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Why are they so afraid of a lotus?
24 Oct 2020, Sat - 10 Jan 2021, Sun

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“Speaking nearby” to the exhibition Trinh T. Minh-ha. Films., this research presentation showcases the Wattis Institute’s year-long research season on Trinh’s multifaceted practice as a filmmaker, writer and theorist. What does the promise of “speaking nearby” rather than “speaking about” look like today? What are the politics of hospitality? What are the problematics of “post-feminism,” and how do we challenge the West as the authoritative subject of feminist knowledge? Expanding the discursive orbit of these questions, the presentation features projects by artists Hồng-Ân Trương (US) and Genevieve Quick (US), and is accompanied by the online convening Mother Always Has a Mother, a result of the ongoing research collaboration between NTU CCA Singapore, Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai), and the Wattis Institute.

Conceived by Kim Nguyen (Canada/United States), Curator and Head of Programs, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts (Wattis), San Francisco.

 

Image: Genevieve Quick, Planet Celadon: Operation Completed, TRT 6:07, 2020, video still. Courtesy of the artist.

In the Vitrine

Dana Awartani
Loose Leaves.
Process, materials, sounds from Listen to my words
1 Nov 2020, Sun - 3 Jan 2021, Sun

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By disclosing rarely-seen preparatory drawings, sketches, and embroidery tests from the artist’s archive, Loose Leaves offers an intimate foray into the process of making Listen to my words (2018). An immersive installation by Dana Awartani, Listen to my words combines hand-embroidered silk panels and recordings of Arabic poems recited by modern-day Saudi women to confront issues of silencing, invisibility, and gendered divisions of space deeply entrenched in the cultural fabric of the Middle East.

Drawn from the significant but scarcely documented tradition of female poets in the Arab world from the pre-Islamic era to the 12th century, the poems selected by the artist express feelings
of love, yearning, and pride. They relay modes of awareness, stances of resistance, and acts of empowerment often centred on the female body.

The distinct visual language articulated by the geometric patterns—bearers of sacred values in Islamic culture—references the ornamental motifs found on jali (or mashrabiya), lattice screens used in traditional Islamic architecture to control the circulation of air and light as well as to shield women from the male gaze.

Presented alongside the original audio recording, Loose Leaves layers a selection of preparatory studies in the enclosed space of The Vitrine to provide a glimpse of the subtle negotiations that inform Awartani’s creative journey across different techniques and materials.

 

The rich visual language of Dana Awartani’s (b. 1987, Saudi Arabia) paintings, sculptures, and textile installations incorporate traditional Islamic art forms into contemporary aesthetics. Engaging with the relationship between geometry and nature, she harnesses the timeless and enduring relevance of forms in order to deconstruct contemporary issues such as gender, faith, loss, and cultural destruction. Past solo exhibitions include The Silence Between Us, Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2018) and Detroit Affinities: Dana Awartani, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, United States (2017). She has participated in numerous group shows and biennales such as Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, Kochi, India and the 1st Yinchuan Biennale, Museum of Contemporary Art, Yinchuan, China (both 2016), among others.

Dana Awartani was selected as Artist-in-Residence in the 7th cycle of NTU CCA Singapore’s Residencies Programme. Her residency could not take place due to the ongoing global pandemic. 

Loose Leaves. Process, materials, sounds from Listen to my words was realised with the support of Athr Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

 

A digital version of Listen to My Words was co-produced by NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) for st_age, an online platform for new commissions initiated by TBA21 as a response to the Covid-19 crisis.

 

Image: Dana Awartani, Study for Listen to my words, 2018, gouache on handmade paper. Courtesy the artist.

Under the Skin
1 Dec 2020, Tue - 31 Jan 2021, Sun

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Under the Skin showcases the experimental practices of George Chua, Nina Djekić, and Noor Effendy Ibrahim, three artists who engage with sound, bodily movements, and performance to examine contemporary body and identity politics. Bringing together elements of performance, sound and visual art in response to the theme of Proposals for Novel Ways of Being, the artists have been commissioned to produce new work reflecting their own experiences of the sudden uncertainty and loss of normalcy during the global COVID-19 pandemic: abrupt shifts in social interaction and daily routines, confinement and physical limitations, adjustments, and reorientations to relationships. As we grapple with the uncertainties of the post-pandemic future, this radical moment of instability also calls upon us to reclaim our personal and collective consciousness, to nurture the resilience of our body and soul. How does a body compose itself and develop new vocabularies for articulation? What new sensorial and corporeal sensibilities can we locate and uncover?

While the current conditions of our lives also expose global fragilities and social divisions, this project draws mainly from the spaces, experiences and materialities of everyday life, where the effect of the pandemic is, perhaps, most potent and surreptitious. Attempting to reconcile ideas of tenderness in violence, Noor Effendy Ibrahim continues his on-going performance research to excavate inherent and latent memories within his own body through self-inflicted physical pain. Locating marginalised bodies and their everyday lived experiences via a mythical dance troupe, George Chua meditates on vulnerability and belief, contemplating our existential struggle on what it means to be human. Engaging with translations and memories within an constructed setting, Nina Djekić invites us to consider notions of intimacy via virtual spaces and proxy bodies.

The trio of performative works are cinematically translated into the medium of video by Singapore artist and filmmaker Russell Morton, and their videos presented online. 

Under the Skin is curated by artist Cheong Kah Kit for NTU CCA Singapore’s Free Jazz III

 

 

NOOR EFFENDY IBRAHIM, IN COLLABORATION WITH SYIMAH SABTU 

Dancing with the Ghost of My Child in 33 Steps
2020, HD Video, 38 min 12 sec

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

Dancing with the Ghost of My Child in 33 steps is an aging man’s increasing desire and longing for an inspiration, for a life, for a child that he pains to father, and be a father to. In this dance, a man dreams of invoking the ghost of a child, his child, who has not yet been born into the world. This man lays his prayer across time and space. He prays for what love has yet to conceive. He hopes that if the ghost of his child is lost, the child may hear his voice, and find a path back to him. This dance leads the man to a moment in his life where perhaps he might begin to believe again.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Interdisciplinary artist Noor Effendy Ibrahim continues his on-going performance research to excavate inherent and latent memories within his own body through self-inflicted physical pain. Empathising with guilt and desire, Effendy constantly negotiates his faith and shifting identities in society as he seeks to neuter otherness. These excavations often result in violent and numbing effects on his body, creating a spectacle whilst leaving his body desensitized and apathetic. In his ongoing “Dancing with the Ghost of My Child” series, Effendy seeks to reconcile ideas of tenderness in violence. Website: https://www.anjing-performance.com/

Syimah Sabtu is a dance artist from Singapore. She graduated from Republic Polytechnic (Theatre and Arts Management) and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Dance). Syimah’s practice is rooted in Malay folk dance and contemporary dance, where she examines the kinesics state of the dancer’s body. Syimah is currently researching on the Dualities of Being, exploring layered connections between personal histories, narratives and beliefs that are nestled within our bodies. As a dance artist, she believes in the potentiality of collaboration, interaction and connection across various art forms and disciplines. Syimah is currently a core associate with P7:1SMA Ltd and an associate member with Dance Nucleus. Website: www.syimahsabtu.com

 

 

GEORGE CHUA

Seven Legged Spider Dance Troupe
2020, HD Video, 19 min 45 sec

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

An electrician, a cardboard lady, a dwarf and a crippled chicken rice hawker. Together, they dance with seven legs. These are the nameless bodies only known by their vocation and physical handicaps.

They were immersed in oppression and yet developed a dispassion towards evil. They carry evil in their bodies but were not evil themselves. Rather, evil had been done to them and had marked their bodies with its effects.

I am dancing their dance, yet I am not them. Their flesh is smeared in these isolated rooms, yet their anguish cannot be isolated. Though full of anguish, I must tell of this secret joy.

I have known them as characters in my head yet they became unknowable by me, hence unnameable.

That which was unnameable was forced upon with a name of a malformed insect, in the name of art.

This work was conceptualised in 2007 but shelved. A time of reflection during the COVID Pandemic brought this work to light again. Dedicated to the memory of my two aunts who committed suicide when I was a child. I remember you.

 

BIOGRAPHY

George Chua is a multidisciplinary artist based in Singapore. Active since the late nineties, he works in the intersection between the body and sound. He has presented works in the form of physical theatre, performance art and sound installations. As an instigator and explorer of sound, he resists development in a singular style or genre. Apart from his solo work and performances, George’s collaborative interests include live sound improvisation, sound design for film and theatre, as well experimental strategies for soundtracks.

 

 

NINA DJEKIĆ

Approximities
2020, HD Video, 16 min 40 sec

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

Approximities presents us with a series of seemingly everyday vignettes. However, as the characters move in and out of the frame, the scenes increasingly gain an air of artifice.

The film builds on my experiences visiting a local park while living in Singapore. Spending long stretches of time at the park without a particular aim in mind, it has allowed my thoughts to roam freely and gently, amidst the company of strangers. One by one, alongside the scenery and vegetation, these strangers became a familiar presence.

