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12 Oct 2020, Mon - 8 Nov 2020, Sun

Application deadline: Sunday, 8 November 2020, 23:59 hours.

The NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore Residencies Programme is a studio-based programme dedicated to supporting artists, curators, and researchers by offering them time and space to pursue research without the pressure of production outcomes. It values the open-ended nature of artistic research and embraces the multiform expression of creative enquiry.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has cut straight to the core of a Programme premised on international mobility, unscripted encounters, and site-specific engagements precipitating the scheduled residencies of overseas artists into a zone of impossibility due to the ongoing travel restrictions. As much as these unprecedented conditions have unravelled established procedures, they also commanded an adaptive twist urging us to rethink concepts of distance, modes of engagement, and pathways to collaboration.

In order to pursue organic connections across national borders and foster collaborations in spite of the current restrictions on bodily movement, we are pleased to launch this Open Call for Liaisons (Artistic Research). We are looking for local artists, researchers, and/or cultural practitioners to act as Liaison (Artistic Research) to remotely support the development of one of the research projects listed below. Selected applicants will work in close, albeit remote, collaboration with overseas artists on the development of the research project. Initiated and overseen by Dr Anna Lovecchio, Curator, Residencies, this initiative is in line with NTU CCA Singapore’s long-standing commitment to support art practitioners and artistic research by facilitating meaningful engagements with the specificities of the local across disciplinary fields.

Ideal Liaison applicants should be proactive, show a sense of initiative in research development, and possess a basic understanding of artistic research.

We encourage local artists, cultural practitioners, and independent researchers from relevant disciplinary fields to apply!



LÊNA BÙI (Vietnam)


NOLAN OSWALD DENNIS (Zambia/South Africa)

RAND ABDUL JABBAR (Iraq/United Arab Emirates)




Scroll down for the artists’ research projects.


Project Duration

1 December 2020 – 28 February 2021 (3 months)
Average work week approx. 18 hours; flexible schedule to be agreed on with the artist.

Scope of Work and Responsibilities include (but may not be limited to)

  • Commit on a part-time basis to conduct research over a period of 3 months under the guidance of the overseas artist.
  • Correspond with the artist on a regular basis and assist he/she in carrying out research in Singapore.
  • Participate in periodical meetings with NTU CCA Residencies Team to update and feedback on project development.
  • Conduct archival and research-based work.
  • Contribute to identify relevant data, records, bodies of knowledge, and expertise.
  • Access site-specific materials, objects, and sites.
  • Conduct interviews with relevant individuals and groups in Singapore.
  • Conduct fieldwork at local sites which might include audio-visual recording (photography, video, sound recordings, etc), measurements, sampling, etc.
  • Contribute to develop one public programme and/or digital presentation which will be conducted with the artist remotely at the end of the Programme.


  • Singapore citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident based in Singapore for the period of research.
  • Visual artist, cultural practitioner, or independent researcher.
  • Diploma or Bachelor’s degree.


S$2700 for the full project duration payable in three monthly instalments. 

Application Submission

Applications must include:

  • Cover Letter
    Kindly detail the reasons of your interest in the position, how you would be able to contribute to the artist’s research project based on your previous work and/or interests, and how the research task would benefit your own practice and development.
  • CV
  • Portfolio / Writing sample or any other significant sample of previous work (where relevant)

Applicants are encouraged to carefully read the artists’ research projects before applying. Please submit separate forms and cover letters if you wish to apply for more than one research project.

The selection will be undertaken by NTU CCA Singapore and the artists. Selected applicants will be notified by 23 November 2020. We regret that only shortlisted applicants will be notified.
For further queries, do not hesitate to contact

Application deadline is Sunday, 8 November 2020, 23:59 hours.

Click here to apply!



LÊNA BÙI (Vietnam)

Lêna Bùi, Making rubbings of tree stumps on Ton Duc Thang street, 2018, photograph. Courtesy the artist.


