Training Courses

Understanding Contemporary Art Practice and Artistic Research

This course is an introduction to developing an understanding of contemporary art practices and issues surrounding artistic research. The course is seminar- and discussion-based with field trips to provide background on the relationship between visual art culture and our everyday world. During the course, participants will be guided to work on a line of enquiry or build an area of research which they will present at the end of the course.

Structured as a series of questions around contemporary art which unfolds into issues around art practice and research, the lessons are aimed at individuals who have had an interest in looking at and making art more critically. The questions provide a fundamental guide to how the contemporary situates itself to art, an idea that is constantly changing and developing. The course also proposes to situate art as an ongoing question that shifts with the culture of technology through time.


No. of classes Days Dates Time
25 Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 20 Jan – 17 Mar 2021 See schedule

Please download course schedule here.


  • All classes will be held on campus unless stated otherwise. 
  • All applicants will be notified if there are any changes in course dates.
  • Maximum of 20 participants per class.

Application Information

Who should attend?

This course is open and suitable for arts managers, artists, aspiring students and anyone who would like to pursue art research preparations or to experience research in the area of fine arts.


The weekly topics covered include: 

Week 1: What is contemporary art?
Week 2: Is art a language?
Week 3: Visit to National Gallery Singapore
Week 4: Do we need research to make (better) art? 
Week 5: Visit to LASALLE Ngee Ann Kongsi Library 
Week 6: Does material matter in a post conceptual art world?
Week 7: Visit to an exhibition 
Week 8: How does the studio function as a site for production and research?
Week 9: Visit to artist’s studio 
Week 10: Art practice and social work 
Week 11: Consultation week 
Week 12: Presentation week

How to apply

Please submit your application here.

Eligibility criteria:

  • This course is open and suitable for arts managers/artists/aspiring students and artists/ anyone who would like to pursue art research preparations or experience research in the area of fine arts.

All applicants must be able to commit to the full duration of the programme from 20 Jan – 17 Mar 2021

Submission documents:

All applicants will submit the following to

  1. A personal statement outlining personal interests in art and motivations for attending the course.
  2. Applicants may also submit the following supporting materials for consideration (optional):
    • Portfolio of art and/or art-related work (e.g. design, writing etc).
    • A summary of past experiences with art (e.g. participant, volunteer etc).

Please note that incomplete applications will not be processed.

Application deadline
13 Jan 2021

Programme outcomes / deliverables

At the end of the course, all participants will be able to complete one of the following tasks:

  • A 1,000-word arts research proposal, or
  • A 20 minute presentation.

A minimum achievement of 80% attendance is required for participants to receive a Certificate of Participation.

About the trainer

Tan Guo Liang_About_Trainers

Tan Guo Liang is a visual artist working primarily in the field of painting, from which works in other mediums such as text, collage and video sometimes emerge. He completed his MFA at Glasgow School of Art and was an artist in residence at the NTU Centre of Contemporary Art. He is a recipient of Singapore National Arts Council scholarship as well as a finalist in the Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2018. His work has been exhibited and collected in Asia and Europe, including at Pump House Gallery in London, Ota Fine Arts in Singapore and Shanghai, Langgeng Art Foundation in Yogyakarta and NTU ADM Gallery in Singapore. Alongside his own work, Tan also collaborates with other artists on curatorial and publication projects, the most recent being State Of Motion 2020: Rushes Of Time for Asian Film Archive. Tan is currently a part-time lecturer on the Fine Arts programme at LASALLE College of the Arts.



For further enquiries, please write to

Eligible schemes / subsidies:
Claimable under SkillsFuture Credit

Visit here for more information.

National Arts Council (NAC) subsidy

Course applicants can apply for the Capability Development Grant from the National Arts Council. Application is subject to eligibility and assessment. Visit here for more information.


(inclusive of 7% GST)