Jeffrey Say

Academics

Jeffrey Say

Programme Leader, MA Asian Art Histories
Jeffrey Say
  • MA (Art History), The Open University, UK 
  • BA Honours, University of Queensland, Australia

Jeffrey Say is an art historian specialising in Singapore and Southeast Asian art history. Importantly, Jeffrey undertook pioneering research and study of the history of sculpture in pre-and post-war Singapore. An author of numerous essays on art, his seminal co-edited work Histories, Practices, Interventions: A Reader in Singapore Contemporary Art (2016) remains a critical anthology for researchers, curators and students on Singapore art to date.

Prior to LASALLE, Jeffrey was a curator at the then National Museum where he was overseeing the collection of Buddhist and Indian artefacts. As a museum curator, Jeffrey curated exhibitions on Tibetan Buddhist Art, the Maritime Silk Routes and Alamkara: 5000 Years of India. In his professional capacity, Jeffrey has curated visual arts exhibitions and contributed essays to both local and overseas exhibition catalogues.

Jeffrey has been instrumental in the development of art history studies at LASALLE supporting artists to develop a contextual and historical understanding of the evolution of visual arts. In 2009, he designed the world’s first Master’s programme focusing on Asian modern and contemporary art histories.

Jeffrey is a public advocate of the importance of art history to Singapore. He is a frequent public speaker at museums, universities and galleries, and conducts short courses which remain hugely popular among various publics. Jeffrey is also a regular commentator on the local visual arts scene.

His current research interest is on Singapore modern and contemporary art histories. He has written an essay on the early contemporary art scene of Singapore which offers a revisionist view on the beginnings of contemporary art in Singapore (published in the July 2019 edition of BiblioAsia). He is also working towards a reader on Singapore modern art which will be a co-edited volume.

Publications

Exhibition Catalogues

  • Battleship Grey, Old Gold and Billiard Chalks: The Genius of the Changi Murals, in catalogue of The Big Picture Show exhibition, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (September 2007).
  • Identity Crisis: Explorations of the Self in Portraiture, in catalogue of Through the Looking Glass, an exhibition by art collective Buffer-Kit, Un-titled Gallery, (November 2004).
  • The Case for Art History, in catalogue of Groundwork IV: Small Packages, an exhibition of works by students of Foundation Studies (April 2004).
  • Fascination with the East: Singapore (1939–1940), in catalogue of Karl Duldig, Sculptures/Drawings; Jewish Museum; Vienna (2003).
  • About Face: Portraiture Then and Now, in catalogue of Portrait Reassessed, an exhibition by staff of LASALLE College’s School of Fine Art; Singapore (August 2002).
  • Art and Faith in the Modern World, in Heart, Soul and Mind catalogue (September 2001).
  • The Universal Language of Brother Joseph McNally’s Sculptures, in Brother Joseph McNally’s East West North South catalogue (September 2001).
  • Still Life With A Difference, in exhibition brochure of Still Life, a solo exhibition by Chng Chin Kang (March 2000).
  • Art and Education, in Praxis catalogue (May 1999).
  • Drawing Redrawn, in Carte Blanche exhibition brochure (April 1999).
  • Three essays in Alamkara: 5000 Years of Indian Art (1994).

 

Edited Books

  • Histories, Practices, Interventions: A Reader in Singapore Contemporary Art (co-edited with Seng Yu Jin), Institute of Contemporary Art; Singapore (2016).

 

Periodicals

  • Early Contemporary Art in Singapore (2016-2019), in BiblioAsia (June 2019).
  • Karl Duldig: An Émigré Artist in Singapore, in The Arts (publication of Centre for the Arts, National University of Singapore) (September 2002).
  • Storming the Last Hindu Fortress, in Military History Magazine (February 1999). 

