Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Grant 2022
Noor Abed
A Night We Held Between

16mm film, 4k digital transfer, with sound, approx. 30 mins

16 January 2024, Tue – 28 January 2024, Sun
Block 6 Lock Road, #01-09

Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Friday
12 pm – 7pm
Saturdays, 1 pm – 9pm
Sundays, 1 pm – 7pm

In conversation with the artist
Saturday, 20 January, 11:00am – 12:30pm

Artist Noor Abed will be in conversation with Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore and Professor at the School of Art, Design, and Media, NTU, to delve into Abed’s vision and motivation in light of winning the Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Grant 2022, in collaboration with NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore; WIELS, Brussels; Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), Manila and Jameel Art Centre, Dubai, engaging in transcontinental institutional collaboration and the impact it had on her work.

The conversation opens with a welcome address by Han Nefkens, Founder of the Han Nefkens Foundation.

A NIGHT WE HELD BETWEEN begins with the notion of the labyrinth, which serves as a metaphorical reference that connects a historical mythology to the socio-political reality in Palestine. Filmed in spring and summer 2023, Abed focused on ancient sites in Palestine – caves, carved holes, underground passages, and wild valleys. The chosen locales became the main protagonist, traversing beyond the first layers of visibility and revealing a hidden world underneath that was not seen but familiar to the places one knew.

noor abed, a night between, 2023. 16mm film, 4k digital transfer, with sound, 30 mins. video still. video still. Commissioned by Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Award. Image courtesy the Artist.

Images become signifiers of what is lost, untold, and hence forgotten. These appear in a ghostly texture, as eerie reminders of their uncanny existence. Expanding upon this  historical loss through a cinematic space allows the past to recur through a projection of imaginary gaps. The filmic score emphasizes the role of collective rhythmic movements and its potential impact in evoking shared feelings that may contribute to reconnect and sustain a community that is dislocated. 

Abed weaves into her narration mythology and Palestinian folklore, creating a fusion of natural and composed sequences of movement, blending documentary and fictional elements. Through a poetic choreography of bodies, sites, narratives, and temporalities, her work prompts contemplation on the manifestations of social action and resistance in everyday life.

The featured video work A NIGHT WE HELD BETWEEN, has been created with the support of the Han Nefkens Foundation—Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Grant 2022 with its inaugural screening taking place at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore.

Images become signifiers of what is lost, untold, and hence forgotten. These appear in a ghostly texture, as eerie reminders of their uncanny existence.

The Han Nefkens Foundation—Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Grant appraises the work of emerging artists aged 50 and under, who live in West or Central Asia and have established a solid trajectory but have not had the opportunity to exhibit extensively: this production grant should serve as an important source of support and boost in their career.

A NIGHT WE HELD BETWEEN will be exhibited by a transcontinental consortium consisting of five institutions: Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila (The Philippines); Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (Spain); WIELS, Brussels (Belgium); NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (Singapore); Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai (UAE).


BIOGRAPHY

Noor Abed (Palestine/Netherlands) works at the intersection of performance and film. Abed attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in Νew York in 2015-16, and the Home Workspace Program (HWP) at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut 2016-17. She received her BA from the International Academy of Arts in Palestine and a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles. Abed’s work has been screened and exhibited internationally at Anthology Film Archives, New York, Gabes Cinema Fen Film Festival, Tunisia, Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, Leonard & Bina Gallery, Montréal, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Ujazdowski Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, The Mosaic Rooms, London, and MAXXI – National Museum of 21st Century Art, Rome, among others. In 2021-22 she was a curatorial assistant for the artistic team of documenta fifteen in Kassel, Germany. Abed is currently a resident at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam 2022-24.

About Han Nefkens Foundation
The Han Nefkens Foundation was established in 2009 with the aim of connecting people through art. In 2016, Han Nefkens decided to focus exclusively on supporting emerging and mid-career international video artists through Awards, Production Grants, and Mentorship Grants. The Foundation is not only involved in producing new works with the artists, but also finding international residencies, producing publications, purchasing working tools, finding technical support, and bringing artists into contact with art institutions and peers. With an extensive network in countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, and the Netherlands, the Foundation is able to present artists to a diverse and global audience.

