After a very successful first iteration of Climate Futures #1: Cultures, Climate Crisis and Disappearing Ecologies its second convening wants to build on its discussions and expand its understanding of the decline in cultural and ecological diversity in the region. It became very clear that such conversations require space and time to process complex issues, if we do not want to simplify and allow more than one way to process how people feel about their situations and want to be heard. Our futures require us to go beyond the status quo of current modes of operating. To not lose cultural knowledge and biodiversity Climate Futures #2: Belonging & Shared Responsibilities will share various narratives and practices that are already in place. It wants to further provide access to communities outside state and institutional structures to further nurture understanding of change in responsibilities and accountability.

The summit intents to further map how the climate crisis informs our contemporary world, and how diverse cultures can adjust or adapt without losing a sense of purpose. It comprises of discussions into alternative approaches to regional studies focusing on urgencies such as rising sea-levels and temperatures and the impact on natural resources of the region. A particular focus will be on areas such as the Mekong River and Delta (Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam) and its water street to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines including the Straits that plays an essential role in the regions shared history.

The holistic approach of Climate Futures #1: Cultures, Climate Crisis and Disappearing Ecologies showed already how it can successfully stimulate a debate between artists, designers, and architects, scientists, environmentalists, as well as local voices and policy makers. We seek to reach out to an even wider public including younger scholars and practitioners, as well as community leaders and policy makers from the ASEAN region.

The future of our shared prosperity relies on our collective ability to create an inclusive and sustainable foundation for growth.

Read the programme brochure here.

Thursday, 26 October – Saturday 28 October 2023

Sokhalay Angkor Villa Resort, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Thursday, 26 October
Join the livestream here with the passcode 668981.

9:30am Registration & Coffee

10:00am Opening Addresses

Dr Piti Srisangnam, Executive Director, ASEAN Foundation

H.E. Min Chandynavuth, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Cambodia

Prof. Tim White, Vice President (International Engagement); President’s Chair in Materials Science and Engineering; Professor, School of Materials Science & Engineering.

Welcome and Introduction by co-curators Prof. Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore), Founding Director NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, and Professor School of Art, Design, and Media, NTU Singapore and Magdalena Magiera (Germany/Singapore), Curator Residencies and Programms, NTU Centre of Contemporary Art, Singapore

10:30am The Art of Living Lightly, Keynote Lecture by Rachaporn Choochuey (Thailand), Architect, Co-founder, Design Director, all(zone) ltd

11:40am Between Bots and the Biosphere: Machine Philosophy, Media Ecologies, and Digital Hieroglyphs for Climate Adaptation, Case Study by Nashin Mahtani (Indonesia), Director, PetaBencana.id

12:00pm An Uncommon History of The Common Fence: A Prologue (To the Coast), Case Study by Jason Wee (Singapore), Artist, Writer, Curator

12:20pm Sharing Climate Futures: Developing tools for climate care and action, Case Study by Prof. Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore), Founding Director NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, and Professor School of Art, Design, and Media, NTU Singapore

1:00pm Discussion with Rachaporn Choochuey (Thailand), Nashin Mahtani (Indonesia), and Jason Wee (Singapore). Moderated by Prof. Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore)

3:30pm Belonging & Sharing Responsibilities, Closed Workshop by Claudia Lasimbang a.k.a Yoggie, Technical Coordinator Watersheds and Communities, Forever Sabah, Philip Chin a.k.a. Linggit, Technical Coordinator Certified Sustainable Palm Oil, Forever Sabah, and Yee I-Lan (all Malaysia), artist

Friday, 27 October
Join the livestream here with the passcode 400242.

