25 Years of The Substation: Reflections on Singapore's First Independent Art Centre

Out of stock

Out of print

Thanks for your interest in this title. Unfortunately, we have retired this title to the vault. Please check out other recommended titles below! Archival copies of this title are available at the National Library Board.’


25 YEARS OF THE SUBSTATION features the accounts of 25 artists and people who have been associated with The Substation since its founding in 1990. The book is organised around 25 words, which serve as entry points for an extended conversation about The Substation, its stakeholders, and Singaporean society and the arts.

View sample pages


25 Years of The Substation: Reflections on Singapore's First Independent Art Centre

Slide to see


“The opening of The Substation on 16 September 1990 was a watershed moment. Here was a place where everyone who loves the arts could call ‘home’, where young artists found opportunities and mentors, where inspiration lived. There had been nothing like it in Singapore. And it was thanks to the vision and perseverance of Kuo Pao Kun, that this special place came into being and continues to exist. Pao Kun had the unique quality of being able to communicate with a diversity of people, from different cultures, and this was important and inspiring in multi‐cultural Singapore.” —Excerpt from the Foreword by Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador‐At‐Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“I hope that this book reflects the organic nature of The Substation’s development and its knack of putting diverse groups of people in dialogue with one another. When The Substation was opened, it was intended to be such a space, for conversations and understanding across different communities, and to communicate what emerges in the process beyond the immediate bounds of a physical place. Singapore needs such spaces. It is my hope that this book also speaks to a large group of readers, as our efforts in putting together this book will bear fruit only if there are people who care about what is said/written… … the book’s contents constitute a set of recollections and reflections of the experiences of artists and staff. We were looking for their personal “stories” of The Substation at certain points in time and their interpretations of what this space means/ meant to them and their communities, or their arts practice… the book comprises a mix of personal recollection and recounting of events; reflections on specific themes or moments or projects; and creative expressions in poetry, song, images, and illustrations triggered by the authors’ encounters at The Substation…” —Excerpt from the Introduction by Audrey Wong, Artistic Co‐Director at The Substation from 2000 – 2009.

“… I’d say The Substation, small though in size, is an expression of a growing contemporary hearing: An honest pursuit in search of a transcendence, reaching for a new sensitivity raising ourselves above crass consumerism and short‐term material success.” —the late Kuo Pao Kun in Open Space, September 1990.


The Substation


Alvin Pang, Alvin Tan, Audrey Wong, Bruce Quek, Corrie Tan, Cyril Wong, Daniel Kok, Debbie Ding, Gwee Li Sui, Hazel Lim, Heman Chong, Ho Rui An, Kaylene Tan, Kent Chan, Kok Heng Leun, Lee Wen, Lee Weng Choy, Lim Morrison & Xiao Yan, Loo Zihan, Robert Zhao, Tania De Rozario, Tan Pin Pin, Tay Kheng Soon, Yee Chang Kang, Yuni Hadi, Zai Kuning