In partnership with Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd., Culture City. Culture Scape. is a public art education programme launched in 2017. A first of its kind in Singapore, the programme features a series of newly commissioned public art works by Dan Graham, Zul Mahmod, Tomás Saraceno and Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA), nestled at Mapletree Business City II, and aims to bring the arts closer to the communities.
Inspired by the idea of expanded sculptural environments, the artworks explore the interplay between landscape, architecture, and the broader social and economic environments they are placed in. More than being monumental or site-specific, each work alters or permeates its local context to invite visitors to a broader, richer engagement.
In partnership with Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd., Culture City. Culture Scape. is a public art education programme launched in 2017. A first of its kind in Singapore, the programme features a series of newly commissioned public art works by Dan Graham, Zulkifle Mahmod, Tomás Saraceno and Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA), nestled at Mapletree Business City II, and aims to bring the arts closer to the communities. Find out more at https://www.mapletreearts.sg/
NTU CCA Singapore developed this virtual tour to give context on the Culture City. Culture Scape. project and create awareness of the Mapletree Public Art Trail as well as the walking tours that our Centre conducts. Used in combination with the Educational Resource Guide for schools, this tour will serve as a starting point to encourage people to come see the work in person at MBC II.
Apolonija Šušteršič, an architect and visual artist, is a former Visiting Researher at NTU CCA Singapore. Her work is related to a critical analysis of space, usually focused at the processes and relationships between institutions, cultural politics, urban planning, and architecture. Šušteršič broad-ranging interest starts at a phenomenological study of space and continutes its investigation into the social and political nature of our living environment. Together with architect and researcher Meike Schalk, she formed an operative unit, which occasionally produces research, projects, actions, and discussions. Šušteršič is currently Professor of Art & Public Space, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Norway and has her own art / architecture studio practice in Lund, Sweden and in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Contemporary art/ activist practices and current urban struggles over the provision of green spaces in large cities
Erika Tan (b. 1967, Singapore) is an artist and Lecturer at Central Saint Martins, London. Her research-led practice develops from an interest in received narratives, contested heritage, subjugated voices, and the transnational movement of ideas, people, and objects. Between July and August 2015, Tan was Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore where she continued her research into the minor historical figure of the Malay weaver Halimah and the conditions surrounding the 1924 British Empire Exhibiton, an inquiry that has since developed into the video installations APA JIKA, The Mis-Placed Comma and The ‘Forgotten’ Weaver (both in 2017).
Dirk Snauwaert is Artist Director of WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels, and was involved in its creation since July 2004. At WIELS, Snauwaert has curated exhibitions of Tauba Auerbach (2013) and Mike Kelley (2008). Prior, Snauwaert was Co-Director of the Institut d’art contemporain Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alps where he was in charge of the exhibition programme and the development of the FRAC Rhône-Alpes collection. He was Director of the Kunstverein Munich from 1996 to 2001, where he curated solo shows by Rita McBride (1999), William Kentridge (1998), David Lamelas (1997), and Fareed Armaly (1997). He was also the curator of Jef Geys at the Pavilion of Belgium, 53rd Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition. Snauwaert was an NTU CCA Singapore Curator-in-Residence in 2015.
Art Labor is an artist collective. Comprised of artists Phan Thao Nguyen and Truong Cong Tung, and curator Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran, Art Labor works across visual arts and social sphere. In December 2015, Art Labor were Artists-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore where they recreated a Hammock Café serving traditional Vietnamese coffee, similar to itinerant roadside-resting spots for drivers and passengers along provincial highways of the Central Highlands in Vietnam. The name Jrai Dew Hammock Café relates to the philosophy of Jrai people of Vietnam’s Central Highlands, according to which, in the last stage of life cycle, humans evaporate into the environment and transform into “dew,” a state of non-being (ia ngôm in Jrai language).
Investigating Singapore’s role within the growing global phenomenon of “green cities”, Coburn will pursue research into Singapore’s development from “Garden City” to “City in a Garden”. He aims to delve into historical and emerging notions of green urbanism, framing the garden as a pedagogical, philosophical, and literary construct. Focusing on two specific case studies, he will place the multiple functions of Singapore Botanic Gardens in a wider historical prospective and explore the social and economic conditions which underlie the complex eco-tourist structure of Gardens by the Bay.
Launched in 2014 by the Singapore government, the Smart Nation initiative aims to enhance economic productivity and urban efficiency through technological streamlining and boundary-marking of both territories and bodies. Since the onset of her residency, Luca Lum has turned to the “soft architectures” and “non-events” of the city, that loose and ungraspable entanglement of sentiment and decoration, behaviours and bodies that defines urban life. Her research focuses on the diffractive relationship between two specific sites: Geylang, a little-known testbed to many Smart Nation initiatives, and Marina, Singapore’s anchoring “global” image. Understanding the optical phenomena of diffraction and iridescence as relational geometries that connect positions of proximity and distance, generate states of affection, and undergo multiple interferences, the artist is conducting repeated visits to the areas. Through her open-ended explorations, she is in the process of mapping and morphing the distinct attitudes and streaks of desires that inform the two sites. Her eclectic approach spans across various media and materializes in the form of photographs, objects, drawings, recordings, scores, and texts.
In recent years, as globalisation accelerates the process of urbanisation, both developed and developing countries are experiencing a significant influx of immigrants. The reality of cities erected entirely through foreign labour has become increasingly common and the flows of temporary migration lead to the formation of “mini-nations” nestled within rapidly growing cities, that is enclaves of migrant workers that congregate, cohabit, and share material and immaterial resources in foreign countries. Pursuing his interest in the social, political, cultural, and economic impact of globalisation, during the residency Lim Sokchanlina investigates bureaucratic and political apparatuses as well as the personal and psychological aspects that define Singapore’s communities of migrant workers in Little India and “Little Burma” considered as case studies to be compared with similar enclaves in Cambodia and Thailand.
Kray Chen’s practice brings attention to the peculiar characteristics of forms, gestures and behaviours in society to discuss the value of progress. While in residence, Chen continues this line of research into the absurd, such as ‘Waiting’, reflecting on the psyche of a place that pits labour against gratification, fragments against the whole, traditions against modernization.