11 April – 12 August 2016
Kray Chen (b. 1987, Singapore) is a visual artist. He completed his MA in Fine Arts at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (2014) and has been active in his practice locally and internationally. Chen’s practice largely deals with lived experience and corporeality. Bringing to attention movements, gestures and behaviours of him and around him, Chen taps into their peculiar characteristic to discuss the value of progress in Singapore, reflecting on the psyche of a place caught between traditions and modernisation. Exhibitions include solo shows, It’s a Set Situation, Grey Projects, Singapore (2016), 1st Prize, The Institute of Contemporary Art Singapore (2013), Art Stage Singapore (2014). Group shows include Prudential Eye Awards Exhibition, Singapore (2014), The Pleasure of Improbable Placements, La Casa De Cultura Des Bernardes, Spain (2014), Paradis Sans Promesse, FRAC Des Pays De La Loire, France (2015).
Kray Chen’s practice brings attention to the peculiar characteristics of forms, gestures and behaviours in society to discuss the value of progress. While in residence, Chen continues this line of research into the absurd, such as ‘Waiting’, reflecting on the psyche of a place that pits labour against gratification, fragments against the whole, traditions against modernization.
Bring it to LIFE is a curatorial project that engages with NTU CCA Singapore’s Artist Resource Platform which aims to overcome the mediated experience and create direct encounters with artistic production. Structured in four different episodes, Bring it to LIFE brings to the fore artworks by Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor, Kray Chen, Sufian Samsiyar, and Geraldine Kang that directly engage with the subject matter of PLACE.LABOUR.CAPITAL. through themes of migration and capital transactions. In addition, it uses spatial interventions as a tool to highlight that the production of meaning is also a spatial process and our movement into a confined place impacts upon the way we relate to it and make meaning out of it.
The work of Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor produced during their residency at NTU CCA Singapore is conceived as a visual poem focused on the migrant workers whose individual destinies are influenced by the wider movements of capital flow. Kray Chen’s contribution is a playful installation highlighting how transactional activities such as cutting queues, getting out of a train or simply shopping are punctuating our everyday life. Sufian Samsiyar’s collaborative project tests the thin boundaries between work and life space. Geraldine Kang’s intervention into the spatial arrangement of the Platform is a proposition for another reading and way of engagement with an archive that eschews linearity and prescribed movement into the space.
Conceived by a constellation of voices from NTU CCA Singapore, Bring it to LIFE is curated by Shona Findlay, Curatorial Assistant, Residencies, Syaheedah Iskandar, Curatorial Assistant, Exhibitions, Samantha Leong, Executive, Conference, Workshops & Archive, and Kimberly Shen, Manager, Communications.
Image credit: Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor, The end of the working day (2015), film still. Courtesy of the artists.
Residencies: OPEN offers a rare insight into the often-introverted sphere of the artists’ studio. Through showcasing discussions, performances, research and works in progress, OPEN profiles the diversity of contemporary art practice and the divergent ways artists make artwork with the studio as a constant space for experimentation and contemplation.
Julian ‘Togar’ Abraham (Block 37 Malan Road, Studio #01-02)
Oscillating between the position of an artist, musician and pseudo scientist, the work of Julian ‘Togar’ Abraham – often expressed in complex algorithms – challenge the experiences in how art, the environment, science and technology relate to one another and our understanding of these usually distinct fields.
Togar will conduct Fermentation Madness, a workshop that experiments with the fermentation process inviting participants to brew their own alcohol using their chosen combinations of fruit. More information here.
Kray Chen (Block 37 Malan Road, Studio #01-03)
Kray Chen’s (Singapore) practice brings attention to the certain behaviours in society, tapping into their absurd and futile characteristic to discuss progress, value and pleasure in contemporary society. While in residence, Chen will continue this line of research into the specific threads of absurdity such as ‘Waiting’ by examining the equation between labour and gratification in different activities, and in turn on reflecting social, cultural and political performativity In relation to the absurd.
Svay Sareth (Block 38 Malan Road, Studio #01-06)
Svay Sareth’s (Cambodia) works in sculpture, installation and durational performance are made using materials and processes intentionally associated with war – metals, uniforms, camouflage and actions requiring great endurance. While his critical and cathartic practice is rooted in an autobiography of war and resistance, he refuses both historical particularity and voyeurism on violence. Rather, his works traverse both present and historical moments, drawing on processes of survival and adventure, and ideas of power and futility.
Tan Pin Pin (Block 38 Malan Road, Studio #01-07)
Tan Pin Pin (Singapore) is an award-winning director of To Singapore, with Love, Invisible City and Singapore GaGa. She is interested with how we became who are, how our Singapore identity is constructed, the importance of memory, archives and documentation in the formation of that identity.
Image credit: Saleh Husein, Residencies: OPEN as part of Art Day Out!, 19 March 2016. Courtesy of NTU CCA Singapore.