04 December 2017 – 31 May 2018
Kent Chan (b. 1984, Singapore) is a Singaporean artist, filmmaker, and curator. Addressing the relationship between moving images and the contemporary city, his work often results in films and in installations that merge text and time-based media. Lately, he has focused his interest on the symbolic and political aspects of the tropical imagination, regarding the equatorial vegetation as a site generative of alternative aesthetics and narratives. Chan has participated in numerous group exhibitions abroad and has received solo exhibitions at SCCA-Ljubljana, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Slovenia (2017); Grey Projects, Singapore (2016); Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2014); The Substation, Singapore (2013). His recent curatorial projects include State of Motion 2017: Through Stranger Eyes and Superposition(s), ICA, Singapore (2016).
Over the course of the residency, Chan will delve into his longstanding interest for the rainforest seen as a site of contemporary art. Regarding the opulent wilderness of tropical nature as the physical and conceptual obverse of the white cube space, the artist will research an episode of Singapore’s curatorial history: the first group exhibition of Singaporean artists in the West. Titled Paintings by Singapore Artists, the exhibition took place at the former Imperial Institute in London in 1955 and was organised by the chairman of the Singapore Art Society, Ho Kok Hoe (1922-2015). It is rumoured that the artworks were brought to London without prior arrangements about the venue, leaving the materialisation of the show a matter of conjecture. Focusing on the 1955 exhibition, Chan will explore the epistemological connections between the colony and the imperial capital while also excavating the anxieties that lurk in the global peripheries of the art world.