  • Botanical studies and urban planning
  • Regional folklore, ghost myths, animistic practices
  • Alternative historiographies


Inspired by the recent felling of Khaya senegalensis (a tree species native to West Africa) in one of Ho Chi Minh City’s oldest streets for urban development purposes, Lêna Bùi’s project revolves around widespread regional beliefs about hungry and unresolved spirits residing in trees. The artist plans to delve deeper into the intersections between botanical studies, colonial histories, and urban planning in Indochina, framing them against the backdrop of ancestral wisdom and haunting presences. The research will eventually lead to an articulation of unspoken stories from times gone by. The Liaison (Artistic Research) will contribute to research the entanglements of colonial (and post-colonial) botanical studies and urban development as well as to excavate the magic and mythological roles that trees play in the region’s belief systems. The Liaison should preferably have an interest in history, regional folklore, and nature. The role will involve archival research as well as occasional fieldwork. 


The practice of Lêna Bùi (b. 1985, Vietnam) is deeply drawn to the intangible aspects of life, such as faith, death, and dreams and the ways in which they 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.

To apply for this research project, click here.



Left: Courtesy Catarina Rosendo. Right: Courtesy NTU CCA Singapore.


  • Experimental/independent publishing
  • Natural and produced environments
  • Intertextuality and visual culture
  • Transdisciplinary discourse 


One part of Isabel Carvalho’s artistic practice manifests itself in the form of editorial work through LEONORANA, an annual bi-lingual (Portuguese/English) cross-disciplinary research publication she established in 2017. LEONORANA’s main goal is to study the relation of conflict and complicity between verbal and visual languages, presenting essays (in text or in visual forms) as the preferred genre for the development of speculative thinking around chosen themes. For the next issue of the publication, the artist intends to tackle the subject of “environments” focusing on the differences between “natural” and “produced” environments (i.e. indoor atmospheres produced by air conditioning; architectural and urban planning strategies to manage pollution, etc.). With a transdisciplinary approach, the issue will prompt curious narratives based on the observation of existing situations, their economic, social, and political aspects, and their cultural representations across different media. The Liaison (Artistic Research) will be engaged to support the development of the forthcoming issue in terms of editorial conceptualisation, research on topics of interests, and identification of possible contributors.


The practice of Isabel Carvalho (b. 1977, Portugal) seeks to establish meaningful relationships between contemporary art, economics, politics, feminism, and sexuality. As part of her experimental practice, some of her projects bring together visual arts and writing in order to explore alternative methods of writing, publishing, and distributing. She is founder and chief editor of LEONORANA, a research magazine dedicated to experimental thinking. Between 2010-2018, she ran Navio Vazio, 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.

To apply for this research project, click here. 


NOLAN OSWALD DENNIS (Zambia/South Africa)

Nolan Oswald Dennis, the wretched (eisenia foetida), 2019, penguin modern classics edition of “the wretched of the Earth”; simulated soil environment; community of eisenia foetida earthworms. Courtesy the artist.


  • Techno-environmental models for decolonisation
  • Intimate strategies for interspecies communication
  • Soil culture, ecological systems, and indoor gardening
  • Open-source interaction systems and cryptic dispersal networks
  • Global logistics and remote collaborations


Inspired by terra preta (black soil) — the anthropogenic production of a type of dark, fertile soil by Amazonian farming communities in ancient and contemporary times — Nolan Oswald Dennis’ research project Black Earth Study Club braids “Black Earth” and “Black Studies” in a speculative disciplinary twist. This project pursues the cultivation of mutual knowledge through practices of solidarity and soil-making, with an interest in the potentialities of telepresence, redistribution, and remote collaboration. The project involves developing “black earth readers”: digital micro/mesocosmic systems for producing anthropogenic soils; collaborative reading (strategies for reading with soil microbes); hacking global logistics networks for material redistribution. Adopting the form of a “study club” as social assemblage and research method, the project will involve exchanges among practitioners from South America, Europe, South Africa and Singapore to cultivate an ‘other’ possibility of solidarity on a planetary scale. The Liaison (Artistic Research) will be involved in the concept development of “Black Earth Study Club”, the implementation of its multiple manifestations, and the creation of a Singaporean outpost for the project. The Liaison should preferably have an interest in soil, ecological interaction systems, and techno-political models of decolonisation.


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.

To apply for this research project, click here.


RAND ABDUL JABBAR (Iraq/United Arab Emirates)

The Abdul Jabbar family at the National Theatre Fountain during a visit to Singapore in 1966. Courtesy the artist.


