Where art can flourish: some thoughts.

I woke up this morning to only find out that The Pigeonhole, a local indie bar/space/hang-out, is closing in about three weeks. Then, I found out that 15 Minutes, another cafe, has also closed down.

I want to rant and rave about evil landlords and exorbitant rents and evil evil Singapore. But ranting is counter-effective. Let’s talk about… allowing art to flourish. Sustainable art, where there is a flow of ideas and money, to keep it going. Yes, I have mentioned the bad M-word. Money. Unfortunately, we need money to survive in this cut-throat society where art is devalued and everything is priced. (Sounds like a bad dystopia, doesn’t it?)

These events coincided with my own thoughts where I struggle with the issue of sustainability or the ability to be able to sustain a self-publishing route and struggle against obscurity which hurts it even further. How does this relate to allowing art to flourish?

Spaces like this need to be cultivated and nurtured, just like a garden. As in a garden, you need to pitch in and – well – garden. Patronage, fans, people who support you – helps a lot. People who care helps a lot. Where does money come in here? We need ideas, we need support, but we also need the finances to survive. Am I greedy? No. Art is also effort and energy. It needs sustenance just as any type of work or job. I have seen too many cases of people who want free things and give back nothing in return. Are we ultimately living in a cheapskate society? (The successful Kickstarter campaigns seem to counter my statement. People are willing to pay – as long as they get something in return).

So, people, are we going to let market forces rule our emotions? Or are we genuinely supportive of the arts? You tell me.


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