Who We Are

Creative Residency

2022 CR Website
The National Library Creative Residency is a programme that invites creatives from different artistic disciplines to draw inspiration from the National Library Board's collections, to reimagine or reinterpret the items in ways that provide fresh perspectives and make them more engaging to a wider community of users.
We are keen to collaborate with creatives who employ innovative and imaginative methods to create conceptualisations of new works inspired by collections from the National Library, Singapore (NLS) and the National Archives of Singapore (NAS).
The Residents will be required to share the concepts of their new creative work that could take the forms of videos, publications, literary works, artworks, musical compositions, or more, to enhance or reshape discovery, exploration, and engagement with our collections and content.

Our Collections

NLS and NAS are the custodians of Singapore’s documentary history and published heritage. The NLS’ core collections offer a wealth of information for studying the contemporary and historical developments of Singapore and the region. The NAS holds records of national or historical significance acquired from public agencies, private sources, and overseas institutions and archives. Applicants are encouraged to propose ways of using both our digital collections and physical collections.


We welcome applicants to propose projects that make effective and meaningful use of our collections. Applicants are to propose and employ suitable methods to demonstrate the possibilities of creating new creative works inspired by the collections. The themes include but are not limited to the following:
  • Social history of Singapore through photographs, oral histories, and other relevant collections;
  • Singapore’s visual culture in design and everyday life;
  • Stories and narratives from Singapore literature.

Terms of the Award

The award of the Residency is for a period of six months.
  • A stipend of S$3,000 per month will be provided to help Residents meet their living and local expenses.
  • In addition to the stipend, Residents will be provided with up to $6,000 (on reimbursement basis) for the purchase of materials for the conceptualisation, or materials that are directly related to the project and/or used for the duration of the residency.
  • Residents shall be responsible for obtaining all required licenses, permits, permissions, and other authorisation to use any photographs, copyrighted materials or other property, or other rights belonging to third parties that are used for the project.

Obligations of the Residency

All Residents are required to sign an agreement abiding to the following:
  • Develop and/or produce a conceptualisation, completed work, or body of works inspired by NLB’s collections. Depending on the proposal, this can be, but is not limited to, artworks, musical compositions, digital visualisations, literary works, graphic design, or video games. All productions and conceptualisations will be archived by NLB where possible.
  • Participate in an engagement session with NLB staff on their use of NLB’s collections.
  • Give a public presentation, which may be live-streamed, based on their Residency research.
  • Acknowledge NLB in presentations or publications of the works resulting from the Residency.
  • Submit a final report/write-up of 1,000 to 3,000 words on the project, detailing the creative and thought processes behind the works.

Who Can Apply?

Applications are open to Singapore-based creative practitioners (individuals or collectives) working in any discipline or form of expression. This includes but is not limited to visual and digital media artists, composers, musicians, designers, writers, and creatives in any discipline or subject. We also welcome creative individuals from inter-disciplinary fields.
Applicants should possess relevant research or artistic credentials or its equivalent, and have an established record of achievement in their chosen field of research.

What to Submit

Each application must include:
  1. A completed application form . In providing information on academic credentials and previous experience, scanned copies of testimonials and documents are acceptable and must be attached at the time of application. If you are selected for the Residency, the original or certified copies bearing the university/company seal must be presented for verification.
  2. A detailed proposal (not exceeding 10 pages, excluding references and annexes) that includes the following:
    1. A comprehensive outline of the proposed topic of research, including details of the NLS and/or NAS collections and resources to be used and how they are crucial to the research objectives. Please also specify if you are using materials from other sources.
    2. Description of the intended outcome of the project, including the form that the creative output would take, for example, painting, video, performance, script, etc., and the possible platforms (within NLB or in other contexts) where this output can be showcased.
    3. Key project milestones and estimated time needed for each milestone.
    4. How the proposed project will provide new perspectives on the NLS and/or NAS collections.
  3. A Curriculum Vitae (CV) that includes the following information:
    1. Details of research awards or residencies previously and concurrently held.
    2. Details of professional seminars/conference papers/public lectures presented.
    3. A list of major publications and exhibitions participated in.
    4. Portfolio of at least five (5) projects/works that demonstrates relevance to the proposed idea.
    5. Details of any other past or current involvement in creative projects.
  4. Reference letters from two referees that should address the following:
    1. The applicant’s qualifications, ability and experience.
    2. The quality of the applicant’s previous works.
    3. The applicant’s demonstrated capacity to complete projects within a reasonable time frame, and the feasibility of the project in terms of available resources and time or other constraints.
    4. The applicant’s awareness of relevant available sources in NLS and/or NAS and an assessment of whether these sources are likely to support the research proposed.
    5. Whether the project will make a substantial contribution to knowledge in the field.
Applications should be emailed to NL_Creative_Residency@nlb.gov.sg by 31 May 2022.
Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Shortlisted applicants may be invited for an interview. Notification of acceptance or rejection will be made known within three months of the closing date.

Selection Criteria

Applicants will be assessed based on the following criteria:
  • Originality and artistic merit in proposed creative work.
  • A strong track record of artistic/creative achievement and production demonstrated through a portfolio of previous work and referees’ letters. For digital projects, applicant must possess the requisite skills and software to build and deliver the project independently.
  • An effective concept and project plan explaining the relevance of specific library and/or archives’ collections to the project, how they will be used in developing and meeting the objectives of the creative work and residency. The proposal must be achievable within timeframe of six months.

Our Residents (2021)

The National Library Board is pleased to announce the recipients of the Creative Residency 2021:
  • Khairulddin Wahab
  • A Stubborn Bloom
  • Tan Shao Han
  • Jean Tay
For further information about the Residency, please contact:
The Administrator, National Library Creative Residency

Last Updated On 24 May 2022