Bird People Series 1/8 (Lim Kim Seng & Lim Kim Chua)
The mixed-media selection presented in The Vitrine stems from Railtrack Songmaps, a project exploring competing claims to nature and culture that resound along the former Malaysian railway tracks at Tanglin Halt. For at least five decades, birds, nature lovers, songbird clubs, tree shrines, kampung gardeners and foragers have roosted and seeded themselves along the tracks, nurturing a tangled patch of urban wild that is currently undergoing redevelopment. The particular constellation of elements on display – photographs, Malay pantuns, embroidery on paper, and delicate airborne assemblages of images, cut-outs and coconut sticks – weave in and out of memories of Lim Kim Seng, who together with his brother Lim Kim Chua, joined the Nature Society of Singapore (NSS) as teenager. Both are now senior members of the NSS Bird Group. Kim Seng assisted The Migrant Ecologies Project in the identification of 105 bird species around Tanglin Halt. In an accompanying soundtrack he recalls how an early encounter with a kingfisher first drew him into a bird zone.
The Migrant Ecologies Project was founded in 2010 by artist, art writer, and educator Lucy Davis. Investigating movements and migrations of nature and culture in Southeast Asia and beyond, the project unfolds through collaborations with sound artists, photographers, scientists, and designers.
Lucy Davis has been an Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore from April to June 2017.
Wrong Indexing: Yeoseong Gukgeuk Archive
As a genre of theatre that features exclusively women actors, Yeoseong Gukgeuk reached the peak of popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, its success being tightly intertwined with the process of modernisation of South Korea. While today it lingers on the verge of extinction, in the post-colonial period Yeoseong Gukgeuk opened up a space for women to embody “other” identities and perform different subjectivities. Reinventing the traditional Korean theatre, they brought the process of gender-shifting to the limelight and subverted socially acceptable norms by blurring conventional gender binaries. Since 2008, siren eun young jung has investigated the public and private lives of Yeoseong Gukgeuk performers who, after the genre fell out of favour, went on to live disparate lives. This configuration of archival materials offers an insight into the artist’s research process and articulates the politics of recollecting, weaving together queer desires and patterns of resistance, affective matters and subversive subjectivities, gender fluidity and the performance of difference.
Wrong Indexing: Yeoseong Gukgeuk Archive is curated by Dr Anna Lovecchio, Curator, Residencies.
Deconstructing Asian history from the 20th century from a cultural studies perspective, Professor Chua will trace parallels to the histories addressed by the works in the exhibition. Expanding on political themes such as communism in Malaya or Thai insurgence, historical narratives occurring in the featured works will be further contextualised and interpreted. The socio-political backgrounds of the different installations and films not only gain clarity but are understood within the larger frame of Asian modernity.
Huai Mo Village, Thailand, 2012, 8 min 20 sec
Ruins of the intelligence bureau, Thailand, 2015, 13 min 30 sec
White Building – Sva Pul, Kong Nay, Sisters, Rooftop, Cambodia, 2016, 18 min
The artist will be present.
Chia-Wei Hsu’s ten-year long engagement with the moving image and the forgotten stories of the Cold War in Southeast Asia resulted in a complex body of works which address major historical events through the lens of minor narratives, often embedded in remote locations, that weave together reality and fiction, myth and history. Delving into the history of the Huai Mo Village in northern Thailand, the artist collaborates with soldiers and children to trace the story of the exiled Chinese soldiers who settled at the Thai-Myanmar border and were never able to return home. In Cambodia, the artist looks at the White Building in Phnom Penh to reference the violent history of repression during the Khmer Rouge occupation, where 90 percent of performance artists were executed. After liberation, the surviving artists were assigned accommodation in the White Building. In the wake of its upcoming demolition, Hsu invited four second- generation performing groups to engage with the White Building, their former home.
This Screening is part of the public programmes of Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History, as well as Archifest 2017: Building Agency.
Contemporary Art Magazines: A Critical Writing Reading Group is focused on a single issue of an art magazine at every meeting. The goal is to generate a conversation that will discuss both the contemporary art scene and the practice of publishing and writing about art. A sense of continuation is not based on reading the same magazine, but rather, on asking similar questions across the board of publishing. Such questions can range from the mundane (Why is this being published right now? Is the writing worthwhile? What is the editorial line like, if one seems to exist?) to the expansive (What makes for a real contribution in art publishing? What is the role of criticism in contemporary art?). The goal is to generate a conversation that would discuss both the contemporary art scene and the practice of publishing and writing about art. Similarly, the choice of magazines can and should vary from the obvious to the specific.
“Fun is the feeling of finding something new in a familiar situation.”
