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.

Ghosts and Spectres — Shadows of History features video installations and films by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand), Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore), Nguyen Trinh Thi (Vietnam), and Park Chan-kyong (South Korea). The artists’ research into their own cultural and historical backgrounds gain shape through allegories that re-evaluate the social and political reforms in Post-War and Cold-War Asia. The cinematic works in the exhibition combine fact and fiction. They not only allude to rarely discussed subject-matters but also raise crucial questions about power and authority, construction of narratives, repression of identities, and collective trauma.

Embedded in the vernacular, ghosts, myths, and rituals present systems of knowledge that enable the expression of unknown worlds. Ghosts and Spectres — Shadows of History brings to light clouded histories at times not officially recounted but those that remain a lingering presence in collective memories through local mythologies, ghostly figures, and traditions. The works create their own language and systems of reference, reflecting current efforts of exposing written historical accounts and contemporary situations that subvert mainstream narratives.

In parallel, The Lab, NTU CCA Singapore’s platform for research in-progress, will be featuring projects by siren eun young jung (South Korea) and Choy Ka Fai (Singapore/Germany), both recent NTU CCA Singapore artists-in-residence. While jung focuses on Yeoseong Gukgeuk, a vanishing form of traditional Korean theatre featuring only female performers, Choy brings up his long-time research into Butoh dance, also called “dance of darkness,” and looks at its evolution and influence through one of the Butoh founders, Tatsumi Hijikata.

Ghosts and Spectres—Shadows of History is curated by Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU, and Khim Ong, Deputy Director, Curatorial Programmes.

Ghosts and Spectres—Shadows of History public programmes
Symposium: Ghosts and Spectres—Shadows of History

The NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore is honoured to present They Come to Us without a Word, video and performance pioneer Joan Jonas’ first large-scale exhibition in Singapore and Southeast Asia. They Come to Us without a Word was organised for the U.S. Pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennale by the MIT List Visual Arts Center and co-curated by Paul C. Ha, Director of the MIT List Visual Arts Center and Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. With this exhibition Jonas evokes the fragility of nature, using her own poetic language to address the irreversible impact of human interference on the environmental equilibrium of our planet.

Acknowledgements They Come to Us without a Word was organised for the U.S. Pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennale by the MIT List Visual Arts Center and co-curated by Paul C. Ha, Director of the MIT List Visual Arts Center and Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. The exhibition was generously supported by U.S. Department of State, Cynthia and John Reed, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Additional major support was provided by the Council for the Arts at MIT, Toby Devan Lewis, VIA Art Fund, Agnes Gund, Lambent Foundation.

The exhibition in Singapore is organised by the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, Nanyang Technological University with support by the Economic Development Board, Singapore. Additional support has also been provided by the U.S. Embassy Singapore.

Joan Jonas: They Come to Us Without a Word public programmes