Reconstituting this familiar park space through my memories, I engaged with a group of friends in a long-distance choreography of enacting and translation. This process is a paradoxical task of establishing common ground within an artificially constructed situation.

Can we think of a park as a virtual space or vice versa, that enables us to gather regardless of physical distance? How do we rearticulate proximity under those conditions?

How do we spend time?

 

BIOGRAPHY

Born in 1989 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Nina Djekić is an artist and choreographer based in between Singapore and the Netherlands. She graduated with a BA in choreography from School for New Dance Development and an MFA from Sandberg Instituut, both in Amsterdam. Her work revolves around choreographic notions in exhibitionary settings. It looks at the bodily engagements between the artwork and the visitor as well as the affect the uncanny presence of artworks has on the relationship between the visitors themselves. Often conflating the conventions of writing with the scoring of movement, her curiosity lies in the relation between embodiment and language. Central to this is the notion of empathy, as an ability to be moved (physically and/or otherwise) and how to choreograph it. Website: http://www.ninadjekic.com/index.php/about/

Russell Morton makes films and performances. His short films The Silent Dialogue of All Artworks (2013), The Forest of Copper Columns (2016) and Saudade (2020) explore folkloric myths, esoteric rituals and the conventions of cinema itself. In recent years, Russell’s work has taken a choreographic turn through collaboration with movement and dance artists. As part of residencies and laboratories with dance-film independent collective CineMovement, his collaborative piece with a Hong Kong dance artist was part of Hybrid Motion (2019) for the Jumping Frames International Dance Video Festival (2019).

Cheong Kah Kit is a visual artist based in Singapore. He graduated from Umeå Academy of Fine Art, Sweden. He was affiliated with p-10, a Singapore independent curatorial team (2004 – 2006). In 2016, he co-founded Peninsular, an artist studio / experimental project space in Singapore. Kah Kit was artist-in-residence at Para Site, Hong Kong, 2015. In 2020, he was Co-curator for State of Motion, commissioned by the Asian Film Archive Singapore.

 

 

A partner programme of

 

Top image courtesy of Nina Djekić.

Online Screening: Surname Viet Given Name Nam, Trinh T. Minh-ha, 1989
25 Dec 2020, Fri - 5 Jan 2021, Tue 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

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Screening is over.

 

Surname Viet Given Name Nam, Trinh T. Minh-ha, 1989
16mm film transferred to digital, colour, sound, 108 min
Rating: PG13 (This film contains some disturbing scenes from the archival footage of the Vietnam War)

This film is Trinh’s complex deep dive into the difficulties of translation, as well as themes of exile or dislocation. By using historic material, dance, printed texts, folk poetry and combining it with anecdotal narratives, she examines the status of Vietnamese women since the Vietnam War, as well as the status of images as evidence. It is a complex approach that invites the audience to reflect on the modes of perception and encourages a profound critique of audio-visual strategies.

This film is part of the Film Programme: Speaking / Thinking Nearby, co-curated by Dr Marc Glöde, Assistant Professor, NTU ADM, and Dr Ella Raidel, Assistant Professor, NTU ADM and WKWSCI, and accompanies the exhibition, Trinh T. Minh-ha. Films.

 

Video introduction by Dr Marc Glöde

 

BIOGRAPHY

Trinh T. Minh-ha (Vietnam/United States) is Professor of Rhetoric and of Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Originally trained as a musical composer, she received her two masters and PhD from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Her numerous books include Lovecidal. Walking with The Disappeared (2016), D-Passage. The Digital Way (2013), Elsewhere, Within Here (2011). Her work has been recipient of many awards, including the Wild Dreamer Lifetime Achievement Award at the Subversive Festival, Zagreb (2014); the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women’s Caucus for Art (2012); and the 2006 Trailblazers Award at the MIPDoc in Cannes.

 

Image: Trinh T. Minh-ha, Surname Viet Given Name Nam, 1989, film still. Courtesy the artist.

Cheryl Ong
#soundcards, 2021
1 Jan 2021, Fri - 26 Mar 2021, Fri

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Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks.

Activation: #soundcards, 2021
by Cheryl Ong

Friday, 1 January – Friday, 26 March 2021 (every Tuesday and Friday)
On Instagram

In this current state where borders are closed and physical gatherings not recommended, social media and emailing have turned into a tool for us to communicate and interface with each other. #soundcards is an attempt to build an exchange of sonic memories and audio time-stamps like a postcard but by utilizing sound instead of visuality as a key medium. Will this interaction using a different sensibility change the way we perceive places and spaces? 

 

BIOGRAPHY

Cheryl Ong (Singapore) is a percussionist who is active in performance and education and a regular member of the avant rock group The Observatory. In recent years she has been exploring improvisational and experimental practices for her music, while hunting down new ideas and sounds. Her recent performances include All Ears, Festival (2020, Norway) and AngelicA Festival (2019, Bologna) in a duo with Vivian Wang. Ong participated as a musician for the dance performance by Pichet Klunchun x Wu-kang Chen at Behalf (2019, UCC, Singapore). Her solo composition Hejira was used in Yeo Siew Hua’s award winning film, A Land Imagined.

 

Image: Cheryl Ong#soundcards, sound, Instagram, 2021. Commissioned by NTU CCA Singapore for Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks.

Online Screening: Nervous Translation, Shireen Seno, 2018
6 Jan 2021, Wed - 19 Jan 2021, Tue 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

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Register here for the password to access film

Nervous Translation, Shireen Seno, 2018
Colour, sound, 90 min
Rating: PG

This film follows the inner voice and play of an eight-year-old girl who cooks perfect miniature dishes, mimicking the world of adults. The perception of the child is translated through fragmentation and sounds that are written into words, such as the ring of the telephone, and the sound of the aircon, all forming together, an orchestra of the everyday. Waiting, boredom, and dead time pave the temporality of her imagination, while she is listening to cassette tapes recorded by her father, a migrant worker in Saudi Arabia. The personal phantasmagoric vision encounters the political dimension echoing the times of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines.

This film is part of the Film Programme: Speaking / Thinking Nearby, co-curated by Dr Marc Glöde, Assistant Professor, NTU ADM, and Dr Ella Raidel, Assistant Professor, NTU ADM and WKWSCI, and accompanies the exhibition, Trinh T. Minh-ha. Films.

 

Film introduction by Dr Ella Raidel

 

BIOGRAPHY

Shireen Seno (Japan/Philippines) studied architecture and cinema at the University of Toronto before relocating to Manila. Her work addresses memory, history and image-making, often in relation to the idea of home.

 

Image: Nervous Translation, Shireen Seno, 2018, film still. Courtesy Reel Suspects.

In the Vitrine:

Ana Prvački in collaboration with Galina Mihaleva and Joyce Bee Tuan Koh
Mouthful (masked duet), 2021
9 Jan 2021, Sat - 7 Mar 2021, Sun

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Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks.
 
 

Activation: Mouthful (Masked Duet)
by Ana Prvački in collaboration with  Galina Mihaleva  and Joyce Bee Tuan Koh
Saturday, 23 January 2021, 5.00 – 7.00pm
Sunday, 24 January 2021, 5.00 – 7.00pm
Block 43 Malan Road

 

Installation, performance, and sound work

 

How to breathe deeply and sing expressively in this moment when the mouth and nose embody danger? How to have pleasure in music when in its essences it is airborne and moist?

Let us return power and agency to the mouth and voice while still protecting ourselves and others. Let us express our emotions freely into the air that we all share. The Mouthful mask is both conceptual and practical. It exposes the breath and gives us an earful and eyeful of air.  Mouthful projects a new sound which follows the guidelines of our time while it overcomes and embraces the obstacles we face with poetry and humor.

Mouthful is conceived by Ana Prvački, produced and manifested by Galina Mihaleva and activated by Reginald Jalleh and Zerlina Tan with original music by Joyce Bee Tuan Koh.

 

BIOGRAPHIES

Joyce Bee Tuan Koh composes concert music and creates sound installations and multi-media works. Versatile and collaborative, Joyce has a wealth of experience working with musicians, choreographers, theatre-makers, artists, writers, philosophers, filmmakers, and architects. Originating from her interests in architecture and interdisciplinarity, her work explores notions of sonic canvas, space, and theatre of music. As described by the International Piano Quarterly, her sound world “engages the intellect and requires a different approach”. Her works have been presented at international festivals notably, International Computer Music Conferences, International Symposium on Electronic Arts, World Stage Design, Biennale Musiques France, Sir Henry Wood Promenade UK, Melbourne Arts Festival, Sydney InsideOut Festival, Singapore Arts Festival, Singapore Dan:s Festival, and Soundislands Festival.

