Luca Lumimpasse to verbal
Interested in the “semiotic thickness” of Geylang, an area located on the east-central side of Singapore where bustling street life, covert activities, information technologies, and data mining protocols are increasingly intertwined, Luca Lum has been observing the diffuse entanglements of bodies and surfaces, behaviours and networks that define contemporary urban life. impasse to verbal comes out from her continued engagement with the neighbourhood and from her speculations on the slippage between what things are, how they look, and what they do—which the artist defines as the play between description and disposition.
The work is a visual assemblage that merges wall notices, official zoning maps, personal routes, and various extracts sampled from the urban landscape. Through an intricate interplay of stratifications and transparencies, it creates an imploded visual environment where information is simultaneously displayed and withdrawn, revealed and cloaked. Steeped in a pervasive blue glow reminiscent of the light of electronic devices, the signs are left to float and clash into leaky configurations that shatter conventional patterns of readability.
Luca Lum (b. 1991, Singapore) works at the intersection of art, performance, poetry, and fiction exploring ideas of language, (anti)literature, vulnerability, vampirism, genre, intimacy, double-agency, mourning and metaphor. She is a co-founder of the artist-run space soft/WALL/studs and co-editor of the reader CONCRETE ISLAND. Her projects have been presented at Cemeti Institute of Art and Society, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (with soft/WALL/studs, 2018); Yeo Workshop, Ikkan Art Gallery, NUS Museum, Singapore (2016), and LUMA Westbau, Zurich, Switzerland (2015). Lum was Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore from April to September 2018.
Image credit: Luca Lum, impasse to verbal (detail), 2018. Courtesy the artist.
Join this conversation with the curator of Quadra Medicinale, first presented at the Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition in 2009, and learn more about how it started. Local collaborators will also share their experiences implementing Jef Geys’s methodology.
Dirk Snauwaert (Belgium) is Artist Director of WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels, and was involved in its creation since July 2004. At WIELS, Snauwaert has curated exhibitions of Tauba Auerbach (2013) and Mike Kelley (2008). Prior, Snauwaert was Co-Director of the Institut d’art contemporain Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alps where he was in charge of the exhibition programme and the development of the FRAC Rhône-Alpes collection. He was Director of the Kunstverein Munich from 1996 to 2001, where he curated solo shows by Rita McBride (1999), William Kentridge (1998), David Lamelas (1997), and Fareed Armaly (1997). He was also the curator of Jef Geys at the Pavilion of Belgium, 53rd Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition. Snauwaert was an NTU CCA Singapore Curator-in-Residence in 2015.
Louise Neo (Singapore) is a botanical researcher and the writer of Wayside Flowers of Singapore, a full-colour guidebook that showcases the diversity of wildflowers in Singapore and interesting facts about each species. Neo is a contributor to Urban Forest (uforest.org), a non-profit online platform that aims to provide an accessible and convenient identification guide to the diversity of plants in Singapore and the region.
Teo Siyang (Singapore) is a full-time data analyst with a biology degree, and the founder of Urban Forest (uforest.org), which aims to provide information about the diversity of plants in Singapore. The platform was built on the belief that the first step in conservation is enabling people to identify the nature around them so they can foster a deeper connection with it.
A public programme of Jef Geys Quadra Medicinale Singapore.
Image caption: (Left) Teo Siyang. (Right) Louise Neo.
research in progress by
Buddhist Archive of Photography
Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho
Opening night: Friday, 30 November, 7.00–9.00pm
How are aspects of Southeast Asian modern art imaginatively engaged in contemporary practices—by artists, by archivists, and by others? This presentation pairs two ongoing research projects, which draw on histories of modern art in Southeast Asia with radically unlike methodologies: one is archival, yet innovative and unconventional in nature; the other is artistic, yet includes work from archives and involves other kinds of looking. The experimental curatorial juxtaposition of the two projects explores unlikely resonances between them, suggesting unexpected connections across the region, and across times. Among these synergies are the presences of spirituality and the Cold War, and the refiguring of forms and images within differing developments of the modern.
