Spanning several mediums, the work of Zachary Chan’s (b. 1990, Singapore) reflects his composite background in visual communications, graphic design, and sonic arts. His practice often unfolds through collaborations with other artists and he has written music and designed sound for experimental films, theatre plays, video games, storytelling, and art installations. His most recent solo work was part of the group exhibition Inheritance of Parts, Starch, Singapore (2021). Among his major collaborative projects are Restless Topographies, with Joel Tan and Zarina Muhammad (2021-2022); earth, land, sky and sea as palimpsest with Zarina Muhammad (2021); Pokoknya: Intrusive Transducers, with Tini Aliman (2021); and The Migrant Ecologies Project, with Lucy Davis (2017–ongoing). He is also a co-founder of the design collective crop.sg.

In encountering Balinese cultural artifacts brought to European museums during the colonial period and examining the cultural diplomacy politics enacted by the colonizers, she aims to excavate pre-colonial Balinese culture and understand how the perspectives and aesthetic criteria formed under colonial rule persist until today. The artist is interested in developing a critical reading of the journey of colonial legacies into the present and in understanding how they still inform contemporary cultural consciousness.

By providing her with direct access to historical archives and museum collections, the residency will allow Citra to deepen her understanding of the influence of Dutch colonial power onto the development of visual arts and culture in Bali.

Find out more about SEA AiR.

From its first iteration in 2013, Free Jazz has pushed boundaries and expanded upon pressing concerns of our times. Free Jazz IV. Geomancers continues this approach, featuring artworks ranging from virtual reality to video, performance, and sound as an exercise in planetary awareness. The exhibition presents significant artistic practices from across the globe that are deeply invested in creating an environmental consciousness and that share an understanding of the world as a vulnerable, yet resilient, mesh of coexistences, correlations, and co-creations. As with geomancy, these artworks can help us to read the signs that our planet is trying to send us and that they can inspire a stronger commitment to create a sustainable future for life on Earth.

Alongside scientists, environmental activists, enlightened policy makers and civil society members, contemporary artists are increasingly concerned with future prospects of ecological collapse and planetary survival. They address these issues through the language of art, creating images, sounds, narratives, and experiences that allow us to establish affective and cognitive connections with the environment and partake in the planetary intelligence of the Earth. Stemming from NTU CCA Singapore’s ongoing engagement with the overarching subject of Climates.Habitats. Environments., Free Jazz IV. Geomancers brings together a selection of creative practitioners who are distinctly alert to these urgencies.

Conceived for Singapore Art Week 2022, this programme consists of a film screening series, a virtual reality installation, a performance and a sound installation. Some of the featured artworks zero in on signs of earthly demise, others indicate pathways of resilience and strategies for regeneration. All the works result from long-term research and extensive fieldwork and, when presented together, they engender a kaleidoscopic overview of the multitudinous forms of ecological entanglements.

Artists: Martha Atienza (Philippines), Ursula Biemann (Switzerland), Carolina Caycedo & David de Rozas (United Kingdom; Spain/United States), Chu Hao Pei (Singapore), Liu Chuang (China), Pedro Neves Marques (Portugal), Katie Paterson (Scotland), Rice Brewing Sisters Club (South Korea), Daniel Steegmann Mangrané (Spain/Brazil), Jana Winderen (Norway), Zarina Muhammad & Zachary Chan (Singapore), and Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore).

Exhibition Information

Katie Paterson
To Burn, Forest, Fire, 2021, performance
Performance schedule: 14, 15, 18, 22, and 23 January, 6.30 – 7.00pm
Block 37 Malan Road, #01-04, Gillman Barracks
Entrance is on a first-come first-served basis up to the capacity allowed by the
prevailing social distancing measures. Audience to arrive at least 15 minutes
before the performance starts. Please note that the performance entails the
burning of incense inside an indoor space.
Please see our Facebook event for the latest updates.

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané
Phantom (kingdom of all the animals and all the beasts is my name)
2014–2015, VR installation
Tuesday to Sunday, 12.00 – 7.00pm
Fridays, 12.00 – 9.00pm
Block 38 Malan Road, #01-07, Gillman Barracks
Please see our Facebook event for the latest updates.