Ana Prvački’s (Romania/Germany) background in music, theatre, mask work, architecture, fine art and beekeeping inform a cross disciplinary practice that ranges from painting to performance and augmented reality. Her experimental approach is central to a strategy for creating unique experiences and an environmentally conscious artistic practice. Her work has been featured in museum exhibitions including at the de Young Museum in San Francisco and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, and has also been included in the 14th Istanbul Biennial, 1st Singapore Biennale, dOCUMENTA 13, the upcoming 13th Gwangju Biennial and Bangkok Biennial.

 

Image: Ana  Prvački, Tent, quartet, bows and elbows, 2018. Documentation of performance at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (2018), Boston. Courtesy the artist.

Exhibition (de)Tour: The Life of Memory: Xiaolu Guo on her writing and filmmaking by Xiaolu Guo
12 Jan 2021, Tue 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

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Register here to receive the link and password.

In Trinh T. Minh-ha’s newest work What About China? (Part I of II, 2020–2021), Xiaolu Guo reads from her memoir Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China (2017) as a voice-over. Reflecting on her childhood, her early career in the Beijing art world, and her current life in Europe, aspects of which are chronicled in her films and novels as well as in her memoir, this (de)Tour focuses on the relationship between memories and art practice.

Guo’s presentation will be followed by a conversation between her, Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore and Professor, NTU School of Art, Design and Media, and Dr Sim Wai Chew, Associate Professor, NTU School of Humanities.

Co-presented with NTU School of Humanities and the Asia Creative Writing Programme

 

BIOGRAPHY

Xiaolu Guo/郭小橹 (China/United Kingdom) is a novelist, essayist and filmmaker. A graduate of the Beijing Film Academy and the UK National Film and Television School, she has worked both in Europe and China in cinema and literature. She is one of the inaugural fellows of the Columbia Institute of Ideas and Imagination in Paris and a jury member for the Man Booker Prize 2019. Named as a Granta Best of Young British Novelists in 2013, she has written eight books, directed eleven features and documentaries, and won numerous awards. Her novels include A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers (2007) and I Am China (2014). Her memoir Once Upon A Time In The East (2017) won the National Book Critics Circle Award 2017 and was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and Costa Book Awards. Her most recent novel, A Lover’s Discourse (2020), was shortlisted for The Goldsmiths Prize 2020.

Her feature film, The Concrete Revolution (2004) won the Grand Prix,  International Human Rights Film Festival, Paris, and Special Jury Prize, EBS International Documentary Film Festival, Seoul, both in 2005. How Is Your Fish Today? (2006), Sundance Film Festival 2006 Official Selection, received the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Fiction Film, International Women Film Festival, Paris, and special mention for the Netpac Tiger Awards, Lino Miccichè Award, and Jury Prize at the Rotterdam Film Festival, Pesaro Film Festival, and Fribourg International Film Festival respectively in 2007. She, A Chinese (2009), Toronto and Pusan Film Festivals Official Selections 2009, received the Golden Leopard Award at the Locarno International Film Festival and Montblanc Scriptwriting Award at the Hamburg Film Festival, in the same year. Once Upon A Time Proletarian (2009), Venice, Toronto and Pusan Film Festivals Official Selections 2009 and TIFF 2010, received Special Jury Award, Cines del Sur Film Festival, Granada, New Directors/New Films, MoMA, New York, both 2008, and the Grand Prix de Genève 2011. UFO In Her Eyes (2011), TIFF 2011, was awarded the second prize for the City of Venice Award, 70a Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica, Venice, 2013.

Guo had her film retrospective at Whitechapel Gallery, London (2019), and Cinémathèque Suisse, Lausanne (2011). She was a visiting professor at Columbia University, New York, and is currently a writer-in-residence at Baruch College, The City University of New York.

Campur, Tolak, Kali, Bahagi, Sama Dengan (Add, Subtract, Multiply, Divide, Equals)
Solo Project by Roslisham Ismail aka Ise
16 Jan 2021, Sat - 28 Feb 2021, Sun

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Campur, Tolak, Kali, Bahagi, Sama Dengan (Add, Subtract, Multiply, Divide, Equals) is a solo project by late and cherished artist Roslisham Ismail aka Ise. In 2016 during a short trip in Germany, Ise jotted down in his notebook the title of a much-contemplated solo project: Campur, Tolak, Kali, Bahagi, Sama Dengan (Add, Subtract, Multiply, Divide, Equals), to which he returned two years later when eventually, such an exhibition became possible in Kuala Lumpur. Ise saw in basic arithmetic operations and their specific properties, a reflection of his artistic process Actions are performed differently; the results could be the same. “Painters 100 years ago—” explains Ise in an interview “—also went to the market to buy vegetables and put them in a still life painting. For me it was the same. I went to the market and put the food on display. It’s just another way of working.”

An exhibition that takes place a little more than one year since the artist’s passing rightfully carries deeper significance and responsibility. While this exhibition was not conceived as a survey of Ise’s broad practice, it is defined, as the title suggests, by a reflexive scope. Although produced four years apart, the two bodies of work that shape this project intimately interconnect. Seamlessly they capture Ise’s art-making process, his distinctive ways of navigating the world and embedding the serendipity of life and social encounters in artistic practice.

Aimed to foster connections between artists and a new context, to provide much-needed time and space for reflection and encounters, artist-in-residence programmes represented an important catalyst in the development of Ise’s artistic practice. Their nature suit Ise’s method of working, social flair, endless curiosity and conceivably offered a means to take distance from a familiar environment and reflect on it from afar. A ramification of his residency project at Bangkok University Gallery, Operation Bangkok (2014) maps Ise’s encounters with the city and its inhabitants. From the abandoned New World Mall, Thieves’ Market, Crocodile Temple (Wat Chakrawat) to anti-government protests in Lumpini Park, to name a few, Ise guides us to places and events meaningful to those for whom Bangkok is home. We discover through Ise’s eyes and interactions, Bangkok as a living city rather than a tourist destination on the global market.

Fictional characters have been recurrent in Ise’s drawings informed by the visual vernacular of comics. In 2018, he started a collaboration with the comic book artist Ibrahim Hamid (Pak Him), whose work Ise knew since primary school. In the vicissitudes of life, they first met at the hospital in Kota Bharu, where both were undergoing dialysis treatment. Ise commissioned Pak Him to execute, following his instructions and study drawings, a series of graphic novel illustrations. These comics, displayed in mobile lightboxes, employ strategies of self-narration situating Ise inside the story as protagonist. Checked for hours at Christchurch’s customs under the odd suspicion of being a “drug designer”; mugged in Barcelona at knifepoint; stopped by the police in Jakarta after Malaysia won a regional cup in a football match against Indonesia but backed by his peers, and so on, Ise revived his micro-narratives through a fictionalised persona and Pak Him’s craftsmanship. Portraying himself within a world with many others, friends and strangers alike, Ise affirmed his continuous interest in the virtues and intricacies of the social.

The publication of this exhibition takes the format of a special issue of SentAp!, the magazine founded by curator Nur Hanim Khairuddin and Ise in 2005. Dedicated to Ise, this issue is designed by Yan; and it includes a welcome note by Ute Meta Bauer, a series of interviews by writer Tan Zi Hao with the curators Ark Fongsmut, Nur Hanim Khairuddin, and Russell Storer; an essay and a conversation with ruangrupa by curator Anca Rujoiu.

Roslisham Ismail aka Ise’s solo project is realised in collaboration with Ise parkingproject Foundation with the support of A+ Works of Art and NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. The exhibition is presented in The Lab at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore between 16 January – 28 February 2021.

 

BIOGRAPHIES

Roslisham Ismail aka Ise (Malaysia, 1972–2019) was an artist whose practice spanned across media, from drawings, collages, animations, installations, to social structures. Ise was the founder of parkingproject, an artist-run project established in 2003 in his apartment in Kuala Lumpur, and a co-founder in 2005 of the art publication sentAp!. Ise was selected or invited in numerous residencies such as at the Asian Cultural Council, New York (2016); NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (2015); Bangkok University Gallery (2014); 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney (2012); Seoul Art Space Hongeun (2011); Britto, Dhaka (2010); The Gunnery Studio, Artspace, Sydney (2006); ruangrupa, Jakarta (2004); KHOJ International Artists’ Association, New Delhi (2003).

His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Laundromat Project, New York (2016); Bangkok University Gallery (2014); Jalan Mesui, Kuala Lumpur (2010); Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur Gallery (2008); Australia High Commission, Gallery 4A, Sydney (2007); Kedai Kebun Forum, Yogyakarta, (2007) and Asia-Australia Art Centre, Sydney (2006). His work has also been presented in group exhibitions at the Sharjah Art Biennial, Asian Art Biennial, Taipei, Jogja Art Biennial (all in 2019); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (all in 2017); Goethe-Institut, Singapore International Festival of Arts (2016); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015); NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (2015); Arter, Istanbul (2014); OPENHAUS, ZK/U, Berlin (2014) and Asian Art Biennale, Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, Taichung (2013), among others. Ise completed his Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam.

