Arts centre The Substation to move out of Armenian Street from July 2021 for renovation works

The first independent contemporary arts centre in Singapore.

Fasiha Nazren | February 05, 2021, 01:58 PM

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Those into the local art scene would have heard of The Substation, which was dubbed Singapore's first independent contemporary arts centre.

Since 1990, The Substation has found a home in its premises at 45 Armenian Street.

Measuring a gross floor area of around 1,630 square metres, the building houses an art gallery, a black box and a studio space.

Renovation works from July 2021

Come July 2021, however, that will change.

In a report by the Straits Times in July 2020, the National Arts Council (NAC) will be taking back the Armenian Street building in July 2021 for renovation works.

The renovation will complete after two years.

According to NAC, they have offered housing to the Substation at Goodman Arts Centre in Mountbatten during the renovation.

"Thereafter, The Substation has been offered a return to the renovated building on the Framework for Arts Spaces."

End of The Substation?

However, in a report by Today published on Feb.4, The Substation has yet to confirm whether it will return to the Armenian Street premises once the renovation is complete.

The centre's general manager Loh Aik Khoon said:

"We don't know if we will have the whole building for us to manage and to work with all the artists or if it will be a shared working space with other arts groups. We're not sure what plans NAC has at this point."

In a blog post by Raka Maitra, the co-artistic director of The Substation, she said: "At the end of July, The Substation will be no more, and what was plainly obvious would disappear. It will be the end of an era. Nonetheless, this ending will be marked with a SeptFest like no other."

"I dedicate this SeptFest not only to the rich and diverse talents we have amongst us but also as our fond farewell gift to Singapore, as we bring you stories from the fringe and the margins."

Mothership has reached out to NAC and The Substation for comment.

Top image from The Substation's Facebook page.