8:45am Registration & Coffee

9:00am Welcome & Introduction

9:10am Creative Digital Lab: how artists, cultural and creative professionals and technologists work together to explore the potentials of XR technology in protecting heritage, safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and contributing to climate action. Lecture by Kamonrat Mali Chayamarit (Thailand), Culture Programme Officer, Lao PDR alternate Focal Point, UNESCO Culture related Conventions Advocate

9:40am Ecology for Non-Futures, Case Study by Binna Choi (South-Korea), Artists, part of Unmake Lab

10:20am Climate impact on social process and social structure, Case study by Daovone Phonemanichane (Laos), Strengthening Climate Resilience Project Manager, Oxfam Mekong Regional Water Governance Program

10:40am When Nature has Economic Value, Case Study by Som Supaprinya (Thailand), Artist

11:20am Discussion with Kamonrat Mali Chayamarit (Thailand), Binna Choi (South-Korea), Daovone Phonemanichane (Laos), and Som Supaprinya (Thailand). Moderated by Bejamin Hampe (Australia), Project Director, KONNECT ASEAN

1:00pm Glimpse of Life on the Water, Closed Workshop Sessions by Sovann Ke (Cambodia), Project Manager, OSMOSE

Saturday, 28 October
Join the livestream here with the passcode 353177.

8:45am Registration & Coffee

9:00am Introduction & Welcome

9:15am Every (de)Force Evolves into A (de)Form, Lecture by Gahee Park (South-Korea), Curator, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul

10:00am Pedagogy, Community, Art: Bottom-up Urbanism at Phnom Penh’s Wat Chen Dam Daek, Case Study by Lyno Vuth (Cambodia), Artist, and Eva Lloyd (Australia), Lecturer, University of New South Wales (UNSW)

10:20am Luang Prabang: From Cultural Landscape into Practice, Case Study by Phonepaseth Keosomsak (Laos), Architect, Artist

11:00am Snare for Birds: Rebelling Against an Order of Things, Case Study by Kiri Dalena (Philipines), Artist

11:20am Travelling through time, Case Study by Malin Yim (Cambodia), Artist

11:40am The New Word for World is Archipelago, Case Study by Nice Buenaventura (Philippines), Artist

12:00pm Discussion with Nice Buenaventura (Philippines), Kiri Dalena (Philipines), Phonepaseth Keosomsak (Laos), Gahee Park (South-Korea), Lyno Vuth (Cambodia), and Malin Yim (Cambodia). Moderated by Magdalena Magiera (Germany/Singapore)

2:30pm Visit of Blue Art Centre. Welcome by Sareth Svay (Cambodia), Artists, Director, Blue Art Centre

3:00pm Closing workshop by Cynthia Ong (Malaysia), Chief Executive Facilitator Forever Sabah Institute, LEAP


Curated by NTU CCA Singapore

Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director and Magdalena Magiera, Curator, Residencies and Programmes

Supported by

ASEAN Secretariat

ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund

Mission of the Republic of Korea to ASEAN

ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting for Culture and Arts

Programme support by Ministry of Culture and Fine Art, Cambodia

PROJECT PARTNERS

ASEAN FOUNDATION

Since the formation of ASEAN in 1967, ASEAN has embarked on a journey to accelerate economic growth, social progress, and cultural development in the region. After three decades, ASEAN leaders recognised there remained inadequate shared prosperity, ASEAN awareness, and contact amongst the people of ASEAN. As a result, ASEAN leaders established the ASEAN Foundation during the ASEAN 30th Anniversary Commemorative Summit in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on 15 December 1997.

KONNECT ASEAN

As the post-Cold War reality of a new world has taken shape and formed new directions and conversations, ASEAN has re-entered the contemporary art space via collaborative efforts between various ASEAN bodies. The Republic of Korea celebrated 30 years of diplomatic relations with ASEAN in 2019 and in the same year established KONNECT ASEAN, an ASEAN-Korea arts programme. Supported by the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund and administered by the ASEAN Foundation, KONNECT ASEAN signals both an eagerness by ASEAN to revitalise its once integral role in contemporary visual arts and Korea’s sincerity in establishing closer ties with ASEAN.

