We are the first arts residency in Singapore that promotes arts, cultural and heritage events in a row of colonial houses.

Artists Helping Artists

Officially established in 2009, Temenggong Artists-In-Residence is a non-profit arts charity that strives to inspire arts, heritage and cultural appreciation to the public by presenting quality works.

Since the 1980s, Temenggong has believed in Artists-helping-Artists. By giving back in our own ways, we can continue to support fellow artists, art residencies and creative projects. We work towards creating awareness of the arts and influencing young art collectors, especially on the vistas of Singapore’s history and cultural landscape. With an emphasis on visual arts, we believe in showcasing the aesthetics of good film, design, as well as architectural and cultural traditions. By doing so, we share and increase cross-cultural exchanges, participation and learning.

The first arts residency with such initiatives, Temenggong is uniquely housed in historical colonial buildings on Mount Faber that are furnished with original artefacts and antiquities. Temenggong is solely managed by its dedicated Board of Directors and volunteers.

Quotes

“Temenggong space and its Artist-In-Residence programme is a national treasure. Situated peacefully high above Singapore’s buzzling harbour with a  view out to the far horizons of the Singapore Straits, it cherishes the preservation of Singapore’s national artistic heritage while at the same time reaching out to the world to build lasting cultural bridges. Having left Singapore, I miss Temenggong’s charm, warmth and human touch!”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has tested our resoluteness and tenacity – if there is one silver lining from this crisis, it would be the recognition that we need arts more than ever. That art is a vital part of living, it is a barometer for advances in society.

I would like to offer my appreciation to Temenggong Artists-In-Residence, who has been unfailing in its commitment to excellence in art. Thank you. I wish you success for your inaugural exhibition of  Expressing Heritage: Art & Originality Unfold (Temenggong-SG-Creatives 2021).”


“… Art has the power to open our minds, as well as to bring people together. This gathering is part of that effort to develop a shared art and culture sensibility. Temenggong’s inclusive approach of  “artists-helping-one-another” has itself nurtured a community spirit and helped promote local art. We must also recognise the unwavering support of Temenggong’s volunteers, which has enabled it to realise its aims and extend its reach. I congratulate Chen KeZhan and all involved in Temenggong on its unique journey and contributions over its first decade, and look forward to its further initiatives in the years ahead!”

“A visit to Temenggong is unforgettable and it draws one back time and time again. It’s a treasure trove befitting nobility with exquisite antiquities, refined art objects and books and calligraphy. Henri’s discerning eye and taste has made such a presentation possible. Above all, Temenggong is not only a sanctuary for Henri’s art practice but a haven to be shared with resident artists seeking inspiration and the public appreciating fine arts.”

“Temenggong Artists-In-Residence seeks to further the objective of “artists-helping-one-another”. Artists and musicians from China, Korea and Singapore have stepped forward to enable cross-cultural art exchanges. I would like to thank Henri Chen and the Temenggong Artists-In-Residence for their continued support and mentorship of our local artists and practitioners especially during COVID-19. Our arts and culture are an integral part of our heritage, our present, and our future, providing us with enjoyment, comfort, and inspiration. I hope the ‘Idle Clouds Upon Reflection’ exhibition in 2021 will encourage a deeper appreciation of our varied art forms, and encourage Singaporeans and residents of all backgrounds to engage with our arts and culture more deeply.”

为艺术创作与分享精神干杯

“每当来到天猛公路黑白洋房的陈宅,我都感到很自在、很愉悦。

这里有着最美的山色和海景,有着中西文化交融的艺术内涵。在艺术家屋主陈克湛和李凯龄身上,我也感受到“温良恭俭让”、讲义气的传统文化,以及理性务实、重视交流对话的现代精神。

克湛和凯龄诚恳待人,对任何课题、各样美食、各种文化都充满兴趣,心胸开阔,为人沉潜而低调。我们其实认识没多久,却相逢恨晚。

矗立在花柏山山腰的这几栋受保留建筑物,交织着从英殖民时代、扎根南洋、独立建国的精彩历史传统。里头的艺术收藏,以及不曾停止的创作活力,展现出跨文化的激荡,保留艺术最精致的成分,也难得如此贴近生活,充满草根气息。

