Purfled Promises, Canada, 2009, 8 min
Leona Alone, Canada, 2009, 5 min
Parade, Canada, 2013, 11 min
Isla Santa Maria 3D, Canada, 2016, 18min
This programme of short films by Oliver Husain provides an insight into the artist’s deep-seated interest in the visual codes of cinematic language, the artifice of representation, and the politics of spectatorship. The selected films span a trajectory from central perspective to the optical illusionism of 3D technologies revealing, each time from a different angle, how they inexorably overlap. Deconstructing the framing devices of the moving image, Husain’s films tackle notions of simulation and theatricality, presence and representation, creating playful spatial disruptions that question the authority of perspective, the position of the spectator, and the material boundaries between on-screen and off-screen space.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the artist.
Introduction by Dr Marc Glöde, film scholar and Assistant Professor, School of Art, Design and Media (ADM), NTU
The Mad Masters, Jean Rouch, France, 1955, 36 min
Image credit: Jean Rouch, The Mad Masters, 1955, film still. Courtesy the artist.
For Jean Rouch’s landmark film The Mad Masters, the French filmmaker himself coined the term “ethnofiction” due to the blending of both documentary and fictional aspects. Rouch takes his viewers to the city of Accra (West Africa) where he follows the Hauka movement and their religious and ritual proceedings, consisting of mimicry and dancing to become possessed by British Colonial administrators. The work caused a highly political debate since on one hand it was considered offensive to colonial authorities because of the Africans’ blatant attempts to mimic and mock the “white oppressors” and, on the other hand, African students, teachers, and directors found the film to perpetrate an “exotic racism” of the African people. An outstanding film that until today is one of the classics to be revisited and discussed.
Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti, Maya Deren, United States, 1985, 52 min
Image credit: Maya Deren, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti, 1985, film still. Courtesy the artist.
Between 1947 and 1951 the experimental filmmaker Maya Deren spent significant periods of time in Haiti to make a film about Voodoo rituals and rites. The material she shot was left unedited until after her death when it was assembled into the film Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti. Deren’s work reveals the ongoing merging of art and ethnography, one of the legacies of Surrealism, also standing as an important cultural record of Haitian Voodoo—a religion based on West African beliefs and practices, combined with aspects of Roman Catholicism. The contrasting of Haitian dance with ‘non-Haitian elements’ in a series of dream-like sequences testifies to Deren’s Surrealist interest in alternative realities. Gradually, the focus shifted from dance to the complex nature of Haitian ceremonies, while celebrating Haiti for its hybrid culture as well as for its symbolic importance as the political site of a successful slave revolution, which resulted in Haiti becoming the first modern black republic.
These Screenings are part of the public programme of Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History.
In 1953, Carlos P. Romulo, the then Ambassador of the Philippines to the United States, described Southeast Asia as “the theatre of conflict between the free world and the Soviet world,” representing “the margin between victory and defeat for freedom.” Beginning with an examination of the exhibition of the First Southeast Asia Art Conference and Competition in Manila in 1957, this talk focuses on pragmatic mediation—of switching political allegiances and circumventing power. Responding to the artworks of Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History, it considers the legacy of the Cold War battle for ‘hearts and minds’ in Southeast Asia and cultural production that navigates as much as it is informed by geo-politics.
Unruly Shadows: Artist Films and Videos on Challenging Spheres
19 Nov 2017, Sun 12:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Taking place on the closing weekend of Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History, the screening of selected films and videos by artists from Asia will expand on the discussion of moving image as an apparatus for capturing and propagating narratives. Through the notion of “ghost” and “spectres”, the programme entails discussions that take the exhibition as a point of departure, referencing mythologies, folklore, traditions, politics, and other prevalent themes portrayed in the artworks. It looks into the strategies employed by artists in visualising and imagining socio-political minefields. Due to the spectrum of collective experiences in a wider Asia, the film programme presents alternate visions of the exhibition, surfacing the undercurrents that permeate geopolitical entanglements. These anxieties present ways of approaching other logics of generational understanding, temporal localities, and regional variations as artists embark on translations of the past into contemporary imaginings. Confronting the unruliness of memory, the film programme draws parallels between history and the moving image: as moments that, in their unfolding, haunt us again and again.
The two-day event is divided into four themes: “Film and Cinema as Ghost”, “Acting and Re-enacting”, “Histories Turning Ghosts”, and “Rituals”. The screening programme will consist of works by Ayisha Abraham (India), akumassa (Indonesia), Phuttiphong Aroonpheng (Thailand), Martha Atienza (Philippines), Ashish Avikunthak (India), Chien-Chi Chang (Taiwan/Austria), Tiane Doan na Champassak and Jean Dubrel (France), Köken Ergun (Turkey), Bayu Prihantoro Filemon (Indonesia), Hikaru Fujii (Japan), Hao Jingban (China), Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore), Daniel Hui (Singapore), Ing K (Thailand), Meiro Koizumi (Japan), Soni Kum (Korea/Japan), Lee Kai Chung (Hong Kong), K. M. Madhusudhanan (India), Nguyen Trinh Thi (Vietnam), Vandy Rattana (Cambodia/Taiwan), Taiki Sakpisit (Japan), Chulayarnnon Siriphol (Thailand), Angela Su (Hong Kong), Tan Pin Pin (Singapore), Erika Tan (Singapore/UK), John Torres (Philippines), and Otty Widasari (Indonesia). Scheduled screening will be accompanied by introductions, talks, and discussions between a group of Singapore-based curators and researchers, addressing the complexities embedded in the selected works. Speakers include Dr Marc Glöde, film scholar and Assistant Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU; Fang-Tze Hsu, independent researcher and curator; Qinyi Lim, Curator, National Gallery Singapore; Sam I-Shan, Curator of Visual Arts, Esplanade; and Silke Schmickl, Curator, National Gallery Singapore.
