|SAM at 8Q|
|Established||August 15, 2008|
|Location||8 Queen Street, Singapore 188535|
|Director||Dr Susie Lingham|
|Public transit access||Bras Basah MRT Station
|Website||Singapore Art Museum|
SAM at 8Q is a museum for contemporary art in Singapore, located at the heart of the city. It is an extension of the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), with its name deriving from the museum's location at No. 8 Queen Street near Bras Basah Road. The museum's location is also approximately 88 steps away from the mother Singapore Art Museum.
SAM is a contemporary art space with multi-disciplinary, interactive and community-oriented programming; a place where the public can directly experience the work and ideas of living artists in relation to its aesthetic and social context. It is a venue for contemplation, stimulation, and discussion about contemporary art and culture and serves as a forum for discussion of these issues.
SAM is showcase a diversity of cutting-edge experimental contemporary shows that focuses on art practice in the here and now from painting and sculpture, to installation, film and video, photography, new media, performance art and sound art by present and upcoming artists. Nationally, Singapore has not had an art space that would support such artistic diversity; SAM is the first.
The 4-storey building was formerly the primary school wing of the Catholic High School. When the School relocated to their current location in 1987, the 3,500 sq m space gave home to the Kim Yan Cantonese Methodist Church. In September 2007, the Church ended its tenancy and the building was repossessed by the Singapore Land Authority. With new interest on contemporary art by the young, the National Heritage Board (NHB) took up tenancy of the building from the Land Authority. The Board also spent $5.8 million on renovations, and converted the classrooms in the 4-storey building into six galleries to showcase contemporary installation works, video and photography installation, performance art and sound art. A lift was also installed, and the galleries, staircases and parts of corridors have also been air-conditioned and humidity-controlled. There are also spaces to house two restaurants on the ground floor which are currently occupied by Food for Thought and Standing Sushi Bar. The new 8Q museum was officially opened on August 15, 2008 with an inaugural 8-man art exhibition titled 8Q-Rate: School; a name pun from the word 'curate'. 8Q-Rate featured the works by young contemporary artists such as Jahan Loh, Donna Ong, Grace Tan, Chong Li Chuan, Jason Wee, Tan Kai Syng, Phunk and sculptor Ahmad Abu Bakar. The opening night also featured live music by Zouk DJ Tony Tay.
At Home Abroad, the second major installation of Singapore contemporary art after 8Q's inauguration in 2008, focuses on the mobile nature of contemporary art practices today and features homegrown artists whose art practice spans across international realms. The exhibition opening was officiated by Guest of Honour, Ms Jane Ittogi, Chair, Singapore Art Museum, on 5 March 2009, at 8Q.
Works on display in At Home Abroad would have been in one way or another connected with international platforms – some were commissioned specifically for a show abroad while others were developed during artist residencies and then exhibited to foreign audiences. Often, Singapore audiences may not be aware of these works nor have they seen them, hence At Home Abroad presents this rare opportunity to bring these works “home”. Some of the works are therefore shown for the first time in Singapore while others are reconfigured for their presentation in the exhibition. The 'home-coming' of these artworks adds a new dimension to local art discourse, in particular on the migratory nature of contemporary art practice. At Home Abroad will present works Jason Lim, Ming Wong, Sookoon Ang, Zulkifle Mahmod and Choy Ka Fai / Theatreworks (Singapore).
The exhibition’s website (www.aha-blog.sg) documents feedback to how the various artworks have been received, both at home and abroad. The exhibition showcases a variety of approaches and new media that the new generation of contemporary Singaporean artists engage in. The site also offers a blogging component that allows visitors and the general public to engage in a lively discussion on the works featured at the exhibition, pose questions they have to the exhibition curators, or simply to share their thoughts on contemporary art and what it means to them.
Location and facilities
Situated in the centre of Singapore’s major shopping district and Waterloo Street Arts Belt, SAM and SAM at 8Q are located alongside Singapore’s major performing arts and visual arts institutions: such as the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art, LaSalle College of the Arts, the Stamford Arts Centre, the Selegie Arts Centre, Singapore Calligraphy Centre, YMS Arts Centre, Dance Ensemble Singapore, Sculpture Square and Action Theatre as well as the School of the Arts: an institution that offers an integrated arts and academic curriculum for youths aged 13 to 18 years of age.
SAM at 8Q is accessible by major public transportation systems such as the public buses, the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) lines and cab services. The nearest MRT station would be Brash Basah MRT station, on the Circle Line.
Minister rings the school bell to mark the official opening of the new museum. Gracing the occasion with the Minister are (from left:) Former Catholic High school principal; Mr Michael Koh, CEO of the National Heritage Board; Ms Jane Ittogi, Chairperson, Singapore Art Museum and Mr Kwok Kian Chow, Director of the Singapore Art Museum
Glass hall of 8Q sam, on the left of the open space, formerly the Catholic school quadrangle
- Kim, May (2 July 2013). "THIRD DIRECTOR OF THE SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM APPOINTED". Press Release. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Adeline, Chia. "8Q is the name, edgy art is the game". Singapore: Straits Times. p. A4.
- Martin, Mayo. "Call it 8Q". Singapore: Today. p. 38.
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- Speech By Radm (Ns) Lui Tuck Yew, Senior Minister Of State For Education And Information, Communications And The Arts, at the official launch of 8Q sam, 15 August 2008, 7.00 pm at 8Q sam
- 8Q SAM - formerly Catholic High Primary School, in Yesterday...today...tomorrow blog