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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.


Sim Chi Yin

Residency period

26 October 2020 – 28 February 2021


Photographer and artist Sim Chi Yin (b. 1978, Singapore/United Kingdom) combines rigorous research with intimate storytelling to explore issues relating to history, memory, conflict, and migration. Recent solo exhibitions include One Day We’ll Understand, Landskrona Foto Festival, Sweden (2020), One Day We’ll Understand, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong (2019) and Most People Were Silent, Institute of Contemporary Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (2018). Her work has also been included in group shows such as Most People Were Silent, Aesthetica Art Prize, York Art Gallery, United Kingdom (2019); UnAuthorised Medium, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Relics, Jendela (Visual Arts Space) Gallery, Esplanade, Singapore (both 2018); and the 15th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2017). Sim was commissioned as the Nobel Peace Prize photographer in 2017, nominated for the Vera List Center’s Jane Lombard Prize for Art and Social Justice 2020 and shortlisted as a finalist for the Tim Hetherington Trust Visionary Award 2020.


The period between 1948 and 1960 witnessed the forced exodus of over 35,000 Malayan leftists to Southern China, including the artist’s own grandfather. Expanding on her long-term research project which excavates overlooked and contested histories of the Malayan anti-colonial war and her own family histories, Sim Chi Yin intends to trace the trajectories of the Malayan deportees, excavating both their individual experiences and the institutional circumstances which lead to their disappearance from collective memory. With the ports of Singapore being both sites of transit and origins of deportation, during the residency Sim will further her investigation through archival research and oral history interviews working towards the development of a new work. Often evoking a sense of spatial haunting, her aesthetic approach consistently slips away from the documentary into the realm of the affective, the imaginary, and the spectral.

Residencies brochure (October 2020 – February 2021)

Image credit: Sim Chi Yin, “One Day We'll Understand”: Requiem, 2019, two-channel video. Courtesy the artist and Magnum Photos.

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.

Residencies OPEN
One Day We'll Understand
Performative Reading by Sim Chi Yin (Singapore), Artist-in-Residence
22 Jan 2021, Fri 03:00 PM - 03:15 PM
22 Jan 2021, Fri 05:00 PM - 05:15 PM
23 Jan 2021, Sat 02:00 PM - 02:15 PM
23 Jan 2021, Sat 05:30 PM - 05:45 PM

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Through the device of a letter, Sim Chi Yin addresses her late grandfather. The first-person narrative takes us on a cinematic journey into landscapes and historiographies, memories and remnants of the anti-colonial war in British Malaya, a period of insurgency which was labeled “Malayan Emergency” (1948-1960) by the colonial rulers. By weaving together words and visuals, this voice-driven act slowly unfolds a palimpsest of untold family stories, inter-generational traumas, and forgotten wars raising questions about who gets to remember, who gets to be remembered, and how.

[content warning] The programme includes images that may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.

Limited spaces available, please register at

This event is part of Residencies OPEN, 22 & 23 January 2021.


Image: Sim Chi Yin, One Day We’ll Understand – Remnants, photograph, 2011 – ongoing. Courtesy the artist.