 

Anca Rujoiu (Romania/Singapore) is a curator and editor based in Singapore. As curator for exhibitions and later head of publications (2013–2018), she was part of the founding team of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. In 2019, she was the co-curator of the third edition of the Art Encounters Biennial, Timișoara, approached as a one-year institutional programme. Whether working in a contemporary art centre, an independent space, an art school, or in the context of a biennial, she has been passionate about stretching art’s publicness, working across formats. First-Person Institutions, her PhD research at Monash University in Melbourne is focused on institution building, artists’ archives, and transnational imaginaries.

 

Image: Roslisham Ismail aka Ise, Shutdown Re.start, Operation Bangkok, 2014, mixed media, 84.1 x 118.9 cm.

Online Screening: Reassemblage, Trinh T. Minh-ha, 1982
20 Jan 2021, Wed - 31 Jan 2021, Sun 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

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Register here for the password to access film.


Reassemblage, Trinh T. Minh-ha, 1982
16mm film transferred to digital, colour, sound, 40 min
Rating: PG13 (This film contains some nudity)

With her remarkable and widely discussed first film, Trinh brings the conventions of the documentary to our attention and asks how films in the field of documentary and ethnographic tradition have consecutively established a power to manipulate the way in which we perceive different cultures. By gathering filmic means and techniques that reject the traditional narrative forms, Trinh constantly alerts us to our own process of perception, furthermore reminding us that watching a movie is not a passive, but an active process.

This film is part of the Film Programme: Speaking / Thinking Nearby, co-curated by Dr Marc Glöde, Assistant Professor, NTU ADM, and Dr Ella Raidel, Assistant Professor, NTU ADM and WKWSCI, and accompanies the exhibition, Trinh T. Minh-ha. Films.

 

Film introduction by Dr Ella Raidel

 

BIOGRAPHY

Trinh T. Minh-ha (Vietnam/United States) is Professor of Rhetoric and of Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Originally trained as a musical composer, she received her two masters and PhD from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Her numerous books include Lovecidal. Walking with The Disappeared (2016), D-Passage. The Digital Way (2013), Elsewhere, Within Here (2011). Her work has been recipient of many awards, including the Wild Dreamer Lifetime Achievement Award at the Subversive Festival, Zagreb (2014); the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women’s Caucus for Art (2012); and the 2006 Trailblazers Award at the MIPDoc in Cannes.

 

Image: Trinh T. Minh-ha, Reassemblage, 1982, film still. Courtesy the artist.

Residencies OPEN
22 Jan 2021, Fri 03:00 PM - 09:00 PM
23 Jan 2021, Sat 02:00 PM - 07:00 PM

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Residencies OPEN offers a rare insight into the artist’s studio. Through discussions, performances, installations, and presentations of works-in-progress, Residencies OPEN showcases the diversity of contemporary art practice from around the globe and the divergent ways artists conceive an artwork with the studio as a constant space for experimentation and research.

Featuring Artists-in-Residence:

Kin Chui (Singapore), ila (Singapore), Sim Chi Yin (Singapore/United Kingdom), Marvin Tang (Singapore), Boedi Widjaja (Indonesia/Singapore), and Green Zeng (Singapore).

Also joining Residencies OPEN is Beatrice Glow (United States) thanks to a new partnership between the Centre and the Yale-NUS College Artist-in-Residence Programme. For more info, refer to https://artsandhumanities.yale-nus.edu.sg/artists-in-residence/about/.

Image: Studio of Fyerool Darma, Residencies OPEN, 17 and 18 January 2020.

Arahmaiani in collaboration with Jimmy Ong
Flag Project, 2006 – 2021
22 Jan 2021, Fri - 28 Mar 2021, Sun

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Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks.

Arahmaiani’s practice is anchored within communities with the goal of studying and developing collective creativity, to find alternative, innovative and creative solutions to problems communities are facing these days. By implementing an “open art system” through an inter-disciplinary approach, Arahmaiani open invitation is to overcome rigid discourses and establish new value systems. When in Yogyakarta, she stays often with Jimmy Ong, with whom she shares an interest in dealing with issues of culture, environment and social-political conflicts. An artist who left Singapore 30 years ago, Jimmy found himself back in Singapore during the COVID-19 pandemic, where he attempted a community project with migrant workers under quarantine. Together they intend to hold dialogues and discussions to identify issues and concerns important to such communities in Singapore.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Arahmaiani (Indonesia) is one of Indonesia’s most respected and pioneering artists in the field of performance art. From the 1980’s, she has performed in many public spaces — even during the rule of an oppressive military regime. Since then, she has engaged with issues about the environmental, politics, violence, critique of capital, the female body, and in recent years, with her own identity, which although Muslim, lays between Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, and animist beliefs. Her interactive performances have developed into a community-based practice, bringing attention to subjects prevalent in Indonesia and to issues of violence against the environment on the Tibetan Plateau. 

Jimmy Ong (Singapore, Indonesia) is an artist who currently works from his studios in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Jimmy Ong’s practice involves highly personal inquiries into bodily forms and queer(ed) identities, expanding into broader entanglements with regional myths, archetypes, traditions, and historical narratives.

 

Image: Arahmaiani, Monk praying for tree in the Lab Monastery area, 2014. Documentation of work with a community of monks (2010–ongoing). Khamp, Qinghai plateau. Photo: Feri Latief. Courtesy the artist.

Christa Donner and Andrew S. Yang
Listening through the Landscape, 2021
22 Jan 2021, Fri - 28 Mar 2021, Sun

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Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks.

Step outside and let’s take a walk. In Listening Through the Landscape, Christa Donner and Andrew S. Yang present short, guided audio walks that explore the nature of time and the ecology of Singapore through trees, soil, and water. Combining narration with environmental sounds collected during the 2020 Circuit Breaker period, Donner and Yang transform everyday spaces into multisensory journeys. Find QR codes that will activate the walks throughout Gillman Barracks. You can access this program using your own smartphone and headphones, on your own schedule.

Listening Through the Landscape began while Donner and Yang were inaugural Artists-in-Residence at Yale-NUS College and appears in Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks. with support from Yale-NUS Dean of Faculty.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Christa Donner (United States) is an artist, writer, and organiser who investigates anatomy and its metaphors. Donner employs a range of artistic media in her creative research, including drawing, audio performance, large-scale installations and small-press publications that create multi-layered, community-centred but intimate projects. Her creative research focuses on the human and non-human body as a site for conflict and adaptation: from the internal activities of the microbiome to the creative potentials of care work and community. She is currently an adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Contemporary Practices at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Andrew S Yang (United States) works across the visual arts, sciences, and history to explore emerging ecologies of the Anthropocene. Yang’s work has been exhibited from Oklahoma to Yokohama, including the 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2016), the Spencer Museum of Art (2019), and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (2020). His writing and research can be found in Art JournalLeonardoBiological Theory, and Antennae. He is an Associate Professor in the Liberal Arts Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a research associate at the Field Museum of Natural History. 

 

Image: Christa Donner and Andrew S Yang, Listening through the Landscape, 2020. The Courtesy the artist.

anGie seah
Empathic Voices, 2021
22 Jan 2021, Fri - 28 Mar 2021, Sun

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Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks.

Singapore’s Dragon Kiln is one of the few remaining brick-built kilns in Asia. When there is no firing, it is left empty and unused. seah’s aim is to investigate the materiality of clay by re-purposing the dragon kiln as a sound recording space, revisiting the historical site and exploring its acoustics by activating the space with vocal experimentation. With the human voice as its main focus, this project embeds vocal emotional expressions of the prosodic features of speech, as well as vocalisations with no linguistic content – hums, sobs, laughter, wailing, and gibbering. With the involvement of the migrant worker community, which has been restricted the most during the pandemic, the kiln no longer feels hollow, being filled instead with a spirit of collectivism. Thespectral and uncanny qualities of place are amplified through voice and sound manipulation of fired clay objects.

 

BIOGRAPHY

anGie seah’s (Singapore) multidisciplinary practice traverses the mediums of drawing, sculpture, performance art, installation, sound and video. Seah allows spontaneity and intuition to navigate a range of shifting emotional resonances and psychological states. Experimenting with articulations of spoken language, she searches for authentic expression and primal beauty. For more than a decade, she has been working with diverse communities on participatory projects. Since 1997 anGie has exhibited widely including at ZKM Centre for New Media, Germany; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan; and the Palais de Tokyo, France; as well as at NTU CCA Singapore and the Singapore Biennale.

 

Image: anGie  seahEmpathic Voices, 2021. Courtesy the artist.

Singapore Art Week 2021
22 Jan 2021, Fri - 30 Jan 2021, Sat

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Singapore Art Week (SAW) is an annual celebration of visual arts which takes place in the month of January. The nine-day celebration offers artists, collectives, organisations and other art intermediaries a visible platform for showcasing a range of quality visual arts projects, discussions, and exhibitions to a local and international audience.