Judging Panel
Noor Abed was selected in 2022 by an international judging panel chaired by Han Nefkens and composed of Joselina Cruz, Director/curator at Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila (The Philippines); Nuria Homs, curator at Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (Spain); Helena Kritis, curator, WIELS, Brussels (Belgium); Anna Lovecchio, Assistant Director, Programmes, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (Singapore); Nora Razian, Head of Exhibitions, Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai (UAE); Dirk Snauwaert, Director, WIELS; Linda Valdez, Exhibitions Manager, Fundació Antoni Tàpies; in the presence of Hilde Teerlinck, CEO and Director and Alessandra Biscaro, Coordinator, both Han Nefkens Foundation.

Image Credits
Noor Abed
A Night Between, 2023
16mm film, 4k digital transfer, with sound, approx. 30 mins
video still
Commissioned by Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Award
Courtesy the Artist

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.

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.

Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Award
Tekla Aslanishvili
A State in A State

11 Oct 2022, Tue – 6 Nov 2022, Sun
The Screening Room, Block 38 Malan Road, #01-06
12 pm – 7pm, every day except Monday
Film starts every hour

Premier Screening: Tuesday 11 October, 7:00pm-8:30pm
The screening will be followed by a conversation between the artist Tekla Aslanishvili, artistic-scientific collaborator Dr. Evelina Gambino and Assistant Professor Dr. Marc Gloede, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU, Singapore.
The welcome will be given by Ute Meta Bauer, Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, and Founding Director, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, and Dr. Karin Oen, Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Art History, NTU School of Humanities.

A State in a State is the result of Aslanishvili winning the Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Grant 2020, in collaboration with Jameel Art Centre, Dubai; the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Manila; NTU CCA Singapore and WIELS, Brussels. The Award appraises the work of emerging artists aged 40 and under, who live in West or Central Asia and have established a solid trajectory but not yet received recognition by international art institutions.

Aslanishvili was selected by an international jury, including NTU CCA Singapore’s Founding Director Ute Meta Bauer and former Deputy Director of Curatorial Programmes, Dr Karin Oen, for her body of meticulously researched work and her commitment to exploring a specific geopolitical context, whilst connecting to a wider discourse on the impact of extractivist economies on a planetary scale.

A State in a State is an experimental documentary following the construction, disruption, and fragmentation of railroads in the South Caucasus and Caspian regions. It examines railways as a technical materialisation of the fragile political borders that have re-emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Tekla Aslanishvili, A State in a state, 2022. colour, black and white, AVCHD Digital film; archival & found footage, sound, 47 min. video still. Commissioned by Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Award. Image courtesy the Artist.

Revolving around the scenes of delay and waiting that constitute cargo mobility, the film reads the optimistic narratives about the New Silk Road against the grain. It observes how the iron foundation of connectivity can be used as a weapon of exclusion and geopolitical sabotage. Dotting the same lines, other forms of sabotage are deployed by workers to disrupt the political violence. Looking at historic and current practices of resistance, A State in a State explores the potential of railroads for building a different, infrastructural consciousness, and the lasting transnational kinship among the people who live and work around them

The film is developed in artistic-scientific collaboration with Dr. Evelina Gambino, Margaret Tyler Research Fellow in Geography at Girton College, University of Cambridge.



Research & Script: Tekla Aslanishvili / Evelina Gambino
Music: Ani Zakareishvili / Nika Pasuri
Cinematography: Nikoloz Tabukashvili / Tekla Aslanishvili
Typography: Dato Simonia

Editing: Tekla Aslanishvili
Sound: Viktor Bone / Irakli Shonia
Color: Sally Shamas

A State in a State will be also presented at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona  from October 8th till November 27th.

BIOGRAPHY

Tekla Aslanishvili (b. Tbilisi, 1988) is an artist, filmmaker and essayist based between Berlin and Tbilisi. Her works emerge at the intersection of infrastructural design, history and geopolitics. Tekla graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 2009 and she holds a MFA from the Berlin University of the Arts – the department of Experimental Film and New Media Art. Aslanishvili’s films have been screened and exhibited internationally at PACT Zollverein, Neue Berliner Kunstverein, Baltic Triennial, Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Kasseler Dokfest, Kunsthalle Münster, EMAF – European Media Art Festival, Videonale 18, Tbilisi Architecture Biennial. She is a 2018–2019 Digital Earth fellow, the nominee for Ars-Viva Art prize 2021 and the recipient of the Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Award 2020.