The Buddhist Archive of Photography in Luang Prabang, Laos, has gathered over 35,000 photographs either taken or collected by monks since 1890. The photographs have recently been digitised and catalogued, using innovative methodologies attentive to climatic, cultural, and religious circumstances. This Archive is, therefore, a fascinating instance of specifically 21st-century contemporary practice, as much as it is a unique collection of 19th and 20th-century modern photographs. This is the first time images from the Buddhist Archive of Photography are publicly presented in Asia, outside of Luang Prabang. The Archive has also published a series of bilingual English and Lao research volumes, which are made available in this presentation.
When considering this vast repository of images, several tropes and questions recur. What is photography’s relationship to anicca (impermanence), dukkha (suffering), and anatta (non-self), the three marks of existence in Buddhist thought? What role did Buddhists and photographers play in the Southeast Asian theatre of the global Cold War? And what are the limits of architectural modernity? These questions are explored in three distinct collections of photographs selected for this presentation. The first is a series of portraits of the late Most Venerable Pha Khamchan Virachitta Maha Thera (1920–2007), co-founder of the Buddhist Archive, taken every year from the age of seven until his death. The second selection comprises photographs collected by photographer-monk Pha Khamfan Silasangvaro (1901–1987), which protest the effects of civil war in Laos from 1959 to 1975, as well as photographs taken by another photographer-monk Pha Oun Heuane Hasapanya Maha Thela (1928–1982), who chronicled rarely seen aspects of Buddhist life, such as women’s vipassana meditation retreats. The third selection of images depicts the 1950s modernising renovations of Wat Saen Soukharam temple, under the direction of the late Most Venerable Pha Khamchan. These photographs, and the publications which accompany them, reward historical, spiritual, aesthetic, and other modes of attention and analysis.
Born in the Philippines, Ossorio left when only 8 years old, and his visit to paint the “Angry Christ” mural was his first and only return to the Philippines. In the intervening decades, Ossorio had eventually settled in New York, where he held his first exhibition at Betty Parsons’ celebrated Wakefield Gallery in 1941. He became close to with Jackson Pollock and other artists associated with Abstract Expressionism, a movement which was ideologically charged during the Cold War, due to its covert promotion by the US. Ossorio described his “Angry Christ” mural as an “animated space,” explaining in a 1980 interview that he had attempted to “put as rich an iconography for those who knew and for those who didn’t know… The mural comes to life.” For Lien and Camacho, Ossorio’s mural is a “multivalent cipher,” linked not only to its religious function but also to its economic and environmental context, being located in Negros Occidental, the “sugar bowl of the Philippines,” which produces over half of the nation’s sugar. Lien and Camacho question whether the “Angry Christ” can be “radically reprogrammed” from the specific and highly privileged subjectivity of Ossorio, its maker, and the Ossorio family’s sugar dynasty, its commissioning patron. As well as making repeat visits to the chapel and Victorias over several years, Lien and Camacho have conducted archival research at Ossorio’s alma mater, Harvard University, and at the Ossorio Foundation, New York. They present a mural offering fragmented glimpses of their research notes and work-in-progress.
And in the Chapel and in the Temples: research in progress by Buddhist Archive of Photography and Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho is conceived and organised by Dr Roger Nelson, an art historian and curator specialising in modern and contemporary art in Southeast Asia, and currently Postdoctoral Fellow at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore and the School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The presentation draws on Nelson’s ongoing art historical archival research in the Buddhist Archive, and his ongoing curatorial dialogue with Lien and Camacho.
Roger Nelson thanks Dr Khamvone Boulyaphonh, Hans Georg Berger, the Acuña family, Lynda Tay, the caretakers of Gillman Barracks, Drusilla Tay, Marc Glöde, Guo-Liang Tan, Patrick D. Flores, Simon Soon, and others who assisted in the development and realisation of this presentation.