Jana Winderen
Listening through the Dead Zones, 2021, sound installation, 20 min, on loop.
Monday to Thursday: 8.00am to 9.00pm (last entry 8.00pm)
Fridays to Sundays: 8.00am to 10.00pm (last entry 9.00pm)
Please see our Facebook event for the latest updates.

Green Roof, Marina Barrage, 8 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018951
The sound installation is located on the Green Roof at Marina Barrage, above the
Sustainable Singapore Gallery, accessible either via the walking ramp or the elevator.
Once on the rooftop, visitors will find the work in the proximity of the glass house, on
the southern edge of the rooftop. Visitors are encouraged to take the time to pause and
experience Listening to the Dead Zones while facing the open sea.

Screening Programme

Friday, 14 and 21 January 2022, 12.00 – 9.00pm
Session I: 12.00 – 2.50pm
Session II: 3.00 – 5.50pm
Session III: 6.00 – 8.50pm

Tuesday to Sunday, 15 – 23 January 2022, 12.00 – 7.00pm
Session I: 12.00 – 3.20pm (intermission: 1.30 – 2.00pm)
Session II: 3.30 – 6.50pm (intermission: 5.00 – 5.30pm)

Block 38 Malan Road, #01-06, Gillman Barracks
Films will be screened in the order as below during each session.
Please see our Facebook event for the latest updates.

Martha Atienza
Panangatan 11°09’53.3”N 123°42’40.5”E
2019-10-24, 9min

Zarina Muhammad & Zachary Chan
earth, land, sky and sea as palimpsest, 17 min 37 sec

Rice Brewing Sisters Club
Mountain Storytellers, Storytelling Mountains: A Tale Theatre, 15 min 37 sec

Carolina Caycedo & David de Rozas
The Teaching of the Hands, 47 min

Pedro Neves Marques
Semente Exterminadora [Exterminator Seed], 28 min

Ursula Biemann
Acoustic Ocean, 18 min

Liu Chuang
Can Sound be Currency?, 19 min 43 sec

Chu Hao Pei
Inventing Miracle: The Rice to Power, 9 min 59 sec

Robert Zhao Renhui
And A Great Sign Appeared, 4 min 52 sec

Free Jazz IV. Geomancers is supported by National Arts Council Singapore and Nicoletta Fiorucci Russo De Li Galli. NTU CCA Singapore also wishes to thank our collaborators IHME Helsinki, and PUB Singapore’s National Water Agency at Marina Barrage.

In this artist-led studio tour, Russell Morton will talk about his references and unpack some of the research materials that will be woven into the structure of his first feature film: a dark narrative of drifting away from crime and floating in punishment inspired by a grim historical episode which happened in Singapore in the early 1960s.

The filmic and performative practice of Russell Morton (b.1982, Singapore) explores folkloric myths, esoteric rituals, and the conventions of cinema itself. His film Saudade (2020) was commissioned for State of Motion: Rushes of Time, Asian Film Archives, Singapore, and presented at the 31st Singapore International Film Festival (2020); The Forest of Copper Columns (2015) won the Cinematic Achievement Award at the 57th Thessaloniki Film Festival, Greece (2016) and was selected for several festivals including the Short Shorts Film Festival, Tokyo, Japan (2017), the Thai Short Film and Video Festival, Bangkok, Thailand, and Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival, Indonesia (both 2016).

Admission is free but registration is required. Please register here.

This event is part of Residencies OPEN, 18 September 2021 (1.00 – 7.00pm), for more info click here.

Image: Russell Morton, expired Super 8mm footage of life on a kelong in Singapore’s waters, 2021, film stills. Courtesy of the artist.

Completed during the residency, Russell Morton‘s latest short film revolves around the eclectic and versatile figure of Mohammad Din Mohammad (1955 – 2007). Artist and mystic, traditional healer and idiosyncratic collector of Southeast Asian cultural items, Mohammad Din Mohammad was also an actor and a silat master. Playfully disclosing the production limitations imposed by the pandemic, the film evokes Mohammad’s multifaceted personality through the faces, voices, and memories of the artist’s family members and an experimental process where affects and sounds are mediated by technology. As it unfolds, the film grows into an upbeat stream of visuals and sounds mixed by Momok, a computer algorithm created by artist bani haykal.

