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.
Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore) is the Founding Director of the NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor at the School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University. Prior, she was Associate Professor (2005–12) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States, where she served as the Founding Director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology. Professor Bauer was Co-Curator for Documenta11 (2001–02), Artistic Director for the 3rd berlin biennale for contemporary art (2004), and the Founding Director of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (2002–05). She recently co-curated with Paul Ha, MIT List Centre for Visual Art Director, the US Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), presenting the work of pioneering performance and video artist Joan Jonas.
Chia Lay Kuan (Singapore) is the Director of DCA Architects. DCA Architects is established in 1996, offering architecture, interior planning and urban design services. DCA maintains its leading edge by fully utilising technology to create and implement holistic design solutions. We specialise in master planning, high-rise residential, commercial, retail and industrial projects. DCA creates architecture characterized by a specific set of dynamics from the inception stage through the evolution of its design. Our principal objective is to create noteworthy architecture while continually striving to make positive contributions to the social, natural and built environment.
Sophie Goltz (Germany/Singapore) is Deputy Director, Research and Academic Programmes at NTU CCA Singapore, and Assistant Professor at the School of Art, Design and Media, NTU. Goltz was Stadtkuratorin Hamburg (City curator) from 2013 to 2016, and worked as Curator and Head of Communications and Public Programme at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein between 2008 and 2013, becoming Senior Curator in 2014. Goltz worked as curator and art educator for various international exhibitions, including Documenta 12 (2007), Project Migration (2004–06), Documenta11 (2002), 3rd Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2004), and. She has taught at the University of Arts Vienna, the Technical University Berlin, and the University of Arts Berlin-Weißensee, and writes regularly for publications, including Texte zur Kunst, art agenda, and springerin.
Isa Kamari (Singapore) has written in Malay, nine novels, two collections of poetry, a collection of short stories, a book of essays on Singapore Malay poetry, a collection of theatre scripts and lyrics of two song albums. His novels have been translated into English, Turkish, Urdu, Indonesian, and Mandarin. His collections of essays and selected poems have been translated into English. His first novel in English, Tweet was published in 2016. Isa was conferred the Anugerah Tun Seri Lanang in 2009, Singapore Cultural Medallion in 2007, and S.E.A. Write Award in 2006. Kamari is currently the Deputy Director (Architecture) at the Land Transport Authority Singapore.
Samuel Lee’s (Singapore) first collection, A Field Guide to Supermarkets in Singapore (Math Paper Press, 2016), was mentioned in The Business Times as "poetry debut of the year." His poems have appeared in the Yale Literary Magazine and A Luxury We Cannot Afford, and were adapted for the libretto of Artifacts, a choral work by Eric Banks. He is an associate editor at poetry.sg, an online resource for Singapore poetry and concurrently a Young Professional Trainee with the NTU CCA Singapore.
Khim Ong (Singapore) is Deputy Director, Curatorial Programmes, NTU CCA Singapore. Prior, she worked as independent curator and held curatorial positions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LASALLE, and Osage Gallery, Hong Kong. She was Manager, Sector Development (Visual Arts), at the National Arts Council during which she contributed to conceptualising NTU CCA Singapore. She co-curated with Founding Director Ute Meta Bauer the exhibitions Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice (2016), Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest (2016), and Yang Fudong: Incidental Scripts (2014). Selected curatorial projects include the Southeast Asia Platform, Art Stage Singapore (2015), and Landscape Memories, Louis Vuitton Espace, Singapore (2013).
Prapan Napawongdee (Thailand) is the Director of Shma Company Limited. Shma is a landscape architectural design company with community of energetic people who share the same vision of creating a creative and sustainable environment. We seek simplicity in strategy and design that carefully responds to complex social phenomenon and natural ecosystem. Our approach is to find new possibility and new interpretation that emerges from understanding the climate, topography, history, culture, and programme which are the unique characteristics of each project. Shma has experience in numerous domestic and international projects which vary in type and scale including residential, hospitality, institution, commercial, urban space, master planning, research and experimental design.
Mapletree Business City: Mapletree’s innovative flagship development, Mapletree Business City (MBC), is an integrated business hub within the Alexandra Precinct. MBC incorporates a “city” concept where modern business space is situated in a garden setting, and it is served by comprehensive amenities and facilities that meet the needs of modern businesses. MBC boasts vast greenery with a planting area of 2.8 hectares and open spaces accentuated by artworks to inspire creative thinking and create a lively work-and-play environment. The first phase of MBC features eight commissioned art sculptures which are well-integrated within the development. At MBC II, Mapletree has appointed NTU CCA Singapore to curate new commissioned artworks for the communal areas.
Mapletree is a Singapore-based real estate development, investment and capital management company that owns and manages over S$39.5 billion of office, retail, logistics, industrial, residential, corporate housing/ serviced apartment, and student accommodation properties as at 31 March 2017. The Group’s assets are located across 12 economies in Asia Pacific, the United States and Europe, including the flagship property Mapletree Business City in Singapore.
Image of the poet Isa Kamari. Courtesy the artist.