Committed to socially engaged practices, multi-disciplinary theatre practitioner Han Xuemei (b. 1987, Singapore) employs art as a tool for bringing communities together and engaging the audience in visceral and personal ways. In her practice, she creates spaces and experiences that incite participants to think outside the box of existing paradigms and articulate forms of hope and resistance. Since 2012, she is Resident Artist at the Singapore-based theatre company Drama Box. Her recent projects include the experiential installation FLOWERS (2019), the community project The Gift (2018), and the participatory experience Missing: The City of Lost Things (2018).

Alecia Neo develops long-term projects that involve collaborative partnerships with individuals and communities. Her socially engaged practice unfolds primarily through photography, video, and participatory workshops that address modes of mobility, reciprocity, caregiving, and well-being to explores issues of identity and the search for self. Her recent projects include a collaboration with the community engagement platform Both Sides, Now, Singapore (2019-2017); Touch Collection, Singapore Art Museum, and Personally Speaking, Objectifs (both Singapore, 2018-ongoing). She is the co-founder of Brack, a platform for socially engaged art. Neo was the recipient of the Young Artist Award in 2016. Between October 2019 to April 2020, she was an Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore.

Lee Wen has been exploring different strategies of time-based and performance art since 1989. His project Malevich looks at the idea of going back to “square one”. Within his residency, Lee has focused on drawing and improvisation through music and performance and as an opportunity to revisit and revive past projects.

His recent concerns have revolved around the memory of Singapore’s art history through the initiation of the Independent Archive and Resource Centre documenting performance art and recent conversations with art historian and NTU visiting faculty, Nora Taylor have result in a wider discussion on how to remember performance art practices here.

Responding to the concept of The Making of an Institution, Maria Hlavajova will discuss the notion of “instituting otherwise” using BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, in Utrecht, an institution of which she is the founding director, as an example. Dedicated to thinking about, with, and through art, BAK engages in long-term research trajectories engaging with the urgencies that define our contemporary, including issues of social and environmental justice and the relevance of digital technologies. Hlavajova will draw upon her research within a number of interrelated projects she is involved with, including Former West (2008–2016) and Future Vocabularies (2014–ongoing), all the while exploring the shifts within our existing conceptual lexicon for artistic, intellectual, and activist practices.

Ibrahim Hamid is a comic artist who has been collaborating with artist Roslisham Ismail aka Ise since 2018. The works were shown at Campur, Tolak, Kali, Bahagi, Sama Dengan (Add, Subtract, Multiply, Divide, Equals) in 2021, at The Lab in NTU CCA Singapore.

Mary Otis Stevens (b.1928) is a pioneering American architect. Her architectural designs, along with the founding of i Press (1968-1978), an important publisher of books on architecture, urbanism, and social space, were linked to her ability to radically re-envision space and relationships. In the context of the Cold War and American political activism in the 1960s, her work, which were often in collaboration with her partner, fellow architect and i Press co-founder Thomas McNulty, revealed her foundational training in philosophy and her commitment to de-centralising hierarchies.

Binna Choi will research the Singapore art scene and the wider Southeast Asian region as represented in Singapore Biennale 2016 – An Atlas of Mirrors. She will give a public lecture on the relationship between artistic projects and social movements drawing from her recent collaborative projects The Grand Domestic Revolution and Composing the Commons and will share models of collaboration and self-organisation developed at Casco.

Ready, Steady, Go (2 — 8 August 2017)
Incidental Scripts (10 — 15 August 2017)
Proximities and Encounters (16 — 22 August 2017)
Islanded (23 — 31 August 2017)

Speakers’ Corner is a selection of video documentations of former public events and related research materials from its archives. Here, the term “Speakers’ Corner” stands as a metaphor for public discourses created through the various programmes of NTU CCA Singapore. Outreach not only means to create discussions but also to find different languages, or to question under what premises we create our knowledge. Altogether this is what creates a public discourse or a “speakers’ corner” within an institution, which can be academic, literary, or performative. It opens up the possibility for encounters with the known and unknown, the expected and unexpected, as a form of its lively activities.

