4 May 2015 – 5 June 2015
Hamra Abbas (b. 1976, Pakistan) received her BFA and MA in Visual Arts from the National College of Arts, Lahore in 1999 and 2002 respectively before going on to the Universitaet der Kuenste in Berlin in 2004 where she received the Selected exhibitions and Collectors Show: Chimera, biennale’s include: The Singapore Art Museum (2012),Exhibition of works by the winner and short-listed artists of the Jameel Prize, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom (2009),USA; Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India (2014); Asian Art Biennial, Taichung, Taiwan (2011); International Incheon Women Artists Biennale, Incheon, South Korea (2009); Sharjah Biennial 9, Sharjah, UAE (2009);Guangzou Triennial,Guangzou, China (2008); Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul (2007); the Biennale of Sydney (2006).
She is the recipient of the Jury prize at Sharjah Biennial 9, the Abraaj Capital Art Prize in 2011.
Hamra Abbas has a versatile artistic practice that straddles a wide range of media, from paper collage and painting to ephemeral soft plasticine sculpture and video. Her works often take a humorous look towards widely accepted traditions, appropriating culturally loaded imagery and religious iconography and transforming them into new works that are experienced in space and time.
Abbas takes various cultural references and recontextualises them using appropriated artistic techniques. For her residency she is learning the courtly Chinese painting style of Gongbi and conducting portrait studies of her various interactions of people in the lively inner city suburb of Little India in Singapore.
This seminar takes two approaches on notions on place. The first will look at this through the work of Artist-in-Residence, Hamra Abbas whose past work has engaged with different facets of iconographic architecture. Simon Soon will share his research findings on the architectural and landscape history of Nanyang University (1955 and 1980) in relation to his larger project addressing how landscape and architecture facilitate a form of “social memory-practice” to Chinese modernity outside of China. Cheo Chai Hiang (artist) and Lai Chee Kien (architect) will act as respondents in this lively discussion.
Simon Soon (Malaysia) is a writer and researcher who recently completed his PhD where he examined the spatial-visual practice of left-leaning political art movements in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines from 1950s – 1970s.
Hamra Abbas (Pakistan/United States) creates new platforms from which to view notions of culture, tradition, exchange and power. Abbas is the recipient of the Jury prize at Sharjah Biennial 9 and the Abraaj Capital Art Prize in 2011.