National Gallery Singapore, Curatorial and Exhibition Design Workshop, Singapore

Listening and Working Together

From 29 June to 27 August 2009, studioMilou Singapore, in close cooperation with the curatorial team of the National Art Gallery of Singapore, organized a curatorial and exhibition design workshop at studioMilou’s offices in Singapore as part of the work on the new National Art Gallery.

This booklet provides a visual account of the workshop. Members of the studioMilou exhibition-design team were present at each session, providing the minutes and preparing working documents. Some of these documents, together with working drawings and more detailed renderings, are reproduced in the pages that follow.

The workshop offered an ideal opportunity to foster closer relationships between the curatorial team of the National Art Gallery of Singapore and the studioMilou exhibition-design team, and it illustrated two key principles of studioMilou’s work.

The first is the importance of listening carefully to the client and other stakeholders in order fully to appreciate their vision. The second is being able to use this process of listening in order to develop an appropriate design.

Over the workshop’s eight-week period, members of the studioMilou exhibition-design team worked with the curatorial team of the National Art Gallery of Singapore in order to arrive at a joint vision for the exhibition design. Daily meetings, held each afternoon from Monday to Thursday at the practice’s former Supreme Court offices, reviewed studioMilou’s proposed designs, while also providing a space for the discussion of broader museological issues. One week was given over to the use of multimedia technology in an art gallery, while others explored issues of education, public outreach and collection development.

Not just members of the curatorial and exhibition-design teams were invited to attend. Academics, art historians, curators, specialists in education and public outreach, architects, heritage professionals and members of the public were all invited to make contributions to the workshop, the aim being to bring in other perspectives and different ideas from participants from Singapore, the region and beyond. In addition to the workshop’s regular participants from studioMilou and the National Art Gallery of Singapore, over 50 external participants from Singapore, Southeast Asia and Europe also provided valuable contributions to the proceedings.


This work was part of the overall exhibition design work developed by the studio between 2009-2012 for the exhibition of the National Gallery, Singapore; the link below gives a summary of the overall work done for the exhibition:


TNAGS Participants –

Mr. Koh Seow Chuan, chairman of TNAGS
Michael Koh, CEO/TNAGS
Kwok Kian Chow, director TNAGS
Sushma Goh, Mark Chee, Serene Ng,
Pamela Tham, Tang Tuan Huat

[ Curatorial Team ]
Low Swe Wee
Joyce Fan Joyce
Toh Ong Zhen
Min Yu Jin
Seng Lindy Poh
Nuraini Othman Grace
Tng Pat Ong

[ Education ]
Suenne Megan Tan


We would like to also thank the following public participators –

Dr. Maitrii Aung Thwin, assistant professor,
Department of History NUS

Dr. Go Beng Lan, professor, SEA Studies NUS
Jason Lim, post-doctoral fellow, Department of History NUS
Liew Kai Khuin, committee member, Singapore Heritage Society
Ahmad Mashadi, director, NUS Museum
Paul Chang, architect
Clauderelen Tan, lecturer
Ho Tzu Nyen, artist and videast, Singapore
Somporn Rodboon, professor, Art History Changmai University
Dr. Tony Donaldson, anthropologist,
Monash University
Dr. Chua Beng Huat, sociologist, NUS
Ms. Shirlene Noordin, director, Phish Communications
Mr. Michael Lee, artist and curator
Mr. Patrik Flores, curator, Philippines
Joanna Lee, independent curator
Michael Sullivan,academic curator and art historian

studioMilou Participants –

Jean Francois Milou, architect
Karim Ladjili
Yann Follain
David Tresilian
Delphine Miel
Spencer Chen
Waihon Tham
Lise Macdonald

[ studioMilou subconsultants ]
Ronnie Tan, Design Objectives
Margret Quek, Design Objectives


Dr. Kwon Kian Woon,professor and sociologist, NTU
Choy Weng Yang, curator and art critic
Iskandar Mydin, curator, NAMOS
Dr. Hong BuRen, art history professor
Justin Loke,assistant curator, NAFA
Tan Cher Suen, executive director, “Multimedia People”
Dr. Wee Wan Ling, professor, Literature NTU
Prakash Kamdar, director, “Upper Storey”
James Tan represented Wong Chi Kong, Scrawl Studio
Dr. Tan Beng Kian, assistant professor, Department of Architecture NUS
Donald Lim, creative director, Digimagic
Sumitra Pasupathy, education specialist, ExploreAsia
Jennifer Loh, education specialist, ExploreAsia
Dr. Adrian Cheok, deputy director, “Mixed Reality Labs” NUS
Dr. Lilian Chee, architect, NUS
Jeffrey Say, lecturer, Art History in Laselle
Yeo Wei Wei (SOTA), head, Faculty of Literature in English SOTA
Ms. Shirley Wee, curriculumn planning officer, Art & Crafts MOE
Ms. Yeo Mon Yun, Ministry of Education
Mr. Lim Kok Boon, Ministry of Education
Ms. The Ting Ting, Cedar Giles Secondary School
Audrey Sim, West Grove Primary School
Dr. Winston Ang, associate professor, Visual and Performing Arts
Tan Huism, curator, DD ACM
Guillaume Levy Lambert, curator
Tan Han Wue, director, “Art Retreat”
Choy Weng Yang, curator artist