 

Citations

  • Storming the Last Hindu Fortress, in Animals in the Military: From Hannibal's Elephants to the Dolphins of the U.S. Navy (2011).
  • MA thesis on Sculpture in SingaporeCheong Soo Pieng: Visions of Southeast Asia Catalogue, The National Art Gallery of Singapore (2010).
  • Storming the Last Hindu Fortress, in War Elephants (2007).
  • Storming the Last Hindu Fortress, in Besieged: An Encyclopedia of Great Sieges from Ancient Times to the Present (2001).
  • Storming the Last Hindu Fortress, in Investor Politics (2001).
  • Storming the Last Hindu Fortress, in Military History Magazine (February 1999). 
Research and Practice

Curated Exhibitions

  • Curatorial assistant, Batik: Rethinking Tradition (an exhibition of the Association of Artists of Various Resources), Singapore Art Show; Atrium@MITA, Singapore (September 2005).
  • Heart, Soul & Mind (Contemporary Christian art); Wetterling Teo Gallery (September 2001).
  • Groundwork (works by Foundation students): LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (May 2001).
  • Praxis (School of Fine Art staff show); LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (May 1999).
  • Carte Blanche (School of Fine Art staff show); Alliance Francaise, Singapore (April 1999).
  • History of Art (works by Foundation students); LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (1998).
  • Alamkara: 5000 Years of India; Singapore National Museum, Singapore (1994).
  • Trading on the Maritime Silk Routes; Singapore National Museum, Singapore (1993).
  •  

    Pedagogic Research

    • Recipient of the Goldsmiths-LASALLE Partnership Innovation Fund to facilitate and conduct workshops using Phenomenology as a pedagogical tool. Workshops were conducted at LASALLE in September 2018 and at Goldsmiths in February 2019.

     

    Conferences / Seminars / Workshops / Forums

    • Convener and organiser, Art and Action Contemporary Art and Discourse Conference; LASALLE College of the Arts; Singapore (3–5 December 2018). 
    • The Role of Practice Among Artist-teachers and Its Impact on the Learning of Students, Asian Conference on Education; Tokyo, Japan (13–15 October 2018).
    • Panelist, Development of Singapore Modern Art Forum; Visual Arts Centre (1 July 2017).
    • Participant, Focus group on Singapore Biennale, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (1 April 2017).
    • Participant, Collection, Stories and You:  Focus Group, National Heritage Board; Singapore (16 February 2017).
    • Panel moderator, Considering Art Markets: Singapore, Collectors at Play, The Art Week Conversations (16 January 2017).
    • Panel moderator, Educational forum held in conjunction with the exhibition Concept Context Contestation: Art and the Collective in Southeast Asia; Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre, Kedai kebun; Yogyakarta, Indonesia (21– 22 August 2016).
    • Moderator, Meet-the-artists session, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (5 September 2015). 
    • Moderator, Art History session of the Graduate Student Conference, Art, Design and Media, NTU at Gillman Barracks; Singapore (29 April 2015).
    • Participant, working group of Pinacotheque Academy, the educational arm of Pinacotheque Museum (22 May 2014).
    • Off-site workshop, Journey Through The Visual Arts of Singapore to The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Asian Civilisations Museum; Singapore (21 August) 
    • Initiator and organiser, MA Asian Art Histories Annual Lecture (April 2012).
    • Participant, Sculpturing Singapore Forum, Sculpture Society; Singapore (4 June 2011).
    • Participant, The Future of Singapore Biennale Focus Group, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (14 May 2011).
    • Participant, Maritime Experiential Museum & Aquarium (MEMA)'s Focus Group Session (8 April 2011).
    • Organiser, MA in Asian Art Histories Inaugural Lecture (2 December 2010). 
    • Paper on Singapore sculpture, forum on the Nanyang style, National Library Board; Singapore (3 October 2009).
    • Participant, Art Education workshop for the upcoming National Art Gallery of Singapore; Singapore (17–20 August 2009).
    • Participant, Singapore Gallery workshop for the upcoming National Art Gallery of Singapore; Singapore (11–13 August 2009).
    • The Value of Art History to Education, Art History Seminar, Siglap Secondary School; Singapore (30 March 2007).
    • Artists As Teachers; Teachers As Artists: a Modern Dilemma?, Faculty of Performing Arts and Integrated Studies Seminar (3 May 2006).
    • Art at the Crossroads: A Historical Survey of the Migrant Artist and Some Contemporary Perspectives, ASPACAE, Conrad International Hotel (8 July 1999). (Paper was reviewed in September–October 1999 edition of Asian Art News.

