Confounding ordinary notions of legibility, the work of Sonya Lacey addresses the politics of communication by tampering with the concrete textures of language. Specifically conceived for The Vitrine, Speed Reading combines two bodies of work that put the sheer physicality of language to a test. Headlines from The Straits Times and Solar Print Tests (both 2017) result from a series of experiments, undertaken by the artist during her residency at NTU CCA Singapore, where she exposed newsprint paper to both sunlight and artificial light, while Dilutions, an earlier work from 2016, is a sculptural piece involving a movable metal typeface and the process of corrosion determined by lead oxide. Slowly warping over time, the material components entailed in the production and circulation of the written word, Speed Reading alters the boundaries of legibility and shakes the physical foundations of the transmission of knowledge.
INTERPRT: Spatial investigation of environmental crimes by artist Nabil Ahmed (Bangladesh/United Kingdom)
INTERPRT is an interdisciplinary project on environmental justice in Oceania at the intersection of spatial practice, international law and artistic research. The Pacific ring—a geological force field rising from the ocean floor—reorganises a fluid, geological imaginary of the region as a global commons. At this mineral frontier, environmental violence is spatially diffused and temporally protracted, requiring new methods of detection and reconstruction. This talk will present investigations on environmental crimes and new forums for ecocide law.
For the launch of Final Report of the Christmas Island Expert Working Group in The Lab, Robert Zhao Renhui, founder of The Institute of Critical Zoologists, discusses the scope of his two-year long investigation as well as the research process and methodological approach developed as he ventured into the fractured ecosystem of Christmas Island. Merging scientific observation and artistic speculation, Zhao frames the absurdity of the real and weaves multiple narratives that address the uneasy relationship between humans and the natural environment.
Current international laws are inadequate to protect the oceans and the planet. A law against ecocide and the principle of universal jurisdiction are the missing factors that can address this problem. Criminal accountability for environmental and climate-related crimes also addresses wider issues of climate justice beyond economic remedies. The workshop, convened by INTERPRT brings together leading practitioners from the field to examine emerging legal concepts and cases around ecocide, universal jurisdiction, and nature as a legal subject in a Pacific region context.
If you are interested in the workshop please email us at NTUCCAEducation@ntu.edu.sg to register.
Participants of the workshop are encouraged to attend the public talk by Nabil Ahmed on Thursday, 1 March 2018, INTERPRT: Spatial investigation of environmental crimes
In this full-day workshop, participants will be introduced to the process of art making, from research and conceptualisation to execution. Developed for participants 14 years and above, the day will consist of a trip to the beach to collect plastic waste and organic debris like shells washed ashore to create artworks out of these found materials during the second part of the workshop. Using The Oceanic as an entry point to raise awareness on the dire health of our oceans and the islands most affected, participants will learn how to engage with questions of climate change, as well as its impacts.
Designed for families and participants aged 14 and up.
For advance registration, please email NTUCCAEducation@ntu.edu.sg.
Final Report of the Christmas Island Expert Working Group
Since the establishment of the first human settlements in the late 19th century, the ecosystem of Christmas Island—a small volcanic outcrop in the Indian Ocean which was transferred from Singapore to Australia in 1958—underwent dramatic changes. Along with human settlers, several non-indigenous species alighted on the island disrupting the endemic biodiversity that had thrived undisturbed thanks to geographical remoteness and almost nil human interference. The accidental introduction of invasive species severely impacted a fragile ecosystem, imperilling the island’s wildlife and causing the extinction of a number of native species. As a result, extreme biocontrol strategies are currently being undertaken in an attempt to restore the island’s biodiversity.
In the past two years, The Institute of Critical Zoologists has been researching the escalating chain of events brought about by the human presence on Christmas Island gathering a varied collection of research materials that merge factual and fictional elements. By surveying the impact of human beings on an endemic habitat, Final Report of the Christmas Island Expert Working Group maps out lines of invasion and retreat, it investigates dynamics of connectedness and isolation triggering reflections on states of vulnerability and conditions of survival in the age of globalisation.