  • History of Singapore – Iraq relations
  • Personal and institutional archives
  • Global networks of petroleum and weapons trade
  • Counterterrorism intelligence
  • International warfare coalitions


Instigated by a familial connection to Singapore dating to 1965, when her grandfather was sent on a training assignment to the Shell Eastern Petroleum Company in Singapore to address labour disputes, Rand Abdul Jabbar is interested in exploring the evolution of the complex bilateral relationship between Singapore and Iraq over the past 60 years, particularly pertaining to politics and counterterrorism intelligence and training. The project will attempt to track relevant petro-histories, workforce tensions, the movement of arms across global trade networks, counterterrorism warfare coalitions, and conflict resolution. With the Liaison (Artistic Research), the artist will conduct research to map out the elaborate trajectories that characterise the bonds across these two nations through the prism of petroleum, weapons trade, and counter-terrorism strategies engaging both institutional and personal archives. Relevant sources include NTU RSIS International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, the National Archives of Singapore, and Shell’s archive.


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). 

To apply for this research project, click here. 



Diana Lelonek, Center For Living Things, 2019, textile and polymer environment, aquarium with found objects from forest. Courtesy the artist.


  • Landfill ecologies
  • Post-consumer waste
  • Ecological engagement
  • Interspecies encounters
  • Post-human and eco-feminist studies


Diana Lelonek examines the complex interdependency between growing trends of overproduction and natural ecosystems. Since 2016, she has been gathering waste-derived specimens under the aegis of The Center for Living Things, a long-term artistic project shaped as an independent grassroots research institute. Classified in collaboration with botanists and other natural scientists, The Center for Living Things’ collection includes discarded commodities and objects that, upon disposal, become part of the natural environment for a number of living organisms. Extending this fascination for how the ecosystems of landfills turn into fertile habitats and are reclaimed by non-human organisms, for her research in Singapore, Lelonek will focus on the offshore landfill Pulau Semakau and its own specific ecosystem. Together with the Liaison (Artistic Research), the artist will explore post-waste environments and the waste-derived specimens that come to life within those contexts. The Liaison should preferably have a strong interest in environmental issues, anthropocene studies, and/or botany.


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.

To apply for this research project, click here.



Elia Nurvista, As Long We Can Import it, Why Bothered Planting?, 2015, installation view. Courtesy the artist.


  • Food systems
  • Policies and politics related to food
  • Food sovereignty
  • Agricultural solidarity
  • Comparative methodologies


As a co-founder of the interdisciplinary study group Bakudapan, Elia Nurvista is immersed in a long-term research that revolves around the material, cultural, and socio-political implications of food from production to distribution, from consumption to disposal.  For this project, the artist aims to undertake a critical mapping of food systems in Singapore and Southeast Asia excavating agricultural production systems, trade routes and agreements, environmental factors, food security policies, food technologies, and consumption habits. Starting by looking at the history and politics that regulate food exchanges between Singapore and Indonesia, the project will unfold within a comparative framework exploring a variety of issues in the two neighbouring countries which — in spite of their radically different scales, developmental emphasis, and levels of wealth distribution — remain nonetheless related by multiple cultural kinships. The Liaison (Artistic Research) will conduct fieldwork and onsite research helping to connect Nurvista with local scholars, practitioners, local farms, environmental activists, and other relevant interlocutors to engage in a collective discussion around key issues about food sovereignty, agricultural solidarity, and food security.


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).

To apply for this research project, click here.



Courtesy the artist.


  • Japanese Occupation in Singapore
  • British colonisation
  • Historical imagination and gestures
  • Speculative acts of measurements


Yuichiro Tamura’s project is grounded on two historical sites related to the Japanese Occupation of Singapore in the 1940s: the Former Ford Factory (site of the British surrender to the Japanese in 1942) and National Gallery Singapore (previously City Hall, where the Japanese capitulated to the British in 1945). In a recent visit to Singapore, the artist chanced upon two photographs capturing these momentous events: one depicts a Japanese commander climbing uphill at the Former Ford Factory; the other shows a Japanese commander descending the steps of the former City Hall. The images provide the stepping stone of Tamura’s interest to creatively probe various “angles of history” by physically and speculatively measuring details of sites, documents, images, and gestures related to these and other historical events. The Liaison (Artistic Research) will support the artist in conducting archival research as well as onsite measurements and other inquiries.


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.

To apply for this research project, click here. 


Cover Image: Studio of Marvin Tang, Residencies Studios, NTU CCA Singapore. Courtesy the artist.