Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Grant 2022
Noor Abed
A Night We Held Between

16mm film, 4k digital transfer, with sound, approx. 30 mins

16 January 2024, Tue – 28 January 2024, Sun
Block 6 Lock Road, #01-09

Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Friday
12 pm – 7pm
Saturdays, 1 pm – 9pm
Sundays, 1 pm – 7pm

In conversation with the artist
Saturday, 20 January, 11:00am – 12:30pm

Artist Noor Abed will be in conversation with Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore and Professor at the School of Art, Design, and Media, NTU, to delve into Abed’s vision and motivation in light of winning the Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Grant 2022, in collaboration with NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore; WIELS, Brussels; Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), Manila and Jameel Art Centre, Dubai, engaging in transcontinental institutional collaboration and the impact it had on her work.

The conversation opens with a welcome address by Han Nefkens, Founder of the Han Nefkens Foundation.

A NIGHT WE HELD BETWEEN begins with the notion of the labyrinth, which serves as a metaphorical reference that connects a historical mythology to the socio-political reality in Palestine. Filmed in spring and summer 2023, Abed focused on ancient sites in Palestine – caves, carved holes, underground passages, and wild valleys. The chosen locales became the main protagonist, traversing beyond the first layers of visibility and revealing a hidden world underneath that was not seen but familiar to the places one knew.

noor abed, a night between, 2023. 16mm film, 4k digital transfer, with sound, 30 mins. video still. video still. Commissioned by Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Award. Image courtesy the Artist.

Images become signifiers of what is lost, untold, and hence forgotten. These appear in a ghostly texture, as eerie reminders of their uncanny existence. Expanding upon this  historical loss through a cinematic space allows the past to recur through a projection of imaginary gaps. The filmic score emphasizes the role of collective rhythmic movements and its potential impact in evoking shared feelings that may contribute to reconnect and sustain a community that is dislocated. 

Abed weaves into her narration mythology and Palestinian folklore, creating a fusion of natural and composed sequences of movement, blending documentary and fictional elements. Through a poetic choreography of bodies, sites, narratives, and temporalities, her work prompts contemplation on the manifestations of social action and resistance in everyday life.

The featured video work A NIGHT WE HELD BETWEEN, has been created with the support of the Han Nefkens Foundation—Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Grant 2022 with its inaugural screening taking place at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore.

Images become signifiers of what is lost, untold, and hence forgotten. These appear in a ghostly texture, as eerie reminders of their uncanny existence.

The Han Nefkens Foundation—Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Grant appraises the work of emerging artists aged 50 and under, who live in West or Central Asia and have established a solid trajectory but have not had the opportunity to exhibit extensively: this production grant should serve as an important source of support and boost in their career.

A NIGHT WE HELD BETWEEN will be exhibited by a transcontinental consortium consisting of five institutions: Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila (The Philippines); Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (Spain); WIELS, Brussels (Belgium); NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (Singapore); Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai (UAE).


BIOGRAPHY

Noor Abed (Palestine/Netherlands) works at the intersection of performance and film. Abed attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in Νew York in 2015-16, and the Home Workspace Program (HWP) at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut 2016-17. She received her BA from the International Academy of Arts in Palestine and a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles. Abed’s work has been screened and exhibited internationally at Anthology Film Archives, New York, Gabes Cinema Fen Film Festival, Tunisia, Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, Leonard & Bina Gallery, Montréal, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Ujazdowski Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, The Mosaic Rooms, London, and MAXXI – National Museum of 21st Century Art, Rome, among others. In 2021-22 she was a curatorial assistant for the artistic team of documenta fifteen in Kassel, Germany. Abed is currently a resident at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam 2022-24.

About Han Nefkens Foundation
The Han Nefkens Foundation was established in 2009 with the aim of connecting people through art. In 2016, Han Nefkens decided to focus exclusively on supporting emerging and mid-career international video artists through Awards, Production Grants, and Mentorship Grants. The Foundation is not only involved in producing new works with the artists, but also finding international residencies, producing publications, purchasing working tools, finding technical support, and bringing artists into contact with art institutions and peers. With an extensive network in countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, and the Netherlands, the Foundation is able to present artists to a diverse and global audience.

Judging Panel
Noor Abed was selected in 2022 by an international judging panel chaired by Han Nefkens and composed of Joselina Cruz, Director/curator at Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila (The Philippines); Nuria Homs, curator at Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (Spain); Helena Kritis, curator, WIELS, Brussels (Belgium); Anna Lovecchio, Assistant Director, Programmes, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (Singapore); Nora Razian, Head of Exhibitions, Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai (UAE); Dirk Snauwaert, Director, WIELS; Linda Valdez, Exhibitions Manager, Fundació Antoni Tàpies; in the presence of Hilde Teerlinck, CEO and Director and Alessandra Biscaro, Coordinator, both Han Nefkens Foundation.

Image Credits
Noor Abed
A Night Between, 2023
16mm film, 4k digital transfer, with sound, approx. 30 mins
video still
Commissioned by Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Award
Courtesy the Artist

Pursuing her ongoing research into intergenerational conflicts and trauma, Yanyun Chen will spend her residency examining methods of discipline within the family context. With a focus on Singaporean personal and communal childhood histories of discipline and punishment, the artist will explore how the indelible traces of disciplinary behaviour linger on in people’s bodies and minds and bleed into the everyday. Observing the irony and self-deprecating humour that come into play as a self-soothing practice in the retelling of such memories, she will also seek to unpack the heterogeneous ways in which pain and violence are remembered by conducting fieldwork, literary investigations, and interviews. The research weaves through histories of punishment and discipline in Singapore. Ultimately the artist intends to create large scale drawings that address these intergenerational wounds through the lens of medical, ethnographic, historical, and material studies.