Curated by Anna Lovecchio, Curator, Residencies
Launch and Artist Talk by Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore)
Friday, 2 March, 7.30 – 9.00pm
The Single Screen, Block 43 Malan Road
Climate Change and the Pacific: In Conversation with His Excellency Mr Anote Tong, former President of The Republic of Kiribati
Welcome Addresses by:
Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore and Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU
Francesca von Habsburg, Founder and Chairwoman, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21)
David Emmett, Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific, Conservation International (CI)
Robert Baigrie, Senior Director, Corporate & Ecosystem Finance, CI
RSVP via Peatix by Thursday, 1 March 2018: https://
NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore’s exhibition The Oceanic comes to an end on 6 March. It has been the Centre’s most well-attended exhibition to date and we are deeply honoured to have His Excellency Mr Anote Tong join us for the closing ceremony.
Mr Tong will share his powerful story as a climate activist and politician to Kiribati, a country of 33 islands composed of 99.98% ocean. Following his three terms as President of Kiribati, His Excellency continues his advocacy for the challenges posed by climate change to the Pacific Islands as a self-proclaimed “rational radical,” raising global awareness for this increasingly devastating threat of sea level rise and the urgency to collectively find solutions.
While in leadership, Mr Tong expressed the climate crisis in terms of national sovereignty, taking action to secure the long-term well-being of his people. In 2008 he created the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, one of the largest marine protected areas in the world with a size of 408,250 square kilometres, which was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
As a Distinguished Fellow at Conservation International, a nonprofit environmental organisation, Mr Tong has continued his visionary work to protect the one blue home we all share.
This event will be the final opportunity to see The Oceanic, featuring ongoing projects and works by the 12 Fellows of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary–Academy (TBA21-Academy) The Current’s first cycle of expeditions, in which artists, filmmakers, composers, writers, and researchers engaged with the long cultural histories of Pacific Ocean archipelagos and the environmental and economic threats these societies face today.
The Oceanic marks the start of NTU CCA Singapore’s new overarching research topic, CLIMATES. HABITATS. ENVIRONMENTS., which will inform and connect the Centre’s various activities over a period of three years. Changes in the environment influence weather patterns and these climatic shifts impact habitats, and vice versa. Precarious conditions of habitats are forcing migration of humans and other species at a critical level. The consequences of human intervention are felt on a global scale, affecting geopolitical, social, and cultural systems. The Centre intends to discuss and understand these realities through art and culture in dialogue with other fields of knowledge.
What kind of structures determine the need for art institutions in specific contexts? What is the role of art institutions in Singapore and what perspective on art are they shaping? Interested in how art institutions operate within the socio-political climate they endure, Riksa Afiaty explores ideas and models to produce alternative ways of thinking about art focusing primarily on institutions that use art as a tool to engage with social issues. In the context of this talk, Singapore is framed as a site where different kind of institutions coexist—independent art spaces and collecting institutions, archival practices and research-based organizations—in order to raise questions about production and participation and to address potential, albeit not necessarily probable, scenarios for the arts and the broader cultural sphere.
In this lecture, Barbara London examines how video monitors and installations challenged the white cube. Back in the 1970s, art museums operated with object-oriented categories. Meanwhile Land Art, with its spatial site specificity, Performance Art, with its abstract notions of duration, and electronic music, with its manipulation of the electronic signal, all challenged existing conventions by propelling contemporary art beyond the limitations of the gallery’s four walls. Looking at video’s relationship to performance, theater, feminism, and politics, London will discuss the factors that facilitated museums’ support of video in its dynamic early years while also addressing one of the most pressing questions in the field today: As memory and technologies fade away, are media acquisitions destined to become conceptual works?
Time-Based Media in Collections
with Barbara London (United States)
17 Mar 2018, Sat 11:00 AM - 05:00 PM
With Barbara London (United States), pioneering time-based media curator
Deadline for registration: Friday, 9 March 2018
Register at https://peatix.com/event/341906.
Fee: S$500 per person (inclusive of GST)
This course will address the challenges of collecting time-based media, from copyrights and ownership to conservation. It will also examine the relation between media and other contemporary art forms (sculpture, paintings, photography, performance) in a collection. Barbara London will bring in her substantial knowledge as the founder and chief curator of the time-based media department at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Friday, 16 March 2018, 6.00 – 9.00pm
Part One: Video and Media Art Overview
This two-day course begins with an overview of video and media art. London discusses the madcap trajectory of video as a pliable medium, and how it moved from the fringe to a full-fledged art form. Attention will be paid to how production, exhibition, and distribution are interdependent and to the way collecting video and media art was slowly taken up by museums, foundations, banks, and private collectors.
