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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.



Residency period

1 September 2020 – 28 February 2021


Spanning across performance, photography, and other mediums, ila (b. 1985, Singapore) weaves her own body and emotions into the peripheries of lived experience and unspoken narratives. Constantly in negotiations with different realms of existence and the aftermaths of trauma, she reconfigures and merges speculative fiction with factual histories conceiving them as sites for empathy and connectivity. Her performances (works) have been included in group shows such as Proposals for Novel Ways of Being, National Gallery Singapore and 2219: Futures Imagined, ArtScience Museum (both Singapore, 2020); State of Motion: A Fear of Monsters, Asian Film Archive; and Arus Balik, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art (both Singapore, 2019).


Unfolding through visual, narrative, and performative acts, ila’s artist practice revolves around urgencies for repair, care, and mutual support. Amid frustrations resulting from the ever-shifting urban landscape and rising social inequalities, the artist is interested in navigating the collective emotional psyche through the notion of “wounded city” as described by cultural geographer Karen E. Till. By way of personal and collective exercises, she intends to warp existing spatial relations, map new pathways onto the urban fabric, and engage in the process of memory-work to open up entry points into places of the present through both subjective experiences and stories of the past. These exercises are intended as individual and collective forms of resistance to physical displacement, affective mutilations, and social disempowerment as well as symbolical remedies to mend ecosystem(s) permeated by alienation and loss. Throughout the process, the artist imagines the studio as a fluid space that can offer respite from the outside, resonate with the presence of its different inhabitants, and wherein her roles as mother and artist are organically integrated.

Residencies brochure (October 2020 – February 2021)

Image credit: ila, Contemplation/Reclamation, 2018, performance documentation. Courtesy the artist.

Public programmes

Residencies OPEN
22 Jan 2021, Fri 03:00 PM - 09:00 PM
23 Jan 2021, Sat 02:00 PM - 07:00 PM

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Residencies OPEN offers a rare insight into the artist’s studio. Through discussions, performances, installations, and presentations of works-in-progress, Residencies OPEN showcases the diversity of contemporary art practice from around the globe and the divergent ways artists conceive an artwork with the studio as a constant space for experimentation and research.

Featuring Artists-in-Residence:

Kin Chui (Singapore), ila (Singapore), Sim Chi Yin (Singapore/United Kingdom), Marvin Tang (Singapore), Boedi Widjaja (Indonesia/Singapore), and Green Zeng (Singapore).

Also joining Residencies OPEN is Beatrice Glow (United States) thanks to a new partnership between the Centre and the Yale-NUS College Artist-in-Residence Programme. For more info, refer to

Image: Studio of Fyerool Darma, Residencies OPEN, 17 and 18 January 2020.