Deepening a long-standing involvement with the migrant experience, prominently manifested in the feature film A Land Imagined (2018), Yeo Siew Hua will use the residency to address the subject with the tools of cartography and music-making. 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.
Yeo Siew Hua