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Workshop: Keyword Laboratory: “Socio-botanic” by Xu Tan, part of CITIES FOR PEOPLE NTU CCA Ideas Fest 2016/17

18 Jan 2017, Wed 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Studio #01-01, Block 37 Malan Road

“Urban farming is a social practice that has associations with contemporary life on many levels, relating fundamentally to environment, capitalism, global consumerist lifestyles, and to the production of knowledge and technology for human sustenance.” — Xu Tan

In this workshop, artist Xu Tan invites local practitioners engaged in the social practice of urban farming to share with participants how to grow, what to plant, and why. The workshop takes a hands-on approach, allowing participants to handle samplings of plants, seeds, and soil. Through these interactions between practitioners and public participants, the workshop provides a platform for knowledge exchange on a sociopolitical and an aesthetic level.

A collection of six videos of interviews by Xu with urban farmers in China and Singapore, the latter filmed during his residency period at the NTU CCA Singapore, will also be on view. These videos are part of his ongoing research into the social practice of botany/farming.
For more information about the Projects, Workshops and Events for CITIES FOR PEOPLE NTU CCA Ideas Fest 2016/17, visit here.


Xu Tan (China) is an artist currently based in Guangzhou and former Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore. He is known for his ongoing project Searching for Keywords that analyses video interviews of different communities to identify key words based on meaning that reveal values and motivations of contemporary Chinese society. The derivative lexicon gives a pulse of the current social climate and presents an insight into the collective social consciousness of China. His project Keywords School has been exhibited extensively in Canada, China, Hong Kong, and Sweden. Xu has participated in numerous international exhibitions such as at Venice Biennale, Italy (2009, 2003) and Center Pompidou, France (2003). A member of Big Tail Elephant Group from 1993 to 1998, he recently exhibited at the Group's retrospective exhibition at Guangdong Times Museum, China (2016).