Thursday, 23 July 2015

Conservation & Restoration of 157 Neil Road | Preserving the 19th Century Townhouse Architecture

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Date: 5 August 2015, Wednesday 
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Venue: NUS Baba House

Limited to 45 pax. To register, email babahouse@nus.edu.sg

Have you ever wondered about what it takes to restore a delicate heritage building like the NUS Baba House? How does one balance between conserving the house, while meeting the needs of its intended new role, and aspirations of its community? 6 years after its opening, what are the on-going challenges in maintaining this heritage house into the future?

Come and hear about the challenges and the processes first hand, from Mr Kelvin Ang of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), who was the conservation consultant for the house. NUS and the URA were the architectural, engineering and conservation partners for the restoration project.

About the speaker

Mr Kelvin Ang is currently URA;s Director of Conservation Management. He has a decade of experience in both architecture and conservation planning. URA is Singapore' national planning authority, which included planning for urban conservation. He obtained his Graduate Diploma in the Built Environment (Architecture), and subsequently an MSc. in Sustainable Heritage, at the Bartlett School, University College London , UK.

Kelvin has led a multi-disciplinary team to deliver several successful projects covering research, planning and policy matters. His current portfolio includes the cultivation of greater awareness of our conserved built heritage, as well as enforcement work.

Malaya Black & White | The Virgin Soldiers (M18)



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*Film is M18. Patrons under 18 will not be permitted entry. Age check will be conducted at the door; please bring a valid photo ID for verification purposes.

The Hollywood studios’ flirtation with shooting in Singapore began with Pretty Polly in 1966 and ended with The Virgin Soldiers in 1969. This time the literary source was Leslie Thomas’s raunchy, pacifist bestseller about loose-end recruits sweating out the Malayan Emergency. Here, an angelic Hywel Bennett plays Brigg, the innocent serviceman, caught up in love, lust, boredom, and eventually violence in Singapore and across the causeway. It was shot in Selerang Barracks and Chinatown in Singapore and Port Dixon in Malaysia. The novel’s episodic structure and matter-of-fact approach to the horror of war proves tricky to translate, but for a film usually marketed as a broad comedy (and there’s plenty of that), it has a powerful anti-war message.


This screening is part of the 'Beyond Saint Jack' segment under the NUS Museum's Malaya Black & White film series.

About ‘Beyond Saint Jack’ - The strange cinematic visitors of Singapore and Malaya
Singapore/Malaya’s heyday of foreign production from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s led to a motley filmography of B-movies, commercial disasters, miscellaneous TV episodes, lost films and bizarre curios. While they resist canonisation, these films are a fascinating portal into how the region was perceived by the rest of the world both before and after the end of the colonial era; and the eagerness for Singapore and Malaysia to be represented and acknowledged by the West. A recurring motif of their narratives is the Western visitor in Singapore. This season of 10 films showcases the predecessors and descendants of Saint Jack (1979): old hands, good men, legal aliens, rugged individualists, ex-soldiers, detectives, has-beens and rock stars. Characters who have found themselves ensnared in traps beyond their control, stumbled across exotic, bewildering cultures, or entered zones of erotic possibility.

Beyond Saint Jack is guest-curated by author and critic Ben Slater, who will be present to introduce and discuss each film.


About Ben Slater

Ben Slater is the author of Kinda Hot: The Making of Saint Jack in Singapore (2006), a major contributor to World Film Locations: Singapore(2014) and the editor of 25: Histories and Memories of the Singapore International Film Festival (2014). He’s also the co-screenwriter of the feature film Camera (2014) and a Lecturer at the School of Art, Media and Design, Nanyang Technological University.

To find out more about the Malaya Black & White project, please go tohttps://malayablackandwhite.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Malaya Black & White | Paper Tiger


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Made during the peak of the 1970s ‘adventure movie’ boom, where motley groupings of ageing Hollywood stars got rugged with machine guns in semi-forgettable films, often shot in exotic locales. Here, the backdrop is Malaysia, fictionalised as ‘Kulagong’, and the stars are David Niven and Toshiro Mifune, in a story about an ex-soldier turned child’s tutor who’s forced by circumstance to prove whether he is the man he claims to be. The director, Ken Annakin, was returning to Malaysia as a setting two decades after he made the Malayan Emergency melodrama, The Planter’s Wife, and the film’s soundtrack is by jazz piano supremo Roy Budd.


This screening is part of the 'Beyond Saint Jack' segment under the NUS Museum's Malaya Black & White film series.

