Michael Koon Boon TAN, Ph.D.

Associate Professor in Art and Design
Lab4Living, Culture and Creativity Research Institute
Sheffield Hallam University
Cantor Building, 153 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU
United Kingdom

Tel: TBC
Fax: TBC
Email: M.K.TAN@shu.ac.uk

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orcid_128x128 orcid.org/0000-0001-8227-0407


My research interest lies at the intersection of art & design, health and wellbeing, and human flourishing. My effort to transform the landscape and culture of care can be observed in my creative practice, research, publications, teaching, collaborations and public engagements.

As a leading advocate for arts and health development in Singapore, I have developed a growing track record of research and project collaborations with colleagues within and outside of academia in the arts, culture, social and health care sector. Some of my contributions include the development of art engagement toolkits and programme for the community care sectors with the Agency for Integrated Care (Singapore) such as the Arts, Ageing and Wellbeing Toolkit, the first ever art residency programme in Singapore alongside the Sparks! Art for Wellness toolkit. I was also appointed to be a member of the art advisory committee at Ng Teng Fong Hospital, to advise on its art for health programming. I am also the country representative for Singapore in the Arts Health Early Career Research Network. More recently, I established the Arts and Health Repository Singapore, an online database capturing arts and health development in Singapore. I have also served as guest editor and reviewer for journals, reviewer of grants, and examiner (PhD, MRes, MA, external examiner) for art & design for health and wellbeing topics and other related field.

In my current role, I have been tasked to develop a new MA in Design for Health, alongside my research responsibilities and PhD supervision.

Recent publications:

  • Andy Hau Yan Ho, Stephanie Hilary Xinyi Ma, Michael Koon Boon Tan and Ram Chandra Bajpai (2021), A Randomized Waitlist-Controlled Trial of an Intergenerational Arts and Heritage-based Intervention in Singapore: Project ARTISAN, Frontier Psychology,  DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.730709
  • Tan, M.K.B. and Tan, C.M. (2021) Curating Wellness during a Pandemic in Singapore: Covid-19, Museums and Digital Imagination, Public Health, Vol 192, 2021, 68-71, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2021.01.006
  • Tan C.M., & Tan M.K.B. (2019). 回艺 (huí yì): Exploring artbased life review to support the relocation process for older adults with dementia in nursing homes. Journal of Applied Arts & Health. https://doi.org/10.1386/jaah_00011_1
  • Tan M.K.B., Atkinson S. (2020) Multiplicity and Encounters of Cultures of Care in Advanced Ageing. In: Atkinson S., Hunt R. (eds) GeoHumanities and Health. Global Perspectives on Health Geography. Springer https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-030-21406-7_14
  • Tan M.K.B. (2020) Towards a caring practice: reflections on the processes and components of arts-health practice, Arts & Health, 12:1, 80-97, DOI: 10.1080/17533015.2018.1494452

In my previous appointment as an Assistant Professor at the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM), Nanyang Technological University, I led and contributed to arts & design for health development in Singapore by engaging  stakeholders in the arts, design, health and social care sector to share and explore the potential of arts and design to improve experiences, services, and products related to health and wellbeing. I developed several platforms to support capability development. Through the Art and Design for Health (AD4H) Lab that I established, I provided an exploratory, critical and creative space for undergraduate, Master (Research) and PhD students to develop their art, design for health and wellbeing projects. My work on arts, ageing and wellbeing have also connected me with the MSc in Applied Gerontology programme at the School of Social Science in NTU. I was invited to develop and teach the interdisciplinary module on Arts, Ageing and Wellbeing. In addition, I was also a member of the Medical Humanities research cluster – School of Social Science.

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  • PhD in Arts and Health (Durham University)
  • M.A. in Photography and Urban Culture (Goldsmiths College)
  • B.F.A. (School of the Art Institute of Chicago)


Invited Appointment 

  1. Invited Grant Reviewer (2019), The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development
  2. Singapore Representative, Arts Health Early Career Research Network, UK (2017 – Present).
  3. Member of Programme Committee, Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) 2018
  4. Member on Ng Teng Fong Hospital Art Advisory Group, JurongHealth (1 Jun 2014 – 30 Jun 2017)
  5. Grant assessor for the Singapore International Foundation, Singapore Internationale Programme (1 Oct 2015 – 31 Mar 2017)
  6. Board member on the Society for Arts in Healthcare, USA (15 Mar 2012 – 22 Jan 2013)

Teaching Experience

May 2020 – Present
Associate Professor in Art and Design, Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University
Postgraduate Education: PhD Supervision, MA Development

Sep 2007 – June 2020
Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University
School of Art, Design and Media, Member of Faculty – Undergraduate Education: 4D Foundation and Visual Communication; Postgraduate Education: MA Research and PhD supervision, MA Taught module – Thinking Photography – Co-teach with Assoc. Prof. Oh Soon Hwa

School of Social Science – Programme Faculty (2018 – Present), MSc in Applied Gerontology, Arts, Ageing and Wellbeing Module

Jan 2007 – Apr 2007
Part-Time Lecturer, Department of Visual and Performing Arts,
National Institute of Education, Singapore

Jan 2007 – May 2007
Part-Time Lecturer, Faculty of Media Arts
MA Supervisor, Faculty of Fine Arts
LaSalle-SIA College for the Arts, Singapore

Jan 2005 – Sept 2005
Part-Time Lecturer, Department of Visual and Performing Arts,
National Institute of Education, Singapore

Jul 2003 – Sept 2005
Part-Time Lecturer, Media Arts Department,
LaSalle-SIA College for the Arts, Singapore