—Ian Bogost, Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games (2016)
Viewing art and the world as a metaphorical playground can provide the basis to orient creative thoughts and processes. A Playground Needs Only to Be Interesting is an explorative exercise to lay out playful contexts and gather unexpected associations. The programme consists of a presentation about Singapore playgrounds by writer Justin Zhuang interspersed with Cake Theatre’s recitations of Playground Manifesto, a selection of artists’ statements collected and “remixed” over the years by artist Chun Kaifeng.
The wind that cuts the body
Driven by his interest in exploring the conditions of the human body, multi-disciplinary artist Choy Ka Fai focuses his research on choreographic practices in Asia. The wind that cuts the body presents his current investigation into Butoh, which arose in Japan at the end of the 1950s, encompassing a diverse range of techniques from dance, theatre, and movement. Choy traces the legacy of one of the key founders, Tatsumi Hijikata (1928–1986) who sought a new form of physical expression he referred to as ankoku butō (“dance of darkness”), delving into imageries of the grotesque and sickness of the human form. The research presentation will feature a selection of reference materials from the Tatsumi Hijikata Archive in Tokyo and from the artist’s expeditions, interviews, and documentary sketches. In his pursuit, Choy went to the extent of interviewing the spirit of Hijikata through an itako (Japanese shaman) and to speculate on the technological possibilities of dancing with Hijikata again.
The wind that cuts the body is curated by Khim Ong, Deputy Director, Curatorial Programmes.
Building Bridges: Business, Architecture and Art, Publicness
Mapletree and NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore) will co-present the Discursive Picnic on 14 October as part of Archifest 2017, with the objective to gather the community to public spaces at Mapletree Business City II. The event is organised under the Mapletree-NTU CCA Singapore Public Art Education Programme which aims to promote art appreciation to the general public. The event will kickstart with a walking tour of MBC II led by the building architect from DCA Architects Pte Ltd, the landscape architect director Prapan Napawongdee from Shma Company Limited, and curators of MBC II’s public art commissions, Professor Ute Meta Bauer and Khim Ong from NTU CCA Singapore.
Through poetry readings, well-known local poet Isa Kamari, who serves as the Deputy Director of Architecture (Design) at Singapore’s Land Transport Authority, will share stories behind urban architecture and young poet, Samuel Lee, will stand in dialogue with poetry interventions. The tour will be followed by a discussion, moderated by NTU CCA Singapore Assistant Professor Sophie Goltz, at the Green Bowl, an amphitheatre within the lush and green Central Park at MBC II. Participants, curators, and architects will have the chance to share their ideas of working with space between business/work and art/leisure.
Free (by registration to NTUCCAevents@ntu.edu.sg. Limited capacity.)
This programme is part of Archifest 2017: Building Agency, presented by the Singapore Institute of Architects.
Inner Warriors! by artist anGie seah
This event has been cancelled.
Admission Fee: $20
Purchase your tickets here!
Beliefs and superstitions concepts are often manifested through a rich visual imagery that attempts to represent otherworldly presences. Our imagination and instincts give form to that what is invisible, which can also be imagined to exist within ourselves. This artist-run workshop developed for children aged 7 to 15 explores the invisible force within us that can be seen as the ‘fighting spirit,’ the strength that keeps us going. Participants will be introduced to stencil techniques, as well as the dripping and sponging techniques of action painting.
On the occasion of the Four-Year Anniversary of NTU CCA Singapore
Admission fee S$35.
Free for Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students.
Register at http://symposium-ghosts-and-spectres.peatix.com/view
This symposium gathers into conversation the artists in the exhibition Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History as well as curators and scholars from the region. The presented artworks serve as points of departure to generate a discussion on muted histories and legacies, as they cast light upon past events that, although largely suppressed, still impact society today, particularly in terms of power structures, corruption, and repression of social freedom. The role of the moving image—the medium used by the four exhibiting artists—will be analysed to demonstrate how it reveals as much as it conceals past traumas that evade representation. Divided into two sessions, the symposium explores deeper the artists’ processes and approaches through structured conversations consisting of lectures, presentations, and moderated discussions.
The focus will be on the sources of artistic inspiration and motivation, the constructions and contestation of narratives and identities, as well as the moving image as a medium. Ho Tzu Nyen, Nguyen Trinh Thi, and Park Chan-kyong will expand on the various historical events they approach, the specific socio-political contexts that feed into their work, and the different strategies applied to revive collective memory. The lectures by curators Dr June Yap and Hyunjin Kim, and scholar Dr Clare Veal, as well as the keynote lectures by Dr May Adadol Ingawanij and Professor Kenneth Dean, aim to articulate the complicated relations within the region during the Cold War in Asia.
The symposium will close with a performance by Ho Tzu Nyen, in collaboration with Bani Haykal, followed by NTU CCA Singapore’s 4th anniversary celebrations.
