Audrey Wong

Academics

Audrey Wong

Head, School of Creative Industries
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  • MA (Arts Administration and Cultural Policy), Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK
  • MA (English Literature), National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • BA Honours (English Literature), National University of Singapore, Singapore

Audrey Wong is a cultural policy expert, civil society advocate, arts and cultural scholar and the first Nominated Member of Parliament for the Arts in Singapore.

As an educator, Audrey was an adjunct lecturer in the MA Arts and Cultural Management Programme at LASALLE from 2006–2009. She was also an adjunct lecturer in the Theatre Studies programme at the National University of Singapore from 2001–2003, teaching the management of performing arts. At LASALLE, she has had a transformative impact on the BA (Hons) Arts Management and the MA Arts and Cultural Leadership programmes, where students are prepared to be reflective, critical and innovative arts managers.

Prior to joining LASALLE, Audrey was the artistic co-director of The Substation, an independent art space, from 2000 till early 2010. She was the first woman to be appointed to this role in the arts centre. With co-director Lee Weng Choy, she launched The Substation’s Associate Artists programme in 2003 to support local artists in sustaining their practice. She also curated and organised festivals, exhibitions, conferences and artists’ exchanges.

From 1996 to 1999, she worked at The Substation in various capacities, including starting the Moving Images film programme in 1997 – Singapore’s first year-round film programme with a focus on local and regional filmmakers. As an arts manager, Audrey was comfortable working in both visual and performing arts (reflecting The Substation’s interdisciplinary approach), and was particularly interested in nurturing emerging artists, developing platforms for contemporary performance and cross-disciplinary collaboration by independent artists, and audience development for contemporary arts.

In 2009, Audrey was nominated by the arts community for a post and was appointed as an Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) in Singapore’s Parliament in July 2009. During her term (which ended in May 2011), she championed the cause of freelance artists in the arts and media sectors in Singapore, as they sought to improve their working conditions.

Audrey is highly sought after for her expertise and guidance on arts policy matters. She has served and continues to serve on various institutional boards and committees including the Singapore Art Museum, National Arts Council, Singapore International Foundation and the Singapore Arts Festival Advisory Committee. She also sat on the Arts and Culture Strategic Review Committee (2010–2012) and is currently on the board of theatre company Nine Years Theatre.

Audrey’s other professional activities include co-convening a mentorship, networking and training summit for young art curators, artists and visual art managers in Southeast Asia called the HAO Summit, the brainchild of artist-curator Khairuddin Hori, which started in 2008.

In 2003, she co-founded Magdalena (Singapore) with theatre practitioner and writer Verena Tay, a society of women theatre practitioners affiliated with the global network of the Magdalena Project. They organised Singapore’s first women’s contemporary theatre festival in 2006.

Publications
  • Rules of Engagement in the Global Arts City: The Case of The Substation in Singapore, in The Routledge Companion to Arts Management, eds. William J. Byrnes and Aleksandar Brkic (Routledge) (2019, forthcoming).
  • The Advisory Council on Culture and the Arts, chapter in The State and the Arts in Singapore: Policies and Institutions, ed. Terence Chong (World Scientific) (2018).
  • Editor, Making Space: 25 Years of The Substation, Singapore: The Substation (2015).
  • Exegetical Commentary on The Singapore Arts Landscape: Influences, Tensions, Confluences, and Possibilities for the Learning Context, by Gene Segarra Navera, in Contextualized Practices in Arts Education: An International Dialogue on Singapore, ed. Lum Chee Hoo (Springer Verlag) (2014).
  • Contributor and editorial team member, Serving Artists Serves the Public: Programming Arts Festivals in Asia and Europe, Asia Europe Foundation, European Festivals Association, LASALLE College of the Arts (2013).
Awards
  • Recipient of the National Arts Council’s Cultural Fellowship (2013).
Research and Practice

Conferences and other Presentations

  • Presentation on Singapore’s cultural policy, ANCER Lab: Cultural Policy, Artist Communities and Cultural Democracy, Universiti Malaya; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2019).
  • Collaborative and Cross-Sectoral Approaches to the Arts in Singapore: Two Case Studies, conference paper presented at the Social Theory, Politics and the Arts Conference, University of Manchester; UK (2018).
  • Presenter, Towards Meaningful KPIs? Capturing the Multidimensional Impacts of the Arts in Bang for the Funding Buck: KPIs and Capturing the Impact of the Arts, Institute of Policy Studies (Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy) Roundtable on Cultural Policy Series; Singapore (June 2018). 
  • Invited respondent, The Future of Cultural Leadership in Singapore, Institute of Policy Studies (Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy) Roundtable on Cultural Policy Series; Singapore (2017).
  • Lecture, Dissonance in the Global Creative City, Institute of Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, Goldsmiths University of London; UK (2017).
  • Presenter, On Social and Cultural Entrepreneurship and Its Applicability to Socially Engaged Art, Working with People-Centred Processes: Art, Education and Cross-Sector Collaboration, IFIMA and Think Centre; Bangkok, Thailand (2016).
  • Presenter, From Individual to Networks: The ‘Networked’ Arts Curator & Cultural Worker in Southeast Asia, ENCATC and Taiwan Cultural Policy Studies Association Academy on International Cultural Relations: New Initiatives in Taiwan, East Asia, US and Europe, National Taiwan University of the Arts; Taiwan (2015).

 

Other Professional Practice Activities

  • Co-investigator, Financing Cultural and Creative Industries in Southeast Asia, UNESCO; Bangkok, Thailand (2019).
  • Co-convener, Future Forward: Emerging Issues in Arts Management in Asia, ANCER Annual Meeting (2018). 
  • Co-convener, New Voices, Current Perspectives: Arts Management, Policy and Development in Asia, ANCER Conference Singapore; Singapore (2014).
  • Recipient, Cultural Fellowship, National Arts Council Cultural Fellows Programme; Singapore (2013).
Research Interests
  • Cultural governance in Singapore.
  • Arts management challenges for non-profit arts organisations in Singapore.
  • The state of the creative and cultural industries in Southeast Asia. 
  • Ground-up arts collectives and collaborative art-making practices.