Marc Glöde (PhD), is a curator, critic and film scholar. His work is focusing on the relation of images, technology, space, and the body, as well as the dynamics between fields such as art/architecture, art/film, and film/architecture. Since 2017 he is an Assistant Professor at NTU/ADM, Singapore and Co-Director of the MA in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices.

About Han Nefkens Foundation
The Han Nefkens Foundation was established in 2009 with the aim of connecting people through art. In 2016, Han Nefkens decided to focus exclusively on supporting emerging and mid-career international video artists through Awards, Production Grants, and Mentorship Grants. The Foundation is not only involved in producing new works with the artists, but also finding international residencies, producing publications, purchasing working tools, finding technical support, and bringing artists into contact with art institutions and peers. With an extensive network in countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, and the Netherlands, the Foundation is able to present artists to a diverse and global audience.

Judging Panel
The winner has been selected by a judging panel chaired by Han Nefkens, Founder of the Han Nefkens Foundation; Carles Guerra, representing the Fundació Antoni Tàpies; Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art; Dirk Snauwaert, Director of WIELS; Joselina Cruz, Director/Curator at Museum of Contemporary Art and Design and Nora Razian, Head of Exhibitions at Jameel Arts Centre, in the presence of Hilde Teerlinck, Director of the Han Nefkens Foundation; Alessandra Biscaro, Coordinator of the Han Nefkens Foundation; Zoë Gray: Senior Curator of WIELS and Karin Oen, Deputy Director, Curatorial Programmes at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art.

Image Credits
Tekla Aslanishvili
A State in A State, 2022
Colour, black and white, AVCHD Digital film; archival & found footage, sound, 47 min.
video still
Commissioned by Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Award
Courtesy the Artist

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.

In our third episode, we open up this platform for the first time to a guest interviewer. We invited artist and filmmaker Kent Chan to pick the brain of our Artist-in-Residence Yeo Siew Hua. Beyond being both filmmakers and artists, Siew Hua and Kent have been occasional collaborators in the past and, most importantly, they are also long-time friends. Hear them speak candidly about the intertwined cycles of art-making and fund-raising, the blurred line between cinema and visual arts, as well as the philosophical underpinnings and the importance of collaboration in Siew Hua’s practice.  

The practice of Yeo Siew Hua (b. 1985, Singapore) spans film directing and screenwriting. His films probe the darkest side of contemporary society through narratives layered with mysterious atmospheres, inscrutable characters, and mythological references, all steeped in arresting visuals and sounds. His last feature film A Land Imagined (2018) harnessed recognition around the world receiving the Golden Leopard at the 71st Locarno Film Festival and the Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Music Score Awards at the 56th Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. 

After A Land Imagined, Siew Hua has created a number of short films, one of which, An Invocation to the Earth (2020), commissioned by the Singapore International Film Festival and TBA21, was co-produced with NTU CCA Singapore. An Invocation to the Earth can be viewed online at www.stage.tba21.org. During the residency, Siew Hua has been completing his next major production titled The Once and Future, an expanded cinema project which will premiere at the Singapore International Festival of Arts 2022. In 2021, he received the Young Artist Award, Singapore’s highest award for young arts practitioners.

Kent Chan (b. 1984, Singapore) is an artist, curator, and filmmaker currently based in Amsterdam. His practice weaves encounters between art, fiction, and cinema with a particular interest in the tropical imagination, colonialism, and the relation between heat and art. He has held solo presentations at Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, Netherlands (2020-21), National University Singapore Museum (2019-21) and SCCA-Ljubljana, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Slovenia (2017). He was Artist-in-Residence at Jan van Eyck Academie (2019-20) and at NTU CCA Singapore (2017-2018). 

Contributors: Yeo Siew Hua, Kent Chan 
Conducted by: Anna Lovecchio 
Programme Manager: Kristine Tan 
Sound Engineer: Ashwin Menon (The Music Parlour)
Intro & Outro Music: Tini Aliman 
Cover Image & Design: Arabelle Zhuang, Kristine Tan

Credits:
06’42”: Audio excerpt from Yeo Siew Hua, A Land Imagined, 2018. Courtesy the artist.
11’46”: Audio excerpt from Yeo Siew Hua, The Obs: A Singapore Story, 2014. Courtesy the artist.
22’55”: Audio excerpt from Yeo Siew Hua, The Once and Future, 2022. Courtesy the artist.
40’49”: Audio excerpt from Yeo Siew Hua, The Lover, The Excess, The Ascetic and the Fool, 2021. Courtesy the artist.