The programme celebrates Southeast Asian and Korean arts using different platforms (exhibitions, education and conferences, public programmes, residencies, and publications and archives) to explore and discuss social, political, economic, and environmental issues in the region. The artists’ works and activities engages and strengthen the public’s understanding of ASEAN’s role in facilitating cultural diplomacy. Furthermore, the programme intends to connect with the three major stakeholder groups of government, business, and civil society to achieve the vision of an ASEAN Community. Outcomes provide permanent resources recording why ASEAN matters and its ongoing contribution to the region’s growth, prosperity, and stability.

NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Medicine, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. NTU is also home to world-renowned autonomous institutes—the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering—and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

Under the NTU Smart Campus vision, the University harnesses the power of digital technology and tech-enabled solutions to support better learning and living experiences, the discovery of new knowledge, and the sustainability of resources. Ranked amongst the world’s top universities, the University’s main campus is also frequently listed among the world’s most beautiful. Known for its sustainability, over 95% of its building projects are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a medical campus in Novena, Singapore’s healthcare district. For more information, visit ntu.edu.sg.

NTU CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART SINGAPORE

Situated within Singapore’s premier art precinct Gillman Barracks, NTU CCA Singapore is a pioneering institution that has been instrumental in shaping the contemporary art landscape in Singapore and beyond. With a focus on fostering creativity, innovation, and critical thinking, the Centre’s programmes have consistently challenged the status quo, encouraging artists to explore new realms of artistic expression. For more information, visit ntu.ccasingapore.org.

Image: Climate Futures #1, Jakarta (Indonesia), 2022. Courtesy NTU CCA Singapore, Konnect ASEAN & ASEAN Foundation.

Expanding his ongoing enquiry into the historical narratives of power structures and their geopolitical reverberations onto the present, Anthony Chin will dedicate his residency to research the ramifications of Singapore’s colonial past. Prompted by the history of Gillman Barracks—where the Residencies Studios are located—as the site of the last battle before Singapore was surrendered to the Japanese. Soon after the Fall of Singapore (1942), the Imperial Japanese Army established OKA 9420, a research centre where experiments on Bubonic plague pathogens were conducted. Addressing lesser-known histories as well as the growing awareness of pathogens due to global events such as the recent pandemic, Anthony seeks to develop a deeper understanding of pathogens while unpacking the ethical concerns surrounding the rapid advancements in science and technology. The research process will encompass both primary and secondary sources and it aims to grow through connections and collaborations with historians, researchers, and scientists so as to lay the foundations for a long-term artistic project that addresses the impact of biochemical weapons on society.

In the Singaporean-Malay slang, “world” is used to signal boastful aspirations towards a social status higher than one’s own, often conveyed through self-aggrandising story-telling. Utilising this as an alternative framework to the postcolonial notion of “worlding”, whereby one’s conceptualisation of the world is devised through colonial attachments, the artist will spend his residency investigating the multitude of meanings behind the word’s usages as a way of unravelling sociolinguistic constructs and processes of identity formation. This research will ultimately result in lens-based explorations that engage with “world” through conceptual propositions and visual arrangements comprising archival photos and sociohistorical accounts. 

With a body of work spanning across film, installation, and photography, the artistic practice of Zulkhairi Zulkiflee (b. 1991, Singapore) is committed to exploring Malay identity and its social ontology. His lens-based artworks investigate themes of Malayness in relation to local and global contexts, social agency, knowledge production, and notions of taste. Zulkhairi recently concluded his first solo exhibition, Proximities at Objectifs – Centre for Photography and Film, Singapore (2022). His work has also been presented in group exhibitions such as  Kenduri Seni Nusantara, Patani, Thailand, Singapore Shorts ‘22, Asian Film Archive, Singapore, Mini Film Festival, S-Express Singapore, Kuching, Malaysia, and The Singapore Pavilion, Expo 2020, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (all 2022); The Body as a Dream, Art Agenda SEA, Singapore (2021) and How to Desire Differently, Lim Hak Tai Gallery, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore (2020) among others. Zulkhairi is also an educator, independent curator, and founder of Sikap, a project group that engages with the creative value of ‘let do’ in the form of organizational experiments. He was the Curatorial Winner of the IMPART Awards in 2020. 

