Art, Urban Change, and the Public Sphere

Art, Urban Change, and the Public Sphere

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore

(1) Zulkifle Mahmod, performance, Mapletree Business City II, Singapore, 2017. (2) Discursive Picnic, Archifest, Mapletree Business City II, Singapore, 2017. (3) Art, Urban Change, and the Public Sphere, The Lab, NTU CCA Singapore, 2019, installation view. (4) Culture City. Culture Scape. Public Art Trail artworks, Mapletree Business City II. Clockwise from top left: Dan Graham, Elliptical Pavilion, 2017. Zulkifle Mahmod, Sonic Pathway, 2017. Tomás Saraceno, Stillness in Motion, 3 Airborne Dwellings, 2017. Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA), Wind Sculpture, 2013. All images courtesy NTU CCA Singapore.

September 24, 2019
Art, Urban Change, and the Public Sphere
NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
Gillman Barracks
Block 6 Lock Rd
Singapore 109443
Hours: Monday–Friday 9am–6pm

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NTU CCA Singapore is pleased to present Art, Urban Change, and the Public Sphere, which engages with art in privately owned public spaces through a Public Art Education Summit and research presentation. Taking as its point of departure the neighbouring Culture City. Culture Scape. Public Art Trail at Mapletree Business City—developed with curatorial consultation by NTU CCA Singapore—the presentation and Summit explore broader cultural and artistic developments on a civic scale situated in urban landscapes. How do political and economic changes in the public realm evoke a regional discourse on art in cities? 

Public Art Education Summit
NTU CCA Singapore
October 17–19, 2019

The Public Art Education Summit is the first of its kind in Singapore and part of a larger engagement of NTU CCA Singapore in professional education of public art. It focuses on cultural place-making and building communities through artistic practices. It aims to stimulate a debate between art professionals, policy makers, urban developers and other local stakeholders, on how and for whom art creates public spaces in our built environment. Any artistic or curatorial initiative in “public space” must address the question of how to construct “a public” and with it, how to encounter identity. Any difference—be it regional and local, ethnic and religious, economic and social—generates its own cohabitation of urban space and public culture to communicate with. The challenge for art in the public sphere lies in its openness to existing and yet, imagined communities of civic urbanism. Ranging from corporate cultural engagement in privately owned public spaces to urban regeneration, the invited speakers draw connections to the beginnings of community engagement in public art with its fluid methods. Furthermore, they suggest a critical look at different artistic and curatorial practices which reflect on “artists as citizens.” Or, how any space called public, first and foremost, is created by the different people inhabiting that space.

With contributions by: Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore), Richard Bell (Australia), Lewis Biggs (UK), Amanda Crabtree (UK/France), Daniel Mudie Cunningham (Australia), Catherine David (France), Elvira Dyangani Ose (Spain/UK), Sophie Goltz (Germany/Singapore), Kok Heng Leun (Singapore), Hongjohn Lin (Taiwan/Singapore), Massamba Mbaye (Senegal), Nikos Papastergiadis (Australia), Jasmeen Patheja (India), Milenko Prvački (Ex-Yugoslavia/Singapore), Katherine Ann Leilani Tuider (US), Ashley Thompson (UK), Wang Dawei (China), et al. 

In association with College of Fine Arts, Shanghai University and Institute for Public Art, London. Supported by Mapletree Investments and, additionally, by Public Art Trust, an initiative of National Arts Council, Singapore. 

Research Presentation
NTU CCA Singapore, The Lab
August 31–October 27, 2019

Center-staged at The Lab, the making of the Public Art Trail at Mapletree Business City highlights the permanent works by international renowned artists Dan Graham (US), Zulkifle Mahmod (Singapore), Tomás Saraceno (Argentina/Germany) and Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA) (Nigeria/UK). Animated through augmented reality (AR) in a panorama-like spatial design, the artistic practices and processes are introduced. Entitled Culture City. Culture Scape., both the Public Art Trail and Public Art Education Programme (since 2017) go beyond mere artistic interpretation and audience engagement. Furthermore, it raises questions on art, urban change, and the public sphere, that not only open up a perspective on the complexities involved in public art, but also how any space called public, first and foremost, is created by the different people inhabiting the space. 

Public programme with Singaporean Artists
September 28, 2019, 3:30pm 
Reloaded, Art in Public Space in Singapore

In Conversation: Priyageetha Dia and Seelan Palay 
With guided tours of The Lab and Public Art Trail at Mapletree Business City

October 26, 2019, 3:30pm
Looking Back Forward with Public Art
In Conversation: Speak Cryptic and Robert Zhao 
With guided tours of The Lab and Public Art Trail at Mapletree Business City

Art, Urban Change, and the Public Sphere is organised by: Sophie Goltz, Deputy Director Research and Academic Programmes and Assistant Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU; Clifford Loh, Project Manager, External Collaborations (till 08.2019); Guineviere Low, Young Professional Trainee, Research and Academic Programmes; Soh Kay Min, Executive, Conference, Workshops & Archive; Leon Tan, Project Manager, External Collaborations.

For further information and detailed programme of Art, Urban Change, and the Public Sphere, please see, for more information on Culture City. Culture Scape., please see


About NTU CCA Singapore
A leading international art institution, NTU CCA Singapore is a platform, host and partner creating and driven by dynamic thinking in its three-fold constellation: Exhibitions; Residencies Programme; Research and Academic Education. A national research centre for contemporary art of Nanyang Technological University, the Centre focuses on Spaces of the Curatorial. It brings forth innovative and experimental forms of emergent artistic and curatorial practices that intersect the present and histories of contemporary art embedded in social-political spheres with other fields of knowledge.

About Nanyang Technological University
​​​​​​A research-intensive public university, NTU has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and its Graduate College. NTU’s campus is frequently listed among the top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) buildings.​ Besides its 200-ha lush green, residential campus in western Singapore, NTU has a second campus in the heart of Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

About Mapletree-NTU CCA Singapore 
This unique and pioneering collaboration between Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd and NTU CCA Singapore is focused on education on art in public spaces, and features a series of public art installations, as well as a Public Art Education Programme at Mapletree Business City II to bring the arts closer to a variety of communities.

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NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
September 24, 2019

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