NTU CCA Singapore is excited to participate with Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks. conceived by our curator Magdalena Magiera and Deputy Director Dr. Karin Oen, featuring a mix of specially curated on-site and online events addressing the necessity of experiencing art in social distance in light of COVID-19. Experience some of our Free Jazz III projects online, including Cheryl Ong’s #soundcards on our Instagram page on Tuesdays and Fridays as well as Under the Skin on our web pagecurated by Cheong Kah Kit and part of Proposals for Novel Ways of Being.

Tini Aliman
Exiting-Traversing-Disembark, 2021
22 Jan 2021, Fri - 28 Mar 2021, Sun

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Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks.

Exiting-Traversing-Disembark is a meditation and reflection on what it might mean to move from one point to another, to cross waters. Visualising the sea as ‘ground’ as a departure point, this soundwalk gives attention to  the multiple trajectories in which we perceive what it means to travel or traverse through space, especially against the constraints of the present times. On an island city state like Singapore with its high rise concretised built environment, it is easy to forget we are surrounded by water and connected to archipelagic. How can we be more attentive to the soundscape of these journeys where we cross water, whether that crossing is figurative, imaginative, speculative or actual? This soundwalk will be presented in three parts with three points of departure and ways of traversing paths that sometimes may not have points of return.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Tini Aliman (Singapore) is a sound artist and designer, field recordist and audio technician who works at the intersection of theatre and film sound design, live sound art performance, installation and collaborative projects. Her research interests include but are not limited to, forest networks, spatial acoustics, bio-music, botanical histories and the variables of data translations via biodata sonification. She has been involved in projects and exhibitions across Asia Pacific and Europe. Her recent projects have been presented at National Gallery Singapore, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, Biennale Urbana at Caserma Pepe, Venice and Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei.

 

Image: Tini Aliman (Singapore), Exiting-Traversing-Disembark, 2021, sound walk. Commissioned by NTU CCA Singapore for Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks.

bani haykal in collaboration with Lee Weng Choy
Trouble with Harmony, 2021
22 Jan 2021, Fri - 28 Mar 2021, Sun

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Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks.

Activation: Trouble with Harmony
by bani haykal in collaboration with  Lee Weng Choy
Saturday, 13 March 2021, 7.30 – 9.00pm
Block 6 Lock Road

Text, performance

Two participants from the original programme are back for the 3rd Edition, to collaborate on a project they’re calling, “Trouble with Harmony”. It’s not an attempt to articulate the trouble with harmony. Neither to analyse, for instance, the predominant but problematic discourses about political, cultural or racial harmony in a multifarious society like Singapore. Rather, an invitation to play—to play with. Donna Haraway reminds us that the etymology of “trouble” is the French verb “to stir up”, “to make cloudy” or “to disturb”. Perhaps our role here is to “sit in” and find how these instances of harmonies demand us to think deeply about our present—where we are. Trouble with harmony is a proposition to think about trouble alongside thinking about harmony. Shifting the shapes of our thinking, and our listening. Exploring a polyphony of themes, topics and tropes. But perhaps this is saying both too much and not enough.

 

BIOGRAPHY

bani haykal (Singapore) is an artist, composer, musician who experiments with text and music, and takes the and processes, as material. His projects investigate modes of interfacing and interaction with feedback or feedforward mechanisms. He is a member of b-quartet. In his capacity as a collaborator and a soloist, bani has participated in festivals including MeCA Festival (Japan), Wiener Festwochen (Vienna), Media/Art Kitchen (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Japan), Liquid Architecture and Singapore International Festival of Arts (Singapore) among others. His current work frames encryption as a process and basis for human-machine intimacy by navigating interfaces such as a QWERTY keyboard as mediums of interactivity. 

Lee Weng Choy is an independent art critic and consultant based in Malaysia. He is president of the Singapore Section of the International Association of Art Critics, and a part-time consultant with A+ Works of Art, Kuala Lumpur. Previously, Lee was Artistic Co-Director of The Substation in Singapore and the first Deputy Director of the NTU CCA Singapore. He has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Sotheby’s Institute of Art—Singapore. He has done project work with various arts organisations, including Ilham Gallery, Kuala Lumpur and the National Gallery Singapore. 

 

Image: Image: bani haykal and Weng Choy, Trouble With Harmony, 2021. Courtesy the Artists.

Vivian Wang
Beat the Blues - A manual for absurd times, 2021
22 Jan 2021, Fri - 28 Mar 2021, Sun

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Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks.

“Do you find it hard to concentrate these days? Perhaps the blues bug just keeps nipping away at your heels? Are you bored and feeling listless or always. When was the last time you did something different, something a little adventurous, slightly odd or just for the fun of it? Can you spare 5 minutes for a simple creative ritual? “

Wang offers an instructional manual of self-therapy to perk up your spirit. Activate an appreciation for life, expression, awareness and presence through sound, vocalizing, movement and imagination.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Vivian Wang (Singapore/Switzerland) is a composer, sound artist and musician whose interest lies in exploring intermediate spaces, producing works across a range of sonic intersections. Her 16-channel sound installation Priests & Programmerswas commissioned for the inaugural Sharjah Architecture Triennial in 2019. Recent performances happened during the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019 and Utrecht’s biggest music festival Le Guess Who. Her collaborators include sound artists Tarek Atoui and Lasse Marhaug, as well as pop artist Jenny Hval. As a founding member of Singaporean experimental rock group The Observatory, Vivian has toured extensively. She appears on Utech Records as ARCN TEMPL.

 

Image: Vivian WangBeat the Blues – A manual for absurd times, 2021. Courtesy the artist.

Screening: Reetu Sattar, HARANO SUR (Lost Tune),2018
22 Jan 2021, Fri 08:00 PM - 09:00 PM

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Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks.

The sound of the harmonium is tightly woven into the history and culture of Bangladesh, but for artist Reetu Sattar, it is not just an instrument. In her performance piece HARANO SUR (lost tune), she uses it as a way to explore the violence and social upheaval which has affected her home country in recent years.

A film documentation of a performance involving a physical structure, 33 musicians and 29 harmoniums with 4 shehnais, Harano Sur (Lost Tunes) connects observations of losses to completely ambiguous mental states, consciously manifesting a collective feeling of powerlessness amidst deteriorating socio-political conditions that are slowly decaying.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Reetu Sattar (Bangladesh) works in Dhaka and Berlin. Her interdisciplinary practice encompasses live performance, documentation and objects as archival memories in an effort to re-examine history and human perception. Her search of a new language as response to the empathetic mind reaches her to working inside seemingly impossible spaces, allowing for contents to be emergent rather than determined as the body negotiates repetition, disruption, meaning and memory. She has presented her work at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Liverpool Biennial, and Dhaka Art Summit, among many other venues. Her performances have been staged internationally at venues in London, Birmingham, Bangkok and Goa.

 

Image: Reetu Sattar, Harano Sur (Lost Tune), 2017-2018. Documentation of performance at the Dhaka Art Summit, 2018, co-commissioned by Samdani Art Foundation and the Liverpool Biennial in association with the New North New South and the Archaeology of the Final Decade. Photo by Pranabesh Das. Courtesy the artist.

Diana Lelonek and Denim Szram
Melting Gallery, 2019, 2021
22 Jan 2021, Fri - 28 Mar 2021, Sun

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Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks.

This symphony of disappearing glaciers consists of three melting Alpine glaciers: du Rhone, Aletsch and Morteratsch, and is a slowly trickling catastrophe whose arrival is hardly spectacular. Blurred, present everywhere and nowhere, it gives rise to anxiety. Alpine glaciers are disappearing. Some of them are already gone forever. Listening to the ubiquitous sounds of uniform dripping that resembles a countdown, the sound is a direct sign of irretrievable loss. Previously installed in an empty white cube gallery space, this installation faces the outdoors, in front of NTU CCA Singapore’s Exhibition Hall. It melts into the background sounds of its sub-urban terrain and adjacent secondary forests nearby, connecting the climate crisis not only across time and space, but more importantly across different climates and geographies, both raising and answering the artist’s question about where art resides in the climate crisis.

Melting Gallery is prepared in collaboration with and composed by Denim Szram, and created during Lelonek’s residency as part of the Culturescapes festival in Basel, Switzerland.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Diana Lelonek (Poland) explores relationships between humans and other species. Her projects are critical responses to the processes of over-production, unlimited growth, and our approach to the environment. She uses photography, living matter, and found objects, creating work that is interdisciplinary and often appears at the interface of art and science. 

She participated in several international biennales, festivals and group shows at: Riga International Biennale of Contemporary Art RIBOCA; Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Oldenburg; Center of Contemporary Art, Warsaw; Kunstraum Niederosterriech, Vienna; Temporary Gallery, Cologne; Ballarat Photography Biennale, Australia; Tallin Art Hall; Culturescapes Festival, Basel; Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne. 

