The Ground: From the Land to the Sea
NTU CCA Singapore is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Southeast Asia by sound artist and musician Tarek Atoui, conceived as a spatial composition played by an ensemble of autonomous instruments, many of which are specifically created for this presentation. The exhibition will also include musical devices that are part of The Ground project, the result of his long-term observation of nature and agricultural processes in the Pearl River Delta region, first presented at Mirrored Gardens in Guangzhou, China. The new and extended version to be exhibited in Singapore takes this first experience further, not only beyond the site, but also reconnecting the piece into a new shape. This reconfiguration reveals more sounds, new instruments, and particularly a new protocol in the way the artist engages with local and international musicians who will be invited to intervene in the installation.
The exhibition, driven by Atoui’s interest in discovering different conceptions of sound and performance, focuses on his experimentations with the sonic, including sound-producing devices, improvisation processes, and “deep listening” exercises. Visitors are invited to experience a unique orchestration of both digital and analogue sounds extracted from ceramic discs and porcelain jars, as well as produced by an array of complex devices, such as string instruments, modified metronomes, and motorised bows. Two sound universes will be in dialogue with each other within the exhibition space: the first, are sounds from the I/E project, consisting of harbour and underwater recordings in Athens, Abu Dhabi, and Singapore. The second layer is the instruments and sounds of The Ground.
At the core of Atoui’s practice also lies an ongoing process of exchanges, gestures, and encounters, informed by his reflection on performance and interest in improvisational exercises. For his presentation in Singapore, Atoui will engage with musicians Vivian Wang and Yuen Chee Wai, as well as music curator Mark Wong, who in turn will invite other musicians and sound artists to inhabit the installation for given periods throughout the course of the exhibition.
Tarek Atoui (Lebanon/France) is an artist and composer, working within the realm of sound. His work often revolves around performances that develop from extensive research into music history and tradition, and explores new methods of collaboration and production. At the core of his work is an ongoing reflection on the notion of the instrument and how it overlaps with the acts of composing and performing. Atoui’s use of sound challenges and expands our established ways of understanding and experiencing this medium.
With additional support by the Embassy of France in Singapore and the Alliance Française de Singapour.