Priyageetha Dia is an arts practitioner who experiments with time-based media, 3D animation and game engine software. Her practice addresses the transnational migration of ethnic communities and the intersections of the colonial production with land, labour and capital in Southeast Asia through speculative methods and counter-narratives. She has been invited to participate in several exhibitions including the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India (2022); Attention Seeker, La Trobe Art Institute, Bendigo, Australia (2022); An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season, National Gallery Singapore (2020); 2219: Futures Imagined, ArtScience Museum Singapore (2019). She was a recipient of the IMPART Art Award in 2019.

The migratory movements of her ancestral lineage from Southern India to Malaysia, and later to Singapore, sparked Priyageetha’s deep-seated engagement in South Asian diasporic histories, the labour relations that underlie plantation agriculture in Malaya and the vast terrain of colonial narratives. Interweaving these research threads in her multimedia practice, her works figure alternative histories that empower subaltern forms of existence. 

During her residency at Jan Van Eyck Academie, the artist is interested in delving deeper into the emergence and expansion of agro-industrial plantation projects, the dispossession and displacement of lands and communities in Southeast Asia, and their relation to The Netherlands through archival research. Moreover, the residency will provide her with a supportive environment to articulate critical viewpoints and counter-narratives through her ongoing and self-led experiments with computer-generated imagery (CGI), animation technologies and game engine software while also allowing her to gain an understanding of issues related to contemporary transnational interactions within Southeast Asia and Europe.

Through the wide-angle lens of her research-based methodology, the artist will traverse the symbolic mapping of this migrant diaspora’s socio-cultural realities emblazoned in official accounts. She will focus on issues of exploitation and gender exclusion and employ computer-generated imagery and postcolonial linguistics to devise new storytelling approaches that subvert the hegemony of colonial epistemologies and bring to the surface silenced narratives, particularly those of Tamizh women.

Starting off the second season of AiRCAST, we hand over the microphone to curator and writer Anca Rujoiu to interview our Artist-in-Residence Priyageetha Dia. Priyageetha and Anca are fresh out of a year-long collaboration that culminated in Forget Me, Forget Me Not (2022), Priyageetha’s solo exhibition curated by Anca which opened last May. In this conversation they share about the background research, interests, and aesthetic strategies behind the new body of work presented in the exhibition. They also expand upon the significance of colonial histories and marginalised communities, agency and empowerment, as well as media and materials in Priyageetha’s practice.

Spanning moving image, sculpture, as well as performance and installation, the practice of Priyageetha Dia (b. 1992, Singapore) addresses identity politics by questioning dominant narratives, material histories, and socio-spatial relations. In the past few years, she has been experimenting with world-making gestures that rehash stories of repression and envision alternative futures. Her works have been included in several group exhibitions including Attention Seeker, La Trobe Art Institute, Bendigo, Australia (2022); An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season, National Gallery Singapore (2020); 2219: Futures Imagined, ArtScience Museum Singapore (2019).

Anca Rujoiu is a Romanian curator and editor who has been living and working in Singapore since 2013. Taking an artist-centred approach, she is committed to artistic practices beyond the West and to what falls through the cracks within its borders. She was a member of the founding team of NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, as Curator of Exhibitions (2013–15) and Head of Publications (2016–18) and she has curated numerous exhibitions, public programs, and publishing projects.  Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate at Monash University with a research focused on institution building, artists-led institutions, and transnational exchanges.

