Community Art and Creative Placemaking in Singapore
Map Library, Rm10.10, 10/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Dr T C Chang Associate Professor Department of Geography, National University of Singapore
About the Speaker:
T.C. Chang is an Associate Professor at the Department of Geography (National University of Singapore, NUS). He received his PhD at McGill University (1997) and his research interests relate to arts/culture/heritage, urban tourism and Asian tourism knowledges. He is the co-editor of two books on Asian tourism: Asia On Tour. Exploring the Rise of Asian Tourism(Routledge, 2009) and Interconnected Worlds: Tourism in Southeast Asia (Elsevier Science, 2001). On the administrative front, he was Vice Dean (External Relations and Student Life) of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences as well as Deputy Director of Global Relations Office, both at NUS.
Creative placemaking is a process where different sectors of society collaborate in cultural activities that deepen their relations with each other and the place in which they live. As a supposed panacea to the woes of poorly planned spaces and apathetic community, it is supposed to address social exclusion and generate feelings of belonging as the environment is culturally and collectively enhanced. Applying the concepts of creative placemaking and community art, this presentation considers the phenomenon of Void Deck Galleries (VDGs) in Singapore. As more spaces in public housing environments are filled with art, the relationships between the state, an arts organisations and local communities that have formed around the VDGs are explored. Empirical data from three void decks reveal a pro-active state, the coordinating role of the arts organisation, and the enthusiastic though largely passive role that local communities bring to bear on the painted walls of Singapore.
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