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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.


Oliver Husain

Residency period

2 October – 30 November 2017


Artist and filmmaker Oliver Husain (b. Germany, 1969) currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada. In his work, he critically engages theatrical and cinematic notions of spectatorship drifting from performance and conceptual theatre to experimental film, animation, and installation to blur the boundaries between different visual codes. Oscillating between documentary and fictional approaches, Husain orchestrates surreal narratives with a keen sensibility for costume, make-up, and stage set. His most recent solo exhibition took place at Western Front, Vancouver, Canada, in 2016. Husain has participated in numerous international exhibitions and film festivals including: Forum Expanded, Berlinale Film Festival, Berlin, Germany, 2017; Kunstverein Nürnberg, Germany, 2017; Art Museum, University of Toronto, 2016; MAK Museum, Vienna, Austria, 2013; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, United States, 2011, among others.
Special screenings of his films took place at Pleasure Dome, Toronto, Canada, 2015, and at Experimenta Film Festival, Bangalore, India, 2011.


In the last few years, many of Oliver Husain’s projects have spawned from hearsay, rumour, or chance encounters. During the residency, Husain will research and explore the history of the hair animation industry in commercial film and photography which, as the rumour goes, used to be highly developed in Singapore until the rise of digital animation in the 2000s. Fascinated by the abstract and poetic qualities of the purposeless movement of hair freed from narrative constraints and product placement needs, the artist plans to delve into unofficial and queer forms of knowledge by conducting fieldwork in hair salons and interviewing senior hair stylists. At the same time, he will research and collect fashion editorials, photographs, films, and other extant materials of the time in preparation for an experimental hair animation to be possibly realized in collaboration with Computer-generated imagery (CGI) experts in Singapore.

Public programmes

Residencies Insights: Screenings by Oliver Husain (Germany/Canada), Artist-in-Residence
1 Nov 2017, Wed 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM

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Purfled Promises, Canada, 2009, 8 min
Leona Alone, Canada, 2009, 5 min
Parade, Canada, 2013, 11 min
Isla Santa Maria 3D, Canada, 2016, 18min


This programme of short films by Oliver Husain provides an insight into the artist’s deep-seated interest in the visual codes of cinematic language, the artifice of representation, and the politics of spectatorship. The selected films span a trajectory from central perspective to the optical illusionism of 3D technologies revealing, each time from a different angle, how they inexorably overlap. Deconstructing the framing devices of the moving image, Husain’s films tackle notions of simulation and theatricality, presence and representation, creating playful spatial disruptions that question the authority of perspective, the position of the spectator, and the material boundaries between on-screen and off-screen space.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the artist.