Denim Szram (Poland/Switzerland) a sound and media artist, whose artistic work oscillates between music production, performance, multimedia installations and immersive sound compositions. As an electronic musician he creates compositions for spaces, dance and theatre. An expert in the field of 3D audio and uses this for his acoustic scenography, he expands sound with other media and creates audio visual systems and musical interfaces to explore expression with new technology. His work has been shown internationally  and institutions like ZKM Karlsruhe, House of electronic arts in Basel,  and the Audio Art Festival Krakow.

 

Image: Diana Lelonek, Glacier du Rhône, documentation from the research to the project Melting Gallery, 2019.

Residencies OPEN
One Day We'll Understand
Performative Reading by Sim Chi Yin (Singapore), Artist-in-Residence
22 Jan 2021, Fri 03:00 PM - 03:15 PM
22 Jan 2021, Fri 05:00 PM - 05:15 PM
23 Jan 2021, Sat 02:00 PM - 02:15 PM
23 Jan 2021, Sat 05:30 PM - 05:45 PM

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Through the device of a letter, Sim Chi Yin addresses her late grandfather. The first-person narrative takes us on a cinematic journey into landscapes and historiographies, memories and remnants of the anti-colonial war in British Malaya, a period of insurgency which was labeled “Malayan Emergency” (1948-1960) by the colonial rulers. By weaving together words and visuals, this voice-driven act slowly unfolds a palimpsest of untold family stories, inter-generational traumas, and forgotten wars raising questions about who gets to remember, who gets to be remembered, and how.

[content warning] The programme includes images that may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.

Limited spaces available, please register at https://sim-chi-yin-one-day-well-understand.eventbrite.sg

This event is part of Residencies OPEN, 22 & 23 January 2021.

 

Image: Sim Chi Yin, One Day We’ll Understand – Remnants, photograph, 2011 – ongoing. Courtesy the artist.

Sound. Walks.
22 Jan 2021, Fri - 28 Mar 2021, Sun

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Reflecting on the loss of physicality through increased virtual interactions as well as many histories of sound and walking, artists address common life and communality in times of social distancing. In this series of performative explorations of sound, music, and community building, reflections take the form of soundwalks, sonic wayfinding and other physical and aural experiences, offering multiple ways for the public to actively witness, listen and participate, both remotely and on-site. Soundwalks by Tini Aliman (Singapore), Christa Donner and Andrew S Yang (United States), and Diana Lelonek (Poland) and Denim Szram (Poland/Switzerland) are propelled by sonic outputs of nature. Storytelling, correspondence, and the impossibility of direct communication factor into projects by Cheryl Ong (Singapore), Ana Prvački (Romania/Germany) in collaboration with Joyce Koh (Singapore), Galina Mihaleva (Bulgaria/Singapore), and Vivian Wang (Singapore/Switzerland). Sound, history, culture, and space overlap and intertwine in works by Arahmaiani (Indonesia) and Jimmy Ong (Singapore), bani haykal (Singapore) and Lee Weng Choy (Malaysia), Reetu Sattar (Bangladesh), and anGie Seah (Singapore), as well as in a collaborative fusion of music and poetry by Ramesh KrishnanMunir AlsagoffMd Noor, and Harini V (all Singapore) responding to the work of Singaporean Tamil literary stalwarts P KrishnanMa Ilangkannan and Rama Kannabiran.

Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks. is curated by Magdalena Magiera (Germany/Singapore), NTU CCA Singapore Curator, Education and Outreach, and Dr Karin Oen (United States/Singapore), NTU CCA Singapore Deputy Director, Curatorial Programmes

Tour: Culture City. Culture Scape.
Public Art Trail at Mapletree Business City II
23 Jan 2021, Sat 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM
23 Jan 2021, Sat 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
23 Jan 2021, Sat 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM
24 Jan 2021, Sun 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM
24 Jan 2021, Sun 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
24 Jan 2021, Sun 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM
30 Jan 2021, Sat 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM
30 Jan 2021, Sat 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
30 Jan 2021, Sat 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM

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Meeting Point

NTU CCA Singapore
Block 43 Malan Road
Singapore 109443

 

Our upcoming tours are an excellent way to get inspired and unwind in the company of art nestled in the lush compounds of Mapletree Business City II (MBC II). Take a mid-day break and join us with friends or colleagues.

Themed Culture City. Culture Scape., this public art project, commissioned by Mapletree and curated by NTU CCA Singapore comprises of works by internationally renowned artists Dan Graham (United States), Zulkifle Mahmod (Singapore), Tomás Saraceno (Argentina/Germany), and Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA) (Nigeria/United Kingdom). Inspired by the idea of expanded sculptural environments, the artworks explore the interplay between landscape, architecture, and the broader social and economic environments they are placed in. More than being monumental or site-specific, each work alters or permeates its local context to invite visitors to a broader and richer engagement.

For more information about our tours, please visit: www.mapletreearts.sg or email ntuccaevents@ntu.edu.sg.


Culture City. Culture Scape. is part of the Mapletree-NTU CCA Singapore Public Art Education Programme, which includes regular guided tours, public events, educational materials, closed-door workshops, and a public art education summit.

 

Image caption: Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA), Wind Sculpture I, 2013, steel armature with hand painted fibreglass resin cast, Mapletree Business City II. Courtesy NTU CCA Singapore.

Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks.
2 Oct 2020, Fri - 31 Mar 2021, Wed

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Collaborative and experimental by nature, Free Jazz III builds upon its past iterations by activating and challenging common understandings of exhibition-making and the use of space. Sound walks. Machines listen. We are living through unusual times. 

As the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore approaches a major transformation away from a permanent exhibition space in early 2021, Free Jazz III continues to explore the possibilities of an international research centre for contemporary art, featuring many artists who have been part of NTU CCA Singapore’s exhibitions, residencies, and programs since 2013, when the Centre presented Free Jazz as its inaugural event. The project began as a form of inquiry and an active tool to generate new possibilities for conceptualizing and programming an art institution. Free Jazz III convenes diverse projects united by themes of adaptation via masterful improvisation, trans-mediatic pivots, and the conscious renegotiation of our relationships to nature, technology, and each other. The disparate components of Free Jazz III explore the elements of dissonance, resistance, and innovation embedded in its musical namesake and the ability for sound and art to transcend physical and social distance. Embracing sound and walking as two powerful ways to overcome distance and bring people together, Free Jazz III comprises projects that can take place in non-gallery spaces, independently, asynchronously, or in purposeful syncopation with the present moment, reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future. 

Admission to all programs and events is free.

 

Sound. Walks.
January–March 2021 (On-site and online)

Reflecting on the loss of physicality through increased virtual interactions as well as many histories of sound and walking, artists address common life and communality in times of social distancing. In this series of performative explorations of sound, music, and community building, reflections take the form of soundwalks, sonic wayfinding and other physical and aural experiences, offering multiple ways for the public to actively witness, listen and participate, both remotely and on-site. Soundwalks by Tini Aliman (Singapore), Christa Donner and Andrew S Yang (United States), and Diana Lelonek (Poland) and Denim Szram (Poland/Switzerland) are propelled by sonic outputs of nature. Storytelling, correspondence, and the impossibility of direct communication factor into projects by Cheryl Ong (Singapore), Ana Prvački (Romania/Germany) in collaboration with Joyce Koh (Singapore), Galina Mihaleva (Bulgaria/Singapore), and Vivian Wang (Singapore/Switzerland). Sound, history, culture, and space overlap and intertwine in works by Arahmaiani (Indonesia) and Jimmy Ong (Singapore), bani haykal (Singapore) and Lee Weng Choy (Malaysia), Reetu Sattar (Bangladesh), and anGie Seah (Singapore), as well as in a collaborative fusion of music and poetry by Ramesh KrishnanMunir AlsagoffMd Noor, and Harini V (all Singapore) responding to the work of Singaporean Tamil literary stalwarts P KrishnanMa Ilangkannan and Rama Kannabiran.

Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks. is curated by Magdalena Magiera (Germany/Singapore), NTU CCA Singapore Curator, Education and Outreach, and Dr Karin Oen (United States/Singapore), NTU CCA Singapore Deputy Director, Curatorial Programmes

 

Under the Skin
1 December 2020 – 31 January 2021 (Online)

World premiere and special performance
1 December 2020, 7pm SGT

This trio of performative works by artists George Chua (Singapore), Nina Djekić (Slovenia/Singapore/Netherlands), and Noor Effendy Ibrahim (Singapore) engages with sound, bodily movements, and performance. These new pieces are cinematically translated into the medium of video by filmmaker Russell Morton (Singapore) and viewed online, acknowledging the curatorial premise that, “the pandemic has pushed us into a space of dramatic convergence—where a deep tech, hyper-connected future collides with social political unrest,” in both the work itself and the medium in which it is presented.

Under the Skin is curated for Free Jazz III by artist Cheong Kah Kit (Singapore) as part of Proposals for Novel Ways of Being, a united response to the changes brought about by COVID-19 hosted by twelve Singapore arts institutions, initiated by the National Gallery Singapore and Singapore Art Museum.

