The Substation Donor Collection


The Substation is Singapore’s first independent contemporary arts centre. It was founded in 1990 by the late Kuo Pao Kun, Cultural Medallion Recipient and theatre doyen. The Substation presents a wide range of artists and programmes, supporting diversity and depth in the arts and engaging with a wide repertoire of artists. It has played a strong role in advocating research, experimentation and innovation in the arts. As a treasured arts institution in Singapore, its legacy is firmly cemented within the canon of Singapore art history

The Substation Donor Collection consists of archival materials donated to the National Library Board (NLB). These materials form the corporate and social memory of Singapore’s first independent arts centre and document the development of Singapore’s arts and cultural activities from 1990 to the present.  They are valuable resources to historians, researchers, arts practitioners, students as well as the general public interested in the Singapore arts scene.

This guide provides a listing of the materials in the Substation Donor Collection and have been categorized as follows – Publications: Periodicals; Publications: Books, Artist and Exhibition Catalogues; Ephemera; Images; and Sound Recordings. The materials can be found either at Level 8 or Level 11 of the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library.


Publications: Periodicals


  • A4ria. (2003). Singapore: Aporia Society.
    Call no.: RCLOS 700.95957 A -[SST]


  • Issue. (2014-2015). Singapore: The Substation.
    Call no.: RCLOS 700.95957I –[SST]


  • Open Space. (1990 – 1993). Singapore: The Substation.
    Call no.: RSING 700.5 OS -[SST]



  • Substance = Dian liu. (1997– 2001). Singapore: The Substation.
    Call no.: RCLOS 700.95957 S -[SST]


  • What’s on. (2006 – 2013). Singapore: The Substation.
    Call no.: RCLOS 700.95957 WO -[SST]



Publications: Books, Artist and Exhibition Catalogues


  • Asian Film Symposium. (2009). 5th Singapore Short Film Festival.
    Call no.: RCLOS 791.43 SIN -[SST]



  • Chandrasekaran, S. (2012). Living stories. Singapore: (s.n.)
    Call no.: RCLOS 709.2 CHA -[SST]



  • Chong, W. X. & Lau, U. (2013). Panoramic imprint. Singapore: Printmaking Society Singapore & The Substation.
    Call no.: RCLOS 769.905074 PAN -[SST]


  • Choy, L. W. (Ed.). (2007). Article: The SAS companion. Singapore: AICA Singapore; The Substation.
    Call no.: RSING 700.95957 ART -[SST]



  • Craker, T., Saxton, L. & Jordon, C. (2008). Dot-net-dot-au. East Kew, Vic: L Saxton.
    Call no.: RCLOS 709.94 CRA -[SST]



  • Directors’ Lab. (2014). Singapore: The Substation.
    Call no.: RCLOS 792.095957 DIR -[SST]




  • Lee, W. C. (1995). New Criteria III. Singapore: The Substation.
    Call no.: RCLOS 709.04 NEW -[SST]



  • Mckay, P. (2008). Flipside. Parkside, SA: Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia.
    Call no.: RCLOS 709.94 FLI -[SST]





  • Quek, B. (2011). The hall of mirrors. Singapore: The Substation.
    Call no.: RSING 709.5957 QUE -[SST]


  • Seoul Art Space Mullae & The Substation. (2013). Project Part One: 2013/2014. Singapore: The Substation; Seoul: Seoul Art Space Mullae
    Call no.: RCLOS 709.5957 SUB -[SST]




  • Theatre Ox. (2000). One breath left [poster]. (s.n.)
    Call no.: RCLOS 792.92095957 ONE -[SST]




  • The Necessary Stage. (1990). Those who can’t teach. Singapore: The Necessary Stage.
    Call no.: 792.92095957 THO -[SST]






  • Yap, J. & Khairuddin Hori. (2010). Us and them and you. [s.n] Call no.: RCLOS 770.92 YAP -[SST]





  • Ephemera

“The Substation Ephemera Collection” documents The Substation’s programmes and calendar of events and includes loose-leaf materials such as brochures, flyers, and postcards. The collection has been grouped in chronological order.











Another category of ephemera items from The Substation contains programme booklets, posters and exhibition materials for events organised by or held at The Substation.




