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current Exhibitions

NTU CCA Singapore Exhibitions is focused on contemporary artistic production that provides a critical platform for reflection and discussion. The exhibition programme embraces artistic production in all its diverse media with a commitment to current debates in visual culture. NTU CCA Singapore presents up to four exhibitions a year ranging in format from group to solo shows giving voice to a diversity of international artists. Each exhibition is accompanied by an extensive public programme of tours, talks and workshops that foster reflections on the exhibition from various perspectives and disciplines.


The Making of an Institution

11 February 2017 — 7 May 2017

The Making of an Institution captures different moments in the development of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore) connecting artistic projects, discursive manifestations, and the institutional apparatus in a seamless display. It looks back into its young past in order to shape its future. Challenging the format of an exhibition, The Making of an Institution creates a communal space where projects and research explorations by the Centre’s Artists-, Curators-in- Residence, and Research Fellows coexist with ongoing series of talks, screenings, performances, and workshops. The project engages the Centre’s main pillars–Exhibitions, Residencies, Research and Academic Education)–bringing to a close the overarching curatorial narrative Place.Labour.Capital. that served as a framework for its activities since 2013.

Established in 2013, the Centre embodies the complexity of a contemporary art institution in times of knowledge economy and global art. The role of a contemporary art institution should not be limited to the presentation of art. It feeds off and nurtures the cultural ecosystem it belongs to through a complex series of actions that often reside in the realm of the immaterial. The Centre’s inaugural programme Free Jazz addressed the foundational question “What can this institution be?” highlighting the skill of improvisation and free play. Three years later, different questions are to be raised: What could the role of the NTU CCA Singapore be for the years to come within a fast changing local, regional, and global cultural landscape? What are the criteria to evaluate its achievements and impact?

In revisiting its own process of institutional building, NTU CCA Singapore appropriates the format and language of a “public report”. While a public report is conventionally employed to deliver an official written narrative, the Centre’s report unfolds in the exhibition space through the languages of the performative, the discursive, and the archival.

“It’s amazing how far we were able to come in just three years,” said Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore. “The Making of an Institution is a celebration of the international community we have built, including scholars, artists, and the public. Now it is time for us to reflect and analyse our achievements before the exciting next steps ahead.”

The Making of an Institution is divided into four sections borrowed from the structure of a public report: Reason to Exist: The Director’s Review; Ownership, Development, and Aspirations; Artistic Research; and Communication and Mediation. The first section, Reason to Exist: The Director’s Review maps out a network of institutions, like NTU CCA Singapore, that place research at the core of their identity. Each guest director will closely examine the vision, mission, and operative model of her respective organisation in a series of talks aimed at deepening our understanding of the changing role of contemporary cultural institutions. Ownership, Development, and Aspirations is a public panel with several members of the NTU CCA Singapore’s International Advisory Board and its stakeholders representatives that stresses the importance of feedback and exchange among peers especially in the development phase of an institution. The section dedicated to Artistic Research frames the material and immaterial aspects that constitute contemporary art practices. It takes over the Centre’s physical Spaces of the Curatorial—The Exhibition Hall, The Single Screen, The Lab, and The Vitrine—juxtaposing artworks and research projects by NTU CCA Singapore’s Artists-, Curators-in- Residence, and Research Fellows alongside various formats of public programming. Finally, Communication and Mediation explores the production of an institution’s identity through visual communication and spatial practices. Through workshops and presentations, artists, architects, and designers will discuss how they create diverse visual and spatial identities for art institutions.

Among the contributors are former and current Artists-, Curators-, Writers-, and Curators-in-Residence, Research Fellows and other invited participants: åbäke (United Kingdom), Hamra Abbas (Pakistan/United States), Rodolfo Andaur (Chile), Diana Campbell Betancourt (United States/Philippines/ Bangladesh), Dinu Bodiciu (Romania/Singapore), Kray Chen (Singapore), Chris Chong Chan Fui (Malaysia), Heman Chong (Malaysia/Singapore) and Renée Staal (Taiwan/Netherlands), Weixin Chong (Singapore), Choy Ka Fai (Singapore), Ann Demeester (Belgium/Netherlands), Rosemary Forde (Australia), Marc Glöde (Germany/Singapore), Yuko Hasegawa (Japan), Bani Haykal (Singapore), Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad (Iran/United Kingdom), Maria Hlavajova (Netherlands), Ho Rui An (Singapore), James Jack (United States/Japan), siren eun young jung (South Korea), Christoph Knoth (Netherlands), Koh Nguang How (Singapore), Wilfried Kuehn (Germany), Bastien von Lehsten (Germany), Li Ran (China), Loo Zihan (Singapore), Zulkifle Mahmod (Singapore), Ato Malinda (Kenya/Netherlands), Alice Miceli (Brazil), Laura Miotto (Italy/Singapore), Regina Möller (Germany/Singapore), Arjuna Neuman (United States), UuDam Tran Nguyen (Vietnam), Nikos Papastergiadis (Australia), Jegan Vincent de Paul (Canada/Singapore), Emily Pethick (United Kingdom), Thao-Nguyen Phan (Vietnam), Souliya Phoumivong (Laos), Ana Prvački (Serbia/United States), Arin Rungjang (Thailand), anGie seah (Singapore), Jeremy Sharma (Singapore), SHIMURAbros (Japan/Germany), Alec Steadman (United Kingdom/Indonesia) and Sanne Oorthuizen (Netherlands/Indonesia), Anocha Suwichakornpong (Thailand), Erika Tan (Singapore/United Kingdom), Guo-Liang Tan (Singapore), Tan Pin Pin (Singapore), Philip Tinari (United States/China), John Tirman (United States), Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor (Romania), Bo Wang (China/Germany, United States), Farah Wardani (Indonesia/Singapore), Tamara Weber (United States), Jason Wee (Singapore), and Otty Widasari (Indonesia).

