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Residencies Insights [Online]
Residencies Rewired

18 Feb 2021, Thu 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM
23 Feb 2021, Tue 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

Session #1 
Lêna Bùi (Vietnam) & Elizabeth Ang (Singapore)
Isabel Carvalho (Portugal) & Ang Kia Yee (Singapore)
Yuichiro Tamura (Japan) & Ge Xiaocong (Singapore)

Thursday, 18 February 2021, 7.00 – 8.30pm
Watch recording of livestream.

Prompted by the impossibility of international mobility, Residencies Rewired (Dec 2020 – Feb 2021) has seen overseas artists work in close, albeit remote, collaboration with local research liaisons to develop their research projects. In these two open-format sessions, each pair of artist and liaison will share the process and development of their research over the past months as well as reflect on their experience engaging with the specificities of the local from a distance.

Lêna Bùi (Vietnam) & Elizabeth Ang (Singapore) 

Coalescing research and materials gathered over the past months on botanical histories, flora, and fauna, as well as historical characteristics relating to their respective cities—Saigon and Singapore—Lêna and Elizabeth compose a short text collaboratively which unfolds narratives of growth and decay, cycles of development and reincarnation, and also evokes the diversity of the region.

山下/ Rumour as Ghost: The Yamashita Treasures
Yuichiro Tamura (Japan) & Ge Xiaocong (Singapore)

Intrigued by the contemporary shadows cast by the historical figure of General Tomoyuki Yamashita and the symbolic significance of the “Yamashita treasure” looted and hidden in Southeast Asia, Yuichiro and Xiaocong excavate the notion of rumours as ghosts in an attempt to recall and engage stories of the past. They will also draw on traditional Japanese Noh theatre’s tradition of spectral autobiography to recount the site’s histories and explore storytelling and speculative treasure-hunting as forms of evocation.

warm subtleties in cold materiality
Isabel Carvalho (Portugal) & Ang Kia Yee (Singapore)

Working together on the next issue of Isabel’s cross-disciplinary magazine LEONORANA dedicated to the subject of ‘environments’, Isabel and Kia Yee spent time together remotely with the mediation of computers, keyboards, screens, software, all the material and immaterial technological conduits that have made their contact possible. In the presentation, they reflect on the community they have formed, on how to merge their respective environments made of specific temperatures, temporalities, and desires, and on how to warm up the cold technological materiality to welcome others.  

A Temperature Report: warm subtleties in cold materiality, by Isabel Carvalho and Ang Kia Yee


The practice of Lêna Bùi (b. 1985, Vietnam) is drawn to the intangible aspects of life such as faith, death, and dreams and the ways in which these influence our behaviours and perceptions. Through the incorporation of anecdotes and personal stories, her works articulate intimate reflections upon the impact of rapid development and the relationship between humans and nature. Bùi’s works have been included in group exhibitions and presentations at Sharjah Art Foundation, United Arab Emirates (2018); Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, Wesleyan University, Middle Town, United States (2018); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany (2017); The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2016); and Carré d’Art, Nîmes, France (2014) amongst other venues.

Elizabeth Ang is a freelance creative and writer who holds a BA in International History from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research interests include Cold War historiography as well as social, cultural and religious histories of Southeast Asia.

The experimental practice of Isabel Carvalho (b. 1977, Portugal) seeks to establish meaningful relationships between contemporary art, economics, politics, feminism, and sexuality. Some of her projects bring together visual arts and textual practices in order to explore alternative methods of writing, publishing, and distributing knowledge. She is founder and chief editor of LEONORANA, a research magazine dedicated to experimental thinking. From 2010 to 2018, she ran Navio Vazio, Portugal, a project space that provided a three-dimensional extension to her publishing programme. Her works have been exhibited widely across Europe and she has received solo presentations in Portugal, Germany, and Spain.

Ang Kia Yee is a poet and artist interested in speculation, fiction, and alternative futures in which community economies, new language(s), and solarpunk proposals are possible.

The videos, installations, and performances of Yuichiro Tamura (b. 1977, Japan) articulate multi-layered narratives which delve into the memory and history of localities and weave together unconnected events. By merging fact and fiction, his works investigate the contemporary significance of past events. Recent group shows include Readings from Below, Times Art Center Berlin, Germany; Yokohama Triennale 2020, Japan and Participation Mystique, Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Shanghai, China (all 2020), and 7th Asian Art Biennial, Taichung, Taiwan (2019), amongst others. He was a finalist for the Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Signature Art Prize in 2018 and the Nissan Art Award in 2017.

Trained in Fine Art and Art History at Goldsmiths University of London, Ge Xiaocong’s research interests include folklores, myth-making and creative historiography. In her practice, she adopts the lens of post-colonial thought to investigate historical architecture and narratives.


Session #2 
Rand Abdul Jabbar (Iraq/United Arab Emirates) & Rafi Abdullah (Singapore)
Diana Lelonek (Portugal) & Denise Lim (Singapore)
Elia Nurvista (Indonesia) & Yom Bo Sung (Singapore)

Nolan Oswald Dennis (South Africa)

Tuesday, 23 February 2021, 7.00 – 8.30pm

Watch livestream on Facebook.

