The #SAVEDECK Building Fund:
Help DECK claim a permanent space for photography arts
DECK is calling for community support for a new building plan as we move into a new phase of growth. Our current shipping-container structure on Prinsep Street has reached the end of its lifecycle and will be demolished by March 2021.
With a new and permanent space, we can stay on and continue to provide an alternative platform with the community at its heart. ♥
A new and permanent building for DECK
Our current building has done a lot for us and our community. However, its container structure has reached the end of its lifespan. This leaves us with two options to refit the existing structure or rebuild from ground-up.
We see this situation signalling to a new milestone, beckoning DECK to grow. As a team, we decided to crowdfund part of the cost for a permanent building. The expanded space will house more showcases and provide more opportunities for artists.
We find ourselves in the ground-up position again, asking: How can we make this work? How would our new building adapt to the new frameworks of a post-COVID-19 world? As DECK moves into its next phase, we hope you share our belief that an alternative is always possible and the arts can be appreciated through a plurality of approaches.
We are reminded daily that DECK was built on the collective support of many people and we hope you continue to share our vision for diversity in the arts. We believe you can help DECK claim a permanent space for the arts community by contributing to our new building fund.
DECK is a registered charity (entity no. 201215478E) under Art Photography Centre Ltd. Every donated dollar is doubled by the Cultural Matching Fund.
Here’s how you can donate.
Donate online at Giving.sg.
What kind of organisation is DECK?
DECK is a contemporary institution dedicated to photography arts, created to fill a gap between key arts institutions in Singapore. It provides support and opportunities to artists in all stages of their careers, while working closely with the community. DECK embodies these values in its mission to shape the arts in Singapore:
Discovering diverse contemporary values through photography
Engaging all minds in new ideas and critical thinking in photography
Connecting the global community through the exchange of visual cultures.
Knowledge sharing through photography, public programmes and workshops.
DECK is founded by Art Photography Centre Ltd (APC), a registered charity (entity no. 201215478E).
Why does DECK need a new building?
When we created DECK, it made sense for our first building to be an adaptable temporary structure made with refurbished shipping containers. While this structure has done a lot for us, the containers have unfortunately reached the end of their lifespans. We have been asked to refit our existing structure or build a new one, and demolition works will start in March 2021.
What will my money fund?
With a new building and an expanded space, we can provide more programmes for the community and opportunities of our artists. We are aiming to finish construction in mid-2021. Spatial highlights that we are anticipating include:
Gallery Space (expanded to 360sqm). This will house international showcases by global names as well as career-profiling showcases of talents in Singapore.
Library and Research Centre for artists and researchers. This library will also incorporate an artist studio and a dedicated reading room for photobooks.
Media Gallery that features boundary-pushing new media art forms such as Virtual Reality (VR), moving image installations and digital sound art.
Black Box flexible venue that will host talks, seminars, school programmes and a creator’s space for experimental works in photography.
Can DECK carry on without a physical space?
Often tagged to our exhibitions and workshops are months-long artist residencies that require space and physical resources. As such, it is vital that we can provide our artists with the platform to test their ideas in an entire space and the means to focus on their art practice. Because continuity is so integral to nurturing a potent platform for growth and identity, it is also important to us to keep our presence on our current site.
The government funding that DECK receives only covers part of DECK’s programming and manpower costs. It doesn’t support building or infrastructural costs. This is true for DECK’s first building as well, which was made possible entirely through the support of public donations. So DECK’s space really exists because of a community who believe in our vision. With your continued support, we believe that DECK can take another leap of faith.
Why is DECK not part of the NAC Arts Housing Scheme?
The nature of the NAC Arts Housing scheme is on a short-term, for-hire basis. Facilities for sharing are temporal and mutable, such as office spaces, dance studios and seminar rooms. Because of the scarcity of arts housing spaces in Singapore, for-hire spaces of the scheme are also available on a rotational basis to accommodate new arts organisations.
This may work for certain arts organisations, but not for all. The nature of DECK’s programmes falls into the latter because they require uninterrupted spatial/structural support, as well as the autonomy and flexibility over space usage.
Is this the right time for a new arts building?
We believe the arts offer hope, imagination and perspectives beyond the limited experiences of our lives. This is more invaluable than ever in a world currently divided by a patchwork of closed borders.
If you ask us, an arts space that offers an alternative platform for working artists is always worth saving. In this complicated post-pandemic world, we also believe in the value of spaces where art can appreciated through a wide spectrum of approaches.