     

    Public Lectures

    • What is Art and What is Art For?, Ode to Art Gallery; Singapore (15 March 2019).
    • Some Reflections on Christian Art as part of the Explorations Into Faith: Art and Faith dialogue session organised by Southeast CDC, 8Q Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (17 November 2018).
    • Nanyang to Modern: Singapore Painting from the 1950s to the 1970s, National Library; Singapore (3 March 2018).
    • Impressionism and the Birth of Modern Art; Ode to Art Gallery; Singapore (8 December 2017).
    • Story of Singapore Art: 1950s to the 1970s, National Gallery; Singapore (30 July 2017).
    • Battlefield Grey, Old Gold and Billiard Chalks: POW Art of Singapore, as part of Monday Morning Lecture organised by Friends of Museum (13 February 2017).
    • Light and Shade: Appreciating the Art and History of Painting, Ode to Art Gallery; Singapore (20 May 2016).
    • Sculpture in Singapore: From the Raffles Statue to the Merlion at Asian Civilisations Museum, as part of Monday Morning Lecture organised by Friends of Museum; Singapore (11 April 2016).
    • Symbolism in Art, Ode to Art Gallery; Singapore (26 November 2015).
    • Cleopatra in Art: Depictions of a Mythical Queen; Pinacotheque de Paris; Singapore (1 October 2015).
    • 10 Defining Moments of Singapore Art in the Last 50 Years, Ode to Art Gallery; Singapore (30 July 2015).
    • Appreciating Abstract Art, Ode to Art Gallery; Singapore (24 April 2015).
    • How to Look at (and Value) A Work of Art as part of the exhibition Doors of Perception, Ion Art; Singapore (26 February 2015).
    • Love in Art; Ode to Art Gallery, Singapore (6 February 2015).
    • Mirror of the Soul: The Origins, History and Evolution of Portraits, Ode to Art Gallery; Singapore (21 November 2014).
    • Talk, Love in Art to Yale-NUS students; Art Seasons, Singapore (26 September 2014).
    • The Value of Arts, Ode to Art Gallery; Singapore (5 September 2014).
    • Singapore Series: Sculpture, Ode to Art Gallery; Singapore (25 April 2014).
    • Singapore Series: Painting, Ode to Art Gallery; Singapore (28 March 2014).
    • Materiality and Form: A Short Introduction to Sculpture, Ode to Art Gallery; Singapore (25 July 2013).
    • Sculpture in Singapore, The Art Club (20 July 2013).
    • Subject Matters: How to Look at a Work of Art, Ode to Art Gallery; Singapore (27 June 2013).
    • What is Art and What is Art For?, Ode to Art Gallery; Singapore (31 May 2013).
    • Mona Lisa Smile: Appreciating The Art and History of Paintings, The Art Club (4 May 2013).
    • Taking the Con Out of Contemporary Art, The Art Club (23 March 2013).
    • Mona Lisa Unveiled: How to See, Understand and Appreciate Works of Art; NUSS: The Graduate Club; Singapore (29 June 2012).
    • Art and Its Evolution as part of the Appreciating Art series, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (10 January– 7 February 2012).
    • The Modern Legacy of Post-Impressionism in conjunction with the Musee D’Orsay exhibition Dreams and Reality, National Museum of Singapore; Singapore (30 November 2011). 
    • What’s So Modern About Impressionism? in conjunction with the Musee D’Orsay exhibition Dreams and Reality, National Museum of Singapore; Singapore (16 November 2011). 
    • Pioneers of Singapore Sculpture, Sculpture Square; Singapore (8 April 2010).
    • Overview of Western Art to 19th Century and Synthesis of Western and Asian Art as part of the Understanding Art series, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (24 October 2009).
    • Life and Works of the Divine Michelangelo in conjunction with the donation of a marble-covered book entitled Michelangelo: La Dotta Mano to the Singapore Art Museum by the Ambassador of San Marino to Singapore, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (24 April 2009). 
    • Battleship Grey, Old Gold and Billiard Chalks: The Genius of the Changi Murals in conjunction with The Big Picture Show, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (22 September 2007).
    • Why Have There Been No Great Christian Artists?, Kum Yan Church; Singapore (22 May 2007).
    • What Has The Da Vinci Code Got to Do with Art History, LASALLE College of the Arts; Singapore (2–4 February 2007).
    • Food, Sex and Death: Issues in Contemporary Art, LASALLE College of the Arts; Singapore (27 November 2006). 
    • Decoding Leonardo: Art and Mathematics in the Works of a Renaissance Master in conjunction with the movie premiere of the Da Vinci Code, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (20 May 2006).
    • Animals in Indian Sculpture in conjunction with an exhibition of sculptures by Indian sculptor S. Nandagopal, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (11 February 2006).
    • If Walls Could Speak: Fresco Paintings in the Renaissance in conjunction with the exhibition Journey of Faith, Asian Civilisations Museum; Singapore (13 August 2005). 
    • Lecture on Renaissance Art to students of Raffles Institution, Asian Civilisations Museum; Singapore (11 August 2005).
    • Portraiture in Modern and Contemporary Art in conjunction with the Hiroshi Sugitomo exhibition, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (10 January 2003).
    • Series of talks on Vincent van Gogh in conjunction with the play Vincent held at NUS Cultural Centre, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (26– 27 July 2002).
    • Gods, Lovers and Rajas: The World of Indian Miniature Paintings, Siglap South Community Centre; Singapore (16 March 2002).
    • Portraiture in Modern and Post-Modern Art, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (28 April 2001).
    • Picture Perfect: The Story of Painting, MPH Stamford Road; Singapore (30 September 2000).
    • The Duldig Residency, Employee Session at LASALLE College; Singapore (14 August 2000).
    • Symbolism in Art, Rotary Club, Orchard Hotel; Singapore (18 April 2000).
    • Symbolism in Contemporary Art, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (26 February 2000).