Mystic & Momok was commissioned by National Gallery Singapore for the exhibition Something New Must Turn Up: Six Singaporean Artists After 1965 (7 May – 22 August 2021) which featured Mohammad Din Mohammad’s works.
 
This event marks the opening of The Screening Room, NTU CCA Singapore’s cosy new space dedicated to film screenings and talks.

This event is part of Residencies OPEN, 18 September 2021 (1.00 – 7.00pm), for more info click here.
Image: Mystic & Momok, 2021, HD (16:9), video, stereo, 18min 10sec. Courtesy of the artist.

Come by the studios of our Artists-in-Residence: Tini Aliman and Russell Morton (both Singapore) for a special insight into their artistic process. This session of Residencies OPEN will allow you to encounter works-in-progress, watch a film screening, browse archival materials, and talk to the artists in person!

Tini Aliman, detail of work in progress, 2021. Courtesy of NTU CCA Singapore

TINI ALIMAN
Open Studio

Saturday, 18 September, 1:00 ­– 7:00 pm
Block 37 Malan Road, #01-03
no registration required

As a new development of her long-term research on plant consciousness and biodata sonification, Tini Aliman has come to regard ‘dead’ trees as potential archives of environmental soundscapes, witnesses of urban development and extractive capitalism, ecological events and climate change. Breathing new life into tree stumps, fragments of felled trees, and repurposed wood from previous artworks, the artist is reconfiguring these materials into kinetic and sound sculpture prototypes and she is experimenting with a range of sensory and mechanical modes of activation. Conjunctly, inspired by the structural and functional similarities between Printed Circuit Board (PCB) etching designs and forest underground network ecosystems, Tini is also speculatively imagining a functioning network of closed electronic circuits that mimics how these trees would have communicated while they were still alive. This project is realised in collaboration with Trying.sg.

Working at the intersection of film, sound, theatre, and installation, often through collaborative projects, the sonic and spatial experiments of Tini Aliman (b. 1980, Singapore) focus on forest networks, plant consciousness, bioacoustics, and data translations via biodata sonification. Her recent projects and collaborations have been presented at Free Jazz III: Sound. Walks. NTU CCA Singapore (2021); An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season, National Gallery Singapore (2020); Sound Kite Orchestra, Biennale Urbana, Venice, Italy and Stories We Tell to Scare Ourselves With, Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Taiwan (both 2019).

Studio of Russell Morton (detail), 2021. Courtesy of NTU CCA Singapore

RUSSELL MORTON
Open Studio

Saturday, 18 September, 1:00 ­– 7:00 pm
Block 37 Malan Road, #01­-02 & Block 38 Malan Road, #01-06
no registration required

For the past six months, Russell Morton has dived deep into gathering research materials and audiovisual references for the script of his first feature film. Inspired by a not well-known historical event—a prison riot which took place in Pulau Senang before Singapore’s independence—, the film interweaves the horrific events of the bloody riot with regional folklore. This open studio session presents a generous selection of archival materials, oral histories, and sound recordings relevant to the development of the script as well as the documentation (shot on Super 8mm film) of the artist’ site visits to a kelong, a type of vernacular architecture on the verge of disappearing that will feature prominently in the film.
Furthermore, there will be the opportunity to watch Morton’s most recent short film Mystic and Momok (2021), see below for more details.  

The filmic and performative practice of Russell Morton (b. 1982, Singapore) explores folkloric myths, esoteric rituals, and the conventions of cinema itself. His film Saudade (2020) was commissioned for State of Motion: Rushes of Time, Asian Film Archives, Singapore, and presented at the 31st Singapore International Film Festival (2020); The Forest of Copper Columns (2015) won the Cinematic Achievement Award at the 57th Thessaloniki Film Festival, Greece (2016) and was selected for several festivals including the Short Shorts Film Festival, Tokyo, Japan (2017), the Thai Short Film and Video Festival, Bangkok, Thailand, and Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival, Indonesia (both 2016).

