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Committed to supporting artists, curators, and researchers by offering them time and space to pursue their research without the pressure of deadlines and production commitments, the Residencies Programme values the open-ended nature of artistic research and embraces multiform expressions of creative enquiry. Aiming to facilitate the production of knowledge, this studio-based programme is dedicated to established and emerging artists and serves as platform for critical exchange in Southeast Asia. The Residencies Programme offers a wide spectrum of programmes aimed at sharing the process of artistic research with the public - Residencies OPEN / Studio Sessions / Insights, which range from open studios, artists’ talks, conversations, performances, and screenings. The Residencies Programme unfolds through annual cycles and runs by nomination only. Every year, a rotating pool of curators and arts professionals from all over the world is invited to nominate two artists for the residency. The nominated artists are subsequently invited to submit a research proposal along with their portfolio and CV. Ultimately, the Residencies Committee, an international panel of experts, reviews the submitted materials and designates the artists who are awarded the residency.


Hamra Abbas

Residency period

4 May 2015 – 5 June 2015


Hamra Abbas (b. 1976, Pakistan) received her BFA and MA in Visual Arts from the National College of Arts, Lahore in 1999 and 2002 respectively before going on to the Universitaet der Kuenste in Berlin in 2004 where she received the Selected exhibitions and Collectors Show: Chimera, biennale’s include: The Singapore Art Museum (2012),Exhibition of works by the winner and short-listed artists of the Jameel Prize, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom (2009),USA; Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India (2014); Asian Art Biennial, Taichung, Taiwan (2011); International Incheon Women Artists Biennale, Incheon, South Korea (2009); Sharjah Biennial 9, Sharjah, UAE (2009);Guangzou Triennial,Guangzou, China (2008); Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul (2007); the Biennale of Sydney (2006).

She is the recipient of the Jury prize at Sharjah Biennial 9, the Abraaj Capital Art Prize in 2011.


Hamra Abbas has a versatile artistic practice that straddles a wide range of media, from paper collage and painting to ephemeral soft plasticine sculpture and video. Her works often take a humorous look towards widely accepted traditions, appropriating culturally loaded imagery and religious iconography and transforming them into new works that are experienced in space and time.

Abbas takes various cultural references and recontextualises them using appropriated artistic techniques. For her residency she is learning the courtly Chinese painting style of Gongbi and conducting portrait studies of her various interactions of people in the lively inner city suburb of Little India in Singapore.

Public programmes

NTU CCA Residencies Insights: A Sense of PLACE: Hamra Abbas and Simon Soon
20 May 2015, Wed 7:00pm - 9:00pm

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This seminar takes two approaches on notions on place. The first will look at this through the work of Artist-in-Residence, Hamra Abbas whose past work has engaged with different facets of iconographic architecture. Simon Soon will share his research findings on the architectural and landscape history of Nanyang University (1955 and 1980) in relation to his larger project addressing how landscape and architecture facilitate a form of “social memory-practice” to Chinese modernity outside of China. Cheo Chai Hiang (artist) and Lai Chee Kien (architect) will act as respondents in this lively discussion.

Simon Soon (Malaysia) is a writer and researcher who recently completed his PhD where he examined the spatial-visual practice of left-leaning political art movements in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines from 1950s – 1970s.

Hamra Abbas (Pakistan/United States) creates new platforms from which to view notions of culture, tradition, exchange and power. Abbas is the recipient of the Jury prize at Sharjah Biennial 9 and the Abraaj Capital Art Prize in 2011.