Telok Kurau Studios
91 Lorong J Telok Kurau, Singapore 425985
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 11am – 6pm.
Directions: By public transportation – take MRT to Eunos station; take public buses, stop at Telok Kurau Road or Still Road. By car – exit PIE or ECP at Still Road.
The idea of an "artist village" in Singapore has taken various forms over the years.
There was the artist collective known as The Artist Village, which originated as artists living in a village in Sembawang, and there was an informal artist village once on Sentosa where a gathering of artists were working out of studios there, too.
Telok Kurau Studios today comes closest to both of those definitions, being a gathering of artists working out of studios there, as well as metaphorically coming to represent a group of artists.
It is currently Singapore's only existing artist village, and it celebrates its 12th anniversary this year.
Set up under the National Arts Council's Arts Housing Scheme in 1997, the studios were converted from a vacant school building that was built in 1960, and was created to offer promising art talents and collectives an affordable and conducive environment to focus on developing their artistic practices.
Previous and current artists who have resided in the studios have included Cultural Medallion recipients and young emerging artists. There are currently some 30 artists working there today.
The studios have served as both incubator and platform for artists to present their work as well as their artistic process, as well as for the exchange of ideas between the artists working there.
Throughout the years, artists of different disciplines and genres, as well as different generations of artists, have helped the Telok Kurau Studios carve out a reputation of representing the evolution of artistic traditions in Singapore.
Its distinct artistic identity, that which is deeply rooted in Asian heritage and culture but yet catalysing new ideas and practices, can be seen through the regular exhibitions that are hosted at its on-site gallery.
The artworks displayed here can range from traditional forms of art such as Chinese brush painting and calligraphy to contemporary forms of art such as art installations and contemporary Chinese ink paintings.
The studios also holds an annual affordable art fair to introduce audiences to Singapore art and organises tours and workshops for both museums and schools, to introduce Singapore art to different audiences.
Did you know?
The word Telok Kurau means "mango fish bay". Before kampongs were phased out by the 1980s, a Malay village called Telok Kurau was located on East Coast Road.