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What kind of organisation is DECK?

DECK is a contemporary arts centre dedicated to photography arts, created to fill a gap between critical art institutions in Singapore. It provides support and opportunities to artists in all stages of their careers while working closely with the community.

DECK embodies these values in its mission to shape the arts in Singapore:

Discovering diverse contemporary values through photography.

Engaging all minds in new ideas and critical thinking in photography.
Connecting the global community through the exchange of visual cultures.

DECK is the organiser of the biennale Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF).

DECK was founded by Art Photography Centre Ltd (APC), a registered charity (entity no. 201215478E). DECK is a recipient of the National Arts Council's Major Grant from April 2019 to March 2022.

Why crowdfund?

The government funding that DECK receives only covers part of DECK’s programming and our human resources costs. It doesn’t support any of our building or infrastructural costs. This is true for DECK’s first building, which was made possible entirely through the support of public donations.

So DECK’s space exists because of the goodwill shown towards a community that believes in an alternative area for the arts. With your continued support, DECK can take another leap of faith.

What is the impact of my contribution?

With a new building, DECK can impact and nurture the next generation of artists and art audiences. DECK would enable the community to tap into curriculum, workshops and resources provided by the centre. With a permanent building and an expanded space, DECK can offer more programmes for the community and opportunities
for our artists.

What will my money fund?
Three Galleries

This will house international showcases by global names, career-profiling showcases of talents in Singapore, and new creations by emerging young talents.

Library and Research Centre for artists and researchers

This library will also incorporate an artist studio and a dedicated reading room for photobooks.


The blackbox is a flexible space for seminars, screenings, and public talks. It also offers a platform for boundary-pushing new media art forms such as Virtual Reality (VR), moving image installations and digital sound art.

Accessibility Features

Wheelchair accessible entrances, handicap friendly toilets, and lifts for access to all elements in the building.

Can DECK carry on without a physical space?

Often tagged to our exhibitions and workshops are months-long artist residencies that require space and physical resources. It is vital that we can provide our artists with the platform to test their ideas in an entire area and the means to focus on their art practice. Because continuity is integral to nurturing a powerful platform for growth and identity, it is also essential to keep our presence on our current site.

On a larger social scale, a physical space for the arts makes visible the connection between works of art, the artists and the community. It catalyses and transforms by gathering and engaging the community in discourse and providing an avenue where society can identify with multifaceted ideas and values.

Why does DECK need a new building?

When we created DECK, it made sense for our first building to be a temporary structure made with refurbished shipping containers. Nimble, cost-efficient and resource-smart, it also represented the universal spirit of DECK as a ground-up, independent space.

While this structure has done a lot for us, the containers have unfortunately reached the end of their lifespans. DECK’s container-building was demolished in April 2021, and the construction for its new building is slated to begin in April 2022.

We are looking forward to a new phase of growth for DECK. The permanence of DECK in the future marks a continuation of our support for the photography arts community of our arts community where smaller organisations can co-exist amongst more prominent institutions. 

Why is DECK not part of the NAC Arts Housing Scheme?

The nature of the NAC Arts Housing scheme is on a short-term, for-hire basis. Facilities for sharing are temporal and mutable, such as office spaces, dance studios and seminar rooms. Because of the scarcity of arts housing spaces in Singapore, for-hire areas of the scheme are also available on a rotational basis to accommodate new arts organisations.

This may work for specific arts organisations, but not for all. The nature of DECK’s programmes falls into the latter because they require uninterrupted spatial/structural support and autonomy and flexibility over space usage.

Is this the right time for a new arts building?

We believe the arts offer hope, imagination and perspectives beyond the limited experiences of our lives. This is more invaluable than ever in a world currently divided by a patchwork of closed borders.

If you ask us, an art space that offers an alternative platform for working artists is always worth saving. But, in this complicated post-pandemic world, we also believe in the value of areas where the community can appreciate art through a broad spectrum of approaches.

Download BUILDECK Press Release 2021

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