天猛公基金会的“天猛公艺术家入驻计划”,强调分享的艺术,打破了许多看来难以跨越的疆界,也粉碎了“新加坡是文化沙漠”“文人相轻”的刻板印象。

基金会成立11年来,照顾了超过50名海内外艺术家免费吃住、创作和交流,进行包括绘画、电影剧本、雕刻、书法和陶艺等各类创作;还安排各国导师来传功,点化年轻创作人。

每逢展览开放日,各国大使、达官显要和市井百姓,一起来欣赏艺术,品尝屋主慷慨供应的美食和茶酒。这不正是艺术无界限的最佳注解?

我们的世界,因为冠病而隔绝了一年,甚至很可能永久地改变。但我深信,天猛公强调的艺术创作和分享精神,将继续为岛国和全世界供应养分,提醒人认真地活在当下,勇敢地爱和做出忠于自己的抉择。”

写于2020年12月11日,在台北防疫旅馆隔离第五天
(作者从12月6日出任《联合早报》驻台北特派员)

“For the past 10 years, Temenggong Artists-In-Residence has been providing platforms for local artists and promoting visual art to Singaporeans. Here’s to many more years of supporting our artists—happy 10th anniversary to Temenggong!”

“It was a great experience developing the script for my film during my residency at Temenggong, which was a much needed getaway to focus. Thank you KeZhan, Reis and the lovely folks who made sure that I was given the best support to concentrate on my work.”

“The residency at TMG opened up for me a distinctive space time to make art. The experience was memorable – the residency house’s historic grounds that faces the South China Sea and my birthland Java; the amazing collection of Chinese calligraphy in the house that inspired my DNA text art developed during the residency; the running conversations over delicious meals and kung fu tea with our hosts Reis and KeZhan, together with curator Yueh Siang and fellow artist Fyerool Darma; and KeZhan’s fascinating anecdotes and stories. I am especially grateful for Kezhan’s (literal) hands-on help in making the cross-pole, an important part of my outdoor installation as I was overseas at the time. He assisted without fuss, embodying the spirit of ‘artists help artists’.”

“When we first met, the artistry of Henri Chen was purposed in National Service to the monthly production of Pioneer magazine. Yet even then his refined, lively character and quite unusual aesthetic were clear. So was his love for beauty, humor and verve for life. When I first visited Temenggong, those elements were coming together.

First and fore most in Henri’s art. Even in his earliest works, there is such beauty. Second, in the spirit, learning and thought that dwells so deeply in his painting and that gives it focus and resonance, like a clear bell chime. Third, in that place on the side of the hill, once old and abandoned, but now filled with life so unusual, provident and even intoxicating.

The decades since, while not without challenges, have brought growth, evolution and complexity to Henri’s work and life. His paintings are sought after by museums and private collectors, and yet remain quite immediately accessible in their appeal and beauty. As a person, Henri was always an old soul and now has increased not only in his knowledge but even more in humanity, generosity and wisdom. Temenggong too has grown in space and mission, to reach and share a diverse range of art and artists with a widening circle.

Taken together, in a visit to this place for an exhibition or event and perhaps to meet and even have a tea with Henri and Reis as hosts, there is an experience that is rich, textured and authentic, deeply refreshing, and inimitable. Every day cares and time are suspended.

I feel blessed to know Henri since those early years when he first settled into his metier and atelier. I have even watched him begin the garden on the slopes, with the hard toil of a changkul as well as the patience and discipline for bonsai. Yet those who have come to know him after those early years need no recompense. The man and artist remains there in place and in essence, integral. The years have only deepened his accomplishments in art, work and living. May Henri and Temenggong inspire many. “

“Having been an admirer of Henri’s works for many years, I first heard about his bold plan to create an artists-in-residence program more than a decade ago. Since then I have had the immense pleasure and privilege to visit Temenggong several times and appreciate first-hand the creative energy of the carefully curated art community there. Henri and his Temenggong family have managed what many have tried and failed to do on our little island: to nurture a haven for artists to live and breathe their chosen form of art, so that the rest of us may be the richer for it!”

