These are exciting times for Asian art and artists, many of whom have attained international stardom buoyed by market demand and greater visibility in the international art circuit, as well as for Asian countries that have been transformed into major centres for the arts. The success and visibility of Asian art makes its research and study all the more timely and relevant, as economic and cultural shifts move the global balance of power from West to East.
It is also a particularly exciting time to be studying in Singapore, which has become the arts and cultural hub of the region and has put in place an arts infrastructure that is unmatched by any other country in the region in the collection and display of Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art. With the opening of the NationalGallery, Singapore in 2015-which will have the largest collection on Southeast Asian modern art in the region-Singapore is also poised to become a leading centre for the study and research of the arts of the region. By studying in Singapore, students will not only have access to the vast collection of Southeast Asian art but will be in a strategic location from where they can conduct research around the region.
The MA in Asian Art Histories is the first MA programme in any tertiary institution worldwide to focus on Asian modern and contemporary art. While Asian art programmes traditionally focus on the classical periods or grand traditions, the LASALLE Programme gives students the opportunity to lead original research in largely underexplored fields, investigate recently emerged artists and movements, and thereby contribute to contemporary discourse and scholarship.
The Programme encourages analysis of Asian modern and contemporary art from an Asian perspective rather than through a Euro-American lens alone so as to broaden discourse. As such candidates will have the opportunity to play a part in the College’s strategic ambitions to “become one of the world’s premier educational institutions for contemporary intercultural study of diverse artistic traditions” and to become the “leading Asian educational institution for contemporary creativity in the arts.” The Master of Arts in Asian Art Histories is a one-and-half year programme over three semesters. It seeks to educate and train students who have interest in contributing original scholarship to the emerging field. The Programme equips students with the appropriate expertise and rigour to undertake a higher level of independent research work such as a PhD. The titular use of “histories” represents the plurality of divergent social, cultural and religious narratives that are specific to the environments artists operate within.
By studying Asian Art Histories in the practice-based environment of LASALLE, candidates experience an immersive environment within which to engage with practitioners and artworks, fostering an interdisciplinary approach towards the study and writing of art histories.
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Last updated January 9, 2017