Shifting between individual and communal dimensions, performed in public and private spaces, rest is a powerful counterpoint to the sprawling sense of exhaustion induced by the unrelenting emphasis on work, production, and consumption that prevails in contemporary society. Continuing this ongoing investigation, during the residency the artist will conduct interviews, archival research, and fieldwork to understand notions, practices, and postures of rest in different cultural, historical, and socio-political contexts across Singapore and Southeast Asia focusing specifically on the manifestations of “rest in public spaces”. Through potential collaborations with movement and sound artists, she aims to gradually develop an artistic and performative vocabulary of rest that maps out its personal, political, cultural, and economic meanings.

Committed to socially engaged practices, multi-disciplinary theatre practitioner Han Xuemei (b. 1987, Singapore) employs art as a tool for bringing communities together and engaging the audience in visceral and personal ways. In her practice, she creates spaces and experiences that incite participants to think outside the box of existing paradigms and articulate forms of hope and resistance. Since 2012, she is Resident Artist at the Singapore-based theatre company Drama Box. Her recent projects include the experiential installation FLOWERS (2019), the community project The Gift (2018), and the participatory experience Missing: The City of Lost Things (2018).

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.

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 sensoriums, 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.

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).

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

Yason Banal’s work-in-progress is inspired by a conceptual astronomy around abstraction and document, ranging from Jose Rizal’s transglobal coordination and Isabelo Delos Reyes’ experimental archive amidst 19th century politics and anti-imperialist imagination, to possible contemporary coordinates in supernatural reality TV, lo-fi internet culture, geomarket forces and neo-migrant formalism.

Yason Banal is an artist and educator. His work spans from photography to video, installation, text, and performance, deploying varied conceptual strategies to explore links among seemingly divergent systems. Between July and August 2015, Banal was Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore where he continued a work-in-progress in- spired as much by José Rizal’s transglobal coordination, Isabelo Delos Reyes’s experimental archive, as it is by contemporary coordinates such as reality TV and lo-fi culture.

Yan Jun will recreate his Living Room Tour project, initiated in 2011,the project was developed as a solo project and later with guests to become the Impro Committe collaboration project (2014, Beijing).

The Living Room Tour project has to takes place at someone’s home, a place while he/she lives. whatever the size is, with or without speakers, has or has no electricity; at least one audience is required and the owner of the home is encouraged to invite audiences. The performers may use furniture, kitchenware or anything available. The initial idea of this project came from feeling tired about low-end speakers and wanting to create a sonic space without the expense or formalities which go with this. He says the concert is a temporary mandala, a metaphor for the world. Within this environment is a destabilisation of hierarchy and there is no difference between large and small or professional and amateur. The quality of listening is from participants’s devotion.

Yan Jun is a musician, born in Lanzhou in 1973 and based in Beijing. His activities involve improvised music, field recordings and site-specific sound works/events. His feedback improvisation set always follows the unstable relationship between microphones, speakers, the space and his own body movement. He often plays with the environment and found objects at audiences‚ homes, along or with other artists, through the Living Room Tour project.

He is member of FEN, Tea Rockers Quintet and Impro Committee. He has performed in more than 20 countries in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia. As a poet and artist he has attended Rotterdam International Poetry Festival, Berlin International Poetry Festival and Shanghai Biennale.

Object-orientated ontology (OOO) is a 21st-century school of thought that rejects the primacy of human existence over non-human objects, thus generating different perspectives on ecological thinking. Combining an ongoing interest in natural environments threatened by urban development with his practice of capturing sonic emanations of the non-human inhabitants of our planet, Tang aims to further his understanding of OOO and sharpen theoretical tools that challenge anthropocentric hierarchies and understanding of nature. The space of the studio provides him with the opportunity to test immersive multisensorial installations that visualize and animate field recordings taken in various natural environments in Singapore. During the residency, the artist is working on new sound compositions and modes of listening that forge alternative connections between humans and nonhumans. He is also experimenting with drawing to create “visual scores” in response to his soundscapes.

Working with a comparative methodology, Valentina Karga intends to delve deep into theories of prehistoric matriarchal societies. Still at an early stage of development, her inquiry embraces multiple sources and ultimately aims to intertwine myths, histories, and political implications of matriarchal societies with the Anthropocene discourse, engaging theories on the posthuman condition that advance the understanding of the planet as a homeostatic system where all living and non-living organisms are connected and interdependent. Among her current sources of inspiration are Helen Diner’s seminal work for women’s cultural history, Mothers and Amazons, published in 1932; Marija Gimbutas’ notion of “archaeomythology” which blends archaeology, comparative mythology, and folklore; and Bruno Latour’s reading of the Gaia Hypothesis formulated by James Lovelock in the 1970s. During the residency, the artist aims to expand her understanding of feminine symbolism by researching prehistoric symbols and archaeological excavations in Southeast Asia.