In partnership with Maybank Foundation, NMS will be conducting an Open Call exercise in April 2022 to commission a series of video-based artworks for showcase on the museum’s LED Wall. The selected artworks will be showcased in November 2022 (tentative) for a period of 3 months.
This Open Call invites artists and creatives from Singapore and Southeast Asia to submit proposals that respond to the theme of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Open Call Period will take place 19 April 2022 to 18 May 2022. In developing their video-based presentations on the theme indicated above, artists are invited to reference, feature and respond to the NMS collection that can be accessed via this link.
Selected proposals will be awarded a commissioning amount of $37,500 each. NMS will select four proposals for this open call (Intangible Cultural Heritage).
Theme of the Open Call: Intangible Cultural Heritage
At the end of 2020, Hawker Culture in Singapore was inscribed to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This has raised the profile not just of hawker culture as a practice and tradition worth recognising and safeguarding for future generations, but the broader notion of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) itself, which encompasses traditions, expressions, rituals, knowledge and skills that are practiced and passed on from generation to generation.
This is of special interest in the culturally rich context of Singapore and Southeast Asia, where modernity and urbanisation intersect in complex ways with tradition and heritage. In particular, the increasing drive to safeguard ICH is met with ongoing movements to contemporarise and adapt to current contexts. In relation to this, it is worth considering the concurrent activity of collecting of tangible objects – whether artwork or historical artefacts – and the roles of collectors and museums in doing so as part of the larger effort in generating greater awareness and appreciation of ICH.
The NMS and Maybank Foundation Open Call thus invites artists and creatives to produce video-based works that engage with the theme of ICH creatively drawing connections between ICH in Singapore and/or Southeast Asia and the tangible collections of NMS. These works should be new works produced specifically for the NMS LED Wall.
Artists could consider an exploration of one or more* of the following categories or examples:
Traditional performing art forms – such as Indian dance forms, Malay dance forms, Dikir Barat, Bangsawan, Wayang Kulit, Chinese Opera, Wayang Peranakan and Dondang Sayang
Food heritage – such as Hawker Culture, the making of Popiah, Kueh and Yusheng
Social practices, rituals and festive events – such as Silat, Chingay, Thaipusam and Easter
Traditional craftsmanship – such as Peranakan beadwork and embroidery, the making of Soya Sauce, Flower Garlands, Rattan Products, Cheongsam tailoring, Kavadi, making and repair of Malay drums
Knowledge concerning nature and universe – such as Traditional Chinese medicine, Traditional Malay medicine, Ayurveda, Birthing Traditions and Orchid Cultivation
*Please note that the list above is not exhaustive.
The artistic interpretation could possibly capture the sensorial aspects (such as sights and sounds) of one or various examples of ICH in Singapore and/or Southeast Asia inspired by materials from the National Collection, and in doing so, highlight the cultural and historical connections between Singapore and the Southeast Asian region. The response should take into consideration the scale and format of the LED Wall, which allows viewers to experience ICH in an immersive manner.
More information on the categories of ICH and their diverse elements that are present and practised in multicultural Singapore can be found on the ICH Inventory at https://www.roots.gov.sg/ich-landing.
The application to register should be submitted via GeBIZ under notice document NHB000ETT22000002. Documents not submitted through GeBIZ will be disqualified.
Evaluation Criteria and Criterion Weightage
Proposals will be evaluated according to the following:
- Merit of proposal (40%)
- Impact of proposal (30%)
- Project planning and management (30%)