[See Full Transcript]

Tangled with her own experience of migration, cultural collision, and displacement, the works of Sung Tieu often elicit a variety of sensorial engagements. During the residency, the artist plans to explore the sonic environment of Singapore guided by the following questions: What is the soundscape of a financial capital that trades mostly in abstract exchange rather than in material production? Who occupies public space and in what acoustic proportion? How do aural economies affect the multi-species inhabitants of the city on physical, psychological, and emotional levels? How does sound convey different political and environmental climates? Her investigation on the sounds of contemporary Singapore will also encompass instances of oral communication that operate in a multicultural context characterised by a large linguistic diversity. For this long-term project, Tieu intends to explore the acoustic ecology of several urban soundscapes, extending her research in Vietnam and, possibly, other Southeast Asian countries.

Unfolding through visual, narrative, and performative acts, ila’s artist practice revolves around urgencies for repair, care, and mutual support. Amid frustrations resulting from the ever-shifting urban landscape and rising social inequalities, the artist is interested in navigating the collective emotional psyche through the notion of “wounded city” as described by cultural geographer Karen E. Till. By way of personal and collective exercises, she intends to warp existing spatial relations, map new pathways onto the urban fabric, and engage in the process of memory-work to open up entry points into places of the present through both subjective experiences and stories of the past. These exercises are intended as individual and collective forms of resistance to physical displacement, affective mutilations, and social disempowerment as well as symbolical remedies to mend ecosystem(s) permeated by alienation and loss. Throughout the process, the artist imagines the studio as a fluid space that can offer respite from the outside, resonate with the presence of its different inhabitants, and wherein her roles as mother and artist are organically integrated.

Fiona Tan’s work range from photographs to drawings, from digital installations to theatrically scaled projections. Tan’s evocative works are powerful investigations of identity and belonging in a world shaped by global culture. Much of her work expresses a long-standing interest in the documentary image, both personal and public, and the role of memory, time and place in the construction of identity. The artist’s explorations on issues of post-colonialism and displacement originate in her own biography straddling East and West. Born in Indonesia, to a Chinese-Indonesian father and an Australian mother, she was raised in Australia and moved to the Netherlands in her late teens where she studied at Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. Still, her work often suggests that displacement is part of everyone’s life and everyone’s identity is in a constant flux.

Tan’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions. She participated in various biennales including São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo (2010), Göteborg Biennial, Göteborg (2009), New Orleans Biennial, New Orleans (2008), Biennale of Sydney, Sydney (2006), Berlin Biennale (2001) and she also took part in documenta 11, Kassel (2002). In 2009, she represented The Netherlands at the Venice Biennale’s for the Dutch Pavilion. Tan’s recent solo exhibitions include: Inventory, Maxxi, Rome (2013), Disorient, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (2012), Point of Departure, Andalusian Centre of Contemporary Art, Sevilla (2012), Rise and Fall, a touring solo exhibition at Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau; The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver (2010 – 2011).

Trinh T. Minh-ha is Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, and an award-winning artist and filmmaker. She grew up in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War and pursued her education at the National Conservatory of Music and Theater in Ho Chi Minh City. In 1970, she migrated to the United States where she continued her studies in music composition, ethnomusicology, and French literature at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She embarked on a career as an educator and has taught in diverse disciplines which brought her to the National Conservatory of Music in Dakar, Senegal, where she shot her first film, Reassemblage. Trinh’s cinematic oeuvre has been featured in numerous exhibitions and film festivals. She has participated in biennales across the globe including Documenta11, Kassel (2002), and most recently at Manifesta 13, Marseille (2020). A prolific writer, she has authored nine books. She is the author of several books including Lovecidal: Walking with the Disappeared (2016), D-Passage: The Digital Way (2013), and Elsewhere, Within Here: Immigration, Refugeeism and the Boundary Event (2011). Her film Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989) was presented as an installation within NTU CCA Singapore’s inaugural exhibition Paradise Lost (2014).