Contributors: Priyageetha Dia, Anca Rujoiu
Editor: Anna Lovecchio
Programme Manager: Nadia Amalina
Sound Engineer: Ashwin Menon
Intro & Outro Music: Yuen Chee Wai
Cover Image & Design: Arabelle Zhuang, Kristine Tan

CREDITS
03’03”: Audio excerpt from WE.REMAIN.IN.MULTIPLE.MOTIONS_MALAYA, 2022. Courtesy the artist.
17’17”: Audio excerpt from WE.REMAIN.IN.MULTIPLE.MOTIONS_MALAYA, 2022. Courtesy the artist.
19’10”: Audio excerpt from WE.REMAIN.IN.MULTIPLE.MOTIONS_MALAYA, 2022. Courtesy the artist.
32’07”: Audio excerpt from WE.REMAIN.IN.MULTIPLE.MOTIONS_MALAYA, 2022. Courtesy the artist.

[See Full Transcript]

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.

Since the establishment of the first human settlements in the late 19th century, the ecosystem of Christmas Island—a small volcanic outcrop in the Indian Ocean which was transferred from Singapore to Australia in 1958—underwent dramatic changes. Along with human settlers, several non-indigenous species alighted on the island disrupting the endemic biodiversity that had thrived undisturbed thanks to geographical remoteness and almost nil human interference. The accidental introduction of invasive species severely impacted a fragile ecosystem, imperilling the island’s wildlife and causing the extinction of a number of native species. As a result, extreme biocontrol strategies are currently being undertaken in an attempt to restore the island’s biodiversity.

In the past two years, The Institute of Critical Zoologists has been researching the escalating chain of events brought about by the human presence on Christmas Island gathering a varied collection of research materials that merge factual and fictional elements. By surveying the impact of human beings on an endemic habitat, Final Report of the Christmas Island Expert Working Group maps out lines of invasion and retreat, it investigates dynamics of connectedness and isolation triggering reflections on states of vulnerability and conditions of survival in the age of globalisation.

Curated by Anna Lovecchio, Curator, Residencies

By inhabitants in collaboration with Margarida Mendes

Deep sea mining is a new frontier of resource extraction located on the ocean seabed. It is set to begin in the next few years, as the technology is currently under development. Mining companies are, at present, leasing areas for exploitation in national and international waters in order to assess the potential to extract minerals and metals such as manganese, cobalt, gold, copper, iron, and other rare earth elements. The main geological sites targeted are areas rich in polymetallic nodules, seamounts, and hydrothermal vents; areas typically found where tectonic plates meet. The areas to be mined could cover parts of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Clarion Clipperton Zone in the Pacific Ocean in international waters, and national waters off the islands of Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand, Japan, and the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. Assessment of the impact on deep sea ecosystems is underway, though their cumulative effects remain difficult to comprehend given the unprecedented variety and expanse of the mining sites targeted. At the same time, local and indigenous communities living in these regions are not being adequately consulted.

The prospects of this form of mining re-actualise a colonial, frontier mentality and are redefining extractivist economies for the twenty-first century. What is Deep Sea Mining? addresses both knowledge of the deep sea and ocean governance, but also efforts to defend a sustained ocean literacy beyond the United Nations’ “blue economy” at a time when the deep ocean, its species, and its resources remain largely unmapped and understudied.

Episode 1, Tools for Ocean Literacy, is historical and geographical introduction to deep sea mining, playing with Charles and Ray Eames’ 1977 film Powers of Ten.

Episode 2, Deep Frontiers, tells a story about knowledge of the seabed and its alien life, written by anthropologist Stefan Helmreich.

Episode 3, The Azore Case, focuses on the Portuguese Azores nine island archipelago, following European Union plans to mine in the region, based on a series of interviews with marine biologists and politicians conducted in the islands.

Episode 4, A Glossary on Mining, offers a brief glossary of terms that can be used to better tackle the issue of mining reserves and monopolies on land, which in turn may lead to the potential threat of deep sea mining.

Episode 5, The Papua New Guinea Case, addresses the plans to mine off the coast of Papua New Guinea as well as the long activist struggle by local communities across the Pacific against deep sea mining. Episode 5 will be premiered at NTU CCA Singapore, simultaneously in the Lab space and online on social media and the websites of NTU CCA Singapore’s website, the funding and partner institution TBA21 – Academy’s website, and inhabitants-tv.