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
The artist’s residency was scheduled from July to September 2020. Due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak and international travel restrictions, the residency could not be carried out as planned.
Continuing his long-term critical examination of everyday life focused on the patterns of labour, leisure, and sleep produced by the “eternal wakefulness” of 24/7 capitalist economies, Danilo Correale intends to further investigate the global phenomenon of outsourced labour and its deep ramifications within Southeast Asia. The artist aims to problematize the differences between night- and day-culture by understanding how nocturnal time and urban nightscapes are inhabited and modified by shift workers operating across different time zones, the profound impact on their bodily rhythms, and the affective relationships within their communities. The realm of the night is therefore framed as a ‘back-door’ to examine the effects of late capitalism on society and understand how BPO (Business Process Outsourced) economy alters urban, cultural, and biological human ecosystems. Building upon fieldwork previously conducted in India and the Philippines, Correale will now further develop his project by taking advantage of Singapore’s unique position within the regional and global economic map.
The practice of Danilo Correale critiques contemporary life and investigates the opacity surrounding complex cultural and economic systems. In recent years, his research revolves around the dichotomy between labour and leisure and the relation between sleep and enforced wakefulness under the neoliberal economic regime. His work has been presented in numerous international group exhibitions and his solo shows include They Will Say I Killed Them, Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast, United Kingdom (2019); At Work’s End, Art in General, New York, United States (2017); and Tales of Exhaustion, La Loge, Brussels, Belgium (2016). In 2017, he was awarded both the New York Prize for Italian Young Art and an Associate Research Fellowship at Columbia University.
Investigating Singapore’s role within the growing global phenomenon of “green cities”, Coburn will pursue research into Singapore’s development from “Garden City” to “City in a Garden”. He aims to delve into historical and emerging notions of green urbanism, framing the garden as a pedagogical, philosophical, and literary construct. Focusing on two specific case studies, he will place the multiple functions of Singapore Botanic Gardens in a wider historical prospective and explore the social and economic conditions which underlie the complex eco-tourist structure of Gardens by the Bay.
In recent years, as globalisation accelerates the process of urbanisation, both developed and developing countries are experiencing a significant influx of immigrants. The reality of cities erected entirely through foreign labour has become increasingly common and the flows of temporary migration lead to the formation of “mini-nations” nestled within rapidly growing cities, that is enclaves of migrant workers that congregate, cohabit, and share material and immaterial resources in foreign countries. Pursuing his interest in the social, political, cultural, and economic impact of globalisation, during the residency Lim Sokchanlina investigates bureaucratic and political apparatuses as well as the personal and psychological aspects that define Singapore’s communities of migrant workers in Little India and “Little Burma” considered as case studies to be compared with similar enclaves in Cambodia and Thailand.
In 2018, Prapat Jiwarangsan was awarded a fellowship from the Japan Foundation Asia Center to develop a project on migrant workers in Singapore. On occasion of a fieldtrip to the country, the artist chanced upon Koi Glai Ban (Persons Far from Home), a compilation of short biographies—edited by the late scholar Pattana Kitiarsa—penned by Thai migrant workers. He took particular interest in the stories of oppression and resistance recounted by Ploy, a woman who was employed as a sex worker in a makeshift “jungle brothel” located in the scant forestry of the island city-state. Inspired by Ploy’s diary entry, the artist’s investigation aims to excavate underground stories of transnational labour and frame them within processes of land appropriation for cultural, economic, and leisure pursuits. During the residency, Jiwarangsan will expand his research on migrant workers’ relationship to woodlands with the goal of developing a medium-length documentary film and a new series of works.
Meiya Cheng will look at two exhibition projects, The Great Ephemeral (New Museum, 2015) and Trading Futures (co-curated with Pauline Yao, Taipei Contemporary Art Centre, 2012) relating them to NTU CCA Singapore’s overarching curatorial framework PLACE.LABOUR.CAPITAL. Cheng’s discussion explores the speculative nature of the global market, including the hypothetical systems of labour, value, consumption, and desire.
The Colony (2017 – ongoing) is the title of Marvin Tang’s long-term research project which examines the impact of botanical institutions on the movement of seeds, plants, and people in the colonial era. For the next iteration of the project, the artist intends to focus on the history and evolution of the Wardian case, a glass container for growing and transporting flora devised by British physician Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward in 1833. The direct precursor of the modern terrarium, this transportable receptacle proved instrumental in allowing the circulation of plants across the globe in the 19th century. Here, it is framed as a point of departure to excavate the social, economic, and environmental implications of planetary plant movements and the displacement of labour forces required to sustain booming plantation economies. During the residency, the studio will be used to conduct durational experiments with natural substances and photographic materials and try out different modes of display.
Denise Yap, Apartment 2079, 2020
Moses Tan, Study for Dramatic Venus, 2020
Ruby Jayaseelan, STOP., 2020
passthejpeg, passthetime, 2020
<!DOCTYPE work> is a curatorial project that encourages people to rethink productivity in creative practices, influenced by forced remote work situations due to the global pandemic. Borrowing a programming language for the compliance of HTML standards, highlights the use of digital tools and formats for telecommuting. It also signifies the start of an experiment that is open-ended and process-based. Given the context of this current situation, it seeks to chart out the process of exhibition-making while reflecting on these questions: How are our creative practices responding to situational changes and remote working? What are the trajectories of discourse that can arise from the idea of “productivity” in the creative field? What does “productivity” mean to us?
This project, conceived by Leon Tan, Shireen Marican, and Tian Lim, is a pilot programme of the Platform Projects Curatorial Award overseen by NTU CCA Singapore. Currently in its inaugural year, this award supports a curatorial project exploring Spaces of the Curatorial by recent graduates of NTU CCA Singapore and NTU ADM’s MA programme in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices, as well as NTU ADM’s research-oriented MA and PhD programmes.
Tian Lim is Manager, Exhibitions at NTU CCA Singapore from 2020-2021. She graduated from NTU CCA Singapore and NTU ADM’s MA programme in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices in 2019, and was part of the curatorial team for <!DOCTYPE work> held at The Lab in NTU CCA Singapore in 2020.