“From the many activities and well-deserved recognitions to the works and dedication to art of KeZhan, we always keep the warmest memories of our relationship with Temenggong and KeZhan. One of the highlights of our cultural agenda during my Mission in Singapore as Ambassador of Mexico, was the exhibition magnificently presented at Temenggong of the sculptures of Mexican Master Sebastian, who also cherishes very much that experience. Our warmest congratulations for Temenggong’s many achievements as well as your very best wishes for many more years to come of these fruitful activities to make Singapore´s artistic expressions better known abroad, as well as bringing to the wonderful and appreciative Singaporean people the culture and art from other countries.”

“I am deeply honoured and privileged to be a part of the amazing creative team behind ‘Expressing Heritage: Art & Originality Unfold’. Taking part in this exhibition has allowed me to expand my scope and to learn crucial lessons in my art creation journey. Thank you, Henri and Reis, for your unconditional and endless support.”

“Temenggong has an old-is-gold flavour because of the structure and its beautiful location on a hill. It is also a wonderful place to make new friends, thanks to the gracious hosts. All in all, it is paradise for art lovers.”

“The ecstasy of being in nature is the singular experience that artists in residence at Temenggong never fail not to appreciate. It’s this natural atmosphere that creates conversations and stirs new thoughts. Add to that a group of friends who make you feel like family.”

“The surroundings of Temenggong brought a cherished sense of quiet to me during the residency. The place not only has a colonial feel, as well as a cultural, artistic one.”

“The owner of Temenggong collection, Henri Chen, is a proud descendant of a respected noble family with long history, who is also a prominent painter and a tea practitioner.

The paintings, calligraphies, furniture, ceramics, and other cultural properties housed in Temenggong are all valuable works representing East Asian cultural heritages and achievements. Having the opportunity to access and appreciate this art collection will be an invaluable experience to visitors from all over the world.

Moreover, the events including the tea ceremonies held at Temenggong provide rare opportunities to experience East Asian traditions and values to the participants as well.  Temenggong will contribute to the preservation and continuation of our culture and enrich the world’s cultural diversity.”

“KeZhan has fine layers to him – like a lacquer painting.

He takes much pride in the road he has chosen : years studying from famed Chinese calligraphers and artists, learning how to get his brush strokes right, how to grind stones and compounds to get the exact colour for paints. You can sense he gave himself time, to become the artist he wanted to be.  He made friends among artists outside Singapore, many along the Mekong – growing with them, and sharing with them what he had – and back home he has tried to be an eco-system to artists he senses need that refuge to become.

To say KeZhan is ‘Generous’ is to misdirect, as it is to look at what he gives.  Better to say he is a “Gardener”, as so much of what KeZhan does is to create for artists and for art : a world of constant and careful growth, quietly nurturing and being ever present to help. At Temenggong  – you can feel the Gardener afoot. And what you will see and learn from both KeZhan and Reis!”

“2019年、Asia Pacific Screen Labへの参加でTemenggongに滞在した。シンガポールの喧騒から離れ、ネオンサインの代わりに星が見え、車の騒音の代わりに鳥のさえずりが聞こえた。友人たちと過ごしたTemenggongでのひと時は一生忘れないだろう。”

“I stayed at Temenggong during Asia Pacific Screen Lab in 2019. Away from the busy streets of Singapore, you can see stars instead of neon signs, and you can hear birds singing instead of car engines. I will never forget the time I spent with my friends there.”

“The first time I came to Temenggong I thought, wow! This is an oasis in the middle of the city. It was an unique experience, from the exotic setting to the sumptuous food served on the opening night, and needless to say our exhibition there with Sebastian from Mexico and Ben Cabrera from the Philippines was a huge success.”

“Under usual circumstance, it would have been difficult for all six of us to gather at a place like Temenggong. The exchange of ideas and the chance to feed off one another’s creativity have been a profound experience for me.”

“Temenggong residency project was full of hospitality. The splendid hill scenery and the outstanding colonial-styled houses with incredible serenity discovered less than half an hour away from the downtown was the great environment for art creations. In addition to the well-equipped studio, this residency programme also offered great opportunity for artists to meet art lovers and associated with local art community. Thank you once again to Temenggong Artists-In-Residence for such a memorable project.

