Yeo Siew Hua’s (b. 1985, Singapore) practice spans film directing and screenwriting. His last feature film, A Land Imagined (2018) was awarded the Golden Leopard at the 71st Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland (2019) and selected as Singapore’s entry to the 92nd Academy Awards’ Best International Feature Film category, United States (2020). Extending beyond conventional cinema festivals and networks, Yeo’s films have also been shown at contemporary art venues including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, United States (2018), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Taipei, Taiwan (both 2018). He is co-founder of 13 Little Pictures, a vanguard film collective which organises experimental film labs around Southeast Asia.

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.

Jompet Kuswidananto is an artist. His works examine issues of colonialism, politics, power and mass mobilisation, and the notion of the state of transition in the context of post-reformation Indonesia. Between December 2015 and February 2016, Kuswidananto was Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore. During the Residencies: OPEN, he presented Noda (2016), a site-specific intervention in his studio, a physical translation of “historical leaks” in Indonesia’s recent history that are breaking public silence and becoming visible.

The period between 1948 and 1960 witnessed the forced exodus of over 35,000 Malayan leftists to Southern China, including the artist’s own grandfather. Expanding on her long-term research project which excavates overlooked and contested histories of the Malayan anti-colonial war and her own family histories, Sim Chi Yin intends to trace the trajectories of the Malayan deportees, excavating both their individual experiences and the institutional circumstances which lead to their disappearance from collective memory. With the ports of Singapore being both sites of transit and origins of deportation, during the residency Sim will further her investigation through archival research and oral history interviews working towards the development of a new work. Often evoking a sense of spatial haunting, her aesthetic approach consistently slips away from the documentary into the realm of the affective, the imaginary, and the spectral.

Photographer and artist Sim Chi Yin (b. 1978, Singapore/United Kingdom) combines rigorous research with intimate storytelling to explore issues relating to history, memory, conflict, and migration. Recent solo exhibitions include One Day We‚ll Understand, Landskrona Foto Festival, Sweden (2020), One Day We‚ll Understand, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong (2019) andMost People Were Silent, Institute of Contemporary Arts,LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (2018). Her work has also been included in group shows such asMost People Were Silent, Aesthetica Art Prize, York Art Gallery, United Kingdom (2019);UnAuthorised Medium, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, The Netherlands;Relics, Jendela (Visual Arts Space) Gallery, Esplanade, Singapore (both 2018); and the 15thIstanbul Biennial, Turkey (2017). Sim was commissioned as the Nobel Peace Prize photographer in 2017, nominated for the Vera List Center‚ Jane Lombard Prize for Art and Social Justice 2020 and shortlisted as a finalist for theTim Hetherington TrustVisionary Award 2020.

As part of her residency, Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn will expand on The Archive as a Subject, a long-term project that positions photographs and other vernacular artefacts at the junction of the private and the public, as well as the personal and the political, raising complex global issues related to concepts of territory, migration, and identity. Looking at the traces of her own family’s history, she aims to explore the friction that is generated when such mundane items are appropriated by institutional narratives, especially when they are framed in different cultural contexts. While in Singapore, she intends to further her research looking specifically at the history of the refugee camp in Sembawang which housed Vietnamese refugees for twenty years.

Pelin Tan (b. 1974,Turkey) is a sociologist and art historian based in Mardin, Turkey. Assoc.Prof. at Architecture Faculty, Mardin Artuklu University and contributor of The Silent University (educational platform for/by refugees/migrants). Currently visiting Assoc.Prof. at School of Design, Hong Kong PolyU (2016). Fellow of ACT Program, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tan is a member of Art1kisler video collective. She is the Turkey curator of Actopolis project (Goethe Inst. Athens, 2015 ‚ 2017). Lead author of Towards New Urban Society– IPSP (Edts.Saskia Sassen&Edgar Pieterse, 2015 ‚ 2017). Tan participated in Lisbon Architecture Triennial (2013), Montreal Biennial (2014), Istanbul Biennial (2007, 2015), Oslo Architecture Triennial (2016), Cyprus Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennial (2016). Residencies: CCA Kitakyushu (2015), IASPIS (2008), GeoAir (2011).

Bui Cong Khanh is interested in studying historical flows of Chinese immigration across the Southeast Asian region, and Singapore in particular, by tracking down the movements of Chinese porcelain artifacts. His research intertwines the Chinese ancestry of the artist’s own family and traditional forms of Chinese cultural heritage, while concurrently addressing the complexities embedded in the construction of national identities. During his residency, he also plans to collaborate with local kilns and porcelain workshops.

Bring it to LIFE is a curatorial project that engages with NTU CCA Singapore’s Artist Resource Platform which aims to overcome the mediated experience and create direct encounters with artistic production. Structured in four different episodes, Bring it to LIFE brings to the fore artworks by Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor, Kray Chen, Sufian Samsiyar, and Geraldine Kang that directly engage with the subject matter of PLACE.LABOUR.CAPITAL. through themes of migration and capital transactions. In addition, it uses spatial interventions as a tool to highlight that the production of meaning is also a spatial process and our movement into a confined place impacts upon the way we relate to it and make meaning out of it.

The work of Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor produced during their residency at NTU CCA Singapore is conceived as a visual poem focused on the migrant workers whose individual destinies are influenced by the wider movements of capital flow. Kray Chen’s contribution is a playful installation highlighting how transactional activities such as cutting queues, getting out of a train or simply shopping are punctuating our everyday life. Sufian Samsiyar’s collaborative project tests the thin boundaries between work and life space. Geraldine Kang’s intervention into the spatial arrangement of the Platform is a proposition for another reading and way of engagement with an archive that eschews linearity and prescribed movement into the space.

Conceived by a constellation of voices from NTU CCA Singapore, Bring it to LIFE is curated by Shona Findlay, Curatorial Assistant, Residencies, Syaheedah Iskandar, Curatorial Assistant, Exhibitions, Samantha Leong, Executive, Conference, Workshops & Archive, and Kimberly Shen, Manager, Communications.

No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia is part of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative which was launched in April 2012, a multi-year collaboration that charts contemporary art practice in three geographic regions—South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa—and encompasses curatorial residencies, international touring exhibitions, audience-driven education programming, and acquisitions for the Guggenheim’s permanent collection.

Curated by June Yap, No Country at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore brought the artworks back to the Southeast Asia region from which many of the artists hail and called for an even closer examination of regional cultural representations and relations. This return suggests the possibility of a renewed understanding through a process of mutual rediscovery that transcends physical and political borders. The exhibition in Singapore also marked the debut of two works from the Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund not previously shown as part of No Country: Loss by Sheela Gowda and Morning Glory by Sopheap Pich.

No country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia