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In Conversation: Looking Back Forward with Public Art, Speak Cryptic and Robert Zhao

26 Oct 2019, Sat 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM
The Single Screen, Block 43 Malan Road

Guided tour at The Lab: Art, Urban Change, and the Public Sphere
3.30pm – 4.00pm

Conversation with Speak Cryptic (artist, Singapore) and Robert Zhao (artist, Singapore)
4.00pm – 5.00pm

Guided tour: Public Art Trail at Mapletree Business City II
5.00pm – 5.30pm
No registration required.


With Speak Cryptic (artist, Singapore) and Robert Zhao (artist, Singapore), moderated by Sophie Goltz (Deputy Director, Research, NTU CCA Singapore and Assistant Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University)

The discussion will take the newly commissioned large scale, temporary public art works for the Singapore Bicentennial as a point of departure. The two commissioned artists, Robert Zhao and Speak Cryptic will reflect on their proposals, their artistic positions in the landscape of public art, their material choices as well as their experience of working with art in the public space.



Farizwan Fajari (b. 1980), professionally known as Speak Cryptic, is a visual artist who lives and works in Singapore. Inspired by the visual language prevalent within the cultures of comics and underground music, his works primarily deal with issues pertaining to the human condition. Speak utilises personal iconographies and a cast of characters that he has developed over the years, applying these characters to various narratives inspired by his observations on current affairs and his immediate environment.  

Robert Zhao Renhui (b. 1982) is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice addresses the relationship between humans and nature, challenging accepted parameters of objectivity and scientific modes of classifications. Over the years, Zhao has appropriated codes and conventions of documentary photography and museum display to compose compelling narratives that documents our relationship with nature. His work has been exhibited in numerous international exhibitions including: Jakarta Biennale (2017); 7th Moscow Biennale (2017); and 20th Sydney Biennale (2016). He received the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award in 2010 and was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award for Emerging Asian Artists 2017.


On the occasion of Art, Urban Change, and the Public Sphere, a research presentation supported by Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd, NTU CCA Singapore presents a series of talks by visual artists whose recent works refer to the present and history of public spaces in Singapore through performative and installation-based interventions such as sculptural and graphic works.