McNally School
of Fine Arts

Charleen Leo Jia Ying

Charleen Leo Jia Ying

MA Asian Art Histories
2021 — 2022

Charleen Leo is an exhibition producer with eight years of experience in conceptualising and delivering immersive, interactive and engaging exhibitions across the spectrum of art and science. With a BSc in Biological Science from Nanyang Technological University, she has developed a keen interest in commissioning contemporary art, particularly at the intersection of science and technology. Her current research interest is on the development of new media art in Singapore, which is also the subject of her MA thesis. A trained spokesperson, Charleen has also presented at several conferences on the subject of art and technology.

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Thesis abstract

New media art in Singapore: Its emergence, development and practice, 1990s – 2019

New media art in Singapore is an uncharted territory. This thesis investigates the emergence, development and practice of new media art in Singapore, from the 1990s to 2019. It will consider new media art practices in relation to the historical, social and political contexts of Singapore’s contemporary art, with optimism to generate a new mode of knowledge production and deepen the understanding of new media art practices within the global contemporary art history from a specific locale. By examining how the relationship between the state and the arts, individual artistic practices, the confluence of exhibitions, academic programmes and the influence of external forces in the exposition of international symposiums and festivals, have enabled the rooting and growth of new media arts in Singapore. This thesis anatomises the works of, Urich Lau, Debbie Ding and Ho Tzu Nyen to propose three key characteristics of Singapore’s new media art.