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Baptist Coelho —Residencies |  NTU CCA Singapore
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Artist-in-residence

Committed to supporting artists, curators, and researchers by offering them time and space to pursue their research without the pressure of deadlines and production commitments, the Residencies Programme values the open-ended nature of artistic research and embraces multiform expressions of creative enquiry. Aiming to facilitate the production of knowledge, this studio-based programme is dedicated to established and emerging artists and serves as platform for critical exchange in Southeast Asia. The Residencies Programme offers a wide spectrum of programmes aimed at sharing the process of artistic research with the public - Residencies OPEN / Studio Sessions / Insights, which range from open studios, artists’ talks, conversations, performances, and screenings. The Residencies Programme unfolds through annual cycles and runs by nomination only. Every year, a rotating pool of curators and arts professionals from all over the world is invited to nominate two artists for the residency. The nominated artists are subsequently invited to submit a research proposal along with their portfolio and CV. Ultimately, the Residencies Committee, an international panel of experts, reviews the submitted materials and designates the artists who are awarded the residency.

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Baptist Coelho

Residency period

2 October – 30 December 2019

About

Over the past decade, the practice of Baptist Coelho (b. 1977, India) has revolved around the unspoken narratives and intricate trajectories of the Siachen Glacier, a conflict zone between India and Pakistan. His work also often addresses India’s involvement in the two world wars. Through extended archival and ethnographic research, he engages a variety of subjects to probe the physical, psychological, and emotional implications engendered by conflicts, wars, states of conscriptions, and acts of heroism. His works have been exhibited internationally at JSLH Art Gallery, Sonipat, India (2019); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2018); and Somerset House, London, United Kingdom (2016) among other venues. Coelho was awarded the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in 2016.

Focus

During the residency, Baptist Coelho will turn his focus to the history of the Indian National Army (INA) and the Rani of Jhansi Regiment, two military units created in Singapore respectively in 1942 and 1943. During the Japanese occupation of Singapore, almost 20,000 Indian prisoners-of-war were instigated by their Japanese captors to create the INA with the goal to free India from British colonial rule. This short-lived military formation, which was disbanded in 1945, also included the Rani of Jhansi Regiment, one of the very few all-female combat units developed during the Second World War. Coelho aims to trace back patterns of everyday life at a time of war and delve into the reasons that drove INA women, most of who had never set foot in India, to fight for the country’s independence. Continuing his extensive research on the psychological and physical disruptions caused by war and conflict, the artist will critically interweave personal memories, historic accounts, and archival records laying out the groundwork for the production of a new work.

Residencies brochure (October – December 2019)

Image credit: Baptist Coelho, What have we done for you?, 2018, performance still. Photo by Hervé Véronèse. Courtesy the artist, Centre Pompidou, Paris and Project 88, Mumbai.

Public programmes

Residencies Studio Sessions: Mapping a glacier and the world wars, Artist talk by Baptist Coelho (India), Artist-in-Residence
26 Nov 2019, Tue 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

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Since 1984, India and Pakistan have been guarding their territories on the Siachen Glacier claiming sovereignty over this remote zone in the Himalayas with temperatures as low as -60°C. Over the years, Baptist Coelho’s research on this glacial conflict have come to encompass manifold aspects such as the day-to-day life of soldiers and Ladakhi porters. The presentation will also touch upon the artist’s ongoing research in India’s involvement with and contribution to the two world wars through a selection of artworks that probe beyond the surface to complicate, counter, and rethink histories. In conclusion, Coelho will share his recent findings on the Rani of Jhansi Regiment and the Indian National Army (INA), two military units established in Singapore during the second world war.

The talk will take place in the artist’s studio.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Over the past decade, the practice of Baptist Coelho (b. 1977, India) has revolved around the unspoken narratives and intricate trajectories of the Siachen Glacier, a conflict zone between India and Pakistan. His work also often addresses India’s involvement in the two world wars. Through extended archival and ethnographic research, he engages a variety of subjects to probe the physical, psychological, and emotional implications engendered by conflicts, wars, states of conscriptions, and acts of heroism. His works have been exhibited internationally at JSLH Art Gallery, Sonipat, India (2019); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2018); and Somerset House, London, United Kingdom (2016) among other venues. Coelho was awarded the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in 2016.

 

Image: Baptist Coelho, They agreed to eat biscuits and European bread, but our regiment refused, 2019, performance view. Photo by Emilie Costa. Courtesy the artist, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris and Project 88, Mumbai.