The works of filmmaker and artist Green Zeng (b. 1972, Singapore) scrutinise how history is written, interpreted, and disseminated. Focusing on issues such as student activism and the connection between archives, the state, and the individual, he reactivates fragments of the past and questions the artist‚ role in ‚ truth-telling. His films have been presented in international festivals including the 30th Venice International Film Critics‚ Week, Italy (2015) and Cannes Film Festival, France (2006) and his works have been included in group exhibitions at LASALLE‚ Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore (2018, 2017); and Para Site, Hong Kong (2015) amongst other venues. His most recent solo presentation is Returning Revisiting and Reconstructing, Foundation Cinema Oasis, Bangkok, Thailand (2019).
Anne Szefer Karlsen (b. 1976, Norway) is a curator, writer and editor interested in artistic and curatorial collaborations as well as developing the language that surrounds art productions of today ‚ linguistically, ideologically, spatially and structurally. She is currently Associate Professor for MA Curatorial Practice at Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway.
Previously, Szefer Karlsen was Director of Hordaland Art Centre in Bergen, Norway (2008-2014); curator of Art Belongs to Those Who See it, the Norwegian Sculpture Biennial (2015); and co-curator of Just what is it that makes today so familiar, so uneasy, Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway (2013). She was also Associate Curator for Research and Encounters for Inventer le monde: l’artiste citoyen, Biennale Bénin (2012). Her writings have appeared in journals such as Afterall, Bildedkunst and kunstkritikk.no. She is currently series editor for Dublett (2012 – 2016), a book series featuring artists‚ works through anthologies and artists‚ books.
Understanding art making as a form of social critique, in 2016 Wu Mali embarked on a long-term project titled Cijin’s Tongue. Set up with the support of the National Sun Yat-sen University in the kitchen of a former military dormitory in Cijin District (Taiwan), Cijin’s Tongue is a multicultural lab for social innovation. Over the last century, what used to be a fishermen’s village turned into a container port and tourist destination gathering a diverse community of inhabitants hailing from China and Southeast Asia. Focusing on the quotidian act of food consumption, Wu utilises cooking, eating, tasting, and sharing as heuristic tools to examine processes of social change brought about by colonialism, the Cold War, and globalisation. During the residency, she plans to broaden the scope of her research by exploring analogous patterns of change in the specific context of Singapore researching local food economies and practices of food consumption.
Merging fictional stories and historical accounts, the practice of Liu Yu (b. 1985, Taiwan) cuts across video, installation, and text. Her work is concerned with re-contextualizing stories of marginalised communities as a commentary on the intricacies of domineering power structures. Using field work and site-specific methodologies, she reconstructs alternative narratives strung together by fragmented representations of space, history, image, and narration. Recent solo exhibitions include The history of the concave and the convex, Hong-gah Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2018) and Several Ways to Believe, Taiwan Academy, Los Angeles, United States (2016). She has recently participated in group exhibitions such the Asian Art Biennial, Taichung, Taiwan (2019).
Kent Chan (b. 1984, Singapore) is a Singaporean artist, filmmaker, and curator. Addressing the relationship between moving images and the contemporary city, his work often results in films and in installations that merge text and time-based media. Lately, he has focused his interest on the symbolic and political aspects of the tropical imagination, regarding the equatorial vegetation as a site generative of alternative aesthetics and narratives. Chan has participated in numerous group exhibitions abroad and has received solo exhibitions at SCCA-Ljubljana, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Slovenia (2017); Grey Projects, Singapore (2016); Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2014); The Substation, Singapore (2013). His recent curatorial projects include State of Motion 2017: Through Stranger Eyes and Superposition(s), ICA, Singapore (2016).
John Torres (b.1975, the Philippines) is an independent film director, producer, and writer widely acclaimed for his highly personal and poetic style. Weaving together archival clips, found footage, and visually powerful imagery, his films unfold narrative structures, often with strong autobiographical references, that defy conventional tropes and genres. Torres has received solo retrospectives at The Reading Room, Bangkok, Thailand (2015); Vienna International Film Festival (2013), and the 12th Seoul International New Media Festival, South Korea (2012). His most recent feature film People Power Bombshell: The Diary of Vietnam Rose, premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands, in 2016 and received Special Mention at the 6th Curitiba International Film Festival,Rotterdam, Netherlands, in 2016 and received Special Mention at the 6th Curitiba International Film Festival, Brazil in 2017.
Shubigi Rao deals with issues of language, books, archiving and destruction of knowledge in various forms since 2006. Pulp is part of her lifetime project, as an attempt to bridge languages/histories/cultures and civilisations in a globalised world where homogenisation and imposed ideas of conformity have led to their disappearance. While in residence, Rao will look primarily at Singapore and Southeast and South Asia, drawing connections between languages (Jawi and Sanskrit, for example), the histories of print, mass literacy and the role of archives in defining national identities especially in a post-colonial context. Through this research Rao hopes to create discourse about the way we use collate, sort, keep and discard knowledge, and the relevance of this to individual and national identities, as well as the implications for humanism and our species as a whole.
Everything begins from small steps. That was the first thing that came through History of Merchant, a solo exhibition of Husein’s work in 2012. A small-intimate approach to his family journeys, from Hadramaut, in Middle East to South East in Indonesia. By collecting, archiving, and listening to the elders stories, the work started to build a strong foundation that led him to one project and then another project. Since that, he started to further seek and question Arabic descendants in Indonesia. The ideas go across the border between art, politics, economy, and also science. What did they do? Why are they doing that? How do they live and adapt? How they see themselves now? As Arabic-Indonesian or Indonesian-Arabic? These questions about identity, adaptation, survival, daily life culture, and also originality are evoked. While doing research for that project, Husein found stories about the transition, from Hyderabad to Singapore. These descendants were supposed to go directly to Indonesia through the Malaya Peninsula but stopped and stayed in Singapore for two years due to the critical situation that happen between British and the Dutch thus it has been said, to have developed a new community. This is the point of entry into Husein’s research for the NTU CCA Residencies Programme. The topic is simplified into three aspects: Identity, Transition, and Journeys. By using those as the main core Husein will explore the story of Arabic society in Singapore, seeking artefact and archives through the stories from the citizens.
Rand Abdul Jabbar’s (b. 1990, Iraq/United Arab Emirates) multidisciplinary practice examines remnants of historic, cultural, and personal narratives surrounding Iraq, contesting with individual and collective history and memory to produce fragmentary reconstructions of historic events and past experiences. Her work has been recently exhibited at the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery Project Space and Jameel Arts Centre (both United Arab Emirates), the inaugural Rabat Biennale (Morocco), and the Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans, France (all 2019).
Working on the expansion of global art geographies, Writer-in-Residence Mechtild Widrich has previously focused her analysis on the opening of the National Gallery Singapore. While in residence, Widrich will expand her research and connect with local artists, curators and art administrators whose work revolves around performance art and issues related to urban development and museum studies.