Image credit: (Top) Pha Oun Heuan Hasapanyo, main sim hall at Vat Nong Si Khun Meuang, Luang Prabang, 1950s. Hand-coloured silver gelatine DOP. Courtesy Buddhist Archive of Photography. (Bottom) Interior of St Joseph the Worker Chapel, Victorias, Philippines, 2017. Courtesy Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho.
Variously described as the “ultimate film” and an “anti-film,” Een dag, een nacht, een dag…, (Day and Night and Day…) (2002) is a 36-hour-long projection of a compilation of thousands of photographs from Jef Geys’s archive. Photography and the archive feature heavily in the artist’s practice, which concentrates on the connection between art and everyday life. In 1998, Geys published Al de zwart-wit foto’s tot 1998 (All the Black-and-White Photographs until 1998), a five-centimetre thick volume containing approximately 40,000 photographs produced between 1950 and 1998, in random order and in the form of contact prints. The photographs, which presented a wide range of subjects and abstained from selection or interpretation, presented an inventory of the artist’s life, and speaks to the importance of photography to Geys as a means to record, collect, and document life. In 2002, Geys extended this book project through the film Een dag, een nacht, een dag…, (Day and Night and Day…), which was presented at Documenta11 at Kassel in 2002. It illustrates a similar approach to photography as the ultimate medium to represent the vernacular, and offers an archive that oscillates between the private and the public, art and the everyday. Though the film will be hardly seen in its entirety, its dramatic sequence of pictures emphasises the flow of time.
Jef Geys (1934–2018, Belgium) is among Europe’s most respected yet underacknowledged artists. Producing artwork since the 1950s, Geys’s practice probes the construction of social and political engagement, and his work radically embraces art as being intertwined with everyday life. Geys graduated from the Antwerp Arts Academy before settling in Balen in the Kempen region of Belgium, where from 1960 to 1989, he taught art at a state school, focusing on educational experimentation in the arts. Since the late 1960s, Geys, who was also part of the Mail Art movement, has been the editor and publisher of his local newspaper, the Kempens Informatieblad, and subsequently produced them in line with his exhibitions. He is known for his meticulous archive of his work, which in turn became generative of other works.
Geys represented Belgium in the 53rd Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition in 2009. His work was included in Documenta11 (Kassel, Germany) in 2002, Skulptur Projekte Münster in 1997, and the 21st Bienal de São Paulo in 1991. He has exhibited worldwide including at M HKA, Antwerp (2017, 2011, 2009); IAC Villeurbanne/Rhone-Alpes (2017, 2007); S.M.A.K., Ghent (2015); Cubitt, London (2013); CNEAI, Chatou (2016, 2014, 2012); WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2013, 2009); Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (2010); Bawag Foundation, Vienna (2009); Pori Art Museum (2005); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2004); Kunsthalle Lophem (2003); Kunstverein Munchen, Munich (2001), amongst others.
This screening is part of the exhibition Jef Geys Quadra Medicinale Singapore.
Image caption: Jef Geys, Day and Night and Day and…, 2002, Installationsansicht Bawag Foundation. Copyright Oliver Ottenschläger.
In this talk, collaborating artists Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho present their initial research on the Filipino-American modernist painter, Alfonso Ossorio (1916–1990), focusing on his 1950 mural, commonly called the Angry Christ. Born in the Philippines, Ossorio lived mostly in New York, where he became close to Jackson Pollock and other artists associated with Abstract Expressionism. Ossorio described his mural as an “animated space,” with “as rich an iconography for those who knew and for those who didn’t know… The mural comes to life.” For Lien and Camacho, Ossorio’s mural is a “multivalent cipher,” linked not only to its religious function but also to its economic and environmental context, being located in the province of Negros Occidental, the “sugar bowl of the Philippines,” which produces over half of the nation’s sugar. Lien and Camacho question whether the Angry Christ can be “radically reprogrammed” from the specific and highly-privileged subjectivity of Ossorio, its maker, and the Ossorio family’s sugar dynasty, its commissioning patron.
