Singapore’s Substation to launch archives collection, among other farewell events

The arts centre will close permanently in July 2021 with a week of "specially designed" events

The Substation will close permanently in July 2021 with a soft launch of its archives, among other farewell events.

In a social media post answering frequently asked questions, the Singapore arts centre yesterday (March 2) shed some light on how it will bow out in July 2021. The post intended to clarify The Substation board’s decision, which was publicised earlier that day, to close the venue.

The Substation will shut down permanently “in July 2021 or thereabouts”, the post said. It was a “timely” window for closure given that The Substation has to vacate its 30-year home of 45 Armenian Street in July so the building can be taken back by the National Arts Council for renovations.


“The Board made the decision to close The Substation in a timely manner so that all our staff are adequately and fairly compensated for their dedication and service,” the post read. The post also said in a separate slide that “staff will be offered redundancy payments in line with [Singapore] government guidelines”.

Singapore arts centre the Substation leaving Armenian Street after 30 years
The Substation’s founder Kuo Pao Kun in front of the building that would become the arts centre. Courtesy of The Substation

According to the post, The Substation has hired a vendor to archive the centre’s records and documents, which “help chart and illustrate Singapore’s evolving arts landscape”. “We believe these records and documents are very important to our nation’s art history and will serve as a crucial source of reference for artists and scholars alike,” the post added.

Once the archival process is complete, “they will be located at a suitable organisation and made open to the public”. The post also notes that The Substation intends to organise this “soft launch” of its archives later this year, which will be accompanied by “a week of specially designed events”. “You are invited to come down to share your memories with us,” the post reads.

The Substation will continue to celebrate its 30th anniversary with programming as per usual up until July 2021. Its next event is SeptFest, which runs from March 4 to 28.

Since The Substation board announced its decision to close the arts centre, several Singaporean musicians have paid tribute to the venue, which for years has served as a home for the country’s independent music community and a hub for its rock, punk and hardcore scenes.