Technological advances have enabled us to access art and culture from across the world in unprecedented ways. Today, we can visit a museum virtually in the middle of the night without crossing the thresholds of our doors. With COVID-19 and the closure of arts and cultural spaces, such digital options have become even more diverse and ubiquitous. This has prompted a re-think about how digital modes can become one of the primary ways of accessing art and culture.
In Singapore, theatre companies such as Wild Rice, Pangdemonium, and the Necessary Stage have made their shows available online, while cultural institutions like the National Library, the National Gallery and the National Museum of Singapore have created virtual experiences that are accessible from home.1
We cannot expect these digital platforms to substitute the physical experiences of performances or visiting exhibitions and shows. There is something irreplaceable about the immediacy of a live theatrical production, the atmosphere created by the cadences of a live symphonic orchestra, or the feeling of being drawn into the physical enormity of a Pollock painting, because such experiences cannot be fully replicated on our computer screens or smartphones.
However, digital platforms can afford new ways of representing and appreciating art, and encourage the creation of works specifically for the digital medium. Further, a work’s distribution and longevity can be extended when it is made available online.
Explore the resources below to find out more about virtual arts and culture.
Look out for our next instalment where we will explore sports and fitness in the new normal.
吕嘉鸿 。（2020年 3月 17日）。肺炎疫情：虚拟科技突破艺术时空限制。BBC英伦网。 Retrieved 2020, May 4.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide, major art exhibitions have been cancelled and galleries and museums closed. This has prompted the use of modern technology to continue art and cultural activities virtually.
周范。（2020年 3月 17日）。文化产业拥抱数字化转型。新华网。 Retrieved 2020, May 4.
Many cultural activities have gone digital as a result of COVID-19. While some experiences cannot be replicated online, the writer contemplates if this presents new opportunities for the cultural industry.
கலை அனுபவம்….புதிய தொழில்நுட்பங்கள் வழி (2019). Tamil Seithi News & Current Affairs. Retrieved 2020, April 28.
The Stamford Arts Centre, which re-opened in 2019, provides a different art experience with its virtual reality and augmented reality technologies.
Disclaimer/ Rights statement
The information in this resource guide is valid as of May 2020 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history on the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
All Rights Reserved. National Library Board Singapore 2020.