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past Exhibitions

NTU CCA Singapore Exhibitions is focused on contemporary artistic production that provides a critical platform for reflection and discussion. The exhibition programme embraces artistic production in all its diverse media with a commitment to current debates in visual culture. NTU CCA Singapore presents up to four exhibitions a year ranging in format from group to solo shows giving voice to a diversity of international artists. Each exhibition is accompanied by an extensive public programme of tours, talks and workshops that foster reflections on the exhibition from various perspectives and disciplines.


Paradise Lost

18 January 2014 — 30 March 2014

Paradise Lost is NTU CCA Singapore’s inaugural exhibition, curated by Ute Meta Bauer (Founding Director) and Anca Rujoiu (Curator for Exhibitions). Conceived as a constellation of three artistic productions that together explore narratives of travel and migration, place and displacement, the personal intertwined with colonial history, Paradise Lost introduces an imaginary Asia — Asia as a space of projections and desires stemming from an experience of dislocation and asynchronicity.

The exhibition juxtaposed trans-generational perspectives, bringing together three major installations of moving image: Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989) by Trinh T. Minh-ha, Yellow Patch (2011) by Zarina Bhimji and Disorient (2009) by Fiona Tan.

While all three artists are of Asian descent, their education and artistic practice unfolded in Europe and the U.S., gaining international exposure from there. Paradise Lost marked the first time these works were shown in Asia in an exhibition context.

Public programmes

Paradise Lost Forum with presentations by Ann Demeester and Mustafa Shabbir Hussain
17 Jan 2014, Fri 4:00pm - 6:00pm

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The forum will focus on commissioned projects by artists engaging with the archives. Each curatorial presentation will provide a close overview of the production process.

Ann Demeester is currently the Director of Frans Hals Museum. She was appointed manager of Art and Urban Development for Amsterdam City Council, co-curated the 10th Baltic Triennial (2009) and was previously the Director of De Appel Arts Centre and W139, Amsterdam.

Mustafa Shabbir Hussain is Curator at the National Art Gallery of Singapore, where he researches on art from Singapore and Southeast Asia. He was formerly Curator at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Museum from 2007 till 2013.

Curatorial Tour with Ute Meta Bauer and Lee Weng Choy
24 Jan 2014, Fri 7:30pm - 9:00pm

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The first curatorial tour of exhibition is an opportunity for the audience to engage directly with the curator of the show in conversation with the established writer and art critic, Lee Weng Choy.

Lee Weng Choy is the president of the Singapore Section of the International Association of Art Critics; he was a former artistic co-director of The Substation from 2000 to 2009. He has collaborated with NTU CCA Singapore on various projects. Lee has published widely on contemporary art, including contributions to the collections, Theory in Contemporary Art since 1985, and Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art.

Exhibition de(Tour) with Ho Tzu Nyen
14 Feb 2014, Fri 7:30pm - 9:00pm

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This tour will focus on aspects of exhibition construction, installation and the display of each work. Ho Tzu Nyen will explore the exhibition in the light of his artistic practice and engagement with moving image and cinema productions.

Ho Tzu Nyen makes films, videos and live performances related to historical and philosophical texts and artefacts. Recent group exhibitions include: No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013); No Soul for Sale, Tate Modern, London (2010), 5th Auckland Triennial, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand (2013) and the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia (2009). He has also represented Singapore at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011).

Did it really happen? Is it a true story? Reading group led by Anca Rujoiu
15 Feb 2014, Sat 3:00pm - 5:00pm

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Taking Trinh T. Minh-ha’s reflections on the nature and process of storytelling as a starting point, the reading group addresses the (assumed) boundaries between truth and fact, story and history and how these boundaries are challenged by the works in Paradise Lost.

The reading group juxtaposed Trinh T. Min-ha’s text Grandma’s Story with an excerpt from Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino that emphasizes the elusive nature of storytelling itself.

Workshop – Trinh T. Minh-ha
20 Feb 2014, Thu 6:30pm - 9:00pm

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The workshop evolves around notions of the boundary event, the between realm, the impasses and the passages, form and formless. During the workshop, the artist will screen a few excerpts of the film Night Passage (2004).

Artist’s talk – Trinh T. Minh-ha
21 Feb 2014, Fri 7:30pm - 9:00pm

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This talk will contextualise Trinh T. Minh-ha’s installation Surname Viet Given Name Nam within the larger picture of her own work and film practice.

Exhibition de(Tour) with David Teh
28 Feb 2014, Fri 7:30pm - 9:00pm

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David Teh will introduce Paradise Lost with reference to the genre and histories of the artist-made moving image in the Southeast Asian context. The presentation is structured around three moving-image works from this region whose distinct strategies were explored in relation to the video installations presented in the exhibition.

David Teh works at the National University of Singapore and is the director of the gallery, Future Perfect.

Lecture: Post-colonial critique today - Stefano Harney
7 Mar 2014, Fri 7:30pm - 9:00pm

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Is there still a place for postcolonial thought? Globalization, the rise of emerging markets, and networks of social media girthing the earth would appear to leave the postcolonial behind as a phase through which many nations have now passed. The rise of global biennales, robust art markets in Mumbai, Shanghai, and Rio, and genrebending, expanding fields of art practice would equally appear to make the term postcolonial only a matter of brand enhancement in the world of art. But is this really the case?

By returning to some of the great thinkers of the ‘colonial situation’ and some of the theorists of its postcolonial aftermath, Stefano Harney will investigate the renewed power of a postcolonial critique today, as much as in Singapore, as anywhere, and as much as for art, as for political economy.

Stefano Harney teaches ethics at Singapore Management University. Most recently, he is the author, with Fred Moten, of The Undercommons: fugitive planning and black study. He is a member of the Grounds Provision collective, and founder of the School for Study, a collective of university researchers.

Balik Kampung: Stories of Connection and Disconnection
8 Mar 2014, Sat 3:00pm - 5:00pm

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In collaboration with BooksActually, NTU CCA Singapore will organize a special book presentation focused on the series Balik Kampung 2A: People and Places / Balik Kampung 2B: Contemplations. Edited by Verena Tay, the collection brings together commissioned texts by a series of authors who address their experience of living in different parts of Singapore.

The book presentation situates itself as a counterpoint in the context of Paradise Lost. It will produce a shift from reflections of homeland as perceived from afar to engagement with an immediate environment through Balik Kampung stories.

 BooksActually (est. 2005) is an independent bookstore specializing in Fiction and Literature.

After twenty-five years of theatre-making and three published collections of plays, Verena Tay now deals with fiction. During 2012, she edited the original Balik Kampung anthology and A Monsoon Feast.

Exhibition de(Tour) with Vera Mey and Mustafa Shabbir Hussain
28 Mar 2014, Fri 7:30pm - 9:00pm

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This is the last exhibition tour of Paradise Lost. Taking as a starting point the engagement with archival materials present in all the three works in the exhibition, Vera Mey (CCA Curator for Residencies) and Mustafa Shabbir Hussain (Curator at the National Art Gallery of Singapore) will discuss artistic, curatorial and art historical strategies around using archival sources. The talk will expand around issues surrounding narrative and the archive (or lack thereof) by connecting this to other approaches within wider Southeast Asia.