Introduced and moderated by Dr Roger Nelson (Australia/Singapore), an art historian and curator specialising in modern and contemporary art in Southeast Asia, and currently Postdoctoral Fellow at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore and the School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho (Philippines/United States/Germany) are collaborating contemporary artists, whose practice often draws on translocational formations of culture and discourse. Within this roving sensibility and method, Lien and Camacho also often engage with Philippine histories and contemporary circumstances. Lien and Camacho have been working exclusively in collaboration since 2009. They graduated together with Master of Fine Arts degrees from Hochschule für bildende Künste, Hamburg, Germany (2014), and both artists hold undergraduate degrees from Harvard University, Cambridge, USA (both magna cum laude, 2007 and 2009). Selected solo exhibitions include: Kunstverein Freiburg (Freiburg, Germany, 2018), CCS Bard Hessel Museum (New York, USA, 2018), Green Papaya Art Projects (Quezon City, Philippines, 2009), and 47 Canal (New York, USA, 2014 and 2018). Selected group exhibitions include: Kestner Gesellschaft (Hanover, Germany, 2017), Jim Thompson Art Center (Bangkok, Thailand, 2017), Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing, China, 2017), Manila Contemporary (Manila, Philippines, 2013). Lien and Camacho have been artists-in-residence at Sa Sa Art Projects (Phnom Penh, Cambodia), am Artspace (Shanghai, China), NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, and Gluck50 (Milan, Italy).
Image caption: Alfonso Ossorio, Angry Christ mural, 1950. Chapel of St Joseph the Worker, Victorias, Philippines. Courtesy Roger Nelson, 2017.
Often considered a poor cousin of highbrow literature and arthouse films, science fiction enables us to imagine possible futures. Twelve years ago, while travelling through the Middle East and Africa, Brigitte van der Sande chanced upon an unexpected amount of sci-fi literature, drawings, and films that envisioned alternative futures as a way to critique existing power structures while shunning censorship. In countries where continuous change is the status quo because of war or political instability, thinkers, artists, and writers are deeply engaged with the liberating potential of the genre. In this talk, van der Sande will discuss how her long-term research on the subject led to the realisation of Other Futures, “a multidisciplinary online and offline platform for thinkers and builders of other futures.” The first edition, which took place in Amsterdam in early 2018, featured non-Western science fiction makers and thinkers mostly from Africa and from the African diaspora; the second edition, slated for 2020, will focus on Asia.
Brigitte van der Sande (b. 1957, Netherlands) is an art historian, curator, and writer based in Amsterdam. She is the artistic director of Other Futures, a multidisciplinary platform that frames science fiction as an empowerment tool to envision the future and build a new and better world. In the early 1990s, van der Sande began a long-term research about the representation of war in art which developed through lectures, workshops, the exhibition Soft Target. War as a Daily, First-Hand Reality held at BAK, basis actuele kunst, Utrecht (2005), and War Zone Amsterdam, a series of presentations which took place at Mediamatic in Amsterdam (2009), accompanied by a reader published on open! Platform for Art, Culture, and the Public Domain. Between 2013 and 2014, she curated See You in The Hague (2013-2014) at Stroom Den Haag, The Hague and she co-curated, with Babs Bakels, The Last Image, an exhibition series about the relationship between death, the camera, and the spectator at The Nederlands Uitvaart Museum Tot Zover (Dutch Funeral Museum So Far), Amsterdam.
Image caption: Performance artist and activist Mykki Blanco at Other Futures Festival 2018. Photo by Pieter Kers. Courtesy Other Futures.
Guided Tour at Mapletree Business City II
5 Oct 2018, Fri 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
2 Nov 2018, Fri 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
7 Dec 2018, Fri 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Meeting point: Alexandra Retail Centre
(460 Alexandra Road, Main Entrance, Taxi Stand)
Explore the new art installations nestled in the lush compound of Mapletree Business City II (MBC II). Themed Culture City. Culture Scape., this public art project, commissioned by Mapletree and curated by NTU CCA Singapore comprises works by internationally renowned artists Dan Graham (United States), Zulkifle Mahmod (Singapore), Tomás Saraceno (Argentina/Germany), and Yinka Shonibare (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, richer engagement.
