Yang Fudong: Incidental Scripts
Yang Fudong, a leading international figure of contemporary art and one the most important artists to emerge out of China in the 1990s, staged his first major solo exhibition in Southeast Asia at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. The exhibition, Incidental Scripts, presented a selection of four works by Yang: An Estranged Paradise (1997-2002), The Fifth Night (II) Rehearsal (2010), On the Double Dragon Hills (2012) and About the Unknown Girl – Ma Sise (2013-2014). These works are emblematic of his multi-faceted approach towards the creation of visual imageries that complicates our understanding of reality / fiction, and our experience of space / time.
The exhibition was curated by Ute Meta Bauer (NTU CCA Singapore Founding Director) with Khim Ong (Independent Curator).
This artist talk provided a conversation between the artist, Yang Fudong and the two curators of the exhibition, Ute Meta Bauer and Khim Ong, with a discussion on Fudong’s influences and practice as well as the thereotical framework surrounding the exhibition.
Khim Ong is an independent curator based in Singapore. She was previously curatorial assistant at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LASALLE, assistant curator at Osage Gallery, Hong Kong, and manager for Sector Development (Visual Arts) at the National Arts Council, Singapore. Some of her curatorial projects include Jane Lee: 100 Faces at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Singapore (2014), Landscape Memories at LouisVuitton Espace, Singapore (2013), Biographies (co-curated with Biljana Ciric) at Osage Gallery, Hong Kong (2010).
Set in China after the Sino-Japanese War, Spring in a Small Town by Fei Mu, one of China’s major film directors before the Communist Revolution in 1949, tells a love triangle story of Dai Liyan and wife, Zhou Yuwen. Their dutiful marriage takes a turn with the appearance of Dai’s childhood friend and Zhou’s former flame, thus unfolds the conflict between emotional desires and commitments in the real world.
8½ is considered to be one of the most influential classic films of world cinema and regarded to be Fellini’s “semi-autobiographical fantasy”. The film depicts Marcello Mastroianni playing the creative struggles of Guido Anselmi, a hugely successful Italian film director embarking on his most ambitious project.
Join artist and writer Ho Rui An in this series of talks engaging participants in discussions on Yang’s works in the exhibition. Ho is the Singapore desk editor for ArtAsiaPacific and has contributed to numerous catalogues and periodicals.
Ho Rui An is an artist and writer working in the intersections of contemporary art, cinema, performance and theory. He is currently developing a body of work surrounding image economies in Singapore and Southeast Asia and has presented projects at the 2nd Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Serpentine Galleries, London, U.K, Singapore Art Museum, LUMA/Westbau, Zurich, Switzerland and Witte de With, Rotterdam, Netherlands. He is the Singapore desk editor for ArtAsiaPacific and has contributed to numerous catalogues and periodicals. Ho lives and works in New York and Singapore.
One and Eight marks a radical departure from traditional filmmaking and the beginning of the “Fifth Generation” in the history of Chinese cinema. Adapted from an epic poem by Guo Xiaochuan, it tells the story of eight criminals and a deserting Chinese officer of the Eighth Route Army caught in the midst of the second Sino-Japanese War.
The film’s outstanding cast includes Tao Zeru, Chen Daoming, and Lu Xiaoyan, art direction by He Qun and cinematography by acclaimed Chinese Director, Zhang Yimou.
Sensing Film takes participants on a two-part journey that will test the audience’s perceptual capacity. This programme will span two venues. Participants are required to stay throughout the programme and will be shuttled between venues. Departure point: Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre
The programme will conclude with a roundtable discussion at NTU CCA Singapore with a distinguished panel of speakers to discuss the phenomenology of the cinematic.
Liao Jiekai is a filmmaker and artist based in Singapore. He co-founded film collective 13 Little Pictures in 2009 and made his debut feature film Red Dragonflies in 2010, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Jeonju International Film Festival. He was also the recipient of the Young Artist Award for Film in 2012. In 2013, his 16mm film installation Brother’s Quarters received the Credit Suisse Artist Commissioning Award at the President’s Young Talent Exhibition, through which he presented a video installation Bukit Orang Salah at the Singapore Biennale 2013. Liao lives and works in Singapore.
Aimee Lin is a writer whose practice ranges from art and cultural criticism, editing to curating. Apart from art/artist books and catalogues (Heidi Voet, Liang Yue, Gao Weigang and Lee Kit), her recent writings are regularly published on ArtReview, ArtReview Asia and FTChinese.com. As a curator, she has been working with young Chinese artists including Yu Honglei, Lei Benben and many more, and is now working on a project with Berlin-based Timur Si-Qin. As an editor, she has been working with the British art magazine ArtReview since 2013, and founded its sister magazine ArtReview Asia. Prior to this, she was the founding editor of LEAP (2009-2012). Lin currently lives and works in Shanghai.
The second talk of the Exhibition (de)Tour series will be conducted by Ben Slater, a film critic and lecturer in Screen Writing and Narratives at NTU School of Art, Design and Media. Slater will explore Yang Fudong’s works through notions of ‘screenwriting’, and how artists and film-makers (including Yang) have resisted the conventions of this practice. He will also be looking at how art responds to the seductive power of cinematic story-telling.
Ben Slater is a writer, film critic and lecturer who is based in Singapore since 2002. He wrote the book Kinda Hot: The Making of Saint Jack in Singapore (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish, 2006). His writings on film have been published internationally, and he has curated for cinemas and film festivals in the U.K. and Singapore. He has script edited several acclaimed feature films including Helen, HERE and Mister John and is the co-writer of the sci-fi thriller Camera. Currently he is a Lecturer in Screenwriting and Narrative at the School of Art, Design and Media in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Set in the period of the Cultural Revolution in China, the film follows the story of a young girl as she is sent to the countryside for re-education. Adapted from a novel by Zhang Manling, the film reflects the kind and warm-hearted characteristics of the Dai folk despite living in a tumultuous period. Through the experience of a young girl, Sacrifice of Youth appeals in its dreamy portrayal of a youthful awakening.
Set in 1939 in Shaanxi province, China, during a period when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Kuomingtang (KMT) have joined forces against Japanese invaders, Yellow Earth follows the journey of Gu Qing, a soldier from the propaganda department of the CCP Eighth Routh Army who learns about the hardship of peasant life. Yellow Earth was Chen Kaige’s directorial debut and featured cinematography by Zhang Yimou.
The concluding talk of the Exhibition (de)Tour series, conducted by Michelle Lim, a writer and curator based in New York and Singapore. Through a discussion of Yang Fudong’s work, Michelle explored ideas that inform his practice while placing them in the larger context of contemporary Chinese art.
Michelle Lim is an Assistant Professor at the School of Art, Design and Media in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and was a Curatorial Fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York, U.S.A.. She has worked on research and curatorial projects for institutions such as the Asia Society Museum in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Princeton University Art Museum, Sculpture Square in Singapore, and the National Museum of Singapore. She has also taught at Cooper Union and the CUNY Graduate Center.