Yale-NUS College launches Artist-in-Residence programme

30 January 2020

Multidisciplinary artists Andrew Yang and Christa Donner selected as the first artists-in-residence

Yale-NUS College has launched a new Artist-in-Residence programme. Multidisciplinary artists Andrew Yang and Christa Donner were selected as its first artists-in-residence for one semester starting in January 2020.

Situated within Yale-NUS College, a fully residential liberal arts and sciences college, the Artist-in-Residence Programme aims to catalyse activities that promote art as a living and breathing practice as well as create art that increases the understanding of China and Chinese culture. The programme is supported by the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation through the Tan Chin Tuan Chinese Culture and Civilisation Programme at the College.

Creative works made during the programme will seek to inspire, reflect and expand upon the core learning within a liberal arts and science educational experience. Artist team Andrew Yang and Christa Donner – whose works span the visual arts, sciences, ecology and history – will be active members of Yale-NUS’ community of learning where ideas are expressed and enriched in an interdisciplinary environment.

“At Yale-NUS College, we believe in constantly innovating to develop programmes that will benefit our students and the broader community through new ways of exploration. The Artist-in-Residence programme is uniquely placed in the College: our close-knit residential community provides an immersive living and learning experience. We are confident that the diversity of perspectives and the interdisciplinary nature of our educational approach will spark exciting collaborations and artworks.  We are grateful to the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation for their support and inspiring us to create this programme focused on China and Chinese culture,” said Professor Jeannette Ickovics, Dean of Faculty, Yale-NUS College.

Ms Chew Gek Khim, Deputy Chairman of the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation said, ““There is much to learn from past cultures and civilisations. This new Artist-in-Residence programme continues the Yale-NUS vision of forging interdisciplinary and international ties.”

Yang and Donner will create new multimedia work based on the theme of ‘gardens’ in Singapore, as a way to explore relationships between humans and their environment. The artists often employ painting, immersive installation art, and small-press zines in their multifaceted projects.  The lush green spaces on the Yale-NUS campus will be an important point of focus for this project, and they hope to collaborate with Yale-NUS students and work with the College’s food sustainability programme, “Farm to Fork,” where students learn to grow vegetables on campus in a sustainable manner, harvest and then cook the vegetables.

“We are excited to pursue our artistic exploration in Singapore because it is home to so many gardens, including a vibrant culture of community gardening rich in biodiversity. Because both gardens and landscape painting were scholarly domains in the classical Chinese tradition, we believe these themes are especially meaningful in collaborating with Yale-NUS students, who are themselves scholars seeking ways to make new sense and new relationships with the world,” said Yang and Donner.

They will be teaching a one-semester course entitled Culturing Nature during the residency. In addition, Yang and Donner will create works that are inspired by their experiences, interactions and collaborations including the community garden on campus, which is part of the “Farm to Fork” programme run by students and Yale-NUS Assistant Professor of Social Sciences (Environmental Studies) Marvin Montefrio, well as field work at the Sky Garden@Jurong Central. The artists will share their new artworks through a public lecture and open studio event during the semester. [See Annex A for more details]

Yale-NUS’ artists-in-residence are selected by a panel of internal and external experts comprising LASALLE College of the Arts Provost Dr Venka Purushothaman, NUS Theatre Studies Assistant Professor Liang Peiling, Yale-NUS Professor of Social Sciences (Urban Studies) Chua Beng Huat, Yale-NUS Lecturer of Humanities (Visual Arts) and visual artist Chen Yanyun and Yale-NUS student Alexis Chen (Class of 2022).

The Artist-in-Residence programme is a three-year programme that will run through the end of 2022, with five additional artists on campus. The next artist-in-residence will arrive in August 2020. Upcoming artists for future cycles include those working in media such as film, installation art, socially engaged art, theatre and photography. Through the programme, the College aims to support meaningful community engagements with artists to contribute towards nurturing a vibrant arts community in Singapore.


Annex A – Artists biography

Annex B – Press images


For media enquiries, please contact publicaffairs@yale-nus.edu.sg.