Journey of a Yellow Man. Selected Materials from the Independent Archive
15 September– 25 November 2018
6th Sep, 2018
NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
Block 43 Malan Road, Singapore 109443
Image credit: Lee Wen, Journey of a Yellow Man No. 6: History and Self (1995), Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo. Courtesy NTU CCA Singapore / Independent Archive.
On the occasion of the launch of the Digital Resource Platform, NTU CCA Singapore is presenting a selection of materials from Singapore’s Independent Archive (IA), a research and resource platform dedicated to time-based media, established by internationally-renowned artist Lee Wen (Singapore) in 2012. For the past six years, the IA captured the zeitgeist of performance art in Singapore and larger (South-)East Asia through artistic collaborations.
This presentation in The Lab is organised into five chapters —“Condition,” “Body,” “Formation / Gestalt,” “Absence,” and “Memory”—that look at the development of performance art as a new medium as well as its political conditions. Journey of a Yellow Man. takes visitors through the archive with photographs, videos, writings, sketchbooks, while simultaneously, introducing the digital archive. As of today, the Centre has digitised 20,000 files from the IA.
The practice of Lee Wen is motivated by social investigations that use art to interrogate stereotypical perceptions of culture and society. He became famous for his performance series Journey of a Yellow Man (1992—), where he embodied his Chinese descent and its relationship to oppressive systems.
The presentation provides insight into a continuously expanding resource platform that highlights ephemeral moments in the history of performance art in Singapore.
The project addresses the importance of providing historically significant source material for researchers and the wider public. The digitalised files will be integrated into NTU CCA Singapore’s Public Resource Platform and will be accessible at the Centre, the Independent Archive, and the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, who has provided additional support.
In collaboration with IA, a series of public programmes will take place in both The Lab at the NTU CCA Singapore and in the IA. The programme highlights IA as a “living archive” that not only serves as a reference library and archive focusing on time-based and event-specific art, but is also a gathering space that offers dynamic programmes in a vibrant network of artists, musicians, and the public.
Journey of a Yellow Man is curated by Sophie Goltz, Deputy Director, Research and Academic Programmes, NTU CCA Singapore, in collaboration with Lee Wen, artist and Founder, Independent Archive, Singapore, Bruce Quek, Research, Independent Archive, and Kamiliah Bahdar, Public Programmes, Independent Archive. Project Assistant: Ho See Wah, Young Professional Trainee, NTU CCA Singapore. Assistant to Lee Wen: Liu Wen Chao, Library, Independent Archive.
The NTU CCA Digital Resource Platform was initiated in 2016 by Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, NTU ADM Singapore and Lee Wen, in collaboration with Chương-Đài Võ, Researcher, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong. Assistant to the project: Bruce Quek with the support of Samantha Leong Min Yu, Executive, Conferences, Workshops & Archive, NTU CCA Singapore (till May 2018), Corine Chan Li Ling, Executive Archive, NTU CCA Singapore (May to July 2018), and Pooja Paras Mehta (2017), Ho See Wah (2018), Young Professional Trainees, NTU CCA Singapore.