UNTAPPED invites visual artists to apply to participate in one of two group shows to be held each year at SHOPHOUSE 5, an art space located in the Geylang area of Singapore. The goal of the series is to establish support networks and offer practical experience for local artists at this crucial early stage in their career. UNTAPPED does this by presenting two annual juried group exhibitions and by connecting artists directly with arts patrons.

UNTAPPED EMERGING exhibits new work by up to 10 artists with 2-4 years of professional practice. Open Call for the next UNTAPPED EMERGING will take place January 2018. 

UNTAPPED DISCOVERY features new work by up to 15 artists between the ages of 16-35 within the first 2 years of professional practice. This show is slated for December 2017.

UNTAPPED Connections, newly introduced this year, selects two of these artists by two art patrons who will be gifting $3,000 and $2,000 for each of the selected UNTAPPED Discovery and UNTAPPED Emerging artist, respectively.  A dinner will also be hosted by these very generous art patrons to enable connections with other patrons, collectors or academia.

The feature that sets UNTAPPED apart from other emerging artist programmes is its close collaboration with arts patrons. Local patrons provide the up-front funding for the project. In return, each patron is able to collect one artwork from each exhibition. This means that over a third of the artworks shown by these young artists will automatically be acquired by established art patrons. This goes beyond general exposure and connects artists directly with individuals who are actively supporting the visual arts in Singapore.

UNTAPPED will be promoted directly to students at Singaporean art schools as well as posted on local arts notice boards. Submissions will be reviewed and selected by the VADA Advisory Committee.

The exhibitions will be promoted to media, the arts industry and general public through press releases, social media,  and featured on the VADA website.

Artists selected to participate in UNTAPPED will receive a $200 SGD artist fee and compensated for artworks sold.

2017 UNTAPPED Advisory Committee

Boo Sze Yang - Artist
Martin Constable - Assistant Professor, The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Vietnam
Adeline Kueh - Senior Lecturer at LASALLE College of the Arts
Zainudin Samsuri - Faculty of Visual Arts, School of the Arts Singapore


From the applications received, up to 15 artists will be selected to exhibit a minimum of one new work at the UNTAPPED DISCOVERY exhibition to be held in December 2017 at SHOPHOUSE 5. 

Applications close 28 August 2017. Participants will be announced by 28 September 2017.


  • Applicants must be within their first two years of professional practice as of July 2017. Professional practice is defined as participation in gallery, festival or museum exhibitions, or in artist residencies. Participation in academic exhibitions (e.g. graduation shows) is not considered professional practice.
  • Applicants must be over the age of 16.
  • Applicants must be Singapore-based.
  • Applicants must not currently have exclusive gallery representation.
  • Artists working in any medium are invited to apply; however, work/s created for the exhibition should be capable of being displayed in a gallery setting. Exceptions may be considered.
  • Applicants may apply as individuals or as a collective.

Artists will be selected based on their submitted artwork's originality, conceptual rigour, technical expertise, and coherence between the concept and the finished work. Selected artists will also have demonstrated a commitment to artistic practice.


In a single, zipped folder please submit the following items:

1. Current Artist CV (CV should clearly state the artist name, address, email, phone number, nationality, and art related activities in which you have participated, including exhibitions, art talks, performances, etc. The CV should also include a short artist bio.)

2. Artist Statement (300-500 words. This should correlate to the artist's own practice and the images submitted as evidence of their practice.)

3. 10 to 15 images of the applicant's original artwork. Images should be in a .jpg or .tif format, and of good quality (at least 3000 pixels wide and no more than 1.5mb in size). The file naming convention should be: FAMILY_NAME_Given_Name_file_number.jpg/tiff.
Example: WONG_Cheng_Lim_03.jpg.

4. A text file (file extension .txt or .rtf) specifying the artist name and for each image the following: title, the year it was made, dimensions in cm. (height x width), and medium.

All material should be placed within a single folder. The naming convention of the folder should be: FAMILY_NAME_Given_Name. Example: WONG_Cheng_Lim.

This folder should be zipped and the entire zip file should be no larger than 20mb. This should be emailed to info@vada.org.sg. The subject line should read: UNTAPPED Discovery Application - (Applicant family name).

Applications close 28 August 2017.


In the lead up to the December 2017 exhibition, selected artists will be required to attend a Kick-off Meeting and an Educational Session on working with galleries. Prior to opening night, artists will attend a Patrons Preview during which they will present their work to the UNTAPPED Patrons and other participating artists. Artists are encouraged to attend the opening night event and visit the exhibition often during the exhibition run.

Additional details regarding preparation requirements and activities for the UNTAPPED Discovery artists will be provided immediately following their announcement.


July 2017 - Applications Open
28 August 2017 - Submissions Due
28 September 2017 - Selected Artists Announced
30 September 2017 - KO Meeting (1.5 hours) 
14 October 2017 - Proposal for new work due
19 November 2017 - Working with Galleries Presentation and Exhibition Final Prep Meeting (2 hours)
8 December 2017 - Patrons Preview (2 hours)
9 - 23 December 2017 – Exhibition (Includes Opening Event - 2 hours)
Dates and times are subject to change.