Untangling Petro-Histories at Pulau Bukom
Rand Abdul Jabbar (Iraq/United Arab Emirates) & Rafi Abdullah (Singapore)

Rand Abdul Jabbar and Rafi Abdullah trace the intersections of their family histories at the site of the Shell Oil Refinery in Pulau Bukom. As Iraq and Singapore embark on ambitious nation-building and modernization plans during the 1960s, the petroleum trade features prominently in the evolution of the complex bilateral relationship between the two countries. Through an engagement with both institutional and personal archives, the project attempts to map out the elaborate trajectories that characterize the seemingly contradictory bonds across these two nations through the prism of petroleum trade, workforce tensions, warfare coalitions, counter-terrorism strategies, and conflict resolution.

Shifting Landscapes
Diana Lelonek (Poland) & Denise Lim (Singapore)

Connected by parallel histories of anthropogenic alterations, Diana and Denise draw parallels between two distant lands. In Poland, lignite mining in the Konin Coal Basin resulted in permanent changes to the topography of the area, the degradation of the ecosystem, and the displacement of local communities from Goranin Village. In Singapore, Pulau Seking and Semakau suffered a similar fate, they have been reclaimed to form Semakau Landfill and their Orang Laut communities have been forced to relocate to the city. Through mapping and interviews with former inhabitants of the two lands, Diana and Denise question the pursuit of progress at the expense of the land and its people.  

A Cartography of Food
Elia Nurvista (Indonesia) & Yom Bo Sung (Singapore)

Growing organically from her longstanding involvement with Bakudapan Food Study Group, Elia’s current research is driven by the question: “What is agriculture in the context of Singapore?” Together with Bo Sung, she has begun to map food systems in the city-state and critically examine the underlying dynamics of power, agency, and capital that influence socio-political issues surrounding food. Along the process, they consider the multiple manifestations of food-related practices, from government actions to grassroot initiatives including emerging movements such as urban and community farming.

Piles: a black earth study club report
Nolan Oswald Dennis (South Africa)

Piles explores sand stockpiles in Singapore and sandy mine dumps in Johannesburg as resonant nodes which animate and materialise a provisional network of intercontinental intimacy. These piles of sand are correspondent but not equivalent, what links them also distinguishes them. Such qualities of imperfect similarity and spooky resemblance inform the methods and artefacts of Nolan’s research into conditions for planetary solidarity. Extending his ongoing project the Black Earth Study Club, this short presentation will consolidate material coincidences through a series of online mediations and field recordings.


Rand Abdul Jabbar’s (b. 1990, Iraq/United Arab Emirates) multidisciplinary practice examines remnants of historic, cultural, and personal narratives surrounding Iraq, contesting with individual and collective history and memory to produce fragmentary reconstructions of historic events and past experiences. Her work has been recently exhibited at the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery Project Space and Jameel Arts Centre (both United Arab Emirates), the inaugural Rabat Biennale (Morocco), and the Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans, France (all 2019).

Through research, writing, and curating, cultural worker Rafi Abdullah entwines politics of space and personal histories. He recently completed his BA in Arts Management at LASALLE College of the Arts.

Working with photography, installations, and found objects, the interdisciplinary practice of Diana Lelonek (b. 1988, Poland) interrogates the notion of nature in the anthropocene. Through the collection of newly formed waste-derived organisms across dump sites and landfills, she explores the impact of overproduction of waste on existing ecosystems. Her recent solo exhibitions include Diana Lelonek: Buona Fortuna, Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, Rome, Italy (2020); Raport, BWA Galeria Meijska Bydgoszcz, Poland and Center for Living Things, Buerobasel, Basel, Switzerland (both 2019). She has exhibited in international shows such as Nature \ nature, Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Vienna, Austria and The Art of Being Good, Tallinna Kunstihoone, Estonia (both 2019); and Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Latvia (2018), among others.

Through photography, painting and three-dimensional explorations influenced by her background in architecture, Denise Lim examines narratives inherent to the human condition. Central to her research interests are circular design and co-creation with nature in the age of the Anthropocene.

As a co-founder of the food study group Bakudapan, Elia Nurvista (b. 1983, Indonesia) employs an interdisciplinary approach towards the discourse around food. Through a wide range of mediums, from video installations to workshops, her works invite reflective participation to think beyond food as an alimentary sustenance. Selected group shows include Dhaka Art Summit 2020, Bangladesh and On the Nature of Botanical Gardens, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (both 2020); Karachi Biennale, Pakistan and Singapore Biennale with Bakudapan (both 2019). Her recent solo presentation titled Früchtlinge took place at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany (2019).

Yom Bo Sung is an artist and arts worker who recently graduated from Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. His practice is invested in food as a material and as an art object, and explores the socio-political implications of food systems.

The interdisciplinary practice of Nolan Oswald Dennis (b. 1988, Zambia/South Africa) looks at histories and futures of solidarity in the global south as strategic responses to capital and colonial power, and as trajectories of collective world-making. Engaging with “a black consciousness of space”, his practice unsettles dominant ways of knowing. His work has been shown internationally at Young Congo Biennial, Kinshasa, Congo (2019); Goethe Institute, Beijing, China (2018); Kalmar Konstmuseum, Sweden (2017), amongst others. In 2016, he was awarded the FNB Art Prize. He is a Research Associate in the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre, University of Johannesburg, and a 2020/21 Digital Earth Fellow.