RESIDENCIES INSIGHTS

Russell Morton, expired Super 8mm footage of life on a kelong in Singapore waters, 2021, film stills. Courtesy of the artist.

RUSSELL MORTON: ARTIST-LED STUDIO TOUR

Saturday, 18 September, 3:00 – 3:45pm
Block 37 Malan Road, #01-02

In this artist-led studio tour, Russell Morton will talk about his references and unpack some of the research materials that will be woven into the structure of his first feature film: a dark narrative of drifting away from crime and floating in punishment inspired by a grim historical episode which happened in Singapore in the early 1960s. 

Due to safe-distancing measures, this event has limited capacity and is by registration only. Please register here.

Tini Aliman, untitled, 2021, photography and digital composition (detail). Courtesy of the artist.

TINI ALIMAN: OF UNDERGROUND SCHEMATICS & THE FALLEN TREE
Artist Talk and Performance

Saturday, 18 September, 4:30 – 5:30pm
Block 37 Malan Road, #01-03

In a two-part event consisting of a talk and a performance, Tini Aliman will share her findings and reflections on plant consciousness and on the parallels between the human and the vegetable sensorium, interweaving them with explorations in acoustic memory and sonic symbolism related to her personal musical journey. In the performance, she will engage with her long-standing collaborator, a ficus microcarpa (Malayan banyan tree) named Ara. 

Due to safe-distancing measures, this event has limited capacity and is by registration only.Please register here.

Mystic & Momok, 2021, HD video (16:9), stereo, 18min 10sec. Courtesy of the artist.

MYSTIC & MOMOK BY RUSSELL MORTON
Film Screening (on loop)
HD video (16:9), stereo, 18min 10sec, 2021
Rating: PG

Saturday, 18 September, 1:00 – 7:00pm
The Screening Room
Block 38 Malan Road, #01-06
No registration required. Please expect waiting time if room capacity is reached.

Completed during the residency, Russell Morton’s latest short film revolves around the eclectic and versatile figure of Mohammad Din Mohammad (1955 – 2007). Artist and mystic, traditional healer and idiosyncratic collector of Southeast Asian cultural items, Mohammad Din Mohammad was also an actor and a silat master. Playfully disclosing the production limitations imposed by the pandemic, the film evokes Mohammad’s multifaceted personality through the faces, voices, and memories of the artist’s family members and an experimental process where affects and sounds are mediated by technology. As it unfolds, the film grows into an upbeat stream of visuals and sounds mixed by Momok, a computer algorithm created by artist bani haykal.

Mystic & Momok was commissioned by National Gallery Singapore for the exhibition Something New Must Turn Up: Six Singaporean Artists After 1965 (7 May – 22 August 2021) which featured Mohammad Din Mohammad’s works.
 
This event marks the opening of The Screening Room, NTU CCA Singapore’s cosy new space dedicated to film screenings and talks.

Zac Langdon-Pole’s projects often take their point of departure in social structures of representation and organisation in order to question how and for whom such structures are posed. His current research relates specifically to the regions of Southeast Asia and the South West Pacific, and is centred on the mythology and historical cultural exchange of the so called ‘birds of paradise’ from Papua New Guinea. His interest lies in how within procedures of cultural exchange the loss of, or transposing and translating of information can itself be a process of formation. Two ideas that are currently helping to inform his research are Walter Benjamin’s notion of ‘the wish image’ that stands at the intersection of materialism and mythology and Peter Mason’s explanation of the process of ‘exotification’, in his book Infelicities. This is the idea that the exotic is not something that exists prior to its ‘discovery’ but rather is formed in the very act of discovery itself.

Stemming from personal circumstances—due to his father’s employment as commander of the prison tactical unit, the artist grew up in Changi Prison’s quarters —Morton developed a direct, albeit unspoken, intimacy with the tortuous ethical issues and psychological consequences related to the most extreme form of law enforcement. Through researching archival materials, oral histories as well as literature and films from post-independence Singapore, the artist plans to interweave the nightmares and traumas experienced by both the punisher and the punished by steeping the fictional narrative into Malayan myths, folk music, and vernacular architecture.