Saturday, 18 November 2017, 12.00 – 7.30pm
Film and Cinema as Ghost
Short films, 12.00 – 1.15pm
Straight 8, Ayisha Abrahams, India, 2005, 17 min
Imaginati, akumassa, Indonesia, 2013, 13 min
A Presentation By Proxy, Erika Tan, UK, 2014, 21 min
Horor Satu Menit / One Minute Horror, Otty Widasari, Indonesia, 2005, 1 min
Mesures et Démesures, Angela Su, Hong Kong, 2015, 6 min
History is a Silent Film, K. M. Madhusudhanan, India, 2007, 17 min
Conversation, 1.15 – 1.35pm
Feature film: 1.35 – 3.00pm
People Power Bombshell: The Diary of Vietnam Rose 89’, John Torres, Philippines, 2016, 89 min
Acting and Re-enacting
Short films, 3.00 – 4.15pm
4×4 — Episodes of Singapore Art: Episode 3 — Tang Da Wu, The Most Radical Art Gesture, Ho Tzu Nyen, Singapore, 2005, 23 min
On the Origin of Fear, Bayu Prihantoro Filemon, Indonesia, 2016, 12 min
The History of Riots (The DJ), Lee Kai Chung, Hong Kong, 2013, 7 min
The Educational System of an Empire, Hikaru Fujiii, Japan, 2016, 21 min
Portrait of a Young Samurai, Meiro Koizumi, Japan, 2009, 10 min
Conversation, 4.15 – 4.35pm
Feature film, 4.35 – 7.30pm
Shakespeare Must Die, Ing K, Thailand, 2012, 176 min
Sunday, 19 November 2017, 12.00 – 7.00pm
Histories Turning Ghosts
Short films, 12.00 – 1.25pm
The Impossibility of Knowing, Tan Pin Pin, Singapore, 2010, 12 min
A Brief History of Memory, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, Thailand, 2010, 14 min
The War That Never Was, Chien-Chi Chang, Taiwan/Austria, 2017, 16 min
Landscape Series #1, Nguyen Trinh Thi, Vietnam, 2013, 5 min
Monologue, Vandy Rattana, Cambodia, 2015, 20 min
A Ripe Volcano, Taiki Sakpisit, Thailand, 2011, 16 min
Sukati / A Tale of Heaven, Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, Thailand, 2010, 6 min
Conversation, 1.25 – 1.45pm
Feature film, 1.45 – 3.30pm
Snakeskin, Daniel Hui, Singapore/Portugal, 2014, 105 min
Short films, 3.30 – 5.25pm
Anito, Martha Atienza, Philippines, 2012, 8 min
Vakratunda Swaha, Ashish Avikunthak, India, 2010, 21 min
Off Takes, Hao Jingban, China, 2016, 22 min
Ashura, Köken Ergun, Turkey, 2013, 25 min
Naptwe, the feast of the spirits, Tiane Doan na Champassak and Jean Dubrel, France, 2012, 31 min
Spring Comes Winter After, Nguyen Trinh Thi, Vietnam, 2008, 5 min
Conversation, 5.25 – 5.45pm
Feature film, 5.45 – 7.00pm
Foreign Sky, Soni Kum, Korea/Japan, 2005, 70 min
Image credit: Angela Su, Mesures et Démesures, 2015, film stills. Courtesy the artist.
Non-Aligned Movement: New Spaces of Liberty, New Lines of Alliance, New Modes of Creativity
Bojana Piškur (Slovenia), Curator-in-Residence, in conversation with Škart collective (Serbia), Artists-in-Residence
This discussion aims to address ideas, ideals, and principles of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that are relevant today and can be applied to the field of art and culture. The Belgrade-based collective Škart will present their artistic project related to the topic with a specific focus on the context of Singapore, while Bojana Piškur will talk about her long-term curatorial research on NAM’s politics in terms of exhibition-making, networking, and cultural exchange. Looking beyond the complex history of the Movement, the speakers intend to situate NAM’s progressive cultural policies, museum models, and emancipatory utopias in the present mapping out new possible prototypes for today’s art institutions, networks, and cultural politics.
Representing a major disruption in the Cold War geopolitical order, the Non-Aligned Movement was a coalition of small and middle-sized states, mostly former colonies and developing countries from the so-called Third World. Founded in 1961 at the Belgrade summit with 25 participating countries, it grew to encompass almost 100 members in 1979. Singapore became a full-time member in 1970. The Non-Aligned Movement functioned as a third way between the two major power blocs in the Cold War era; it aimed to change existing global structures and create a more just, equal, and peaceful world order. The member states subscribed to principles such as mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression and non-interference in domestic affairs, equality and peaceful co-existence.
The conversation will take place in the artists’ studio.
This is a reading group that aims to generate conversations on both the contemporary art scene and the practice of publishing and writing about art. We will be reading d ɪˈv a n | A Journal of Accounts, Issue 2 this session, so join us for a lively discussion!
To RSVP, please email NTUCCAeducation@ntu.edu.sg
Central to the artistic practice of Jamie North is the persistent observation of the built environment and its relationship with natural habitats. Departing from his latest experiments with concrete and endemic plants developed during the residency, North will trace the trajectories and shifts in his practice: from the photographic documentation of plants and their survival strategies in man-made environments to his current interest in construction materials. North’s hybrid sculptures create forms of coexistence between plants and cast concrete, as well as several by-products of industrial production, leading to the creation of poetic installations that merge the animate and the inanimate. Sharing a family history with the mining and construction industries, his works also reveal the artist’s personal interest in the rise and decline of industries and their economic and social impacts.
The talk will take place in the artist’s studio.
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.
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.