     

    Lectures (Training for Museum Docents)

    • Contemporary Art: From the 1960s to the Present, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (18 October 2016). 
    • Art and Activism in Southeast Asian Art, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (4 October 2016).
    • Asian Pop Art, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (3 March 2016).
    • Contemporary Art: From the 1960s to the Present, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (8 October 2015).
    • Modern and Contemporary Art, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (29 August 2015).
    • Asian Pop Art, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (5 March 2015).
    • Contemporary Art: From the 1960s to the Present, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (10 October 2014).
    • Contemporary Art: From the 1960s to the Present, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (19 November 2013).
    • Modern and Contemporary Art, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (14 September 2013).
    • History of Western Art, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (2 October 2012).
    • Modern Art, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (4 October 2011).
    • Art for Society’s Sake, SAM@8Q; Singapore (20 August 2011). 
    • Modern Art, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (12 October 2010).
    • History of Western Art, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (14 July 2010).
    • Singapore Sculpture, LASALLE College of the Arts; Singapore (25 November 2008).
    • Modern Art, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (28 June 2008).
    • Western Art, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (31 May 2008).
    • Singapore Sculpture, LASALLE College of the Arts; Singapore (25 April 2008).
    • Western Sculpture and Singapore Sculpture, LASALLE College of the Arts; Singapore (3 May 2007).
    • Western Sculpture and Singapore Sculpture, LASALLE College of the Arts; Singapore (9 May 2006).
    • Western Sculpture and Singapore Sculpture, LASALLE College of the Arts; Singapore (29 November 2005).
    • Western Art History, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (27 October 2003).
    • Postmodernism: Abused, Misused and Misunderstood, Singapore Art Museum; Singapore (27 April 2002).

