Residencies OPEN


Residencies OPEN

Saturday, 12 August - Sunday, 13 August 2023 · 2:00 - 7:00 PM · ONSITE

Residencies OPEN offers the chance to experience diverse contemporary art practices and the heterogenous ways in which artists conceive an artwork with the studio as a springboard for experimentation and innovation.


Residencies OPEN offers a rare insight into the artists’ creative process making their studios accessible to the public. Through research displays and presentations of works-in-progress, Residencies OPEN showcases the diversity of contemporary art practices and the multiplicity of ways in which artists develop their work with the studio as a springboard for experimentation and research.

Do not miss this special opportunity to meet our Artists-in-Residence Yanyun Chen, Ben Loong, and Zulkhairi Zulkiflee, and gain an insight into the research projects they have been developing over the past five months. A range of sketches, research materials, prototypes, experimental installations as well as the artists themselves await you!

Yanyun Chen, cry some more, 2022, charcoal on paper. Courtesy the artist.


Saturday, 12 August – Sunday, 13 August 2023
2:00 ­– 7:00 pm
Block 38 Malan Road, #01-07

Capturing two lines of artistic inquiry that have been unfolding in parallel during her residency, this presentation features the main strands of Yanyun Chen’s practice: the pictorial experiments with botanical forms and her engagement with the intergenerational transmission of pain, shame, and trauma inspired by her own family’s stories. In the past months, the artist has been working on her largest drawings to date. Made with charcoal on aluminium, the two drawings are at different stages of development. Both feature complex floral arrangements devoid of colour and the painstakingly realistic rendition of these botanical forms is complicated by the introduction of unnatural distortions, almost akin to digital glitches, that instill a sense of movement into the tradition of still-life painting. 

The other research thread explores techniques of physical discipline employed in the family context, their long-lasting effects on individuals as well as the tools of their enforcement. Visitors are invited to browse a variety of research materials, from articles and books addressing physical punishment to surveys conducted by the Singapore’s Children Society and findings drawn from personal conversations with relatives and friends. Alongside the text-based materials are the artist’s manipulations of the instruments of domestic discipline themselves, specifically rattan canes and feather dusters. Breaking down the fibers of rattan canes, Yanyun is experimenting with the act of weaving to explore both the materials and the craftsmanship objects of discipline are made of.  They are accompanied by a video work the artist is developing in collaboration with animator Dave Lim. Inspired by the notion of imprinting in relation to both film-making processes (the latent image) and the consequences of caning on a person’s mind and body, the video is composed by a series of flickering closeups that animate the texture of cane.



Saturday, 12 August – Sunday, 13 August 2023
2:00 – 7:00pm
Blk 37 Malan Road, #01-02

Bringing together a long-standing interest in the materiality of urban structures, the conceptual frictions between fine arts and craftsmanship, and his professional ceramic practice, Ben Loong has spent his residency looking at the history of brick production in Singapore. Now a defunct trade, the art of masonry used to be a burgeoning industry during the colonial era. Reflecting upon the different forms of labour involved in the material production and usages of bricks, the presentation for Residencies OPEN includes the artist’s current explorations around these subjects and two previous works, EB and SB (both 2018), made of resinated gypsum plaster on wood, which were also inspired by brick bond patterns.

The multiplicity of brick structures and laying patterns is at the core of the artist’s research. Over the past months, a collection was formed made of bricks found in different parts of Singapore—from sidewalks and construction sites to the forested area around the studio. The bricks are displayed to illustrate a wide variety of structural morphologies. Alongside the found objects are the artist’s own sketches and prototypes: a series of watercolours realised with powder obtained by grinding bricks; experimentations with brick ‘seals’ and Chinese ink on paper; and an industrial brick that was subjected to firing and glazing. Also available is an interactive map of still-existing brick buildings in Singapore which visitors are invited to explore and contribute to.



Saturday, 12 August – Sunday, 13 August 2023
2:00 ­– 7:00 pm
Block 37 Malan Road, #01­-03
In the past five months of his residency, Zulkhairi Zulkiflee has been developing World as Method, a project that riffs off the Singaporean-Malay slang “world” in relation to the postcolonial notion of “worlding”. As theorised by literary scholar and feminist critic Gayatri Spivak, “worlding” refers to one’s conceptualisation of the world devised through colonial attachments. On the other hand, in colloquial Singaporean-Malay “world” is used to signal boastful aspirations towards a social status higher than one’s own, often conveyed through self-aggrandising story-telling. The creative outcomes of Zulkhairi’s conceptual engagement with different concepts and practices of  “world-ing” are presented in the studio. 
Through a series of interviews with friends, academics, and fellow creatives, the artist developed a word-associative map which led him to ‘pondok’ (Malay for shelter, or pavilion). Similar pavilions are a common fixture in Singapore’s public housing estates where, as the artist himself experienced, they are used by Singaporean-Malay youth as a place to gather and hang out. The floating installation created for Residencies OPEN evokes the pondok as a space for communality and suspension from the hyper-productive and utilitarian mechanics of contemporary society. Furthermore this studio presentation also includes a selection of the artist’s research materials and prototypes that attempt to articulate concepts of ‘world’ through the language of sculpture and monument. 
Part of this Residencies OPEN session is also a lecture performance titled World which will take place on Saturday, 12 August and Sunday, 13 August from 2.00 – 2.30pm.