For the House; Against the House: Life Imitates Art

14 January 2022 - 23 January 2022, Art Experience

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"Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life" — Oscar Wilde, “The Decay of Lying” (1889)

In the year 1959, Singapore had just gained full internal self-governance. The Ministry of Culture was then established to focus on the “creation of a sense of national identity”. How far have we come in achieving this goal today?

The common refrain art imitates life bears serious implications for the use of art in nation-building. If such a statement holds true, art would simply reflect the non-presence of a Singaporean identity. Art must introduce something into the realm of everyday life, one that is not already present in lived experiences, so as to effect a change. For art to have any impact on life itself, life must necessarily imitate art.

For the House; Against the House looks at the evolution of Singapore's arts and cultural landscape through a unique debate format where art illustrates the arguments. Let curator John Tung take you through the propositions and oppositions as artworks from private collections and new commissions chart Singapore’s path towards a "cultural renaissance". You get the final vote on the role art has had to play in shaping our national identity today.

This event is part of Singapore Art Week 2022, a joint initiative by the National Arts Council (NAC) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
Exhibition Details

DATE 14 –23 January 2022
VENUE Gillman Barracks 9 Lock Road #03-22 (go to Google maps)
Tue - Sun : 11 AM - 7 PM
Fri : 11 AM - 9 PM
Closed on Mondays
ADMISSION Free Admission 
RATING Advisory 16 (Some Nudity)

Artists from the Collection

JH & KH Collection
  • Chen Wen Hsi (Singapore)
  • Chuah Thean Teng (Malaysia)
  • Tew Nai Tong (Malaysia)

The Gouws Collection
  • Eddy Susanto (Indonesia)
  • Ian Woo (Singapore)
  • Kanchana Gupta (India/Singapore)
  • Lavender Chang (Singapore)
  • Yee I-Lann (Malaysia)
Commissioned Artists

  • Agan Harahap (Indonesia)
  • Anthony Chin (Singapore)
  • Dennis Tan (Singapore)
  • Dusadee Huntrakul (Thailand)
  • Fyerool Darma (Singapore)
  • Jimmy Ong (Singapore)
  • Kentaro Hiroki (Japan/Thailand)
  • Nila Choo (Singapore)


Please register to secure a slot (donations are encouraged!): 
Limited to 15 pax per tour. Guests must remain in sub-groups of 5 and shall not intermingle between sub-groups.
Please bring along wired earphones as audio devices will be provided to facilitate safe distancing.


22 Jan 2022, Sat | 3–4pm, 6–7pm


15 Jan 2022, Sat | 3–4pm, 6–7pm
16 Jan 2022, Sun | 3–4pm, 6–7pm

20 Jan 2022, Thu | 6–7pm
21 Jan 2022, Fri | 6–7pm, 7–8pm
23 Jan 2022, Sun | 3–4pm, 6–7pm

Advisory on COVID-19 (as of 21 November 2021)

We will be welcoming only fully vaccinated, recovered, or medically ineligible individuals, or children aged 12 years and below, according to the current permitted group size of 5.

Due to safe distancing measures, we seek your patience and understanding while we limit the capacity to 60 pax at any point in time.

In accordance with vaccination-differentiated safe management measures (VDS) for entry into museums, there will no longer be a concession for unvaccinated individuals to perform PET.

Please present your TraceTogether app of token, or any of the following documents for entry:
  • Vaccination status and test results on the HealthHub App.
  • Physical vaccination certificates/reports/cards under the National Vaccination Programme.
  • Physical ART or PCR results slips from MOH-approved COVID-19 test providers.
  • Pre-Event Testing (PET) exemption notice.

Designers: Factory

Art Experience

OH Open House Ltd
92C Syed Alwi Road
Level 4
Singapore 207668
︎ @ohopenhouse
︎ @ohopenhouse