Drawing from ancestral histories of her birthplace, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Taloi Havini’s practice delves into colonial histories, the politics of location, and contested sites and materials. Many socio-political and environmental issues have pervaded Bougainville in the aftermath of a civil war that resulted from the contentious operations of the Panguna copper mine. Frequently collaborating with practitioners from her matrilineal clan in Bougainville, Havini’s ongoing research explores the transmission of indigenous knowledge systems and the conflicting interests of fraught sites in Bougainville through dissecting the biases of official archives and personal records. With issues of climate, migration, and extractive industries orienting her research compass, she will use the residency to connect with other thinkers to trigger exchange of perspectives between Southeast Asia and Oceania.
The artist’s residency was scheduled from October to December 2020. Due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak and international travel restrictions, the residency could not be carried out as planned.
Ranging from photography and sculpture to mixed-media installations, the diverse practice of Taloi Havini(b. 1981, Autonomous Region of Bougainville/Australia) explores sites of political conflicts ensuing from colonial occupations unravelling narratives of nation building within the Pacific. In positing personal responses within contested sites and histories of Oceania, her work recalibrates dominant histories and structures of representation. Havini’s solo exhibitions include Reclamation, Artspace, Sydney, Australia (2020) and Habitat, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2017). Her works have been selected as part of group shows such as Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh (2020); A beast, a god, and a line, Kunsthall Trondheim, Norway (2019); and the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland, Australia (2018).
Bojana Piškur (Slovenia) is a writer and curator at the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana. Her research focuses on political issues and the way in which they relate to, or are manifested in, the field of art looking specifically at the regions of former Yugoslavia and Latin America. She has contributed to numerous publications and lectured extensively on topics such as post avant-gardes in former Yugoslavia, radical education, cultural politics in self-management, and the Non-Aligned Movement.
During his residency, Xu Tan will continue to work and expand on his project Keywords Lab: Socio-botany. First initiated in 2012, the work consisted of investigations and interviews with disparate voices and inhabitants around the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong province, China on their views on urbanisation in China.
By bringing Keywords Lab: Socio-botany into the context of Singapore, Xu hopes to understand Singapore’s view on the complexities that govern our relationship with the natural and built environments that we live in. Proposed points of entry are through local discussions on the history of plants, criteria in urban construction and development, citizen participation in public tree planting programmes and lastly, conditions of food production.
Xu Tan is an artist. His ongoing project Searching for Keywords analyses video interviews of different communities to identify keywords based on meanings that reveal the values and motivations of contemporary Chinese society. Between June and August 2016, Xu was Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore where he expanded his work on the project Keywords Lab: Socio-botany (first initiated in 2012), conducting interviews with various local practitioners engaged in the practice of urban farming in Singapore.
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.
Tan Pin Pin will use her time in residence to read as well as continue her practice of walking around Singapore, taking photos to gather material for future projects. She will also be exploring the idea of performance in documentaries and how this form may bring us closer to the truth.
Over the course of the residency, Taiki Sakpisit plans to develop A Certain Illness Difficult to Name, an installation that addresses instances of trauma and violence embedded in the process of nation building in Singapore and Thailand through the lens of an individual’s point of view. Looking at historical events through the eyes of a single character is an intentional strategy aimed to personalize and humanize history while, at the same time, composing an allegory of collective torment. Having so far mostly produced experimental short films, Taiki aims to use the space of the studio to test a more complex visual and aural installation that can elicit the sensorium of the viewer and trigger out-of-body experiences.
Svay Sareth’s works in sculpture, installation and durational performance are made using materials and processes intentionally associated with war – metals, uniforms, camouflage and actions requiring great endurance. While his critical and cathartic practice is rooted in an autobiography of war and resistance, he refuses both historical particularity and voyeurism on violence. Rather, his works traverse both present and historical moments, drawing on processes of survival and adventure, and ideas of power and futility. More recently, Svay confronts the idea that “the present is also a dangerous time” through the appropriation and dramatisation of public monuments that hint at contentious political histories. During his residency, Svay will research Singapore-Cambodia relations and history, and make use of libraries and archives specific to Singapore.
Kent Chan (b. 1984, Singapore) is a Singaporean artist, filmmaker, and curator. Addressing the relationship between moving images and the contemporary city, his work often results in films and in installations that merge text and time-based media. Lately, he has focused his interest on the symbolic and political aspects of the tropical imagination, regarding the equatorial vegetation as a site generative of alternative aesthetics and narratives. Chan has participated in numerous group exhibitions abroad and has received solo exhibitions at SCCA-Ljubljana, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Slovenia (2017); Grey Projects, Singapore (2016); Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2014); The Substation, Singapore (2013). His recent curatorial projects include State of Motion 2017: Through Stranger Eyes and Superposition(s), ICA, Singapore (2016).