibilities are endless.
Founded on this belief, the SIF’s Arts for Good initiative seeks to bring artists, multi-sectorial partners and world communities together to collaborate for sustainable change and enable action for positive social impact.
The Art of Sustainability project promotes awareness and action on sustainable urban living. Led by Chinese curator Fu Jun and Singaporean curator Allan Lim and Sun Yu-Li, eight Chinese and Singaporean artists visited each other’s cities to better understand how their respective cities manage issues related to urban living, while exchanging insights with the local arts community, between March and June this year.
The artworks that you see at this exhibition sum up the reflections of our artists after their exchange, and are jointly created not just by our group of artists, but also the elderly and youth communities in both Singapore and Shanghai. This Art of Sustainability art exchange project has brought people from both countries together to share ideas and skills. At the same time, it raises awareness on the very important message of sustainable urban living.
We are thankful to the Rhythm Art Organisation, for offering us this beautiful Dayuntang Art Gallery for the exhibition. These artworks, borne out of the exchange between our two cities’ artists and communities, will be displayed here till 25 September and in Singapore next year.
For more than two decades, the SIF has been enhancing cross-cultural ties between Singapore and China – through business exchange with working professionals; volunteer cooperation projects in healthcare in Xiamen and Yunnan; and now, through collaboration in the arts.
Singapore shares strong and substantive relations with China with strong economic links and growing exchanges in education, culture and social management. Collaborations and initiatives like this between Singaporean and Chinese communities are important because they strengthen ties and trust at the people-to-people level.
In closing, thank you for joining us here tonight, and we look forward to the many more friendships that will spring from this partnership between our two countries. Enjoy the exhibition.
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