  • Associate Artists. (2003). Singapore: The Substation.
    Call no.: 709.5957 ASS -[SST]






  • De Rozario, T. (2011). A language of longing. Singapore: The Substation.
    Call no.: RCLOS 759.95957 DER -[SST]



  • HOKO. (2009). Bi-monthly #3. Singapore: HOKO.
    Call no.: RCLOS 709.22 BI -[SST] Bi-monthly #3 is a culmination of the ON ARRANGEMENT project and also served as the catalog for the exhibition at The Substation.



  • Ji yi = Memories. (1993). Singapore: The Substation.
    Call no.: Chinese 700.95957 M -[SST]




  • Remember 1989: make your own Tiananmen Square moment. (199-). (s.n.)
    Call no.: RCLOS 741.67 REM -[SST] The illustration on the poster shows a 10 meter papier-ma..che.. statue, known as the Goddess of Democracy, was made by art student to symbolise the demands of the protest movement.



  • Sharma, J. (2004). The arcane glimpse. Singapore: The Substation.
    Call no.: RCLOS 759.95957 SHA -[SST]


  • Sharma, J. (2007). End of a decade. Singapore: The Substation.
    Call no.: RCLOS 759.95957 SHA -[SST]


  • Teater Ekamatra. (1996). Ahmad [poster]. (s.n.)
    Call no.: RCLOS Malay 792.2095957 NOO -[SST]





  • The New Criteria. (1992). Singapore: The Substation.
    Call no.: RCLOS 709.04 NEW -[SST] The New Criteria reviews the work of five young artists, Dominique Hui, Ho Soon Yeen, Zai Kuning, Juliana Yasin, and Chen Kun Yi.


  • Women in Film. (2013). Singapore: The Substation.
    Call no.: RCLOS 791.43 WOM -[SST]






The Substation donated more than 2,000 physical and born-digital photographs of events, programmes and exhibitions. These have been made accessible and searchable on PictureSG, NLB’s digital collection of images. Simply type “The Substation” in the search box in PictureSG to view the items from home.  A selection of photographs is highlighted below.


Mr Kuo Pao Kun giving a talk during the Raw Theatre 3 programme. It was held at the Substation Theatre in 1994. Also pictured is Dr Max Le Blond, Singapore English-language theatre director and academic.


Artist Raymond Lau (left) introducing a painting to President Nathan during his visit to The Substation in 2000.


A dancer performing “Remnant 2000”, a dance directed by Zai Kuning and performed by the dance theatre group Metabolic Theatre Laboratory (MTL) in 1996. 


Royston Tan receiving the Voice Award at the inaugural Singapore Short Film Festival, for his short film “Mother”. Held in 2001, the event was organised by The Substation Moving Images.


The physical collection of photographs is also available for viewing at Level 11 of the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library.












Sound Recordings

The Substation has donated 106 audio cassettes containing sound recordings of over 40 events held between 1991-1999, including talks, workshops and forums.


Accessing National Library Board Singapore Resources

Accessing the Print Materials

You can search the library catalogue (for physical materials) in the library and from home ( The easy search function allows you to search/ browse by author, title, keyword, subject and ISBN/ISSN whereas the advanced search allows you to narrow your searches to specific media types or language holdings. In both instances, you can also limit your search to search only specific libraries by clicking on the “limit by branch” option.

To search Lee Kong Chian Reference Library’s Holdings

If you wish to search for only materials available in the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, please always click on the “Limit by Branch” button at the bottom of the page, after you have keyed in your search term. This brings you to a new page where you can select the library of your choice. Choose “Lee Kong Chian Reference Library” and select “yes” under the “Display only items available in the selected branch below” and then click on search.

Things to note:

Once you have identified the title that you need, please check through the following information and write down the necessary information:

i. The “Status” of the item: If the status displayed is “in transit”, “in process” or “not ready for loan”, the item is not available in the library
ii. Check that the item is in Lee Kong Chian Reference Library under “Branch”.
iii. Write down the Location Code and the Call Number of the item. This helps you to locate the item within Lee Kong Chian Reference Library. Please refer to the table below for more information (Note: Please feel free to approach counter staff for help in locating the books.)

All featured books and periodicals are located at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library.


Accessing the Databases

The National Library Board (NLB)’s eResources are free for all NLB members. Click here to find out how to register as a member.

If you’re having problems registering or logging in, please contact us. If you wish to find information in the databases but am not sure where to begin, or need recommendations on which databases to use, please use the “Ask A Librarian” function or send an email to for help. The librarian will get back to you within three working days.



The information in this resource guide is valid as of May 2018 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history on the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

All Rights Reserved. National Library Board Singapore 2018.

Written by Nadia Ramli