News Details | 14-Oct-2013

International curator and MIT Associate Professor Ute Meta Bauer to lead NTU’s Centre for Contemporary Art

The new Centre for Contemporary Art in Gillman Barracks to open officially on, 23 October 2013.

Following a global search, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has found an international curator with a wealth of experience and expertise to head its Centre for Contemporary Art as the Founding Director.

Ute Meta Bauer, 55, will also be a professor at NTU’s School of Art, Media and Design. Located in Gillman Barracks alongside a cluster of international galleries, the Centre for Contemporary Art is a national research centre of NTU supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

Bauer comes to Singapore from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA, where she was an Associate Professor for Visual Art in the School of Architecture and Planning, the founding director of the Programme in Art, Culture, and Technology, as well as director of the MIT Visual Arts Programme. Bauer most recently served as Dean of the School of Fine Arts with the Royal College of Art, London.

Commenting on her new role at NTU, Professor Bauer said: “The Centre for Contemporary Art aims to serve as a cross-disciplinary platform merging the exhibition of contemporary art with a significant investment in research. Its residency and fellowship programme will bring together a diversity of creative intellectuals from around the world, including artists, writers, curators, researchers and academics to share, collaborate and exchange.

“Having visited the region frequently over the last 20 years, it is a unique opportunity for me to be part of this founding team. I am excited to embark on my new role and look forward to working closely with my many knowledgeable colleagues to give shape to this new landmark centre.”

Welcoming Bauer’s appointment, NTU President, Professor Bertil Andersson, explains how the Centre for Contemporary Art fits into the larger vision of the University: “Art is important to any culture and society. Contemporary art often crosses intellectual boundaries and fuses diverse forms, media and technologies. Art plays a significant role in NTU’s academic and research agenda, precisely because it can bring together different pathways to knowledge and create new aesthetic forms, technological innovation, and intellectual perspectives.

“The new Centre for Contemporary Art will work closely with NTU’s School of Art, Design and Media to further the growth of Singapore’s burgeoning arts scene. NTU is pleased to have the EDB as our partner in establishing a new landmark in contemporary art in Singapore and to have Professor Bauer on board to spearhead this.”

An international curator with extensive experience in the global arts sector

Having worked for over 25 years in contemporary art, world, Professor Bauer has curated numerous prestigious exhibitions and presentations on contemporary art, film, video, and sound, with a focus on interdisciplinary formats. In 2012, she was co-director with Hou Hanru of the “World Biennial Forum Number 1 — Shifting Gravity”, a conference organised by Gwangju Biennale Foundation, Biennial Foundation, and ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) in Gwangju, South Korea.

Prior to her tenure at MIT, Bauer also served as the Founding Director of the Office for Contemporary Art, Norway. Her distinguished track record in the field also includes her previous roles as the Artistic Director of the “3rd Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art” as well as the Co-curator of “Documenta11”, Kassel. Most recently she curated “Theatrical Fields” at the Bildmuseet in Umea, Sweden; the exhibition focuses on time-based art, and includes major installations by acclaimed artists Joan Jonas, Isaac Julien and Stan Douglas.

“We are pleased to welcome Professor Bauer as the Founding Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art,” says Ms Thien Kwee Eng, Assistant Managing Director of the EDB. “Professor Bauer brings immense knowledge and expertise to the centre, having charted new directions for leading arts institutions around the world. As part of Gillman Barracks, the Centre’s programmes will complement the arts businesses to establish Gillman Barracks and Singapore as the destination for the contemporary art industry in Asia and a centre for the production, discussion and exhibition of contemporary art in the region.”

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art to open officially on 23 October 2013

The Centre for Contemporary Art will open officially on 23 October 2013 with a special event where Professor Bauer will present the Centre’s vision and mandate, as well as introduce the core members of its newly appointed curatorial team.

Professor Bauer’s vision is to map out a strategic approach towards art and culture, integrating the Centre’s varied programmes of research, exhibitions, education, residencies and public programmes holistically. The Centre’s artist residency programme will facilitate the production and creation of works by established and emerging international and Singaporean artists, helping to foster a more vibrant contemporary arts scene in Singapore.

Says Ms Yvonne Tham, Deputy CEO, National Arts Council, Singapore, “We welcome the opening of the Centre of Contemporary Art, and are excited to see what this new institution has to offer to Singapore artists, curators and art-lovers. The centre is well-poised to play a catalyst role in Singapore’s arts scene — incubating artistic and curatorial talent through its residency programmes, and providing opportunities for Singapore artists to take on large-scale commissions for its Exhibition Centre. The interaction of our artists and curators with regional artists and researchers will surely create new opportunities for collaboration and contribute to raising the level of artistic discourse in Singapore.”

The official opening ceremony will also feature performances and video screenings from eminent and emerging artists from Singapore and the NTU School of Art, Design and Media: Lee Wen, Jason Wee, Lucy Davis, Grieve Perspective, Bani Haykal Mohamed, Mohamad Riduan, Shahila bte Baharom and Wu Jun Han.

During its inaugural phase of operations from October to December 2013, the Centre for Contemporary Art will feature a series of events under the title “Free Jazz”, where artists, curators, composers, designers, architects, musicians, writers and a whole range of cultural producers and intellectuals will join together to improvise and contribute to the thinking and envisioning of the potentials for this new Centre.

NTU’s new Centre for Contemporary Art will take up a critical position in Singapore’s art ecology. Committed to knowledge production and innovation, spurring research-based artistic practices and interdisciplinary investigations, the Centre will serve as a new hub for art and research in the region.

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Media contact:

Danny Cham
Manager (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6592 3557

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, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to 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 a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.
For more information, visit

About Gillman Barracks

Gillman Barracks is a new contemporary art destination in Singapore. Nestled amid lush greenery, this former colonial barracks now home to local and international art galleries, dining and creative businesses, as well as the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) that will open in late 2013. The CCA will enhance the region’s contemporary art landscape through its international artist residency, research and exhibition programmes. For more information, please visit


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