5 October 2015 – 29 January 2016
Shubigi Rao is a visual artist and writer whose interests range from archaeology, neuroscience, 13th-15th century science, 17th-19th century scholarship and exploration, language, libraries, historical acts of cultural genocide, contemporary art theory and natural history. She is particularly interested in unfashionable branches of knowledge and epistemology. Her work involves complex layered installations comprising handmade books, text, drawings, etchings, pseudo-science machinery, metaphysical puzzles, ideological board games, garbage and archives, and has been exhibited and collected in Singapore and internationally.
Notable exhibitions include the solos The Retrospectacle of S. Raoul (2013), Useful Fictions (2013), group shows Modern Love (2014), Still Building (2012), Singapore Survey: Beyond LKY (2010), Found and Lost (2009), The Tuning Fork of the Mind, commissioned for the second Singapore Biennale (2008). A featured author at the Singapore Writer’s Festival 2013, Shubigi’s publications include Bastardising Biography (2005), 3 pseudo-encyclopaedia under the joint title No Cover No Colour (2006), and Useful Fictions (2013). Her recent publication History’s Malcontents: The Life and Times of S. Raoul (2013), chronicled 10 years of artwork and writing under the pseudonym S. Raoul. Her book-works also include limited-edition artist books, metaphysical puzzles, ideological board games and invisible manuscripts.
Shubigi Rao deals with issues of language, books, archiving and destruction of knowledge in various forms since 2006. Pulp is part of her lifetime project, as an attempt to bridge languages/histories/cultures and civilisations in a globalised world where homogenisation and imposed ideas of conformity have led to their disappearance. While in residence, Rao will look primarily at Singapore and Southeast and South Asia, drawing connections between languages (Jawi and Sanskrit, for example), the histories of print, mass literacy and the role of archives in defining national identities especially in a post-colonial context. Through this research Rao hopes to create discourse about the way we use collate, sort, keep and discard knowledge, and the relevance of this to individual and national identities, as well as the implications for humanism and our species as a whole.
Studios at Blocks 37 & 38 Malan Road, 2.00 – 7.30pm
This edition of Residencies: OPEN concentrates on the intertwined relationship between art making and text. Projects range from Artists-in-Residence Weixin Chong’s investigation into the domestic tropicality through a dictation exercise with visitors, contributions by Narawan Pathomvat’s collaborator of key texts and their online circulation, Shubigi Rao’s research on the history of banished books and Otty Widasari’s archival research into films from the colonial period.
Langkasuka, book launch
Foyer of Block 43 Malan Road, 2.00 – 7.00pm
Former Artist-in-Residence Ise (Roslisham Bin Ismail) (Malaysia) will launch the new and second edition of his cookbook Langkasuka published by ITBN Malaysia, based on old royal recipes excavated through oral histories in Kelantan, an area in Malaysia with historical links to Thailand. The artist will also serve one of the featured recipes!
Residencies: In The Lab – Exhibit 101: Li Ran and Gary Ross Pastrana (Artists’ Workshop)
The Lab, Block 43 Malan Road, 2.30 – 4.00pm
Artists-in-Residence Li Ran and Gary Ross Pastrana will conduct a workshop as part of their project Exhibit 101 at The Lab. Li Ran will talk through the process of creating a new work in Singapore while Gary Ross Pastrana will work with participants to conceive a new artwork for his project An ASEAN Exhibition 1.
Residencies: Insights – Dictation with Artist-in-Residence Weixin Chong
Studio #01-07, Block 38 Malan Road, 6.00 – 7.30pm
Weixin Chong will host ”read –in’s” in her studio where visitors can take part in a dictation exercise around a text related to the tropical environment which will later be translated into artworks.
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 make artwork with the studio as a constant space for experimentation and contemplation.
Block 37 Studios: anGie seah (Singapore), Shubigi Rao (Singapore), and Saleh Hussein (Indonesia)
Block 38 Studios: Jompet Kuswidananto (Indonesia), Weixin Chong (Singapore), and Tan Guo-Liang (Singapore)