 

“Staying at Temenggong Artists-In-Residence in Singapore in June 2017 was a time for me to experience the tradition and modernity of Singapore and to get new energy and inspiration while interacting with people while touching various cultures and arts. Particularly, the two-person exhibition with Delia Prvacki, who was prepared while staying at the place of residence that contains the history of Singapore while directly feeling the natural environment of Southeast Asia’s rainforest, served as a great driving force for my work activities and will remain unforgettable and beautiful memories.

I am grateful to the audience and the good times I met during the exhibition.

In particular, I would like to express my sincere gratitude once again to Henri Chen, Reis Lee and Kate Lim who have invited me.”

“Temenggong has proven for all the Asia Pacific Screen Lab recipients the perfect place to meet and work with their mentors   – all handpicked from the incredible pool of talents available in the Asia Pacific Screen Academy – on their emerging projects. Also the mentors of the APSLab have commented that the Temenggong Artist Residency is able to create the perfect  environment for them to lead these projects and help bring them eventually into fruition in order to conquer the world. And honestly, a few really did by winning the top awards in the Locarno International Film Festival and the Busan International Film Festival.”

“I had a memorable experience working with Temenggong Artists-in-Residence during a residency exchange programme between Singapore and Mexico in 2015. This resulted in two exhibitions, one was held in Mexico City and the other was in Singapore, in Temenggong. I think any artist would feel very inspired and charmed to be working in a space like Temenggong. It is truly a gem in Singapore. But what I found most honoured and unforgettable is the way everything was handled In Temenggong – always with care, attention, heartfelt and respect – making you comfortable to be oneself and to be creating in your own language. This is truly something special and amazing for any artist to have.”

“Participating in this inaugural show (Temenggong-SG-Creatives 2021) with a fellow group of artists united by a theme was a brand new experience for me. The journey in its making, through multiple COVID-19 lockdowns was very difficult. But when the show finally opened and I see the result of this collaborative effort, I felt a tremendous rush of excitement and delight. One of the ‘behind the scenes’ activity I truly enjoyed was the constant conversation with Reis, Henri and Kate, on how artworks were to be curated and written. The collaboration of many people to create this show is one aspect the public never sees. Thank you, Temenggong.”

“I am fortunate enough to experience Temenggong in 2019 as a participant of Asia Pacific Screen lab. I feel that Temenggong is not just a residency for the artist. It is a haven where an artist can flourish creative ideas. The homely atmosphere, artistic interior, wonderful hospitality etc beyond imagination. The entire residential program is a window for me to look beyond my perception.”

“It was a long summer in 2013 because of the memory of Temenggong in Singapore. I and my wife Yeseul had decided to participate in the Temenggong Artists-In-Residence Program 2013 without much expectation, but it turned out to be quite a surprise in a good way. I had a chance to look back on my works and expand it. I traveled around the neighboring countries with Henri Chen and Reis Lee. I also had chance to meet several Asian artists and Asian traditional and modern art. The most impressive part was Henri Chen’s vast variety of Antique art collection. They helped me to reestablish a definition of Asian art. The beautiful black-and-white houses we were staying and a view from Mount Faber also refreshed me a lot. All these things inspired me to organize the solo show during the stay at Temenggong and also developed my entire works.”

“Located on the picturesque slope of Mount Faber, Temenggong Artists-in-Residence is a must-go place for all art lovers. Try spending couple of hours in the company of precious old artefacts of Singapore and China together with family artistic treasures of renowned artist Henri Chen. The annual tea brewing ceremony in the premise of Temenggong is an unforgettable experience. I admire Henri and Reis for their aesthetic sense of harmonizing displayed items with surrounding nature. I sincerely hope that Temenggong will continue to serve as cultural hub of promising artists and passionate art lovers.”

“Heritage buildings are not just stone, bricks, timber and tiles. They exist as both a site of our past – whose values we should understand, and also as places that become an inspiration for creating better future. Having access to heritage buildings by different sectors of the public is therefore essential if we wish for our build heritage to remain relevant to the generations of Singaporeans. As the Malay proverb goes: “Tak Kenal Maka, Tak Cinta” – “what you don’t know, you don’t love” – I am therefore very appreciative that the Temenggong site has fulfilled both objectives of facilitating public access such that people can know the site, and equally serve as an inspiration for so many artists to create meaningful works for today and tomorrow.”

