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Artist-in-residence

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.

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Marvin Tang

Residency period

1 April 2020 – 29 September 2020

About

Marvin Tang (b. 1989, Singapore) harnesses photography, moving image, and object-based installations to visualise social phenomena that simmer under, beyond, and in spite of government infrastructures and systems of control. His works often undermine the conventional representations of nature and question the linearity of historical narratives. Recent solo exhibitions include Print Room: In Every Change of Season, DECK, Singapore (2019) and The Mountain Survey, Alliance Française de Singapour (2018). His work has been presented internationally at the Thessaloniki PhotoBiennale, Greece; GETXOPHOTO International Image Festival, Spain; and Nooderlicht International Photofestival, Groningen, Netherlands (all 2018).

Focus

The Colony (2017 – ongoing) is the title of Marvin Tang’s long-term research project which examines the impact of botanical institutions on the movement of seeds, plants, and people in the colonial era. For the next iteration of the project, the artist intends to focus on the history and evolution of the Wardian case, a glass container for growing and transporting flora devised by British physician Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward in 1833. The direct precursor of the modern terrarium, this transportable receptacle proved instrumental in allowing the circulation of plants across the globe in the 19th century. Here, it is framed as a point of departure to excavate the social, economic, and environmental implications of planetary plant movements and the displacement of labour forces required to sustain booming plantation economies. During the residency, the studio will be used to conduct durational experiments with natural substances and photographic materials and try out different modes of display.

Residencies brochure: (April – June 2020)

Residencies brochure (October 2020 – February 2021)

Image credit: Marvin Tang, Stateland, 2015, archival inkjet print. Courtesy the artist.

Public programmes

Residencies Online Studio Sessions
On Growth in Closely Glazed Cases
Artist Talk by Marvin Tang (Singapore), Artist-in-Residence
2 Sep 2020, Wed 08:00 PM - 09:00 PM

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In this livestreamed talk, Artist-in-Residence Marvin Tang traces the historical evolution of the Wardian case to unearth wider social, economic, and environmental implications of global plant migration. The Wardian case—a wooden case with glass panels developed in the mid-1800s that marked a revolution in long-distance plant transportation—evolved from the backyard experiment of an amateur naturalist into the backbone of botanical garden collections, plantation economies, eco-piracy, and labour migration in Southeast Asia. Shuttling between glazed plant enclosures and the glazed case of his own computer, Marvin will delve into an exploratory journey through his artistic practice, photographic observations, and ongoing archival research traversing manmade boundaries between indoor and outdoor and speculating on how attempts to contain and control plants shape Singapore’s contemporary relationship to nature.

This talk will be livestreamed on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ntu.ccasingapore/

BIOGRAPHY

Marvin Tang (b. 1989, Singapore) harnesses photography, moving image, and object-based installations to visualise social phenomena that simmer under, beyond, and in spite of government infrastructures and systems of control. His works often undermine the conventional representations of nature and question the linearity of historical narratives. Recent solo exhibitions include Print Room: In Every Change of Season, DECK, Singapore (2019) and The Mountain Survey, Alliance Française de Singapour (2018). His work has been presented internationally at the Thessaloniki PhotoBiennale, Greece; GETXOPHOTO International Image Festival, Spain; and Nooderlicht International Photofestival, Groningen, Netherlands (all 2018).

Image: Marvin Tang, Temperate House, 2014, archival inkjet print. Courtesy the artist.

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 https://artsandhumanities.yale-nus.edu.sg/artists-in-residence/about/.

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