Zarina Muhammad —Residencies |  NTU CCA Singapore
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The NTU CCA Singapore Residencies programme is an integral part of the NTU CCA Singapore’s mission as a research centre and hosts artists, curators, critics and scholars from Singapore and abroad. The studio-based Residencies programme is dedicated to facilitating the production of knowledge and research for and by established and emerging artists. It serves as a forum for cultural and artistic exchange in Southeast Asia, augmented with public events Residencies: Insights / Studio Sessions / OPEN series, ranging from open studio sessions, lectures, live performances, to special projects in The Lab, NTU CCA Singapore’s space for curatorial experimentation. The application for residency at NTU CCA Singapore is via nomination, please email for more information.


Zarina Muhammad

Residency period

1 April – 27 September 2019


Zarina Muhammad (b. 1982, Singapore) is an artist, educator, and writer whose practice is deeply entwined with a critical re-examination of ethnographic literature and historiographic accounts about Southeast Asia. Recent exhibitions include the President’s Young Talents 2018, Singapore Art Museum, and Stories We Tell to Scare Ourselves With, MOCA, Taipei, Taiwan (2019). Incarnations of her lecture performances have been presented at Indonesia Contemporary Art Network, Yogyakarta (2018); Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film (2017); and LASALLE’s Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2018, 2016).


For the past decade, Zarina Muhammad has embarked on a multidisciplinary research that explores magico-religious belief systems, ritual practices, and sacred sites. The various embodiments of her work, which engage broader contexts of myth-making, ritual magic, gender-based archetypes, and spirits of resistance, frame the cultural biographies of objects and the region’s provisional relationship to mysticism and the immaterial against the dynamics of global modernity. Her research project for the residency takes the trans-local figures of the penunggu (tutelary spirit) and the tuan/puan tanah (Lord of the Land) as points of departure to reconsider notions of territoriality and spectrality against the social production of rationality. During the residency, she will focus on mapping old and new ways to tell stories of unresolved memories, fragmented cosmologies, shapeshifting translations, and haunted histories.