Saturday, 17 March 2018, 11.00am – 5.00pm.
Part Two: The Ideologies behind Exhibiting and Collecting Video and Media Art
The course will explore the challenges involved in distributing, exhibiting, and collecting time-based media, both single-channel works as well as installations. Production and exhibition tools are diverse and changed considerably over the years. To exhibit or acquire media artwork, it is necessary to be aware of its specificities. This session, probing the fundamentals of video art, will speak about these technical details as well as how the artists themselves can give valuable insight. London will also speak about proper archival structures that consider the works’ format, software, and climate specifications.
Artist Talk by Monica Ursina Jäger (Switzerland/United Kingdom), Artist-in-Residence
The importance of the spatial dimension of our lives and of the physical spaces we produce and experience cannot be underestimated. Space, place, landscape, and environment form essential realms of our daily lives as they shape, and are shaped by, political discourses; they are the grounds in which our past is layered and upon which our future is built. In presenting a selection of her artworks in dialogue with a range of iconographical and historical referents, Monica Ursina Jäger will explore the multifaceted nature of spatial experience and the rich history of its representation. Using Singapore as a unique case study, she will also address the “vertical shift” in the concept of landscape and discuss new forms of non-linear perception of time and space.
The talk will take place in the artist’s studio.
Part of Gillman Barracks’ Art Day Out! x Singapore Design Week 2018.
17 Mar 2018, Sat 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
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 Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore), comprises of works by internationally renowned artists, namely: 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 richer engagement.
All tours are free and are guided by curators from NTU CCA Singapore. Tour slots are on a first come, first served basis. To register or for further queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Culture City. Culture Scape. is a unique collaboration between Mapletree Investments and NTU CCA Singapore.
Image credit: Dan Graham, Elliptical Pavillion, 2017, glass and mirror pavilion at Mapletree Business City II.
17 Mar 2018, Sat - 17 Jun 2018, Sun 12:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Developed during his residency at NTU CCA Singapore, Creatif Compleks (2018) is the culmination of Michael Lee’s reflection on the function of the artist’s studio within the arts ecology of a city. The work takes the form of a diagram about a hypothetical property development consisting of various configurations of the artist’s home/studio. The use of LED light strips, a popular fixture in advertising and interior design, alludes to latent apprehensions about the development and promotion of the arts in Singapore which today are, arguably, at a feverish pitch. Informed by myths and fantasies of artists in their studios, the work takes a speculative leap into the utopian and the absurd.
Launch and Artist Talk
Saturday, 17 March 2018
2.00 – 3.00pm
The Single Screen, Block 43 Malan Road
Part of Gillman Barracks’ Art Day Out! x Singapore Design Week 2018.
Creatif Compleks is on view in The Vitrine until 17 June 2018.
Atoui and Hu Fang will elaborate on The Ground project and their long-term observations and research into agricultural practices and the history of music and instrumentation in the Pearl River Delta. They will also discuss how a new narrative is created in his piece at NTU CCA Singapore when instruments produced from their research meet with recordings the artist has been collecting from harbours around the world.
11 May 2018, Fri 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Focusing on the artworks in the solo exhibition by Tarek Atoui, The Ground: From the Land to the Sea, the workshop engages with artistic practices and prepares educators for visits with their students by providing educational tools as entry points to the exhibition, and assisting in identifying aspects of the exhibition that might be relevant to their classes. It suggests techniques for exploring both the visual arts and other areas of daily encounters.
*Artist Tarek Atoui will be present during the workshop on Saturday, 24 March 2018.
In 2014, Tita Salina and Irwan Ahmett initiated Ring of Fire, a 10-year long research project that addresses manifold forms of vulnerability. Ring of Fire explores the intricate network of human-made collisions occurring in the eponymous geographical area that runs around the Pacific Ocean, from New Zealand to Chile stretching across Southeast Asia—one of the deadliest places on earth due to plate movements and volcanic eruptions. Fascinated by how subterranean tectonic clashes find uncanny counterparts in the political turmoil above the ground, the artists will discuss the scope of Ring of Fire and reflect on how their work engage with humanitarian crisis, environmental disasters, and the darkest histories in the Southeast Asian region. They will also talk about the research initiated during their residency which, inspired by a historical moment of friction between Indonesia and Malaysia in 1965, tackles sabotage practices and haze threats.
The talk will take place in the artists’ studio.