The exhibition China. The Arts – The People, Photographs and Films from the 1980s and 1990s by acclaimed filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger (b. 1942 in Constance, Germany) is the first large-scale exhibition by the award-winning filmmaker and artist in Asia. The selection of works focuses on Ottinger’s research and travels in China and Mongolia during the 1980s and 1990s, comprising four films and more than one hundred photographs. The photographs, created largely in parallel with the production of her films, will be unfolded along the artist’s leitmotifs.

Starting with China. The Arts – The People (1985), the exhibition leads a journey through the cultures and geographies of China, while also exploring the relationship between moving image and still life. The three acts of the documentary are presented on a three-screen installation, documenting everyday life in Beijing (February 1985), Sichuan Province (March 1985), and Yunnan Province (March 1985). While meeting the film director Ling Zifeng in one chapter, a Bamboo factory is visited in another, and in parallel the Sani people, a minority group, show their habitat, the Stone Forest.

Taiga. A Journey to Northern Mongolia (1992), a documentary over eight hours long that will be presented on multiple monitors throughout the exhibition space, looks into the everyday life of nomadic peoples in Mongolia. Furthermore, on view in the cinematic space of the Centre, The Single Screen, will be Exile Shanghai (1997), a film telling the six life stories of German, Austrian, and Russian Jews intersecting in Shanghai after their escape from Nazi Germany, as well as Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia (1989), Ottinger’s only feature fiction film presenting a cast starring Badema, Lydia Billiet, Inés Sastre, and Delphine Seyrig.

From 1962 to 1968, Ulrike Ottinger was living as an independent artist in Paris, where at the University of Paris-Sorbonne she attended lectures on ethnography and religion of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Louis Althusser, and Pierre Bourdieu. Over the decades, she has created an extensive image archive, including films, photographs of her own as well as collections of postcards, magazine illustrations, and other iconographic documents from times and places worldwide. Driven by her curiosity for people and places, the artist’s images alternate between documentary insight and theatrical extravagance, presenting encounters with everyday realities at the intersection of the contemporary, the traditional, and the ritual.

The extraordinary filmic and photographic oeuvre from China and Mongolia of the 1980s and 1990s prove her outstanding practice and beyond. Fighting for permission to travel and film in communist China, Ottinger’s interest in Asia also broke with the Cold War stereotype of that time. Her inimitable universe of provinces and regions of China is filled with rich imagery of various provinces in China and nomadic societies in Northern Mongolia and their history, paying attention to the presence of local details and reaching far beyond its described territory.

The exhibition is accompanied by an intensive public programme, starting with a Behind the Scenes discussion with the artist on her practice as photographer and filmmaker. The programmed talks and screenings will reflect on the notion of the documentary, the intersection of documentary and fiction, and the potential that artistic production can have for anthropology, cultural studies, and history.

Initially a painter, Ottinger came to filmmaking in the early 1970s. She furthermore produced operas, several theatre plays, and radio dramas. Her films have received numerous awards and have been shown at the world’s most important film festivals, as well as appreciated in multiple retrospectives, including Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival (2013), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2010), Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2004), The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2000), and Cinémathèque française, Paris (1982). Her work has been featured in major international exhibitions such as Documenta (2017, 2002), Gwangju Biennale (2014), Berlin Biennale (2010, 2004), and Shanghai Biennale (2008). Recent solo shows include, among others, Johanna Breede Photokunst, Berlin (2015, 2013), Sammlung Goetz, Munich (2012), Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2011), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2011), and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2004). Major monographs include Ulrike Ottinger: World Images (2013), Ulrike Ottinger (2012), Ulrike Ottinger: N.B.K. Ausstellungen Band 11 (2011), Floating Food (2011), and Image Archive (2005). In 2011, she was awarded the Hannah Höch Prize for her creative work, and in 2010 honoured with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Ulrike Ottinger: China. The Arts ­– The People, Photographs and Films from the 1980s and 1990s is curated by Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, and Khim Ong, Deputy Director, Exhibitions, Residencies and Public Programmes.

Ulrike Ottinger: China. The Arts ­– The People, Photographs and Films from the 1980s and 1990s public programmes