close icon

What's on



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.


Michael Lee

Residency period

3 October 2017 – 29 March 2018


Michael Lee (b. 1972, Singapore) is an artist, curator, and publisher based in Singapore. Researching urban memory with a marked interest in loss, its contexts, and implications, Lee’s observations often merge personal and national narratives and are variously translated into objects, diagrams, situations, curations, and texts. He has presented his work in solo exhibitions at Yavuz Fine Art, Singapore, 2014; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany, 2013; Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong, 2010. His work has also been included in international group exhibitions such as Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, China, 2014, and Asia Triennial Manchester, United Kingdom, 2011, among others. Lee is the founding director of Studio Bibliothèque, a platform which facilitates experiments in art making, curating, and publishing. He was a co-curator of An Atlas of Mirrors, Singapore Biennale, 2016.
His editorial projects include the series Corridors: Notes on the Contemporary (Singapore: Studio Bibliothèque, 2013) and Who Cares: 16 Essays on Curating in Asia, co-edited with Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya, (Hong Kong: Para/Site Art Space, 2010.)

He was awarded the APBF Signature Art Prize People’s Choice Award in 2011 and
the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award (Visual Arts) in 2005.


During the residency, Lee will expand his interest in urban phenomena and inner structures by focusing on cutaways: openings created through the partial removal of the external surface of an object that makes its internal features visible. The artist will research and select a number of case studies in Singapore to explore the function of cutaways with in the urban context and engage with overlooked issues regarding art, architecture, and urban design.
Informed by several theories in the fields of film studies, linguistics, and graphic design, Lee regards cutaways as a method of investigation, a concealment device that can open up a different understanding of urban processes and anxieties as well as provide a penetrating insight into the deep-seated desires of the city.

Public programmes

Artist Resource Platform: activate! IIICurating with art: Melanie Pocock (United Kingdom/Singapore), Assistant Curator, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LASALLE College of the Arts, in conversation with Michael Lee, artist and curator (Singapore)
10 Jun 2016, Fri 7:30pm - 9:00pm

Read More

How are curatorial concepts shaped by artistic practices? For Artist Resource Platform: activate! III curator and writer Melanie Pocock discusses her approach to curating as a response to ideas and aesthetics of particular artworks. Highlighting her inspiration from several artists in the NTU CCA Singapore Artist Research Platform, she revisits two projects: Countershadows (tactics in evasion), an exhibition that was presented at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LASALLE College of the Arts in 2014, and A machine for (living) dying in (2014), a solo exhibition by artist, curator and publisher Michael Lee. During the session, Pocock and Lee also reflect on reciprocal relationships between curators and artists, and their respective practices.

Michael Lee (Singapore)
Creatif Compleks
17 Mar 2018, Sat - 16 Sep 2018, Sun

Read More

Developed during his residency at NTU CCA Singapore, Creatif Compleks (2018) is the culmination of Michael Lee’s reflection on the function of the artist’s studio within the arts ecology of a city. The work takes the form of a diagram about a hypothetical property development consisting of various configurations of the artist’s home/studio. The use of LED light strips, a popular fixture in advertising and interior design, alludes to latent apprehensions about the development and promotion of the arts in Singapore which today are, arguably, at a feverish pitch. Informed by myths and fantasies of artists in their studios, the work takes a speculative leap into the utopian and the absurd.




The artist presented a talk on 17 March 2018.
Creatif Compleks is on view in The Vitrine until 16 September 2018.