News Details | 14-Sep-2012

NTU to drive Singapore’s new contemporary art centre at Gillman Barracks

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will spearhead the development of Singapore’s contemporary art centre at Gillman Barracks, the new contemporary art destination in Asia. Named the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), it is a key initiative to bolster the visual arts landscape in Asia through its international artist residency, research, and exhibition programmes. 

The CCA will be a focal point at Gillman Barracks, which is being heralded as Asia’s up-and-coming destination for contemporary art. With a total of 13 art galleries from 10 countries, and more to come, Gillman Barracks will distinguish itself as a vibrant centre in Asia for the creation, exhibition and discussion of contemporary art.

The CCA aims to be a world renowned centre for the production, presentation and interpretation of contemporary art and it will build research capabilities and thought leadership to bolster Singapore’s standing as an Asian arts hub.  CCA is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), and is expected to be fully operational in the second half of 2013.

 “The Centre for Contemporary Art is an exciting initiative for Singapore and NTU. CCA seeks to provide a vibrant environment in which the understanding of art and creativity will flourish, and where Asian and Western traditions can meet and find novel expressions. It will attract top international artists and scholars to our shores, showcase the work of emerging, home-grown talent, and make art a central thread in the fabric of Singaporean society,” said Professor Alan Chan, Dean of NTU’s College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

“Given NTU’s strengths in science and engineering, there will be ample opportunities for innovative research in diverse areas such as authentication of paintings or new materials and media for art production,” Professor Chan highlighted.

CCA will have three key programming aspects – international artist residency, exhibition, and education and research – and will collaborate with top international art institutions, galleries, curators and collectors.

The international artist residency programme will facilitate the production and creation of works by established and emerging international and Singaporean artists. CCA is expected to host up to nine artists at any one time.

CCA will also have an exhibition centre in Gillman Barracks which will embrace an international and multi-disciplinary approach towards the presentation of contemporary art and will feature works by resident artists, as well as special projects and commissions.

The CCA will be housed in customised infrastructure within Gillman Barracks, with a total floor area of more than 2,200 square metres and more than half of that space will be devoted to exhibitions.

“Gillman Barracks boosts Singapore’s standing as an Asian arts hub and CCA is a key to its identity as a vibrant centre in Asia for the creation, exhibition and discussion of contemporary art,” said Dr. Eugene Tan, Programme Director, Lifestyle Programme Office, EDB. “I am particularly excited about the artist residency programme because it will foster cultural exchange between the local and the international arts community, as well as become a platform for the production of the best and most innovative art of our time.”
CCA will work closely with NTU’s School of Art, Design and Media (ADM) and leverage its strengths and expertise to establish graduate programmes with an emphasis on Asian art history in the context of world art histories. There will also be contemporary art research initiatives such as fellowships, curatorial residencies, conferences and public talks.

Commenting on CCA's potential impact on young, aspiring contemporary artists and students, NTU’s Professor Vibeke Sorensen, Chair of ADM said, “We are very much looking forward to welcoming high-profile artists and scholars to engage with our students at the new Centre for Contemporary Art.

“Students will enjoy the benefit of being fully immersed in an environment of fine contemporary artwork, created by both established artists and emerging talents, in close proximity to their studios. This will give them additional valuable opportunities for direct contact with these talented artists, enabling our students to deepen their understanding of the content and context of the artistic process and production, as well as their knowledge of contemporary art,” Professor Sorensen added.

The establishment of the Centre for Contemporary Art comes at a time when Singapore’s arts and culture scene is set for a grander stage.  The Singapore Government is increasing spending in the arts and cultural sector to an annual average of $365 million over five years from 2011.  Come 2015, a 60,000-square-metre National Art Gallery, will officially open, making it the largest visual arts venue in Singapore and one of the largest in Asia.

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Media contact:

Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6687

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. In 2013, NTU will enrol the first batch of students at its new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to four world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and is setting up a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.
For more information, visit

About Gillman Barracks

Gillman Barracks (GB) is Asia’s up-and-coming destination for contemporary art. It will be distinguished as a vibrant centre in Asia for the creation, exhibition and discussion of contemporary art. Named after British general Sir Webb Gillman, GB is set amid lush greenery and was once a stronghold to the First Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. The conserved colonial barracks will house galleries and creative businesses, as well as the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA). The international galleries will feature diverse and ever-changing contemporary art exhibitions, while CCA will bolster the region’s visual arts landscape through its international artist residency, research and exhibition programmes. By fostering cultural exchange and creation, showcasing the best and most innovative art of our time, as well as generating discourse and research, CCA will establish Singapore as an important centre for contemporary art in Asia.  More information on GB can be found at


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