 

“As part of The Asia Pacific Screen Lab (APSL), I was fortunate to develop my feature documentary, A Hundred Years of Happiness at Temenggong Artists-In-Residence in 2016. The haven was very peaceful, relaxing and inspirational. I was also very fortunate to have my film, ‘Blush of Fruit’ screened there.  Thank you to Henri, Reis and all the volunteers for a welcoming and supportive atmosphere.”

“Nestled on a green hill, Temenggong Artist-In-Residence provides a unique environment against the bustling activity of the nearby port and business districts. Artists who have spent their time here have been inspired by the lush nature and rich history surrounding the place, and have benefitted from the reflection afforded by this urban oasis.

Having been involved in a few exhibitions, I’ve found Temenggong’s projects marked by a warm and generous spirit of dialogue. The Artist-in-residence is a creative space that allows artists to foster an exchange of ideas, producing works of art that are inspired, and which inspire.”

“I’m very grateful for Temenggong to bring me to Mexico for an unforgettable residency, and supporting me with two exhibitions in Mexico and at Temenggong… not to mention the elegant parties and gatherings that Henri and Reis hold at their residence, being the gracious hosts that they are.”

 

“Temenggong residency programme is an excellent platform for foreign artists to speak out freely what we have in mind. It is also a perfect opportunity for us as artists from across Asia to come together and enjoy contemporary Art.”

“I stayed at Temenggong Artist-In-Residence from the 15th to 19th of April 2019 as part of the APSLab 2019. Staying at Temenggong residence truly was a unique experience; the magnificent historical building that was furnished with exquisite antiquities had a tremendous impact, not only on my artistic work, but also on my personal experience as it was my first visit to Singapore. In addition to the remarkable professional mentorship, the experience of being hosted in such a cultural monument had significantly enhanced the way I experienced my first visit to Singapore. Before my visit,  I was well aware of Singapore’s advanced infrastructure, business and economy, however the Temenggong experience added another dimension to my perspective and introduced me to the spirit of this modern city by revealing the unique and diverse cultural face of Singapore in a very short time, which in-turn had a great impact on my artistic work that I have been working on during my stay at Temenggong.

I am very happy to have been introduced to Singapore from that place, thanks to Philip Cheah from APSLab for making this experience possible through the APSLab and much gratitude for the extremely hospitable hosts from Temenggong, Henri and Reis, for having us and making this experience an unforgettable one. I look forward to visiting Singapore again.”

“Temenggong Artists-In-Residence gave me great advice on art-making and provided generous support for the two exhibitions I had with them. It was a great opportunity to work with an esteemed art foundation like Temenggong because my art not only reached their wide network but to be able to exhibit in this colonial dream scape surrounded by lush natural greenery, was truly a unique experience in urban Singapore. Thank you so much for supporting my artistic journey, it was a privilege to work with Temenggong Artists-In-Residence.”

“I have been to Temenggong Artists-in-Residence twice, both in conjunction with the mentorship program and screenwriting workshop of the Asia Pacific Screen Lab. I remember Temenggong as a very peaceful place, where one can be in union with nature and one’s self, but which is just a comfortable walk downhill to urban noise. I will also remember Temenggong for the sincere hospitality of Henri and Reis, both artists who can easily connect with the guests. I will remember Temenggong for Henri and the wonderful collection of antiques and contemporary art works. And, of course, I will always associate Temenggong with Reis, who welcomes everyone with her infectious smile and wide open arms. Long live Temenggong Artists-in-Residence.  Mabuhay!”

“The experience at Temenggong Artist in Residence, not only allowed me to spent time within the historic site and acquaint myself more with its narrative, but more. It gave me confidence in realising an idea that had sit in my mind for the longest time, and with their funding, I was able to realise a work that required a support for its production. I am especially grateful for their care and in allowing such works to be realised with much space for experimentation, reflexivity and confidence.”

