Indie Arts Clusters Fight To Lay Down Roots

Indie Arts Clusters Fight To Lay Down Roots
Closed door meeting with Minister of Law K. Shanmugam

It has been a happening week for 195 Pearl's Hill Terrace. On 25 Jan 2024, Shawn Hoo, Arts Journalist for the Straits Times published an in-depth write-up describing the struggles of different independent arts clusters in Singapore.

Full Article:
What brings together independent clusters within 195 Pearl’s Hill Terrace, Emily Hill and Selegie Road is more than just a shared sense of ephemerality. They commit to a creative messiness in their approach with a bold, independent spirit that is a counterpoint to cultural work within official institutions and policies. Shawn Hoo

A day later, Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Usha Chandradas responded through the Straits Time forum to the aforementioned article. The response was titled "More help needed for Singapore to develop vibrant arts economy".

Full response:
Museums and institutions can be intimidating, but ground-up initiatives like those identified by Mr Hoo in his article provide safe spaces not just for artists, but for our wider community as well, to explore their artistic interests. Usha Chandradas

The following week on 2 Feb 2024, Minister of Law K. Shanmugam visited 195PHT to engage with the mastertenant and arts tenants of 195PHT. The following related articles were published.

Full Article:
I can say they are passionate, they are committed and they want to do some things. Generally, this is good to see in Singapore. It makes for a better soul for Singapore. K. Shanmugam

Sin Min Daily News

Some Thoughts

When the news first hit in November 2023 that Pearl's Hill is set to "undergo development as an inclusive and community-centric neighbourhood" and it would by all intents and purposes mark the end of the current community in 195PHT, it shook us.

It marked the start of darker days filled with uncertainty, and many businesses have started questioning their place and time left here. Stability and continuity is one of the most important aspects of running a business, so many started looking at alternative but separate venues.

We even reached out to SLA directly to enquire about the future of 195 PHT!

So it's certainly a "ray of hope" that our government has taken heed of our calls and offered us the opportunity fight for the continuation of our arts cluster at 195 PHT, with the possibility of relocation- i.e. moving 195 PHT to a new location!

More than just a space, the community and the culture is what makes this place completely different from everywhere else in Singapore and very rare in the rest of the world as well. It makes it even more important for the community to band together here and fight for a chance. Raymond Luo