‘For the majority of people, the Arts are irrelevant to their daily lives.’ How true is this of your society?

Yes: For the majority of Singaporeans, the Arts remain regrettably irrelevant to their daily lives as opportunities to experience the Arts are limited. In some cases, the benefits and virtues associated with the Arts may be misunderstood or under-estimated, leaving it to remain on the periphery rather than core of many Singaporeans’ lives and experiences.

  1. Many Singaporeans prioritize securing a livelihood and continue to perceive the Arts as less useful to achieving this aim, making careers in the Arts a non-mainstream or unconventional pathway to success.
  2. The Arts as a means of leisure and entertainment may be perceived as high-brow or culturally inaccessible to Singaporeans, leaving other leisure options, such as sports and shopping, to assume a much greater role in people’s lives while leaving the Arts to languish in obscurity.
  3. Highly visible manifestations and expressions of the Arts, such as architecture are under-appreciated and taken for granted by Singaporeans who perceive and interact with them in merely functional rather than artistic or aesthetic terms.
  4. The liberal aspects of the Arts, alongside their aims and practices may be perceived by a significant portion of Singaporeans as socially controversial or subversive in nature, causing many to shun engagement with the Arts as a whole.

No: Increasingly, the Arts occupy a central position in many Singaporeans’ lives as it engages and interacts with economic, social and cultural lives of Singaporeans at all levels.

  1. The combined efforts of the government, the artistic community and civic society to develop a thriving Arts industry have made careers in the Arts viable for many, leading in turn to much positive public support for the Arts and its increasing permeation in various aspects of economic life and activity.
  2. Popular forms and expressions of the Arts are increasingly accessed by Singaporeans, enabling the Arts to become incorporated into our leisure activities and in the process, greatly influence our consumer choices and activities.
  3. The artistic and aesthetic merits of various art forms are increasingly sensed and appreciated by increasingly educated and globalized Singaporeans with prior exposure to and knowledge of the Arts. Efforts to promote these merits are then increasingly undertaken by citizens and civic society, ensuring that the Arts become a constant subject for cultural discussion and identification.
  4. The liberal aspects of the Arts, alongside their aims and practices are perceived by more Singaporeans as vehicles and means to generate healthy debate on social and political issues, thus ensuring the Arts remain a key tool to influencing and shaping public opinion on them.