17 January 2013

Ms Judith Slater, British Deputy High Commissioner and Director of Trade and Investment

Mark Howard, Director of the British Council


Welcome and thank you for joining us this evening.

Tonight is a celebration of partnerships – something that is a hallmark of the Singapore International Foundation (SIF).

Since 2011, the SIF has partnered the British Council, Singapore (BC) in our common goals to nurture relationships between the Singapore and UK communities through the power of art. And tonight’s event is a double celebration of institutional and individual partnerships.

Our first reason to celebrate - the extension of the MoU between the SIF and the British Council.  When we first teamed up in 2011, the SIF and the British Council had a vision to work together to enable  collaborations between Singaporean and British artists.  Well,  artists Michael Lee and Bob Matthews in Singapore and London did so. Tonight’s official extension of this partnership is a simple testimony to the great success of the first two years of our collaboration.

Which leads me to our second reason to celebrate. This is about individual partnerships and the collaboration between our AiRx 2012 participants - Singaporean artist Genevieve Chua and Briton Emma Critchley. Welcome to the opening reception of their joint exhibition, Disappearing Moon.  After this Singapore presentation, Disappearing Moon will be showcased in London this March.

AiRx 2012 has also seen the partnership between our curators for this project, Briton Tolla Sloane and Singaporean Sam I-Shan. Thank you for your dedication and for lending your expertise to make this project the success it is.

SIF and the British Council also enabled collaborations between the artists and the larger art community. For the first time AiRx artists will be pairing up with ART Stage, in its 2013 edition and  Genevieve and Emma will be sharing their  experiences.

In the course of their residencies, Emma and Genevieve also had the chance to visit and understand various cultural institutions, which include the Singapore Art Museum, the Esplanade, :phunk Studio and the Objectifs Centre for Photography and Filmmaking.  They shared their work with students and faculty from LASALLE and the Royal College of Art and the greater arts communities in both London and Singapore. All the work that we do, of course, would not be possible without those who share our vision and work alongside us. And on behalf of the SIF, I would like to take this opportunity to thank a few key individuals:

Dr Charles Merewether  and his team especially Joleen Loh at the Institute of Contemporary Art Singapore. Milenko Prvacki, Gilles Massot and Khalid Al Mkhlaafy at LASALLE for their unfailing support. Professor Jo Stockham and her team at the Royal College of Art, and Mr Loh Lik Peng and Ms Audrey Yeo. 

And of course, many thanks to Director Mark Howard and his team from the British Council for working with us on this and proving to be exceptional partners and friends. We look forward to the steady growth of our partnership in the future. And to so many others, too many to name – we thank you all.

I started out saying that tonight was a double celebration. But I’m sure you agree with me that there are many more  reasons! Have a great evening!