The purpose of the award is to encourage recent graduates of NTU ADM’s research-oriented MA and PhD programmes and the MA in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices (MSCP, co-chaired by NTU CCA Singapore) to engage in practical projects utilising the SGD$5000 award to investigate the topic of Spaces of the Curatorial as an extension of their research and coursework. Now in its third year, the 2022 award goes to Thomas Ragnar, a 2021 graduate of the MA in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices, for Endless Return Pack v.1, a compilation album featuring artists working within expanded and experimental dance music genres from Singapore and Southeast Asia. The project is co-curated with Sher Chew (aka XUE), founder of the series Endless Return.

The selection committee included Prof Ute Meta Bauer and two invited jurors: Ms Siddharta Perez, Curator at NUS Museum, and Dr Adele Tan, Senior Curator at National Gallery Singapore.

The album will be released in 2022. Ragnar describes Endless Return as “a regenerative rave experiment.” Upon the announcement of the award, he commented: “Since August 2020, Endless Return have hosted several online events programmed with music, dance, and video projects by artists across Southeast Asia who work with rave culture, energy, history and aesthetics. The Platform Projects Curatorial Award will support the migration offline of Endless Return in 2022 through publishing initiatives, music and video releases, and live events developed by XUE and myself together with Endless Return‘s larger artistic community.”

“The Platform Projects Curatorial Award is a rare opportunity for emerging curators to realise a project and is a necessary initiative especially during a time when arts funding is contracting globally” says Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, NTU School of Art, Design and Media.

Ragnar adds that: “The MA programme offered jointly by ADM and NTU CCA Singapore boldly champions curatorial approaches and positions that make a conscious effort to take risks and depart from the often delimiting contexts of contemporary art, and of its hyper-specialised conditions. I am honoured to realise these positions and approaches with my collaborator XUE with the support of the Platform Projects grant. Both XUE and I are grateful to be enabled to support and advance the forward-thinking underground and regenerative spirit of Endless Return‘s artistic communities.”

The Award’s Pilot Programme supported <!DOCTYPE work>, a collaborative curatorial effort conceived by 2019 MA MSCP graduates Tian Lim, Shireen Marican, and Leon Tan, presented in The Lab at NTU CCA Singapore from 22 August – 18 October 2020. The next edition of the award went to Of Limits Collective, a group of five 2020 MA MSCP alumni comprising: Sneha ChaudhuryWeiqin Chay, Ace Lê, Jason Leung, and Beatrice Morel. They realized their exhibition Of Limits in March 2021 at the Stamford Arts Centre, featuring work by six artists from Southeast Asia, with most artworks having been produced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the occasion of the Pilot Programme, launched in 2020,  Savita Apte from Platform Projects commented on behalf of her former co-directors Shareen Khattar and Christine Pilsbury: “We are all of one mind and delighted that Platform Projects can still be significant for a younger generation of curators.”

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.

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).

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 Appetite, IHME Helsinki, and PUB Singapore’s National Water Agency at Marina Barrage.

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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.

For our fifth episode of AiRCAST, we entrusted curator and scholar Hsu Fang-Tze to converse with our Artist-in-Residence Han Xuemei. In this insightful exchange, Xuemei discusses how her urgency for engagement steers her fluid theatre practice towards experimenting with different modes of audience participation. As she shares about her current efforts to carve out “intervals of quiet” and “plots of rest” in the hectic context of Singapore, you will also discover that the research on the topic of “rest as resistance” she conducted throughout her residency at NTU CCA Singapore grows out from another residency she did in Taipei a few years ago.

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. In 2021 she received Young Artist Award, Singapore’s highest award for young arts practitioners.

Hsu Fang-Tze is a lecturer at the Communications and New Media Department, National University of Singapore where she is also a coordinator of the M.A. in Arts and Cultural Entrepreneurship. Her research interests include the formation of audiovisual modernity in Asia, Cold War aesthetics, philosophies of sonic technology, and the embodiment of artistic praxis in everyday life. Apart from her academic work, she is also active as a curator and has curated exhibitions such as Art Histories of a Forever War: Modernism between Space and Home at the Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taiwan (2021-2022) and Wishful Images at National University of Singapore Museum (2020). 

Contributors: Han Xuemei, Hsu Fang-Tze
Editor: Anna Lovecchio
Programme Manager: Kristine Tan 
Sound Engineer: Ashwin Menon (The Music Parlour) 
Intro & Outro Music: Tini Aliman 
Cover Image & Design: Arabelle Zhuang, Kristine Tan

CREDITS
12’38”: Audio excerpt from MISSING: The City of Lost Things, 2018. Courtesy Drama Box.
15’07”: Audio excerpt from MISSING: The City of Lost Things, 2018. Courtesy Drama Box.
19’15”: Audio excerpt from FLOWERS, 2019. Courtesy Drama Box.
21’00”: Audio excerpt from FLOWERS, 2019. Courtesy Drama Box. 
26’24”: Audio excerpt from Taipei Main Station & Research Field Recording workshop part of Asia Discovers Asia Meeting For Contemporary Performance Artist Lab, 2019. Courtesy the artist. 
35’30’’: Audio excerpt from Han Xuemei, field recordings at Tanah Merah, January 2022. Courtesy the artist.

[See Full Transcript]

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.