Residencies OPEN offers a rare insight into the often introverted sphere of the artists’ studio. Through showcasing discussions, performances, research and works-in-progress, Residencies:OPEN profiles the diversity of contemporary art practice and the divergent ways artists conceive artwork with the studio as a constant space for experimentation and research.
This edition of Residencies OPEN features video installations and several book-related projects. Participants include Artists-in-Residence Heman Chong (Singapore), Ho Rui An (Singapore), Arin Rungjang (Thailand), SHIMURAbros (Japan/Germany), and Tamara Weber (United States).
Heman Chong Block 38 Malan Road, Studio #01-07
Ho Rui An Block 37 Malan Road, Studio#01-03
Arin Rungjang Block 38 Malan Road, Studio #01-05
SHIMURAbros Block 37 Malan Road, Studio #01-04
Tamara Weber Block 38 Malan Road, Studio #01-06
Heman Chong (Singapore)
The first iteration of a ten-year-long project, Heman Chong's The Library of Unread Books develops from the artist's deep-seated longing for books. It is a members-only reference library made up of donated books that are unread by their previous owners. The cost of a lifetime member- ship to the library is the donation of one unread book. By receiving and revealing that which people choose not to read, the Library is the result of acollectivegestureandtracestheperimetersofunwantedknowledge. Managed in collaboration with chief librarian Renée Staal, the library is open every Friday from 12.00pm to 12.00am until the end of February.
Ho Rui An (Singapore)
A combined presentation by Artist-in-Residence Ho Rui An and artist Tan Biyun, Future Trees and the Pulp of History explores their shared interests in participatory democracies, historical archives, and speculative futures. Both artists engage various strategies to rearrange existing narrative structures and activate new forms of political imagination.
For the first time in Singapore, Ho exhibits the documentation of Screen Green (2015-16), a lecture perfomance that probes the politics of screening and greening in the city-state. Conceived as a “protest against forgetting” (Eric Hobsbawn), Tan's The Unforgetting Space seeks a more inclusive understanding of the past and triggers the process of reclaiming the writing of history from the authorities. This participatory project features several textbooks dating from the 1970s and two old typewriters inviting the audiences to retype historical episodes selected from the books.
The works will be on view from 12 November to 10 December 2016, every Saturday and Sunday, from 12.00pm to 7.00pm.
Arin Rungjang (Thailand)
Investigating the phenomenon of historical rumours in Thailand and Singapore Arin Rungjang’s research aims to unearth unofficial stories that circulate by word of mouth to explore the ways in which they subtly infiltrate dominant notions of historical truth and shape our collective imagery.
Produced during the residency, the video interview with Johnston Anderson Cheong captures an intimate and poignant dialogue. This heart-warming exchange delves not only into Cheong’s personal history, memories, family relationships, and struggles growing up as an albino in Singapore, but it also prompts a broader reflection on common perceptions and prescribed social norms.
During their residency, SHIMURAbros will expand their previous research on Singapore’s archaeology and film history to explore the reverse trajectories and movements of various archaeological items from Southeast Asia to Singapore. Their research materials include books, photographs, documents, films, and archival footage.
In 24!= the artists rearranged the 24 frames composing one second in the first feature-length motion picture with synchronized sound, The Jazz Singer (1927), when the sentence “You ain't heard nothing yet" is spoken, according to all the possible permutations of the 24 frames. The time needed to screen the whole film exceeds the life-span of a star.
Tamara Weber (United States)
In the last year, Tamara Weber has been working closely with New York-based curator Annie Seaton on Close Readings, a collaborative project of visual investigation that casts an anthropomorphising look on architecture and other bodies. Centred around the logic of the book, Close Readings features a series of interactive textual images that reference 1960s advertising, botanical imagery, pulps, abstraction, and Eugenic vignettes. These works are created via repetition, textual insertions, and implantation (“re-rooting”) into other media and they are meant to be continuously deconstructed, disassembled, and re-constructed through an open-ended editorial process that unfolds multiple meanings.
Image credit: What’s wrong with my snake?, a book donated by Ryan Su to The Library of Unread Books.