4 May 2015 – 22 May 2015
Simon Soon is researcher based between Kuala Lumpur. He is a writer and researcher interested in modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art. He is currently completing his PhD at the University of Sydney where he examines the spatio-visual practice of left-leaning political art movements in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and The Philippines from the 1950s – 1970s. He is also a participant of Ambitious Alignments: New Southeast Asian Art Histories, a series of seminars for early career scholars funded by the Getty Foundation’s ‘Connecting Art Histories’ initiative. He will be comparing the architecture and landscape of Nanyang University (1955-1980) and Chinese University of Hong Kong (1963-present), two Chinese-language institutions of higher learning in former British colonies.
Simon Soon will be comparing the architecture and landscape of Nanyang University (1955-1980) and Chinese University of Hong Kong (1963-present), two Chinese-language institutions of higher learning in former British colonies. He is interested in exploring how the spatial design of these two institutions facilitate different experiences of cultural and political modernity as well as constructions of social memory. His residency at the NTU CCA Singapore will allow him to undertake the Singapore segment of his research as well as pursue further research on contemporary art in Singapore. His research will involve archival material into architectural histories in Singapore as well as the facilitation of a panel discussion with scholars and artists on the Nanyang University.
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.