In this episode of AiRCAST, we venture into the mysterious and mobile mindscape of our Artist-in-Residence, Russell Morton. During the residency, Russell has been deeply immersed in the development of his most ambitious project to date, his first feature film. Find out how a grim, largely forgotten historical event and past personal experiences will contribute to shape the narrative and the ambience of the film. The artist also reveals how he managed to overcome ‘the anxiety of influence’ and expands on his fascination for Southeast Asian folklore, the psychological underpinnings of horror films, and the role music plays in his work.

The filmic and performative practice of Russell Morton (b. 1982, Singapore) explores folkloric myths, esoteric rituals, and the conventions of cinema itself. His film Saudade (2020) was commissioned for State of Motion: Rushes of Time, Asian Film Archives, Singapore, and presented at the 31st Singapore International Film Festival (2020); The Forest of Copper Columns (2015) won the Cinematic Achievement Award at the 57th Thessaloniki Film Festival, Greece (2016) and was selected for several festivals including the Short Shorts Film Festival, Tokyo, Japan (2017); the Thai Short Film and Video Festival, Bangkok, Thailand and Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival, Indonesia (both 2016).

Contributor: Russell Morton
Conducted by: Anna Lovecchio
Programme Manager: Kristine Tan
Sound Engineer: Rudi Osman 
Intro & Outro Music: Tini Aliman
Cover Image & Design: Arabelle Zhuang, Kristine Tan

Credits:
11:53: Audio excerpt from Island of Hope, National Archives Website, Record date 1960s, https://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/audiovisual_records/recorddetails/46b4445e-1164-11e3-83d5-0050568939ad
21:35: Recording from Russell Morton’s site visit to a kelong in Singapore. Courtesy the artist.
25:48: Audio excerpt from Russell Morton’s Saudade, 2020. Music by Syafii Ghazali. Courtesy the artist
35:20: Audio excerpt from Tani Yutaka, Marai no Tora, 1943 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lTigyqta_k]
36:58: Audio excerpt from “Siapa Dia” by Zainab Majid, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gDHPP6K-mA]

[See Full Transcript]

https://player.vimeo.com/api/player.js

Addressing contentious historical episodes, the films of Daniel Hui (b.1986, Singapore) straddle between documentary and fiction, blurring the boundaries between institutional accounts, mythical narratives, oral testimonies, and personal memories. His films have been screened at various film festivals and museums including the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea (2016); Singapore Art Museum (2015); and International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands (2010). His feature-length film Snakeskin (2014) received awards at the 2015 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Japan, and at the Torino Film Festival, Italy in 2014. Hui’s latest film, Demons (2018) recently premiered at the Busan International Film Festival, South Korea.

Chia-Wei Hsu (b. 1983, Taiwan) an artist, filmmaker, and curator based in Taiwan whose work merges the language of contemporary art and film, often unveiling the complex production apparatus – cameras, camera cranes, lighting kits, microphones, etc. – employed in the filmmaking process. In his practice, Hsu unearths histories of the Cold War in Asia buried in precise geographical locations and brings them back to life through narrative and visual sequences that blend myth and reality, historical documentation and fictional developments. Fabricating a mythical narrative where stories, spirits, and machineries unfold on the same level, Hsu maintains a critical attitude toward the structure of film and often seeks to present his projects outside of museums and other contemporary art venues.

Chia-Wei Hsu’s works have been presented in numerous exhibitions and festivals worldwide, including Haus der Kulturen der Welt (2017); Cinema Muzeul Țăranului, Bucharest, Romania (2016); 4th Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition, Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei (2014); 55th International Venice Biennale, Italy (2013); 2012 Taipei Biennial, Taiwan, (2012); Beirut Art Center, Lebanon (2012); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2011). He was Artist-in-Residence at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany (2014) and at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York, United States, (2010). In 2013, he was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award. From 2011 to 2013, he was appointed director of Open Contemporary Art Center in Taipei, Taiwan.