Supporters

Special thanks to all our friends, partners, anonymous donors and volunteers who have collaborated, sponsored or supported us since the beginning of Temenggong Artists-in-Residence.

Friends | Visitors of Temenggong

Pierre & Gilles

Liu Guosong

Boy George

Cai Guoqiang

Elder Monk Guang Qia

Ji Chuanying

Gunther Uecker

Geoffrey Bawa

Yu Peng

Zheng Zhaidong

Kuo Pao Kun

Xiao Quan

Zhu Wei

Jacky Wu

Jeff Chang

Paul Oakenfold

Pippi

Pan Shou

Sky Wu

Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol

Chen Yi Xiu

And more..

Since the 1980s, Temenggong has hosted numberless known arts personalities including entertainers and filmmakers, as well as distinguished guests from various embassies, the IMF, APEC, IAAP, G30, and the ASEAN Summit.

Charities Support

Our founder & Temenggong have supported the following charities:

Action for Aids

Caregivers Alliance

Community Chest

LASALLE College of the Arts “Tropical Labs”

Ray of Hope

Singapore National Eye Centre

Singapore Cancer Foundation

Singapore Changi Prison

SANU Youth (1976)

Viva Foundation

Founder of the Visual Art Fund in 1998 (The Substation)

We have worked with interns & volunteers from:

LASALLE College of the Arts

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts

Ngee Ann Polytechnic

National University of Singapore

National Technological University

New York University

School of the Arts Singapore

Singapore Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan

Singapore Theng Hai Huay Kuan

and many dear friends of Temenggong.

Awards by Temenggong

Temenggong Artists-In-Residence-Ngee Ann Polytechnic Art Business Management Gold Award

GEORGE YEO

Patron

Minister for Information and the Arts (1990-1999)

Board of Directors

CHUA BENG HUAT

Chairman

Beng Huat is a local academic who has abiding interest in the development of art and pop culture in education in Singapore. He hovers at the margins of arts institutions, occasionally providing critical commentaries. Temenggong Artists in Residence is his only institutional affiliation which he has chaired since its founding.

Chen KeZhan

Founder/Vice Chairman

A Singapore artist, KeZhan has advocated for anti-drugs usage for youths, supported their studies, and used sports to engage them during his teens in the 1970s. With his belief of “Artists-helping-Artists”, KeZhan has personally supported numerous local and foreign artists since 1980s and many are significant artists of today.  He founded the Visual Art Fund, which was parked under the Substance in 1998 to support local artists and art initiatives.

KWOK KIAN WOON

Director

Kian Woon is Professor of Sociology at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, where he has served as a founding member of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the first Head of Sociology, Senate Chair, and Associate Provost of Student Life. His research areas include the study of social memory, mental health, the Chinese overseas, and Asian modernity. He has been actively involved in civil society and the public sector, especially in the arts and heritage. In addition to Temenggong Artists-in-Residence Ltd, he serves as a board member of the Intercultural Theatre Institute.

THAM CHEE SOON

Director

Chee Soon retired as an audit partner from a Big 4 accounting firm at end-June 2018 after 31 years in the accounting profession. He has since set up his own business advisory practice, iCFO Advisors Pte. Ltd. He also serves on the Board of Directors of The Teng Ensemble Ltd and on the Board for The Bone Marrow Donor Programme. An Audit Committee member of Dover Park Hospice, Chee Soon is also a fellow of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants, a member of both CPA Australia and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a CFA Charterholder.

Former Board Directors

We sincerely thank all our former Board Directors for their time and service to Temenggong:

Dr Mary Ann Tsao
E-Len Fu
Edmund Tie
Fang Ai Lian
Kok Seow Chuan
Milenko Prvacki
Nicholas Chan
Renato De Guzman
Tan Chian-Khong

Our heartfelt thanks to our early sponsors who has placed their trust and belief in Temenggong:

Dr Lee Seng Tee, Lee Foundation

Dr Mary Ann Tsao

CapitaLand Limited

Tang Holdings Pte Ltd

Ho Bee Group

And Special Thanks to:

Mrs Jennifer Yeo

Madam Jane Ittogi

and others who wish to be anonymous.

Thank you.