During the residency, Lyno will explore the entangled histories of colonialism, modernisation, and urbanisation focusing on the Garden of Tropical Agronomy, located in the Bois de Vincennes, one of the largest public parks in Paris which hosted the International Colonial Exposition in 1931. The exposition featured several architectural representations of the colonies, including Cambodia and Indochina, the remnants of which are still extant today surrounded by modern facilities. The artist is interested in excavating the politics of the built environment to understand the historical role architecture has played in the construction of imperialist agendas and the lingering implications of colonial symbolism and power structures in the present.

Find out more about SEA AiR.

Vuth Lyno is an artist, curator, and educator who is interested in space, cultural history, and the production of knowledge through social relations. Drawing on a wide range of materials such as interviews, artifacts, and newly made objects, he creates spatial configurations that weave together personal stories and collective bodies of knowledge. Participatory and experimental in nature, his artistic and curatorial approach is rooted in communal learning and aims to engage a multiplicity of voices in the production of meaning. He is a member of Stiev Selapak, a collective which founded and co-runs Sa Sa Art Projects in Phnom Penh, a long-term initiative committed to the development of the contemporary visual arts landscape in Cambodia. His work has been presented at several group exhibitions and institutions such as the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Thailand (2020) and the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane, Australia (2019), amongst others.

Hoo Fan Chon is a visual artist whose practice explores taste and foodscapes as cultural and social constructs. His research-driven projects examine how value systems fluctuate as people move from one culture to another. Reframing mundane aspects of everyday life with irony and wry humour, his multimedia works address notion of cultural authenticity and they set in motion the frictions and the overlaps produced by the migration of cultural symbols between different sociocultural contexts. Hoo recently received a solo exhibition at The Back Room, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2021) and he has participated in a number of group shows in Asia. Also active as a curator and a grassroot cultural producer, he is involved with Run Amok Gallery, an art gallery and alternative space in George Town he co-founded in 2013.

The purpose of the award is to encourage recent graduates of NTU ADM’s research-oriented MA and PhD programmes and the MA in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices (MSCP, co-chaired by NTU CCA Singapore) to engage in practical projects utilising the SGD$5000 award to investigate the topic of Spaces of the Curatorial as an extension of their research and coursework. Now in its third year, the 2022 award goes to Thomas Ragnar, a 2021 graduate of the MA in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices, for Endless Return Pack v.1, a compilation album featuring artists working within expanded and experimental dance music genres from Singapore and Southeast Asia. The project is co-curated with Sher Chew (aka XUE), founder of the series Endless Return.

The selection committee included Prof Ute Meta Bauer and two invited jurors: Ms Siddharta Perez, Curator at NUS Museum, and Dr Adele Tan, Senior Curator at National Gallery Singapore.

The album will be released in 2022. Ragnar describes Endless Return as “a regenerative rave experiment.” Upon the announcement of the award, he commented: “Since August 2020, Endless Return have hosted several online events programmed with music, dance, and video projects by artists across Southeast Asia who work with rave culture, energy, history and aesthetics. The Platform Projects Curatorial Award will support the migration offline of Endless Return in 2022 through publishing initiatives, music and video releases, and live events developed by XUE and myself together with Endless Return‘s larger artistic community.”

“The Platform Projects Curatorial Award is a rare opportunity for emerging curators to realise a project and is a necessary initiative especially during a time when arts funding is contracting globally” says Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, NTU School of Art, Design and Media.

Ragnar adds that: “The MA programme offered jointly by ADM and NTU CCA Singapore boldly champions curatorial approaches and positions that make a conscious effort to take risks and depart from the often delimiting contexts of contemporary art, and of its hyper-specialised conditions. I am honoured to realise these positions and approaches with my collaborator XUE with the support of the Platform Projects grant. Both XUE and I are grateful to be enabled to support and advance the forward-thinking underground and regenerative spirit of Endless Return‘s artistic communities.”

The Award’s Pilot Programme supported <!DOCTYPE work>, a collaborative curatorial effort conceived by 2019 MA MSCP graduates Tian Lim, Shireen Marican, and Leon Tan, presented in The Lab at NTU CCA Singapore from 22 August – 18 October 2020. The next edition of the award went to Of Limits Collective, a group of five 2020 MA MSCP alumni comprising: Sneha ChaudhuryWeiqin Chay, Ace Lê, Jason Leung, and Beatrice Morel. They realized their exhibition Of Limits in March 2021 at the Stamford Arts Centre, featuring work by six artists from Southeast Asia, with most artworks having been produced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the occasion of the Pilot Programme, launched in 2020,  Savita Apte from Platform Projects commented on behalf of her former co-directors Shareen Khattar and Christine Pilsbury: “We are all of one mind and delighted that Platform Projects can still be significant for a younger generation of curators.”

Committed to socially engaged practices, multi-disciplinary theatre practitioner Han Xuemei (b. 1987, Singapore) employs art as a tool for bringing communities together and engaging the audience in visceral and personal ways. In her practice, she creates spaces and experiences that incite participants to think outside the box of existing paradigms and articulate forms of hope and resistance. Since 2012, she is Resident Artist at the Singapore-based theatre company Drama Box. Her recent projects include the experiential installation FLOWERS (2019), the community project The Gift (2018), and the participatory experience Missing: The City of Lost Things (2018).

