About Paper-to-Gallery

Each year, academics generate a wealth of knowledge through their research efforts and
present their findings in the form of papers providing detailed coverage of the subject matter.
Whilst this information may be referenced by other academics with like interests, it is less
common for those outside the field to peruse such papers; consequently the knowledge
remains within a limited circle.

Paper-to-Gallery was conceived as an exhibition series to enable the academic community to
share their research in a comprehensive and visual enriching format. Through this series
which emphasizes the development of curatorial methodologies to present research findings,
NUS will provide greater public access to the large and expanding works of NUS staff and

The inaugural project was an exhibition 'Ritual, Heritage and Power in Contemporary Java'
held from 5 July to 22 September 2006. Based on the thesis of a student pursuing his
Masters degree at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (Southeast Asian Studies
Programme), the exhibition encouraged visitors to explore the premise that the annual rituals
conducted by the Karaton Surakarta (royal court of Surakarta) help to promote the
significance of the court and is the key to defining the court's role in contemporary Javanese
society. At a time when the royal households in the region are redefining their participation in
society, the exhibition also propelled visitors to ponder on how Singapore, a country without
an aristocracy, would participate in this new phenomenon.

Through a mixed media presentation comprising artefacts, video, photographs and text, and a
varied outreach programme of guided tours, performances and lifestyle events, visitors were
introduced to this lesser known aspect of Java. NUS classes benefited from exploring such
rituals in the context of cultural resource management and cultural tourism, school groups
used the exhibition to discuss historical themes of interaction and social hierarchy whilst the
general public had the opportunity to better understand the rich legacy and colourful culture of
the Javanese court.

The second project 'Bodies and Relationships: Selected Works of Lee Sik Khoon' (8 June to
30 September 2007) was curated by Wang Zineng who is a graduate from NUS' Faculty of
Arts and Social Sciences (Southeast Asian Studies Programme) and the University Scholars
Programme. Working closely with Lee Sik Khoon on the loan and selection of artworks,
Zineng also made a recording documenting the artist's thoughts, practices and the context
within which his works were produced.

Through Lee's paintings and sketches, the exhibition reflects upon a number of episodes in
1950s and 60s modern Singapore art – art education at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts,
the Ten-Men Art Group painting expeditions in Southeast Asia and artists' overseas
experiences as art students. Under the theme of bodies, the exhibition surveys the
development of Lee Sik Khoon's art practice in comparative perspective to that of his friend
and fellow-artist, the late Ng Eng Teng, on whom NUS Museum has established firm arthistorical
research. At the heart of the exhibition also lies the notion of relationships
highlighting ties and encounters in the artworld – between artists; painters and their painting
subjects; and artworlds.


Candidates are encouraged to approach these subjects in relation to their various academic
disciplines or in conjunction with modules they have opted as part of their formal studies. It is
encouraged that proposals to include where relevant the study of objects from the NUS
Museum collection. These listed subjects are not to be regarded as exhaustive, and
candidates may propose other topics that involve aspects of visual culture including
archaeology, architecture, ethnography, design, and popular media.

Museology / Cultural Resource Management

- Museums and Museology in Singapore: Nation, Identity and Contingencies
- Museum and its Publics: Site, Representation and Power
- Curator, Audience and Exhibition: Critique and Prospects in New Strategies
- Revisiting 'Civilisation': Archeological Objects and Antiquities in the Contemporary Discourse
- Nation, Diaspora, Post-Nation: Engaging Multiple Identities in Museum Practice

Art and Area Studies in Singapore, Southeast Asian and Asian Art

- Art, Politics, Society and Nation
- Art and the Modern or Contemporary in Context
- Globalism/Localism: Cultural Universalism, Resistance and Hybridity in Asian Art
- 'Post-national' Metaphors in Contemporary Art
- Mega Exhibitions and Biennales: Power, Representation, Simulacra
- Inter-Cultural Asia: Prospects of the Future
- Art and Market: Production and Consumption of Asian Art

Collection Based Studies

- Themes in Singapore, Southeast Asian and Asian Collections of NUS Museum
- The Ng Eng Teng Collection: Form and Concepts
- The Lee Kong Chian Ceramics Collection: Origination, Circulation and Meanings
- Reworlding Chinese Art: NUS Museum's Contemporary Chinese Art Collection

Call for Proposals

The NUS community can participate in the Paper-to-Gallery platform in the following ways:

a. Proposals in conjunction with the exhibitions of NUS Museum. The proposals may
complement or provide counterpoints to the storyline presented by the curators. Selected
proposals may be included as sections within the relevant exhibitions or may be
presented as standalone projects.
b. Proposals with a visual art element that explore topics, ideas and issues that are of
current interest to various academic disciplines.
Who Qualifies to Participate?

Who Qualifies to Participate?

1. Any staff or student of the National University of Singapore.
2. Proposals may be submitted either individually or as a team.
3. Students submitting proposals related to their research shall seek the support of their
supervisors who may be requested to perform an advisory role should the proposal be

Proposal Format

1. Paper title
2. Synopsis
3. Key terms
4. Bibliographical references
5. Objects to be studied (e.g. sculptures, paintings, etc.)
6. Course / lecturer (to indicate if paper is submitted as part of academic course)
7. Estimated space requirements
8. Target audience
9. Proposed internal and external partners
10. Proposed outreach programmes
11. Proposed publications
12. Additional budget required
NUS Museum will fund the following basic items:
- Local freight costs for loans from private collectors
- Exhibition setup
- Exhibition publications
- Official opening
13. Sponsorship plan
14. Implementation timeline

Proposal Submission

1. Please submit your proposals together with the proposal submission form to
2. Submission datelines
  a. Proposals not specific to above exhibitions
    – submissions accepted on an ongoing basis
  b. Proposals in conjunction with long exhibitions
    – submissions will be accepted up to eight (8) months before exhibition end date
  c. Proposals in conjunction with short exhibitions – submissions will close four (4)
months before exhibition start date

General Information

1. More than one proposal may be selected under Paper-to-Gallery. Selected proposals
may be presented during the year of acceptance or beyond.

For enquiries, please write to

Click here to download the application form.

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