Dr Felicia Low (Singapore) is a graduate of Goldsmiths College and has been a practising visual artist since 1999. Her projects have mostly been site-specific, performative and community-specific as she works collaboratively with different sectors of society. A Lee Kong Chien scholar of the National University of Singapore, Low obtained a PhD in Cultural Studies in Asia in 2015. Her research focused on the politics of participatory visual art practices with subaltern communities in Singapore.
Low is also the Founding Director of a not-for-profit organisation, Community Cultural Development (Singapore), which aims to provide a critical discursive platform for artistic practices that engage with communities in the region. Low is also an associate lecturer with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (BA in Art Education & Psychology/Arts Management) and teaches Anthropology at the School of the Arts, Singapore.
In partnership with Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd., Culture City. Culture Scape. is a public art education programme launched in 2017. A first of its kind in Singapore, the programme features a series of newly commissioned public art works by Dan Graham, Zul Mahmod, Tomás Saraceno and Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA), nestled at Mapletree Business City II, and aims to bring the arts closer to the communities.
Inspired by the idea of expanded sculptural environments, the artworks explore the interplay between landscape, architecture, and the broader social and economic environments they are placed in. More than being monumental or site-specific, each work alters or permeates its local context to invite visitors to a broader, richer engagement.
Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, an artist of African descent, was born in London and grew up in Nigeria, returning to London only in his late teens. His work explores issues of colonialism and postcolonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation, as well as race and class. Mixing Western art history and literature, he questions the construct of collective contemporary identity and its meaning within cultural and national definitions. Shonibare has participated in major international art exhibitions, including the 52nd and 57th Venice Biennale and Documenta11. His works are in prominent collections, including the Tate Collection, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome; and VandenBroek Foundation, the Netherlands. In 2004, Shonibare was nominated for the Turner Prize, the most prestigious annual art prize in United Kingdom, and was awarded the decoration of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). Fifteen years later, in January 2019, Shonibare was awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). That same year, he held a solo exhibition at the Norval Foundation in Cape Town, Trade Winds: Yinka Shonibare CBE, which featured works connected by their use of Dutch wax fabric and a major installation that celebrates the contributions of immigrant and non-immigrant Africans, The African Library.
Yeo Siew Hua’s (b. 1985, Singapore) practice spans film directing and screenwriting. His last feature film, A Land Imagined (2018) was awarded the Golden Leopard at the 71st Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland (2019) and selected as Singapore’s entry to the 92nd Academy Awards’ Best International Feature Film category, United States (2020). Extending beyond conventional cinema festivals and networks, Yeo’s films have also been shown at contemporary art venues including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, United States (2018), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Taipei, Taiwan (both 2018). He is co-founder of 13 Little Pictures, a vanguard film collective which organises experimental film labs around Southeast Asia.
During the residency, Russell Morton concentrates on developing his first feature film which tackles the perverse dynamics of crime and punishment as well as the ancient wisdom couched in local stories of haunting and other regional lore. Stemming from personal circumstances—due to his father’s employment as commander of the prison tactical unit, the artist grew up in Changi Prison’s quarters —Morton developed a direct, albeit unspoken, intimacy with the tortuous ethical issues and psychological consequences related to the most extreme form of law enforcement. Through researching archival materials, oral histories as well as literature and films from post-independence Singapore, the artist plans to interweave the nightmares and traumas experienced by both the punisher and the punished by steeping the fictional narrative into Malayan myths, folk music, and vernacular architecture.
Furthering her long-term research on bioacoustics, botanical histories, and interspecies communication, Tini Aliman intends to approach tree stumps as a sonic archive of the environment and engage them with various sensorial modalities. Within the framework of this project, tree stumps are regarded as witnesses to the ecological and anthropogenic changes resulting from land development, extractive capitalism, and climate change. Despite being seemingly devoid of life, felled trees and their stumps are in fact connected to underground forest ecologies and are part of sprawling fungal and bacterial networks through which plants communicate and send out signals that are not immediately graspable by the human ear. Shifting the acoustic experience of listening to one that is attuned to the sonic manifestation of non-human organisms, the artist will attempt to translate these signals into audible frequencies that merge deep listening and site-specificity. Furthermore, drawing parallels between the organic plant networks and the structure of printed circuit board (PCB), she will also map various sonic and spatial trajectories of plant sensing, survival, and communication.
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).
Kelly Reedy has worked in Singapore for over 18 years as an artist and educator. She holds a BFA in Fine Art (University of Wisconsin, 1985), MA in Education (Hunter College, 1991), MA in Art Therapy (LASALLE College of the Arts, 2017). She has exhibited her artworks internationally in Paris, Chicago, and Berlin, as well as locally at Jendela Visual Arts Space, Esplanade, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, and Alliance Fran.aise. Reedy has developed educational resources for the National Gallery Singapore and trained teachers at the National Institute of Education, specialising in visual arts education in museums and galleries.
Contemporary art is an excellent educational resource that lends itself to inquiry-based and experiential learning, and encourages creativity, self-expression, and critical thinking. By using the Centre’s past exhibitions and programmes as examples, this guide is developed to help educators explore cross-disciplinary subjects and pedagogical strategies while engaging with contemporary art.
Published by NTU CCA Singapore, 2021
Edited by Kelly Reedy in collaboration with NTU CCA Singapore
Design by mono.studio
© 2021 by NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
Distributed by NTU CCA Singapore