Lasalle College of The ArtsWork In Process


    Documenting the Performing Arts in Singapore


    Work in Process is a project to document the rehearsal process of performing arts groups in Singapore using photography, video and interviews. This project was initiated by Tan Ngiap Heng in 2011 as personal research. In 2012 He started a collaboration with LASALLE College of the Arts to formalize the project as an archive. Work in Process has been made possible by the National Arts Council and the Research Committee at LASALLE College of the Arts.


    Work in Process aims to provide insight into the practices of performing artists in Singapore, the breadth of the work being staged and understanding of how the performing arts have evolved in Singapore. It will also provide insight into the conditions under which performing arts groups are operating, and the themes that are inspiring art-making processes in Singapore. The collection is added to every year by at least six productions, and can be accessed by arts practitioners and researchers to the long-term benefit of the Performing Arts.


    Selection Criteria and Panel


    All productions selected for documentation are locally produced and contemporary, with priority given to original Singaporean work. In the first two years, productions were chosen solely by Tan Ngiap Heng. In 2013, the productions to document were selected by a panel including Edith Podesta, Noor Effendy Ibrahim and Stephanie Burridge.


    The project is led by Tan Ngiap Heng, Aubrey Mellor and Malar Nadeson.


    Archive Contents


    The archive consists of documentary photography, written notes on the process, printed material from companies, rehearsal videos and audio interviews with the artists.


    Material in the archive is provided strictly for research purposes. The copyright of the material remains with the creators of the work. For any use of the material, permission must be sought from the creators and the relevant arts company.


    A Personal Introduction by photographer Tan Ngiap Heng


    “As a photographer, a creative, for over ten years, I spent time learning the basics of my craft and polishing it. And now I am trying to deepen my own practice, the process of art creation remains a challenge for me; how does one get inspiration, experiment and hone one's craft to express inner truths? As a photographer taking publicity and full dress rehearsal photographs for performing arts groups for over ten years, much of my photography is influenced by techniques and aesthetics used in theatre and dance productions. It was natural that I wanted to start documenting theatre and dance rehearsals.


    It is inspirational to see other creatives at work: how people set out their artistic goals and find creative solutions to produce a performed event. In the rehearsal period there are sparks of brilliance which are not intellectually comprehensible or directly translatable to photography, but they provide fuel for new ideas and ways of thinking. And there is also a lot of practical information about how people collaborate creatively. For example, a musical involves much more than the artistic director and the performers; there is the music director, the movement and dance director, the set designer, the costume designer, the lighting designer and the production team; all work together to create the production. This diverse group of people use language, diagrams, gestures and examples to communicate and share ideas - all important knowledge in collaborative art projects.


    As I documented various productions, I came to realize that such knowledge was valuable to other artists and the public. I also realized the limitations of photographic documentation: it fails to give the context of the photographs. With this in mind, I initiated a collaboration with LASALLE College of the Arts to help involve researchers to take notes on the rehearsal process and conduct interviews with the creators of the productions. LASALLE now archives the material, making it available to anyone interested in the process of art creation.”



  • Mandala

    InSource Theatre
    8-12 October 2014

  • KA: Knowledge Possesses the Soul of Man

    Maya Dance Theatre
    15-16 January 2016

  • Gitanjali [I Feel The Earth Move]

    The Necessary Stage
    26-28 September 2014

  • FREE

    Raw Moves
    3-5 July 2014

  • Senang

    Drama Box Ltd
    15-25 May 2014

  • If There're Seasons

    The Theatre Practice
    3 - 20 April 2014

  • The House of Bernarda Alba

    Wild Rice
    12-29 March 2014

  • Kakak Kau Punya Laki

    Teater Ekamatra
    18 - 22 December 2013

  • Broadway Beng

    Dream Academy
    10-27 October 2013

  • Fourlies

    Avant Theatre
    27 - 29 June 2013

  • Family Duet

    Spell #7
    31 May - 1 June 2013

  • Khayyam’s Rubaiyat Echoes in Dance

    Raka Maitra
    3 & 4 May 2013

  • Twelve Angry Men

    Nine Years Theatre
    15-17 February 2013

  • Silences We are Familiar With - An Ode to Love

    T.H.E. Dance Company
    19 & 20 October 2012

  • Occupation

    Checkpoint Theatre
    27 - 30 September 2012

  • Project Mending Sky

    31 August - 29 September 2012

  • Crossings

    The Necessary Stage (Singapore) and Trafik (Croatia)
    16 - 18 Aug 2012

  • Lao Jiu: The Musical

    The Theatre Practice
    12-29 July 2012

  • City Night Songs

    Checkpoint Theatre with NUS Stage
    10-11 March 2012

  • Tongues

    Sean Tobin & Jason Wee (Singapore)
    16 - 19 February 2012

  • The Nutcracker

    Singapore Dance Theatre
    8-11 December 2011

  • Cooling Off Day

    Wild Rice
    10-14 August 2011

  • The Weight of Silk on Skin

    Wild Rice
    3-7 August 2011

  • Masterpiece In Motion

    Singapore Dance Theatre
    10 & 11 June 2011