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, seminars, and conferences.
To register or for further queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image credit: Tomás Saraceno, Stillness in Motion – 3 Airborne Self-Assemblies, 2017, steel frame, reflective panels, steel wire, Mapletree Business City II, installation view.
NTU CCA Singapore is pleased to present the rough cut of A Certain Illness Difficult to Name (2018), a new film created by experimental filmmaker Taiki Sakpisit during his three-month residency at the Centre. Filmed entirely in Singapore, the work is a poetic meditation on states of transition, a spiritual quest imbued with a mysterious sense of malaise. Slowly panning over the landscape and pausing on enigmatic frames, the camera quietly leads the viewer on a visual and aural journey across different layers of emotional intensity. The preview of A Certain Illness Difficult to Name will be preceded by the screening of Trouble in Paradise, a short film realised in southern Thailand in 2017, shown in Singapore for the first time on this occasion.
A Certain Illness Difficult to Name, Singapore, 2018, 18min
Trouble in Paradise, Thailand, 2017, 13min
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the artist.
Taiki Sakpisit (b.1975, Japan) is a Thai artist and filmmaker based in Bangkok. In his films, he creates haunting evocations of memory through the repetition and manipulation of sequences that interweave found footage and archival material. Featuring compelling soundscapes produced in collaboration with sound designers, his works induces heightened and uneasy modes of spectatorship often related to the tumultuous socio-political climate in Thailand. Taiki’s most recent solo exhibition Until the Morning Comes took place at S.A.C. Subhashok The Arts Centre, Bangkok, Thailand (2018) and his work has been presented at numerous exhibitions and international film festivals.
Image caption: Taiki Sakpisit, A Certain Illness Difficult to Name, 2018, digital film still. Courtesy the artist.
Meeting Point: NTU CCA Singapore, Block 43 Malan Road
Workshop fee: S$15
Registration is required via Peatix: foragingatgillmanbarracks.peatix.com/
*Developed for participants aged 13 and above.
Join this interactive walk in search of edible plants around Gillman Barracks and discover the rich amount of food growing around us. Learn how to find edible plants to add to your next home-made salad and be surprised by the kinds of grass found in our urban environment that are commonly used in traditional medicine.
Alexius Yeo (Singapore) is the Director of Carbon InQ, a local company that teaches Agriculture-based experiential learning programmes at schools and firms. He is also Founder of Project 33, a family-initiated farming movement uniting neighbourhoods through community farming, cooking, educational activities, as well as the practice of “sharing first” that involves sharing a portion of what one grows and owns with the community.
A public programme of Jef Geys Quadra Medicinale Singapore.
Image credit: Courtesy Carbon InQ.
everybody loves good neighbours
Interested in the contiguities and frictions between the natural and urban environment, Izat Arif has conducted experiential and erratic fieldwork in various landscapes in Singapore observing plants, soil, insects, and traces of human presence. This investigation is presented in The Vitrine as a form of a provisional “cabinet of essential items,” which contains a selection of the artist’s notes and drawings, research tools, and findings.
Project launch on Saturday, 15 December, 2.00 – 3.00pm.
The artist will be present.
The practice of Izat Arif (b.1986, Malaysia) combines videos, drawings, and readymade objects into intricately layered installations. His work often conveys an ironic commentary on everyday life and the art ecosystem in his hometown, Kuala Lumpur. He has participated in several group exhibitions including A History of Drawing, Camberwell College of Arts, London, United Kingdom (2018); Malaysia Art: A New Perspective, Richard Koh Fine Art, Singapore (2016); Young Malaysian Artist: New Object(ion) II, Galeri Petronas and Young Contemporaries at National Visual Arts Gallery, both Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2013). Izat Arif is one of the founding members of the collective Malaysian Artist Intention Experiment (MAIX). He was Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore from September to December 2018.
Image caption: Izat Arif, sketchbook, 2018. Courtesy the artist.