The public report will culminate into a book planned for publication in mid-2017, gathering the voices of all the artists, curators, researchers, and academics who have contributed to this first phase of the Centre.

The Making of an Institution is curated by Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, Anna Lovecchio, Curator, Residencies, and Anca Rujoiu, Manager, Publications.

Public programmes

Workshop for Teachers and Educators led by Kelly Reedy (United States/Singapore), artist and educator, with introductions by participating artists, and exhibition curators
11 Feb 2017, Sat 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM

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This workshop was developed in collaboration with Kelly Reedy, a former lecturer at the National Institute of Education, who specialises in working with museums and galleries to enhance student learning through visual arts. The workshop is created to engage educators in contemporary art and artistic practices, highlighting the educational aspects of each section of the exhibition to better prepare for visits with their classes.

Registration required. Email

This Workshop is part of the public programme of The Making of an Institution.

The Making of an Institution – Reason to Exist: The Director's Review. Talk by Emily Pethick (United Kingdom), The Showroom, London, United Kingdom, and Curator-in-Residence
15 Feb 2017, Wed 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM

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This talk inaugurates Reason to Exist: The Director’s Review. An integral component of The Making of an Institution, this series of encounters brings together directors and founders of organisations that adopt critical and innovative strategies to advance the development of contemporary art practices and discourses. Emily Pethick will present The Showroom, a contemporary art space in London that focuses on collaborative and process-driven approaches as well as cultural production within its locality and beyond, linking experimental artistic practice to a range of communities of interest and political concerns. Responding to the context of The Making of an Institution, the talk will look at The Showroom’s mission statement and how this was developed in tandem with the organisation’s development. Pethick will also share some new approaches to the process of “evaluation” The Showroom is currently developing using mapping strategies.

This Workshop is part of the public programme of The Making of an Institution.

The Making of an Institution – Artistic Research. Talk and screening by siren eun young jung (South Korea), Artist-in-Residence
22 Feb 2017, Wed 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM

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What is artistic research? Which are the material and immaterial aspects that constitute contemporary art practices? Within the context of The Making of an Institution, Artist-in-Residence siren eun young jung addresses the process of artistic research that lies behind her long-term project on Yeosung Gukgeuk, a form of Korean theatre featuring only female actors that flourished between the 1940s and the 1960s. Over almost a decade, jung has produced a multiplicity of works around this subject challenging the interpretation of tradition and gender politics in contemporary Korean society. The artist will introduce the screening of Act of Affect (2013) and I am not going to sing (2015), positioning Yeosung Gukgeuk at the intersection between issues of affect, gender structures, and performativity.

This Workshop is part of the public programme of The Making of an Institution.

Ownership, Development, and Aspirations
25 Feb 2017, Sat 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM

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Who owns a public institution? How does an institution balance the different sets of expectations held by its various stakeholders? What is the role of an international advisory board and how does it contribute to the institution’s development within a global perspective? Shifting the top-down operational model, can an institution learn from artists and incorporate artistic methodologies into its own structure? To address such questions, this session brings together several members of the NTU CCA Singapore’s International Advisory Board into a public discussion with representatives of the Centre’s stakeholders. The session will be moderated by Founding Director Ute Meta Bauer and preceded by Heman Chong’s performance Words, They, Wrote (2015 – ongoing). Utilising words written or spoken by several artists, the performance generates a moment of introspection opening up a space for the artists’ thoughts on their own lives and works.

This Workshop is part of the public programme of The Making of an Institution.

3.00 – 3.30pm
Words, They, Wrote (2015 – ongoing), performance by Heman Chong (Singapore), Artist-in-Residence

3.30 – 5.00pm
Public Discussion

Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore), Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore and Professor, School of Art Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University

Ann Demeester (Belgium/Netherlands) Board Member; Director, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands

Yuko Hasegawa (Japan), Board Member; Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Japan

Nikos Papastergiadis (Australia), Board Chair; Director, Research Unit in Public Cultures, and Professor, School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Philip Tinari (United States/China), Board Member; Director, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China

John Tirman (United States), Board Member; Executive Director, Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States