 

Partner programme:
Machine Listening, a curriculum
From October 2020 (Online)

Expanded collaborations and explorations of curatorial spaces also took form in support of Machine Listening, a curriculum instigated by Melbourne-based Liquid Architecture. This evolving online resource, comprising existing and newly commissioned writing, interviews, music and artworks is a new investigation and experiment in collective learning around the emergent field of machine listening. It premiered with three online sessions open to all as part of Unsound 2020: Intermission, an experimental sound festival in Krakow, Poland. NTU CCA Singapore and Liquid Architecture will convene another collaborative online session open to the public in early 2021.

Machine Listening, a curriculum is curated by Sean DockrayDr James Parker, and Joel Stern (all Australia).

Visit the evolving open source curriculum and the recorded Unsound sessions:

(Against) the coming world of listening machines
Lessons in How (Not) to be Heard
Listening with the Pandemic

 

Curated by Magdalena Magiera, Curator, Outreach and Education, and Dr. Karin Oen, Deputy Director, Curatorial Programmes, NTU CCA Singapore. 

 

Image: (1) Arahmaiani, Monk praying for tree in the Lab Monastery area, 2014. Documentation of work with a community of monks (2010–ongoing). Khamp, Qinghai plateau. Photo: Feri Latief. (2) Tini Aliman, Exit-Traverse-Disembark, 2020. Documentation of research on St. John’s Island (2020), Singapore. (3) Christa Donner & Andrew S. Yang, Paths and portals, inside and out, 2020. Digital image. (4) Ana Prvački, Tent, quartet, bows and elbows, 2018. Documentation of performance at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (2018), Boston. (5) bani haykal & Lee Weng Choy, Trouble with Harmony, 2020. Digital image. (6) Reetu Sattar, Harano Sur (Lost Tune), 2017-2018. Documentation of performance at the Dhaka Art Summit, 2018, co-commissioned by Samdani Art Foundation and the Liverpool Biennial in association with the New North New South and the Archaeology of the Final Decade. Photo by Pranabesh Das. All images courtesy the artists.

 

 

Free Jazz III presented in partnership with

                  

 

Sound. Walks
Supported by and part of

         

Trinh T. Minh-ha. Writings.
17 Oct 2020, Sat - 28 Feb 2021, Sun

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Visitors to the Exhibition Hall at our Centre can encounter Trinh T. Minh-ha’s extensive writing, core to her practice, through these books as displayed on the reading platforms along the passageway connecting the five theatres.

 

Books by Trinh T. Minh-ha

Trinh, T. Minh-ha. Cinema Interval. New York and London: Routledge, 1999.

Trinh, T. Minh-ha. D-passage: The Digital Way. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013.

Trinh, T. Minh-ha. Elsewhere, Within Here: Immigration, Refugeeism and the Boundary Event. New York and London: Routledge, 2011.

Trinh, T. Minh-ha. Framer Framed: Film Scripts and Interviews. New York and London: Routledge, 1992.

Trinh, T. Minh-ha. Lovecidal: Walking with the Disappeared. New York: Fordham University Press, 2016.

Trinh, T. Minh-ha. The Digital Film Event. New York and London: Routledge, 2005.

Trinh, T. Minh-ha. When the Moon Waxes Red. Representation, Gender and Cultural Politics. New York and London: Routledge, 1991.

Trinh, T. Minh-ha. Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989.

 
Books by other authors

Dissanayake, Wimal. Rethinking Third Cinema. New York: Taylor & Francis Ltd, 2003. 

Ferguson, Russell, Martha Gever, Trinh T. Minh-Ha and Cornel West. Out There: Marginalisation and Contemporary Culture. Cambridge: The MIT Press Ltd, 1992.

Foster, Gwendolyn Audrey. Women Filmmakers of the African & Asian Diaspora: Decolonizing the Gaze, Locating Subjectivity. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University, 1997.

Guo, Xiaolu. Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China. New York: Grove Press, 2017.

Kaplan, F. and E. Ann.  Feminism and Film. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Lorde, Audre. Sister Outsider: essays and speeches. Berkeley: Crossing Press, 2014.

Pines, Jim, and Willemen, Paul. Questions of third cinema. London: BFI Pub, 1989.

Rhomberg, Kathrin, ed. Trinh T. Minh-Ha / Secession. Vienna: Association of Visual Artists Vienna Secession, 2001.

 

ONLINE RESOURCES:

Van Dienderen, An. “Indirect Flow through Passages: Trinh T. Minh-ha’s Art Practice.” Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context and Inquiry 23 (Spring 2010): 90–97.  [Free access upon registration]

Duong, Lan, and Lila Sharif. “Displaced Subjects: Revolution, Film, and Women in Viet Nam and Palestine.” Verge: Studies in Global Asias 6, no. 1 (Spring 2020): 168–97. [Free access upon registration]

Trinh, T. Minh-ha. “Forgetting Vietnam: Trinh T. Minh-ha with Lucie Kim-Chi Mercier.” By Lucie Kim-Chi Mercier. Radical Philosophy 2.03 (December 2018): 78–89. [Access PDF]

Fuser, Marina. “Nomadism in the Cinema of Trinh T. Minh-ha.” PhD diss., University of Sussex, 2019. [Access PDF

Trinh, T. Minh-ha. “Shifting the Borders of the Other: An Interview with Trinh T. Minh-ha.” By Marina Grzinic. Telepolis. August 12, 1988. [View here]

Hill, Michael. “Abandoned to Difference: Identity, Opposition and Trinh T. Minh-ha’s Reassemblage.” Surfaces 3, no. 2 (1993): 1–29. https://doi.org/10.7202/1065095ar. [Access PDF]

Lawson, Jacqueline. “Gender and the War: Men, Women and Vietnam.” Vietnam Generation 1, no.3, Article 1 (1989). [Access PDF

Trinh, T. Minh-ha. “Documentary Is/Not a Name.” October 52 (Spring 1990): 76–98. doi:10.2307/778886. [Access PDF]

Trinh, T. Minh-ha. “Not You/Like You: Post-colonial Women and the Interlocking Questions of Identity and Difference.” Inscriptions 3 (1988): 71–77. [Access PDF

Trinh, T. Minh-ha. “The Totalizing Quest of Meaning.” Theorizing Documentary 1 (1993): 90–107. [Access PDF

Trinh, T. Minh-ha. “Trinh T. Minh-ha with Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa and Patricia Alvarez.” By Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa and Patricia Alvarez. The Brooklyn Rail. October, 2016. [View here

 

Image: Courtesy Trinh T. Minh-ha.

Trinh T. Minh-ha. Films.
Online Film Programme:
Speaking / Thinking Nearby
1 Nov 2020, Sun - 28 Feb 2021, Sun

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Trinh T. Minh-ha’s approach to film has addressed a wide field of discussions—reaching from the ethics of representation in ethnographic film, to aspects of migration, debates on global socio-political developments, and different layers of feminist discourse. Her films are investigations into the question of the voice as well as the relationship between the visible and audible. This programme will present a selection of films that echo some of these discussions negotiated by Trinh in her filmic works as well as her writings, and create a dialogue with other filmmakers and scholars.

Co-curated by Dr Marc Glöde, Assistant Professor, NTU ADM, and Dr Ella Raidel, Assistant Professor, NTU ADM and WKWSCI.

 

 

1 – 14 November 2020
the time is now. (I+II), Heidrun Holzfeind, 2019
Colour, sound, 48 min
Rating: PG

Holzfeind is interested in architectural and social utopias that create an alternative living. She documents the shamanistic rituals of the Japanese improvisation/noise duo IRO, Toshio and Shizuko Orimo, in what they call “Punk Kagura”—in reference to Kagura, a ritual dance tradition and music for the gods. Holzfeind uses a visual language that adapts their mystical rituals: breaks in image; the colour and narrative corresponding with the soundscape; the modernist architecture of Takamasa Yosizaka; and the surrounding nature in which the duo performs a choreography for healing our damaged planet. The urgency is underlined in the title the time is now.

Heidrun Holzfeind (Austria/Germany), an artist and filmmaker, explores the interrelations between history and identity, individual histories and political narratives of the present.

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15 – 28 November 2020
Heaven’s Crossroad, Kimi Takesue, 2002
Video, colour, sound, 35 min
Rating: G

What does it mean to “look” cross-culturally? This film follows up on this question by creating a visual journey through Vietnam. Instead of following the established patterns of the classic documentary, Takesue creates an experimental experience that challenges the audience and invites us to reflect on what it means to “truly see another culture”. Within this beautiful visual travelogue, questions of desire, projection, and communication begin to appear, that are embedded in this idea of the cross-cultural encounter.