Thinking in terms of borders and boundaries, either physical and symbolic, the artist intends to map out the lived experience of forced mobility and dispossession as well as its underlying power struggles and emotional trails. His research will revolve specifically on migrant songs, a cultural expression often characterized by melancholic melodies and sombre lyrics that speaks of longing, hard work, and perseverance. Conveying the experience of otherness and stirring emotions of communality, migrant songs haunts our times of unprecedented global mass migration and the contemporary debates surrounding exclusionary nationalist politics. Through participatory workshops aimed at lyric writing, music composition, and vocalisation, migrant songs will be created and disseminated in an effort to redraw boundaries of belonging.

In our third episode, we open up this platform for the first time to a guest interviewer. We invited artist and filmmaker Kent Chan to pick the brain of our Artist-in-Residence Yeo Siew Hua. Beyond being both filmmakers and artists, Siew Hua and Kent have been occasional collaborators in the past and, most importantly, they are also long-time friends. Hear them speak candidly about the intertwined cycles of art-making and fund-raising, the blurred line between cinema and visual arts, as well as the philosophical underpinnings and the importance of collaboration in Siew Hua’s practice.  

The practice of Yeo Siew Hua (b. 1985, Singapore) spans film directing and screenwriting. His films probe the darkest side of contemporary society through narratives layered with mysterious atmospheres, inscrutable characters, and mythological references, all steeped in arresting visuals and sounds. His last feature film A Land Imagined (2018) harnessed recognition around the world receiving the Golden Leopard at the 71st Locarno Film Festival and the Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Music Score Awards at the 56th Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. 

After A Land Imagined, Siew Hua has created a number of short films, one of which, An Invocation to the Earth (2020), commissioned by the Singapore International Film Festival and TBA21, was co-produced with NTU CCA Singapore. An Invocation to the Earth can be viewed online at www.stage.tba21.org. During the residency, Siew Hua has been completing his next major production titled The Once and Future, an expanded cinema project which will premiere at the Singapore International Festival of Arts 2022. In 2021, he received the Young Artist Award, Singapore’s highest award for young arts practitioners.

Kent Chan (b. 1984, Singapore) is an artist, curator, and filmmaker currently based in Amsterdam. His practice weaves encounters between art, fiction, and cinema with a particular interest in the tropical imagination, colonialism, and the relation between heat and art. He has held solo presentations at Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, Netherlands (2020-21), National University Singapore Museum (2019-21) and SCCA-Ljubljana, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Slovenia (2017). He was Artist-in-Residence at Jan van Eyck Academie (2019-20) and at NTU CCA Singapore (2017-2018). 

Contributors: Yeo Siew Hua, Kent Chan 
Conducted by: Anna Lovecchio 
Programme Manager: Kristine Tan 
Sound Engineer: Ashwin Menon (The Music Parlour)
Intro & Outro Music: Tini Aliman 
Cover Image & Design: Arabelle Zhuang, Kristine Tan

06’42”: Audio excerpt from Yeo Siew Hua, A Land Imagined, 2018. Courtesy the artist.
11’46”: Audio excerpt from Yeo Siew Hua, The Obs: A Singapore Story, 2014. Courtesy the artist.
22’55”: Audio excerpt from Yeo Siew Hua, The Once and Future, 2022. Courtesy the artist.
40’49”: Audio excerpt from Yeo Siew Hua, The Lover, The Excess, The Ascetic and the Fool, 2021. Courtesy the artist.

[See Full Transcript]

Anton Ginzburg is known for his films, sculptures, paintings, and text-based printed work that investigates historical narratives and poetic studies of place, representation, and post-Soviet identity. He earned a BFA from The New School for Social Research and an MFA from Bard College, Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts. His work has been shown at the 54th Venice Biennale; the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston; Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Canada; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; White Columns, New York; Lille 3000, Euralille, France; and the first and second Moscow Biennales. His films have been screened at the Whitechapel Gallery, London; Rotterdam International Film Festival; Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Les Rencontres Internationales, Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; and New York Film Festival/Projections; among others.

Bhenji Ra is an interdisciplinary artist who reframes performance through a combination of dance, choreography, video, and installation. Her work is often concerned with the dissection of cultural theory and identity. She uses spectacle and her own personal histories to explore themes of race, sexuality, and gender, giving voice to hidden and marginalised communities, and suggesting alternative modules of community. He is part of Sydney-based collective Club Ate.

Jef Geys was among Europe’s most respected yet under-acknowledged artists. Producing artwork since the 1950s, Geys’ practice probes the construction of social and political engagement, and his work radically embraces art as being intertwined with everyday life. Geys graduated from the Antwerp Arts Academy before settling in Balen in the Kempen region of Belgium, where from 1960 to 1989, he taught art at a state school, focusing on educational experimentation in the arts. Since the late 1960s, Geys has been the editor and publisher of his local newspaper, the Kempens Informatieblad, and subsequently produced them in line with his exhibitions. He is known for his meticulous archive of his work, which in turn becomes generative of other works.

Jesper List Thomsen is an artist and writer. Recent exhibitions and performances include Hollis and Money, ICA, London and Künstlerhaus, Stuttgart; Speak Through You, Hot Wheels Projects, Athens; A Social Body Event, Serpentine Gallery, London; Micro-Composition, Rozenstraat, Amsterdam; The body, the body, the tongue, Reading International; Hand and Mind, Grand Union, Birmingham; The boys the girls and the political, Lisson Gallery, London; and One Hour Exhibition, South London Gallery, London. A book-length collection of his texts will be published in Autumn 2018 by Juan de la Cosa (John of the Thing). He is also a part of the artist collective Am Nuden Da.