Cause to Know is a recalling, retelling, and remembering of mostly-forgotten pockets of Singapore’s performance art history and artists. The treasure trove of photographic and video documentation created and collated by Koh Nguang How and Gilles Massot will be the initial departure point into the people, performances, exhibitions, events, and happenings that we only hear about in casual conversations over coffee and cigarettes, but are difficult to find in writing. An informal symposium of sorts that will invite many others to speak and share, Cause to Know highlights the need to rely on the oral history that circulates among artists who were participants and witnesses.
Koh Nguang How (Singapore) artistic practice started in 1988 and encompasses photography, collage, assemblage, installation, performance art, documentation, archiving, curating and research. He worked in the National Museum Art Gallery as a Museum Assistant from October 1985 to December 1991. He was a researcher in the pilot Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Researcher/Curator in Residence Program 1999. He photo-documented the activities of The Artists Village since its first open studio show in 1989, to the Post-Ulu show in 1999. His collection of materials on art and culture also enabled him to initiate his Singapore Art Archive Project in 2005. His newspaper cuttings collection under the title Artists in the News were part of the 3rd Singapore Biennale (2011). He was an NTU CCA Singapore Artist-in-Residence from July 2015 to January 2015.
Gilles Massot (France/Singapore) is a multidisciplinary artist and academic whose work is based on the idea of “the space between things” and aims to establish links and decipher the narratives existing between disciplines, people, occurrences, and parts of the world. His visual art practice more specifically deals with the theory of photography and its relation to time and space. After studying architecture and photography in Marseille, he came to live in Singapore in 1981. His early participation to the local art scene saw him involved in a string of seminal art events, including the first editions of the Festival of Arts Fringe and the 1987 Yin Yang Festival. He currently lives in Singapore where he teaches in LASALLE – College of the Arts. His work is part of the LTA Integrated Art Program (Buona Vista Station), the Singapore Art Museum and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris among other collections. He is a recipient of the French cultural award Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
A public programme of Journey of a Yellow Man. Selected Materials from the Independent Archive
Image caption: Lee Wen, Future of Imagination 2, 2004, Sculpture Square, Singapore. Photo by Gilles Massot / Cassandra Schultz. Courtesy NTU CCA Singapore / Independent Archive.