Vanishing acts: remembering 5th Passage in Singapore’s contemporary art history (a story about making art public)

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This paper examines the significance of 5th Passage to Singapore’s contemporary art histories. This short-lived yet groundbreaking artist-run initiative operated from 1991 to 1996 at a time of momentous development for Singapore’s contemporary art scene. Yet compared to other art developments documented for this period, there is conspicuously little critical examination of the significance of 5th Passage. This article seeks to explore the array of reasons for the relative invisibility of 5th Passage in Singapore’s art history. Not merely a passive omission or forgetting, such invisibility includes conscious and unconscious suppression and censoring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323–350
Number of pages28
JournalWorld Art
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • 5th Passage
  • Singapore
  • alternative spaces
  • artist collectives
  • contemporary art
  • art history
  • exhibition histories
  • art publics

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