Session I: Shadows of History
Chaired by Dr Roger Nelson, curator and art historian, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, School of Art Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and NTU CCA Singapore
Dedicated to the uncovering of neglected histories, this session will look at the construction of historical narratives and their role in reflecting social, political, and cultural conditions. Occluded by the propagation of progress and nation building, what has been left out and rendered unspeakable in the region’s bid to establish national identities and political autonomy? Referencing the works of Ho Tzu Nyen and Nguyen Trinh Thi, this session traces post-war and Cold War legacies in Asia, and investigates their lingering spectres.
Session II: Ghosts and Spectres
Chaired by Dr David Teh, researcher and curator, Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, National University of Singapore (NUS)
This session deals with notions of ghosts and spectres as allegories of historical moments and dreamlike realities. Embedded in myths and folklore, what roles do they play in constructing an understanding of the past and in reflecting socio-political circumstances? How do cinematic works engage their medium-specificity in a play of historical phantoms and repressed collective memories, to create a language for portraying trauma, loss, dreams, and nightmares?
10.00 – 10.10am
Welcome address by Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore and Professor, School of Art, Design and Media (ADM)
10.10 – 11.10am
Keynote Lecture: “The Art of Uncertainty”
Dr May Adadol Ingawanij, curator and moving image theorist, University of Westminster, London
Session I: Shadows of History
11.10am – 1.10pm
Lecture: “In the Interest of Time”
Dr June Yap, Director of Curatorial Programmes and Publications, Singapore Art Museum
Presentation: “Recycled Images: ‘The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia’ ”
Artist Ho Tzu Nyen
Presentation: “On distances between an Artist and her Subjects”
Artist Nguyen Trinh Thi
In Conversation: Dr Roger Nelson with Ho Tzu Nyen, Nguyen Trinh Thi, and Dr June Yap
1.30 – 2.00pm
Exhibition Tour of Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History
Khim Ong, co-curator and Deputy Director, Curatorial Programmes, NTU CCA Singapore
Session II: Ghosts and Spectres
2.30 – 4.30pm
Lecture: “Contested Modernity and the Image of History in East Asia”
Hyunjin Kim, curator, writer, and researcher
Presentation: “Colonial Unheimlich”
Artist Park Chan-kyong
Presentation: “The Spectre of Photography in the works of Apichatpong Weerasethakul”
Dr Clare Veal, art historian, Lecturer, MA Asian Art Histories, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
In Conversation: Dr David Teh with Hyunjin Kim, Park Chan-kyong, and Dr Clare Veal
4.30 – 5.30pm
Closing Keynote Lecture by Professor Kenneth Dean, Head, Department of Chinese Studies, NUS
5.45 – 6.30pm
Book Launch: Thai Art: Currencies of the Contemporary (MIT Press, 2017)
Introduction by author, David Teh, in conversation with Dr May Adadol Ingawanij and Dr Roger Nelson
7.00 – 8.00pm
The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia, Volume 4: V for Voice
Performance by artists Ho Tzu Nyen and Bani Haykal
Join us as we celebrate our 4th Anniversary on Saturday, 28 October 2017. We are excited to present a special performance of The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia Volume 4: V for Voice, by Ho Tzu Nyen and Bani Haykal.
The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia (cdosea) has, since its inception in 2012, generated a number of filmic, theatrical, and installation works for Ho Tzu Nyen including The Name (2015) and The Nameless (2015), and a number of projects engaging with the figure of the tiger. Since 2016, Ho has working with a group of collaborators to manifest the dictionary itself, most recently creating an algorithm that endlessly composes new combinations of audio-visual materials glossed from the Internet, according to the 26 terms of the dictionary (cdosea.org). Volume 4: V for Voice is the first time cdosea is presented in a live context, with sound artist Bani Haykal performing in response to the spontaneous audio-visual images conjured up by the ghostwriter that is the algorithms. Learn more about cdosea here.
Enjoy food by Intermission Bar, free-flow drinks, and music by Singaporean deejay RAH at the tents outside Block 43. We look forward to having you celebrate with us!
Tickets: S$13.50 standard; S$11.50 concession. Purchase at theprojector.sg
Introduction by Professor Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, School of Art, Design and Media (ADM), NTU
Vampir-Cuadecuc is arguably one of the key films for understanding the transition in the Spanish film world from the period of the “new cinemas” (permitted by the Franco government) towards the illegal, clandestine, or openly antagonistic practices against the Franco regime. The film consists of shooting the filming of a commercial film El Conde Drácula by Jesús Franco. Portabella practices two types of violence on the standard narrative: he totally eliminates colour and substitutes the soundtrack with a landscape of image-sound collisions by Carles Santos. Filmed provocatively in 16mm and with sound negative, the tensions between black and white favour the strange “fantasmatic materialism” of this revealing analysis of the construction mechanism for the magic in dominant narrative cinema, which at the same time constitutes a radical intervention in the Spanish cinematographic institution.
This Screening is part of the public programme of Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History.