About ‘Beyond Saint Jack’ - The strange cinematic visitors of Singapore and Malaya
Singapore/Malaya’s heyday of foreign production from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s led to a motley filmography of B-movies, commercial disasters, miscellaneous TV episodes, lost films and bizarre curios. While they resist canonisation, these films are a fascinating portal into how the region was perceived by the rest of the world both before and after the end of the colonial era; and the eagerness for Singapore and Malaysia to be represented and acknowledged by the West. A recurring motif of their narratives is the Western visitor in Singapore. This season of 10 films showcases the predecessors and descendants of Saint Jack (1979): old hands, good men, legal aliens, rugged individualists, ex-soldiers, detectives, has-beens and rock stars. Characters who have found themselves ensnared in traps beyond their control, stumbled across exotic, bewildering cultures, or entered zones of erotic possibility.

Beyond Saint Jack is guest-curated by author and critic Ben Slater, who will be present to introduce and discuss each film.


About Ben Slater

Ben Slater is the author of Kinda Hot: The Making of Saint Jack in Singapore (2006), a major contributor to World Film Locations: Singapore(2014) and the editor of 25: Histories and Memories of the Singapore International Film Festival (2014). He’s also the co-screenwriter of the feature film Camera (2014) and a Lecturer at the School of Art, Media and Design, Nanyang Technological University.

To find out more about the Malaya Black & White project, please go tohttps://malayablackandwhite.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern | Conservation Dilemmas: Is this Original?

Note: Diary of an NUS Museum Intern is a series of blog posts written by our interns about their experiences during the course of their internships. Working alongside their mentors, our interns have waded through tons of historical research, assisted in curatorial work, pitched in during exhibition installations and organised outreach events! If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information!  

 
Lim Jia Yi is a University Scholars Programme scholar and a 1st year History student at NUS FASS. In May 2015, she joined us as an Education Outreach intern, assisting in the research, compilation and consolidation of our educational resources for current exhibitions and collections. As part of the internship, she visited the Heritage Conservation Centre, a visit that was concurrently part of our ongoing docent enrichment programme. Earlier in the internship, the interns also participated in a conservation workshop by The Conservation Studio.

Robert Smithson noted in his 1970 film Spiral Jetty: “The earth’s history seems at times like a story recorded in a book, each page of which is torn into small pieces. Many of the pages and some of the pieces of each page are missing”. The study of history is the piecing together of these fragments and conservation work the rearrangement and maintenance of the torn pieces, but this work is fraught with tensions and questions.


Do we restore artefacts and objects to their original state, or do we choose to recognise the effects history has had on it? By whose standards are we identifying this original state? There are cases when damage is part of the artefact’s history or artistic message: taking this to the extreme, a broken door damaged during the Battle of Singapore or a misshapen metal bowl melted during the firebombing of Tokyo carry significant historical importance that would be glossed over if we returned these objects to how they would have looked like before the war. S. Rajaratnam’s reading desk (which was being restored when we visited the Centre) is significant today because of his importance in Singapore’s history, but in its original time the desk was simply an ordinary low table for books, perhaps even a dime a dozen among similar desks in other Singaporean homes.

An object gathers meaning in layers, so which layer of history should we choose to restore? Which version of the object do we have access to now, before and after conservation takes place? Each layer is equally important in its own right, but for the purposes of exhibitions and narrative flow, we often have to select one or a few layers to be highlighted. The tiny pieces of earthenware you see arranged neatly on a backlit museum shelf could have once been parts of a large earthenware water pot, accidentally broken by a clumsy coolie and quickly swept overboard before the owner noticed, yet today this part of its history is forgotten in its new role as an educational object, a sherd telling us about the types of pottery found in historical Singapore and perhaps about the kind of people that lived here. In selecting the stories to be highlighted, we are also adding layers to the object’s complex role in history, layers that may not be completely different but are not wholly identical either.



To a certain extent, the Heritage Conservation Centre as a physical location is a testament to this. It is situated on land that used to be the site of a customs office, and echoing that past, the Centre is protected with the same stringent security systems that might have been in place back then. This high security applies to people (with keys and access cards required to gain entry into storage rooms and conservation studios, and special permission required to even access the building), pests (all new objects are quarantined, and contaminated objects are either fumigated with nitrogen or frozen at -30°C until the insects are killed), and even non-living things like air (special air filtration systems are installed on all the Centre windows, winnowing out pollutants from Jurong’s industrial air) and sunlight (the storerooms are mostly windowless, and fragile textiles in the garment storeroom are stored in dark airtight archival cupboards).