Merging fictional stories and historical accounts, the practice of Liu Yu (b. 1985, Taiwan) cuts across video, installation, and text. Her work is concerned with re-contextualizing stories of marginalised communities as a commentary on the intricacies of domineering power structures. Using field work and site-specific methodologies, she reconstructs alternative narratives strung together by fragmented representations of space, history, image, and narration. Recent solo exhibitions include The history of the concave and the convex, Hong-gah Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2018) and Several Ways to Believe, Taiwan Academy, Los Angeles, United States (2016). She has recently participated in group exhibitions such the Asian Art Biennial, Taichung, Taiwan (2019).

The practice of Lêna Bùi (b. 1985, Vietnam) is deeply drawn to the intangible aspects of life, such as faith, death, and dreams and the ways in which they influence our behaviours and perceptions. Through the incorporation of anecdotes and personal stories, her works articulate intimate reflections upon the impact of rapid development and the relationship between humans and nature. Bùi’s works have been included in group exhibitions and presentations at Sharjah Art Foundation, United Arab Emirates (2018); Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, Wesleyan University, Middle Town, United States (2018); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany (2017); The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2016); and Carré d’Art, Nîmes, France (2014) amongst other venues.

Tan Pin Pin is a Singapore filmmaker who questions gaps in history, memory, and processes of documentation. Self-reflective in their addressing of the complexities of the filmic medium, her films include: Moving House (2001), Singapore GaGa (2005), Invisible City (2007), To Singapore with Love (2013), and In Time To Come (2017). They have been shown at numerous international film festivals around the world and have won multiple awards. She had retrospectives at RIDM Montreal, DOK Leipzig. She was the executive producer of award-winning Unteachable (2019). She is a co-founding member of filmcommunitysg, a community of independent filmmakers and was a board member of the Singapore International Film Festival, The Substation and the National Archives of Singapore. She was awarded the S. Rajaratnam scholarship to study for an MFA at Northwestern University, USA. She was awarded the S. Rajaratnam scholarship to study for an MFA at Northwestern University, USA, and was called to the Singapore Bar upon completion of her law degree from Oxford University.

During her residency at NTU CCA Singapore between May and September 2016, Tan was working on her five-year project In Time to Come (2017), a contemplative film on daily rituals in Singapore, from school ceremonies to opening protocol in a bookstore, in which constant repetition provides a sense of frozen time in a city that always looks forward.

Everything begins from small steps. That was the first thing that came through History of Merchant, a solo exhibition of Husein’s work in 2012. A small-intimate approach to his family journeys, from Hadramaut, in Middle East to South East in Indonesia. By collecting, archiving, and listening to the elders stories, the work started to build a strong foundation that led him to one project and then another project. Since that, he started to further seek and question Arabic descendants in Indonesia. The ideas go across the border between art, politics, economy, and also science. What did they do? Why are they doing that? How do they live and adapt? How they see themselves now? As Arabic-Indonesian or Indonesian-Arabic? These questions about identity, adaptation, survival, daily life culture, and also originality are evoked. While doing research for that project, Husein found stories about the transition, from Hyderabad to Singapore. These descendants were supposed to go directly to Indonesia through the Malaya Peninsula but stopped and stayed in Singapore for two years due to the critical situation that happen between British and the Dutch thus it has been said, to have developed a new community. This is the point of entry into Husein’s research for the NTU CCA Residencies Programme. The topic is simplified into three aspects: Identity, Transition, and Journeys. By using those as the main core Husein will explore the story of Arabic society in Singapore, seeking artefact and archives through the stories from the citizens.

Marianna Simnett (b.1986, United Kingdom) lives and works in London. Her interdisciplinary practice includes video, installation, performance, sculpture and watercolour. Simnett uses vivid and visceral means to explore the body as a site of transformation. Working with animals, children, organs, and often performing herself, she imagines radical new worlds filled with untamed thoughts, strange tales, and desires. Simnett has shown in major museums internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include LAB RATS, Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (2019), My Broken Animal, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands (2019), CREATURE, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (2019), Blood In My Milk, New Museum, New York, United States (2018) among others. She is a joint winner of the Paul Hamlyn Award 2020, received the Jerwood / FVU Award in 2015, and was shortlisted for the Jarman Award in 2017.

The artist was scheduled to be in-residence from July ‚ Sept 2020. Due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak and international travel restrictions, the artist was unable to participate in the residency programme physically.

During the residency, Brigitte van der Sande aims to further the scope of her ongoing research on the currencies and potentialities of science-fiction in the context of Asia. By connecting with local artists and cultural practitioners with similar interests, she will explore possibilities of future collaboration for the second edition of the multidisciplinary festival Other Futures that will take place in Amsterdam 2020. Reflecting on these experiences and interests, van der Sande will also present a public talk entitled Speculations on other futures.

Diego Tonus lives and works in Amsterdam. His works addresses the boundaries between truth and fact, reality and fiction, presentation and representation, mediation and lived experience. His work has been recently presented at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013); the 9th edition of Furla award (2013), Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam (2013).

Li Ran is a performance and video artist. His practice tests the line between fact and fiction, questioning assumptions of cultural cliché and challenging the idea of the self. Between September and November 2015, Li was Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore where he started the work It is not Complicated, A Guide Book (2016). As part of the work, Li juxtaposed recordings of Singapore’s popular attractions, Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands, with quotes from the Chinese version of the Centre Pompidou museum guide, whose account of modern art resonates with Singapore’s contemporary landscape.