Swiftonomics and Singapore's cultural economy


Date & Time

Wed 3 Apr 2024
7:00pm – 8:30pm


Lecture Theatre, Block F Level 2 #F201, LASALLE's McNally Campus


Free, RSVP here



Taylor Swift’s six-concert run in Singapore caused a frenzy not only among Swifties – it was even raised in Parliament and nearly became a diplomatic issue with our ASEAN neighbours. 

Behind the buzz, the concerts are part of a government strategy to make Singapore a “cultural hub", in the words of the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth. What is the link between global entertainment and Singapore’s cultural development? Can Swiftonomics benefit the local arts and cultural sectors? 

Join this discussion with country branding specialist Koh Buck Song and Audrey Wong, Programme Leader, MA Arts and Cultural Leadership at LASALLE College of the Arts, as they analyse the government’s 'cultural hub' strategy and the role of Swiftonomics in Singapore’s cultural economy.

About Koh Buck Song
Koh Buck Song is the author and editor of more than 40 books, including his study of Singapore's country brand, Brand Singapore (first published 2011, third edition in 2021). He lectures on nation branding at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy’s Executive Education. As a country brand adviser, he has spoken on brand Singapore extensively overseas, including at Oxford University, the Japan Foundation in Tokyo, and Bhutan’s Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies. 

Previously, Buck Song was an arts and political journalist, literary editor and regular columnist at The Straits Times. As head of media relations at the Singapore Economic Development Board, he led a team to devise the brand concept of Singapore as a 'global entrepolis'. As a strategic communications consultant, his projects include the global launches of Gardens by the Bay, National Gallery Singapore, and Fusionopolis. As a poet and haiga artist, his latest book is the world anew (2023), poems and artworks from his time as the National Gallery Singapore’s Poet in Residence 2021–2022.

About Audrey Wong
Audrey Wong is an arts educator, arts manager, researcher and currently the Programme Leader of the MA Arts and Cultural Leadership at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. Audrey was the first Nominated Member of Parliament for the Arts in Singapore (2009–2011) and has been involved in arts advocacy for many years. 

Prior to joining LASALLE in 2010, Audrey was artistic co-director of The Substation, an independent arts centre in Singapore. She also launched Moving Images at The Substation, Singapore's first year-round programme focused on developing Singapore's young filmmakers and building a film community. 

Audrey has served on institutional boards and committees with the Singapore Art Museum, National Arts Council and Singapore International Foundation and was chair of the board of Singapore theatre company Nine Years Theatre.