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Behind the Scenes with Charles Lim, artist, Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, Senior Curator, National Gallery Singapore, and Yap Seok Hui, technical manager (Singapore)

27 Apr 2016, Wed 7:30pm - 9:00pm
The Single Screen, Block 43 Malan Road

Charles Lim Yi Yong and Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, together with the team who worked on the realisation for SEA STATE for the Singapore Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale 2015, will discuss various aspects of the project, from the development of the work to the exhibition, from the technical and logistical aspects to the presentation in Venice. Lim and Mustafa will also address how the presentation of SEA STATE at the NTU CCA Singapore differs to the Venice presentation



Charles Lim Yi Yong (b. 1973, Singapore; lives and works in Singapore) studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, London, graduating in 2001. In 2002, he participated in Documenta11 in Kassel, Germany as a member of the net-art collective A former professional and Olympic sailor, Lim’s practice stems from an intimate, bodily engagement with the natural world, mediated and informed by field research and experimentation, performance, drawing, photography and video.

Charles Lim’s moving image works have been screened in international film festivals at Rotterdam, Tribeca and Edinburgh. His short film all the lines flow out premiered at the 68th Venice Film Festival in 2011 and received a Special Mention, making him the first Singaporean to be honoured at the festival. Recent iterations of SEA STATE have been exhibited at Manifesta 7 (2008), the Institut d’Art Contemporain Villeurbanne, France (2013) and at biennales in Shanghai (2008), Singapore (2011) and Osaka (2013). Various stages of the project have been presented at all of Singapore’s major institutions, including the National Museum, National Library, Singapore Art Museum and National University of Singapore Museum.

Shabbir Hussain Mustafa curated SEA STATE for the Singapore Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale. He is Senior Curator at the National Gallery Singapore, where he researches art from Singapore and Southeast Asia. He also led the curatorial team overseeing the development of the multi-year long project SIAPA NAMA KAMU? a permanent exhibition space that surveys art in Singapore from the 19th century to the present. He was formerly a curator at the National University of Singapore Museum (NUS Museum), where his curatorial practice centred on the deployment of archival materials to engage different modes of thinking and writing, whilst opening the archive to the varied struggles of perception and reading.

Mustafa’s numerous curatorial projects have ranged across Southeast Asia, including the critically acclaimed Camping and Tramping through The Colonial Archive: The Museum in Malaya (2011) and The Sufi and The Bearded Man (2010). He co-conceived the experimental project space prep room | things that may or may not happen and other accumulative platforms namely malayablackandwhite, writing power | Zulkifli Yusoff (2011), semblance/presence | Renato Habulan and Alfredo Esquillo (2012) and Curating Nation (2011). Most recently, he curated In Search of Raffles’ Light | An Art Project with Charles Lim (2013), a three-year collaboration with the artist that tracked the immaterial, mundane and irreconcilable traces surrounding Singapore’s fractured relationship with the sea. Mustafa has written extensively about methodological considerations for the rethinking of curatorial practice in Singapore and is a member of the International Association of Art Critics, Singapore.

Yap Seok Hui has toured with theatre and dance productions to Asia and Europe, undertaking various production, technical & stage management roles. Selected credits include Ten Thousand Tigers (Ho Tzu Nyen); Macho Dancer (Eisa Jocson); The Gay Romeo (Daniel Kok); and SoftMachine (Choy Ka Fai). A co-founding member of Singapore-based art installation company ARTFACTORY which collaborates with local artists, art institutions and curators in the creation of media art works, she has also worked on the technical installations for exhibitions at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, the 2nd Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India, Singapore Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, Italy, and Sharjah Arts Space, United Arab Emirates.

Image credits: Curator Shabbir Hussain Mustafa and artist Charles Lim. Courtesy of the National Arts Council