Kimi Takesue (United States) is an award-winning filmmaker and recipient of the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships in Film. www.kimitakesue.com

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29 November – 10 December 2020
Naked Spaces—Living is Round, Trinh T. Minh-ha, 1985
16mm transferred to digital file, colour, sound, 135 min
Rating: PG13 (This film contains some nudity)

Six West African countries (Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin and Senegal) stand in the centre of this film. The work explores the life in the rural environments of these countries by taking a closer look at the everyday. With its nonlinear structure, the film steps away from the classical traditions of the documentary/ethnography tradition and offers a sensuous approach. It is a poetic journey to the African continent in which the interaction of the encountered people or the spaces in which they are living becomes relevant.

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11 – 24 December 2020
A Song of Ceylon, Laleen Jayamanne, 1985
16mm film, colour, sound, 51 min
Rating: PG13 (This film contains mature content and some nudity)

This film is an intense study of the body, gender and the multiple aspects of colonialism. It addresses theatrical conventions by recreating classic film stills and presenting the body in striking tableaux. A remarkable film on which Trinh T Minh-Ha, in Discourse (1989), commented: “The anthropological text is performed both like a musical score and a theatrical ritual….The film engages the viewer in the cinematic body as spectacle…”.

Laleen Jayamanne (Sri Lanka/Australia) is a filmmaker and Professor of Cinema Studies at the Power Department of Fine Arts at the University of Sydney, Australia.

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25 December 2020 – 5 January 2021
Surname Viet Given Name Nam, Trinh T. Minh-ha, 1989
16mm film transferred to digital, colour, sound, 108 min
Rating: PG13 (This film contains some disturbing scenes from the archival footage of the Vietnam War)

This film is Trinh’s complex deep dive into the difficulties of translation, as well as themes of exile or dislocation. By using historic material, dance, printed texts, folk poetry and combining it with anecdotal narratives, she examines the status of Vietnamese women since the Vietnam War, as well as the status of images as evidence. It is a complex approach that invites the audience to reflect on the modes of perception and encourages a profound critique of audio-visual strategies.

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6 – 19 January 2021
Nervous Translation, Shireen Seno, 2018
Colour, sound, 90 min
Rating: PG

This film follows the inner voice and play of an eight-year-old girl who cooks perfect miniature dishes, mimicking the world of adults. The perception of the child is translated through fragmentation and sounds that are written into words, such as the ring of the telephone, and the sound of the aircon, all forming together, an orchestra of the everyday. Waiting, boredom, and dead time pave the temporality of her imagination, while she is listening to cassette tapes recorded by her father, a migrant worker in Saudi Arabia. The personal phantasmagoric vision encounters the political dimension echoing the times of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines.

Shireen Seno (Japan/Philippines) studied architecture and cinema at the University of Toronto before relocating to Manila. Her work addresses memory, history and image-making, often in relation to the idea of home.

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20 – 31 January 2021
Reassemblage, Trinh T. Minh-ha, 1982
16mm film transferred to digital, colour, sound, 40 min
Rating: PG13 (This film contains some nudity)

With her remarkable and widely discussed first film, Trinh brings the conventions of the documentary to our attention and asks how films in the field of documentary and ethnographic tradition have consecutively established a power to manipulate the way in which we perceive different cultures. By gathering filmic means and techniques that reject the traditional narrative forms, Trinh constantly alerts us to our own process of perception, furthermore reminding us that watching a movie is not a passive, but an active process.

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1 – 14 February 2021
The Human Pyramid, Jean Rouch, 1961
DCP, colour, sound, 93 min
Rating: NC16 (This film contains mature content)

At the Lycée Français of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Rouch worked with students there who willingly enacted a story about the arrival of a new white girl, Nadine, and her effect on the interactions of and interracial relationships between the white colonial French and Black African classmates, all non-actors. Fomenting a dramatic situation instead of repeating one, Rouch extended the experiments he had undertaken in Chronicle of a Summer, including having on-camera student participants view rushes of the film midway through the story. The docu-drama shows how working together to make the film changes their attitude towards each other.—Icarus Film

Jean Rouch (France), ethnographer-turned-filmmaker, was the father of modern cinéma vérité together with his collaborator, Edgar Morin. Their work has had great influence on French New Wave filmmakers.

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15 – 28 February 2021
95 and 6 to Go, Kimi Takesue, 2016
Digital, colour, sound, 85 min
Rating: G

While visiting her grandfather, a recent widower in his 90s in Hawai’i, Takesue begins to follow his everyday routines. When he shows interest in his granddaughter’s stalled romantic screenplay, an interesting discussion about her work, family, memories, and identity unfolds. Shot over six years, this film shows how personal aspects intertwine with a critical reflection of the documentary genre.

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Image: Trinh T. Minh-ha, Reassemblage, 1982, film still. Courtesy the artist.

st_age x NTU CCA
Dana Awartani
Listen to my words, 2020
2 Nov 2020, Mon - 31 Mar 2021, Wed

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Co-produced by NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) for st_age, an online platform for new commissions initiated by TBA21 as a response to the Covid-19 crisis. It is a provocation to artists, institutions, practitioners, and activists to engage with the many issues that the pandemic has made even more visible in the precarious current moment.

Watch Listen to my words (2020) here.

 

In the empty expanse of the screen, a delicate pattern of straight lines and curved shapes is slowly traced by an invisible hand. In Islamic visual culture, where figurative representation is notoriously forbidden, abstract geometric compositions chart spiritual journeys and convey ideals of cosmic interconnectedness. The pattern created by Dana Awartani for Listen to my words is inspired by the ornamental motifs of jali and mashrabiya, latticed screens used in traditional Islamic architecture to regulate light, airflow, and heat in the arid climate of many Middle Eastern countries. Besides this climatic function, jali also play a socially and visually divisive role, marking the confinement of women within the domestic sphere and the impossibility of seeing them clearly.

The entrancing emergence of the geometric design becomes progressively tangled with the voices of modern-day Saudi women that the artist invited to recite a selection of verses. The selected poems were written by Arab poetesses from the pre-Islamic era up to the 12th century, and reflect the significant but scarcely documented tradition of women’s poetry in the Arab culture. They relay first-person expressions of longing, yearning, and pride penned by women who, in different eras and in different corners of the vast Arab region, found similar strength and empowerment in their bodies and audaciously reversed the male-dominated discourse of desire. 

By interlacing geometric symbolism and poetic utterances, Awartani’s digital animation unleashes these powerful voices once again and orchestrates an intergenerational dialogue that subtly questions the status of women in contemporary society. 

Listen to my words developed from a multimedia installation of the same title realised in 2018.

 

Ranging from painting and sculpture to performance and multimedia installation, the artistic practice of Dana Awartani (b. 1987, Saudi Arabia/Palestine) imbues forms, techniques, concepts, and spatial constructs that define Arab culture with contemporary awareness. The timeless relevance of forms and the wisdom embedded in traditional crafts are harnessed to tackle issues of gender, healing, cultural destruction, and sustainability in a constant effort to straddle continuity and innovation, aesthetic experimentation and social relevance. Past solo exhibitions include The Silence Between Us, Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2018) and Detroit Affinities: Dana Awartani, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, United States (2017). She has participated in numerous group shows and biennales such as Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain (2020); Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, Kochi, India and the 1st Yinchuan Biennale, Yinchuan, China (both 2016), among others.  

 

Image: Dana Awartani, Listen to my words, 2020, animation and sound. Courtesy the artist and Ali Alsumayin.

Residencies Rewired
1 Dec 2020, Tue - 28 Feb 2021, Sun

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The COVID-19 global pandemic cuts straight to the core of a Programme premised on international mobility, unscripted encounters, and site-specific engagements. Ongoing health risks and travel restrictions have moved the scheduled residencies of overseas artists into a zone of impossibility. As much as these unprecedented conditions have unravelled established procedures and standard protocols for action, they also commanded resilience and adaptability, urging us to rethink concepts of distance, modes of engagement, and pathways to collaboration.

In order to pursue organic connections across national borders and foster collaborations beyond the restrictions on bodily movement, NTU CCA Singapore launched Residencies Rewired, a project initiated and overseen by Dr Anna Lovecchio, Curator, Residencies, which is in line with the Centre’s long-standing commitment to support art practitioners and artistic research by facilitating meaningful engagements with the specificities of the local.

Through an Open Call, local researchers have been appointed to act as Liaisons (Artistic Research) to work in close, albeit remote, collaboration with overseas artists over a period of three months (December 2020 – February 2021) and support the development of their research projects. Residencies Rewired will culminate in a series of public programmes to be conducted towards the end of the project.

Artists & Liaisons:

LÊNA BÙI (Vietnam) – Elizabeth Ang

ISABEL CARVALHO (Portugal) – Ang Kia Yee

NOLAN OSWALD DENNIS (Zambia/South Africa) – Kin Chui

RAND ABDUL JABBAR (Iraq/United Arab Emirates) – Rafi Abdullah

DIANA LELONEK (Poland) – Denise Lim

ELIA NURVISTA (Indonesia) – Yom Bo Sung

YUICHIRO TAMURA (Japan) – Ge Xiaocong