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Artist-in-residence

The NTU CCA Singapore Residencies programme is an integral part of the NTU CCA Singapore’s mission as a research centre and hosts artists, curators, critics and scholars from Singapore and abroad. The studio-based Residencies programme is dedicated to facilitating the production of knowledge and research for and by established and emerging artists. It serves as a forum for cultural and artistic exchange in Southeast Asia, augmented with public events Residencies: Insights / Studio Sessions / OPEN series, ranging from open studio sessions, lectures, live performances, to special projects in The Lab, NTU CCA Singapore’s space for curatorial experimentation. The application for residency at NTU CCA Singapore is via nomination, please email NTUCCAresidencies@ntu.edu.sg for more information.

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Dennis Tan

Residency period

1 February – 3 June 2016

About

Dennis Tan (b. 1975) went to an arts college in Singapore and graduated with a diploma in Painting. Tan subsequently took on an MA in Architecture, however this course of study was peppered with interruptions and took over a decade to obtain his degree. During his studies, he took on the role of a nomad and a bricoleur, of thinking while making. Tan cites the turning point of his practice when he first encountered Alan Kaprow’s, The blurring of Art and Life and sees this and Tom Marioni’s, The Act of Drinking Beer With Friends Is the Highest Form of Art as a pivotal influence on his practice. Tan’s practice suspends conceptualism, tinkers with found objects and the environment as a gestural structure upon which the loop closes with the behaviour of its recipients. To date, this inclination sets the tone of his evolving practice.

A current concern of Tan’s practice is the reconstruction of a floating fish farm in the waters off the coast of Changi in Singapore. Working within the unfamiliar element of water, his constructions involve the use of makeshift, found materials and adapting to the work process with limited tools. His work manifests as impermanent by nature and vernacular in its construction.

Focus

In 2015, Dennis Tan was hosted by a family in Kebau, Riau Islands of Indonesia where he honed skills in the construction of the traditional Kolek sailboat. On this journey Tan was introduced to three generations of all; Kolek named Pujangga, each built by a generation within the same family.

Two of the boats were gifted to Tan, who is now its custodian, keeper and bearer. While in residence, Tan will attempt to reconstruct the Kolek whilst investigating ideas of self-organisation and the transmission of skills and knowledge through generations of oral history in the Riau Archipelago and how this enables the continuity of cultural communities.

Public programmes

Residencies: OPEN as part of Art Day Out! at Gillman Barracks
19 Mar 2016, Sat 2:00pm - 7:00pm

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Residencies: OPEN offers a rare insight into the often introverted sphere of the artists’ studio. Through showcasing discussions, performances, research and works-in-progress, Residencies: OPEN profiles the diversity of contemporary art practice and the divergent ways artists conceive artwork with the studio as a constant space for experimentation and contemplation.

Zul Mahmod, Block 37, Studio #01-01

Zul Mahmod’s (Singapore) practice investigates the aural architecture of spaces in order to explore the emotional, behavioural and visceral responses of its inhabitants. While in residence, Zul will explore the aural relationship between readymade sound sculptures and the architecture of space. Sonic characteristics, forms and textures of everyday objects will be examined in order to compose an orchestra of sonic sculptures.

Guo-Liang Tan, Block 37, Studio #01-03
How does one speak of abstraction and what can the abstract say? As part of his residency, Guo-Liang Tan (Singapore) has initiated a number of conversations with other artists, writers and curators around the operation of abstraction as an artistic strategy today. This panel will gather part of this ongoing investigation to situate abstraction beyond its usual formal discourse and reconsider its relevance to the fields of semiotics, socio-politics and phenomenology. Tan is a visual artist working primarily in painting and text. In his work, the painterly and the textual act as surfaces for performing affect that can conjure a haunting or a promise.

Moderated by Guo-Liang Tan, speakers include Dr Kevin Chua, art historian; Joleen Loh, Assistant Curator, National Gallery Singapore; and Ian Woo, artist.

Saleh Husein, Block 37, Studio #01-04
Saleh Husein’s (Indonesia) current research looks at Arabic descendants in Indonesia. This research crosses borders between art, politics, economy, and also science and centres around how they see themselves in the contemporary. Through themes of identity, transition and journeys, he is exploring the story of the Arabic society in Singapore, seeking artefacts and archives that look at the relationship and histories between the two groups from the perspective of its citizens. Husein will present new work developed whilst in residence at NTU CCA Singapore that considers the temporality and asynchrony of migration.

Zac Langdon-Pole, Block 38, Studio #01-05
Zac Langdon-Pole’s (New Zealand) work straddles cross-cultural experience and with it he seeks to investigate procedures of cultural exchange. The implications of such investigations are to reveal often overlooked, lyrical relationships between broader socio-cultural processes, objects, images and individual people. Langdon-Pole will present the film, Pieces of 8 (2015), which depicts a yellow canary bird in a cage. The film references the historical usage of canaries in mining, where they would accompany miners in a small cage, their death serving as a warning signal if conditions became unsafe to consider broader notions of danger or anxiety.

Dennis Tan, Block 38, Studio #01-07
Dennis Tan (Singapore) will present the work-in-progress construction of a traditional Indonesian Kolek sailboat. Through construction of the boat, Tan will investigate ideas of self-organisation and the transmission of skills and knowledge through generations of oral history in the Riau Archipelago and how this enables the continuity of cultural communities. Tan’s practice suspends conceptualism, tinkers with found objects and the environment as a gestural structure upon which the loop closes with the behaviour of its recipients. To date, this inclination sets the tone of his evolving practice.

Image credit: Zul Mahmod, No Substance, 2015. Courtesy of the artist.

Four Practices: Artist Resource Platform
6 Apr 2016, Wed - 12 Apr 2016, Tue
13 Apr 2016, Wed - 19 Apr 2016, Tue
20 Apr 2016, Wed - 26 Apr 2016, Tue
27 Apr 2016, Wed - 3 May 2016, Tue

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Unfolding over four weeks, the NTU CCA Singapore presents Four Practices, a display of resource material of current Artists-in-Residence. Showcasing publications, audio and visual documentation, Four Practices provides an entry point in understanding the artists’ diverse body of works and the complexity of their practices.

Four Practices complements and expands on NTU CCA Singapore’s Artist Resource Platform, a growing collection of resource materials from more than 80 local and international artists, independent art spaces and NTU CCA Singapore’s Artists-in-Residence.

Image credits: Courtesy of Dennis Tan, NTU CCA Singapore Artist-in-Residence