     

    Art Enrichment Courses for Working Professionals

    • A History of Western Art II: Picasso to Pop: A Short History of Modern Art  (7 March–18 April 2019).
    • A History of Western Art I: From Lascaux to Van Gogh (6 September–18 October 2018).
    • Coordinator, Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art: An Introduction (22 May–14 June 2018).
    • A History of Western Art III: Art on the Cutting Edge (12 April–24 May 2018).
    • Introduction to Asian Art (22 February–5 April 2018).
    • The Secret Language of Renaissance Art (6 April–8 May 2017). 
    • A History of Western Art I: From Lascaux to Van Gogh (9 February–23 March 2017).
    • A History of Western Art III: Art on the Cutting Edge (13 October–24 November 2016).
    • A History of Western Art II: From Picasso to Pop (18 August–6 October 2016).
    • Coordinator, Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art: An Introduction (25 May–13 June 2016).
    • A History of Western Art I: From Lascaux to Van Gogh (28 April–9 May 2016).
    • Introduction to Asian Art  (18 February–31 March 2016).
    • A History of Western Art III: Art on the Cutting Edge (12 October–2 November 2015).
    • A History of Western Art II: From Picasso to Pop (9–30 September 2015).
    • Coordinator, Modern and Contemporary Asian Art: An Introduction (3–24 March 2015).
    • The Secret Language of Renaissance Art (10 October–21 November 2013).
    • Picasso to Pop: A Short History of Modern Art (22 September–3 October 2013).
    • Lascaux to Van Gogh: A Crash Course in Art History (14 February–28 March 2013).
    • Art On the Cutting Edge: Contemporary Art from the 1970s to the Present (23 August–4 October 2012).
    • Modern and Contemporary Asian Art: An Introduction (19 June–2 July 2012).
    • The Secret Language of Renaissance Art (26 April–7 June 2012).
    • Picasso to Pop: A Short History of Modern Art (23 February–5 April 2012).
    • Lascaux to Van Gogh: A Crash Course in Art History (29 September–10 November 2011).
    • Modern and Contemporary Asian Art: An Introduction (6–15 June 2011).
    • Picasso to Pop: A Short History of Modern Art (24 February–7 April 2011).
    • Modern and Contemporary Asian Art: An Introduction (22 November–1 December 2010).
    • Lascaux to Van Gogh: A Crash Course in Art History (September–October 2010).
    • Introduction to Asian Arts (8 June–20 July 2010).
    • Picasso to Pop: A Short History of Modern Art (7 June–19 July 2010).
    • Picasso to Pop: A Short History of Modern Art (23 October–4 December 2008).
    • The Wonders of Asian Art (6 March–24 April 2008).
    • Introduction to Art History: Lascaux to Picasso (3 March–21 April 2008).
    • The Secret Language of Renaissance Art (6 November–18 December 2007).

     

    Art Enrichment Courses (Ministry of Education Teachers)

    • Art Under Colonial Rule and Symbolism in Art for MOE teachers; Singapore (16 and 23 Sept 2002).
    • Impressionism to Post-Impressionism and Western Landscape Painting for MOE teachers; Singapore (13 and 20 August 2001).
    • Art Under Colonial Rule and Symbolism in Art for MOE teachers; Singapore (21 and 28 May 2001).

     

    Art Enrichment Courses (ITE Lecturers)

    • Technology and the Rise of Modern Art for ITE West (Ang Mo Kio Campus) Digital Media Design lecturers; Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (18 December 2009).
    Current Practice and Research
    • Singapore modern and contemporary art histories. 
    • Written an essay on the early contemporary art scene of Singapore which offers a revisionist view on the beginnings of contemporary art in Singapore (published BiblioAsia, July 2019).
    • Working towards a reader on Singapore modern art that will be a co-edited volume.
    Research Interests
    • Singapore contemporary art histories.
    • Singapore sculpture.
    • Art history research methods.
    • Role of artist-teachers.