NTU CCA Singapore’s public programmes reflect on our present world through culture and art. Unfolding over two months will be four chapters: Islanded, Incidental Scripts, Proximities and Encounters, and Ready, Steady, Go. Each chapter is related to an exhibition held at NTU CCA Singapore such as Incidental Scripts by Yang Fudong (2014) or SEA STATE by Charles Lim Yi Yong (2016), or to invited local and international Artists-in-Residence and their artistic research and practices like Heman Chong (2017) or Zac Langdon-Pole (2014). On a broader scheme, the events offer an expanded reading and understanding of the complexity and diversity of the contemporary art production of today and how it intersects with current developments in culture, society, and politics.

Amanda Heng has championed the representation of women within exhibitions in Singapore through examining notions of the female body through her performances, her work with WITAS (Women in the Arts Singapore) and through various artists’ initiatives in the early 1990s.Heng’s recent work is focused on the issues of history, memory, communication and human relationships in urban conditions.

On the occasion of the launch of the Digital Resource Platform, NTU CCA Singapore is presenting a selection of materials from Singapore’s Independent Archive (IA), a research and resource platform dedicated to time-based media, established by internationally-renowned artist Lee Wen (Singapore) in 2012. For the past six years, the IA captured the zeitgeist of performance art in Singapore and larger (South-)East Asia through artistic collaborations.

This presentation in The Lab is organised into five chapters —“Condition,” “Body,” “Formation / Gestalt,” “Absence,” and “Memory”—that look at the development of performance art as a new medium as well as its political conditions. Journey of a Yellow Man. takes visitors through the archive with photographs, videos, writings, sketchbooks, while simultaneously, introducing the digital archive. As of today, the Centre has digitalised 20,000 files from the IA.

The practice of Lee Wen is motivated by social investigations that use art to interrogate stereotypical perceptions of culture and society. He became famous for his performance series Journey of a Yellow Man (1992—), where he embodied his Chinese descent and its relationship to oppressive systems.

The presentation provides insight into a continuously expanding resource platform that highlights ephemeral moments in the history of performance art in Singapore. The project addresses the importance of providing historically significant source material for researchers and the wider public. The digitalised files will be integrated into NTU CCA Singapore’s Public Resource Platform and will be accessible at the Centre, the Independent Archive, and the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, a collaborative partner of this project.

With IA, a series of public programmes will take place in both The Lab at the NTU CCA Singapore and in the IA. The programme highlights IA as a “living archive” that not only serves as a reference library and archive focusing on time-based and event-specific art, but is also a gathering space that offers dynamic programmes in a vibrant network of artists, musicians, and the public.

Journey of a Yellow Man is curated by Sophie Goltz, Deputy Director, Research and Academic Programmes, NTU CCA Singapore, in collaboration with Lee Wen, artist and Founder, Independent Archive, Singapore, Bruce Quek, Research, Independent Archive, and Kamiliah Bahdar, Public Programmes, Independent Archive. Project Assistant: Ho See Wah, Young Professional Trainee, NTU CCA Singapore. Assistant to Lee Wen: Liu Wen Chao, Library, Independent Archive.

The NTU CCA Digital Resource Platform was initiated in 2016 by Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, NTU ADM Singapore and Lee Wen, in collaboration with Chương-Đài Võ, Researcher, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong. Assistant to the project: Bruce Quek with the support of Samantha Leong Min Yu, Executive, Conferences, Workshops & Archive, NTU CCA Singapore (till May 2018), Corine Chan Li Ling, Executive Archive, NTU CCA Singapore (May to July 2018), and Pooja Paras Mehta (2017), Ho See Wah (2018), Young Professional Trainees, NTU CCA Singapore.