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.
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.
Apolonija Šušteršič, an architect and visual artist, is a former Visiting Researher at NTU CCA Singapore. Her work is related to a critical analysis of space, usually focused at the processes and relationships between institutions, cultural politics, urban planning, and architecture. Šušteršič broad-ranging interest starts at a phenomenological study of space and continutes its investigation into the social and political nature of our living environment. Together with architect and researcher Meike Schalk, she formed an operative unit, which occasionally produces research, projects, actions, and discussions. Šušteršič is currently Professor of Art & Public Space, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Norway and has her own art / architecture studio practice in Lund, Sweden and in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Contemporary art/ activist practices and current urban struggles over the provision of green spaces in large cities
Azra Akšamija is a Sarajevo born artist and architectural historian. She is the Class of 1922 Career Development Professor and Assistant Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Art, Culture and Technology Programme. In her multi-disciplinary work, Akšamija investigates the politics of identity and memory on the scale of the body (clothing and wearable technologies), on the civic scale (religious architecture and cultural institutions), and within the context of history and global cultural flows.
Akšamija was trained in architecture at the Technical University Graz, Austria (Dipl.Ing. in 2001) and Princeton University (M.Arch. in 2004), and received her PhD in History of Islamic Art and Architecture from MIT (History Theory and Criticism of Art and Architecture / Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture) in 2011.
Akšamija’s work has been published and exhibited in leading international venues such as at the Generali Foundation Vienna, Valencia Biennial, Gallery for Contemporary Art Leipzig, Liverpool Biennial, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Sculpture Center New York, Secession Vienna, Manifesta 7, Stroom The Hague, the Royal Academy of Arts London, Jewish Museum Berlin, Queens Museum of Art in New York, and the Fondazione Giorgio Cini as a part of the 54th Art Biennale in Venice.
Azra Akšamija’s projects explore the potency of art and architecture to facilitate the process of transformative conflict mediation though cultural pedagogy, and in so doing, provide a framework for analysing and intervening in contested socio-political realities. Her recent work focuses on the representation of Islam in the West, architectural forms of nationalism in the Balkans since the 1990s, and the role of cultural institutions and heritage in constructing common good in divided societies. Akšamija investigates the role of cultural and religious identity in conflicts, especially in the recent history of the Yugoslavian war and its aftermath.
As a writer, curator, and lecturer based in London with professional interests in contemporary visual arts development, gallery management, museums, and public art, Piers Masterson has curated and commissioned numerous exhibitions and projects by artists including Sinta Tantra, Chila Burman, Suki Chan, Mona Hatoum, Faisal Abdu’Allah, and Isaac Julien, and has been closely working with the British Museum’s Raffles Collection.
In addition to publishing of History of Java (1817), Raffles curated displays of objects and pictures from Southeast Asia in his London homes. Through these displays, Raffles promoted several archetypes for colonial fantasies of Southeast Asia that were recirculated through the 20th century. During the fellowship, Masterson will examine the ways in which contemporary Singaporean artists appropriate and re-contextualise these images of the tropics for their specific aims.
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
Subjectively, Newell Harry’s interests and work touch on diverse fields from religion and language, to the postcolonial impacts of trade and globalisation. An itinerant wanderer, his work is largely formed through a complex web of intercultural engagements bridging Australia’s east coast, the Vanuatu archipelago, South Asia, and his extended family’s home in Cape Town. These interests often culminate in installations drawing together a combination of media, generally unrestricted by any singular approach or application. Whilst in Singapore as an NTU CCA Artist-in-Residence, Harry looks at the under represented connections between the Cape Malay of South Africa and the Straits Malay linking these two histories to interchanges on the Malay Peninsula.
Newell Harry of South African and Mauritian descent, has for over a decade drawn from an intimate web of recurring travels and connections across Oceania and the wider Asia-Pacific, to South Africa’s Western Cape Province, where the artist’s extended family continues to reside. From Pidgin and Creole languages to modes of exchange in the “gift economies” of the South Pacific, Harry’s interests often culminate in culturally “entangled” installations. Selected exhibitions include Tidalectics, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art 21, Vienna (2017); Endless Circulation: Tarrawarra Biennial, curated Victoria Lynn & Helen Hughes, Tarrawarra, Victoria (2016); The 56th Venice Biennale: All the Worlds Futures (2015);Suspended Histories, Museum Van Loon, Amsterdam (2013); Rendez Vous 11 & 12, Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villebanne (2011) and South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2012); Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial) (2011); The 17th Biennale of Sydney: The Beauty of Distance, Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age (2010); and The Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Before and After Science (2010).
Between February and April 2015, Harry was Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore where he looked into the under-presented colonial connections between the Cape Malay of South Africa and the Straits Settlements.