Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and the Centre Pompidou (CP) from Paris take a step forward in strengthening cultural alliances between Singapore and France

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and the Centre Pompidou (CP) from Paris take a step forward this morning in strengthening cultural alliances between Singapore and France in the field of contemporary art. Both sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for future cooperation to enhance the development and showcase of contemporary art, building upon a wider government-to-government framework agreement signed by Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the French Republic Bernard Kouchner in January last year.

The MOU is signed by Mr. Tan Boon Hui, Director of the Singapore Art Museum and Mr. Alain Seban, President of the Centre Pompidou, with Ms Jane Ittogi, Chair of the Singapore Art Museum and H. E. Olivier Caron, Ambassador of the Republic of France to Singapore as witnesses to the signing.

The highlight of this partnership will be the premiere of a blockbuster exhibition, co-organised by CP and SAM for 2011. The Centre Pompidou is one of the most internationally renowned art museums and has a world class contemporary art collection which has toured widely. Video, an Art, a History 1965-2010. A Selection from the Centre Pompidou and Singapore Art Museum Collections presents CP’s well-received new media travelling exhibition in a new format with an added Southeast Asian touch. Drawn from the Pompidou’s Musée National d’Art Morderne’s/Centre de Création Industrielle video and new media art collection, the exhibition was originally conceived to explore the largest history of video art ever seen, exploring the evolution of video as a creative medium since the introduction of video and portable media technology in the 1960s to the digital technologies of today. The exhibition has travelled to seven cities around the world since its premiere in Barcelona in 2005. Its Singapore and Southeast Asia debut will premiere an expanded exhibition, showcasing SAM’s own collection of video works and installations by Southeast Asian artists, such as Lee Wen, Choy Ka Fai, Dinh Q Le, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba and Richard Streitmatter-Tran, alongside CP’s collection by internationally renowned artists such as Nam June Paik, Bill Viola, Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, Jean-Luc Godard and Pierre Huygue.

On the partnership, Mr Tan said, “The Centre Pompidou is one of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art museums in the world. This agreement marks an important milestone in SAM’s work to nurture, collect and elevate the international profile of contemporary artists of Singapore and the region. We are honoured that the Pompidou is working with us to showcase SAM’s own collection alongside theirs in the first exhibition collaboration between both institutions. It is a sign of the regard in which they view this collaboration, and the regard for Southeast Asian contemporary art. The video art retrospective will be a truly international show for visitors from all over. The MOU also reflects Singapore’s position as a centre and stepping stone for those interested in contemporary art development in the region. I look forward to further collaborations with the Pompidou.”

Mr. Seban said, “I am proud to announce the presentation of a new media and video exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum in just one year. The exhibition will draw from the spectacular collection of the Centre Pompidou which boasts many pioneering works in this popular medium. This exhibition will actually be very much a joint project with curating assistance from the team at SAM and spectacular additions of exciting emerging Asian artists from its own collection. I cannot think of a more auspicious project to start what I certainly hope will be a long history of the Centre Pompidou with Singapore.”

Video, an Art, a History 1965-2010. A Selection from the Centre Pompidou and the Singapore Art Museum Collections will run from 27 May 2011 to 18 September 2011. The CP-SAM MOU also paves the way for both institutions to identify and jointly present future exhibition projects and other collaborations in Singapore and France.