Short Courses

New! Mirror of the Soul: A History of Portraiture

This course is a survey of the history of portraiture from antiquity to the contemporary. It looks at portraiture primarily in painting, though visual examples of sculpture, printmaking, photography and even non-traditional media will also be provided in the appropriate context.

Besides looking at history, this course will also discuss the functions and conventions of portraiture as well as the methods and techniques of producing a portrait. Topics include problems of defining a portrait, issues of identity and self-portraits. In the process, participants will be taught how to analyse and ‘read’ a portrait.

About the trainer
Jeffrey Say is an art historian specialising in Singapore and Southeast Asian art history who has undertaken pioneering research and study of sculpture in pre- and post-war Singapore. In 2009, he designed the world’s first postgraduate programme focusing on Asian modern and contemporary art histories at LASALLE College of the Arts, for which he is the Programme Leader.

A public advocate of the importance of art history to Singapore, Jeffrey is a frequent public speaker at museums, universities and galleries, and conducts short courses which remain hugely popular. He is the co-editor of Histories, Practices, Interventions: A Reader in Singapore Contemporary Art (Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, 2016) and Intersections, Institutions, Innovations: A Reader in Singapore Modern Art (World Scientific, 2022), which remain critical anthologies for researchers, curators and students on Singapore art. He is also the co-author of the Exploring Southeast Asia With… series of books (Penguin Random House, 2022).

Note: Course trainers are, on occasion, subject to change with short notice.


No. of classes Days Dates Time
7 Every Thu 18 Apr – 30 May 2024 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Application Information

Course materials

Notepad and writing materials

Who should attend

Docents, art enthusiasts, art students and anyone with an interest in this subject or art history in general.

Eligible schemes / subsidies:
Claimable under SkillsFuture Credit


Note: Course fee not inclusive of application fee and GST.