The Substation is a key venue in Singapore where experimental and contemporary works in dance, literature, music, theatre and visual arts are produced and staged.

For edgy arts performances, you can look to The Substation, a key venue in Singapore where experimental and contemporary works in dance, literature, music, theatre and visual art are produced and staged.

Depending on the season, you will find a diverse range of artists and events, from young poets to established visual artists and local rock bands as well as international short film festivals on its programme line-up.

The first independent arts centre established in Singapore, The Substation was founded in September 1990 by Chinese theatre director and writer Kuo Pao Kun. The centre derives its name from the conservation building it now occupies, a former power substation built in 1926.

Experimenting with space

The venue houses two main performance areas – a 108-seat black box theatre and a 113 sq m white cube visual art space known as The Substation Gallery. But in line with the experimental tone of the site, many artists have come up with novel uses of the centre’s other spaces, for example, staging plays in the gallery space, or even using areas such as the stairwells and the rooftops for artistic presentations. Art and photography classes are also conducted here.

If you’re after a spot of light entertainment, drop by Timbre, the bar and bistro in The Substation’s open-air garden, which features nightly live gigs by local bands as well as visiting artistes.