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What kind of organisation is DECK?

DECK is an independent non-profit entity 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 the following 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.

Knowledge-sharing through photography, public programmes and workshops.

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

Founded in 2012, DECK Photography Art Centre Ltd (UEN:  201215478E) is a registered Charity and Institution of a Public Character (IPC) as of 20 Jan 2022.

DECK is a recipient of National Arts Council's Major Company Scheme since 2016. 

Why crowdfund?

The government funding that DECK receives only covers part of the operating expenditure for our programmes and manpower. It does not cover land lease or infrastructural costs. This is true for DECK’s first building, which was made possible entirely through public donations.

So DECK’s space exists because of the goodwill shown towards a community that believes in an alternative space 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.

Photobook Library

This exclusive library contains one of the widest photobook collections in Southeast Asia with more than 7,800 titles, out of which 1,600 titles are donated by the world-renowned Steidl Publishers. It will also incorporate an artist studio and a dedicated reading room for artists and arts researchers.

Blackbox Theatre

The blackbox is a flexible space for seminars, film screenings, and public talks. It  will house state-of-the-art equipment to showcase boundary-pushing new media arts 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 DECK was conceptualised, it made sense for our first building to be a temporary structure made up of 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 lifespan. DECK’s container-building was demolished in April 2021, and the construction for the new building is slated to begin in April 2025.

We look 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?

Arts is what made us human, it is an expression of our shared humanity and a reflection of our times. It inspires hope, imagination and perspectives beyond the limited experiences of our lives. This is more invaluable than ever in a post-pandemic world currently divided by war and differences.
We believe in the value of areas where the community can appreciate art through a broad spectrum of approaches. Therefore, an art space that serves as an alternative platform for working artists to showcase diversity and inclusivity is always worth saving.