How do you decide what is history and what isn’t? Sylvia, one of the object conservators at the Centre, was showing us a rattan baby cot being restored for an upcoming exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore. The cot’s mattress was originally covered with a dolphin print fabric, which can be traced back to the 1970s, the time period this baby cot was from. However, Sylvia noted that this dating can be controversial because fabric prints from that time are generally of geometric patterns, and the dolphin print is still popular in Singapore today (albeit usually on fabrics different from the pure cotton of this mattress cover). Working with this in mind, she covered the mattress in a white cotton cover for the exhibition, which had the added benefit of protecting the original fabric from air pollutants and fading due to light exposure, but raises the question: are we trying to preserve the objects as they are, or as we think they should be?

This is perhaps why the word of the day during the Centre visit, as with a conservation workshop the interns had a few weeks before, was “reversibility”. Bearing this in mind and noting the fragility of some of the objects we had the privilege to look at, you can probably see why the visit was both interesting and slightly terrifying for a clumsy person like me. This notion of reversibility ties in with the natural purpose of conservation (to prevent further deterioration and preserve the object in the best condition possible for the longest period of time), because when the future brings improved technologies and conservation methods, conservation actions taken today can be easily removed. Furniture makers of the past tended to construct their pieces using whatever adhesive available to them, which often turned out to be natural adhesives that may or may not be fully suitable for the furniture material or design. However, when conservators repair these objects, they place emphasis not only on what adhesive is compatible with the original material but also what will be easily removable for later conservation work.

There is also the question of display. Displaying an object increases the possibility of damage (a large percentage of damages occur during transportation, and may accelerate deterioration in exposing fragile artefacts to pollutants and UV rays, but locking them away forever in a dark chamber with carefully controlled atmospheres honestly just renders it useless as an object of history.

Is there ever a golden equilibrium to be achieved between preservation, repair and display? I doubt it. If I have learnt anything from the NUS Museum’s conservation workshop and the Heritage Conservation Centre visit, however, I don’t think finding this equilibrium is as important as what we can learn from the constant negotiations and rebalancing of priorities.



Saturday, 27 June 2015

Malaya Black & White | So Darling, So Deadly



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While Hong Kong and Bangkok would be visited by 007 himself, Singapore had to make do with Agent Joe Walker AKA Kommissar X, an American spy-cum-detective based on a series of German pulp fictions in this mostly Italian production starring American B-listers Tony Kendall and (bodybuilder turned actor) Brad Harris. The plot is ludicrous guff about atomic secrets, but the film’s almost entirely shot on location in Singapore and Johor, and is never less than beautifully photographed. Our simple-minded Western heroes blunder, leap, ogle and fight their way through Singapore’s top tourist spots, epitomising a flippant machismo which Saint Jack would dismantle over a decade later.


This screening is part of the 'Beyond Saint Jack' segment under the NUS Museum's Malaya Black & White film series.

About ‘Beyond Saint Jack’ - The strange cinematic visitors of Singapore and Malaya
Singapore/Malaya’s heyday of foreign production from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s led to a motley filmography of B-movies, commercial disasters, miscellaneous TV episodes, lost films and bizarre curios. While they resist canonisation, these films are a fascinating portal into how the region was perceived by the rest of the world both before and after the end of the colonial era; and the eagerness for Singapore and Malaysia to be represented and acknowledged by the West. A recurring motif of their narratives is the Western visitor in Singapore. This season of 10 films showcases the predecessors and descendants of Saint Jack (1979): old hands, good men, legal aliens, rugged individualists, ex-soldiers, detectives, has-beens and rock stars. Characters who have found themselves ensnared in traps beyond their control, stumbled across exotic, bewildering cultures, or entered zones of erotic possibility.

Beyond Saint Jack is guest-curated by author and critic Ben Slater, who will be present to introduce and discuss each film.


About Ben Slater

Ben Slater is the author of Kinda Hot: The Making of Saint Jack in Singapore (2006), a major contributor to World Film Locations: Singapore(2014) and the editor of 25: Histories and Memories of the Singapore International Film Festival (2014). He’s also the co-screenwriter of the feature film Camera (2014) and a Lecturer at the School of Art, Media and Design, Nanyang Technological University.

To find out more about the Malaya Black & White project, please go tohttps://malayablackandwhite.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Foundations Series | Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing - Film Screening & Panel Discussion


Film Screening
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (102 min, PG)
Date: 20 June 2015, Saturday
Time: 2.30pm
Venue: Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium, Education Resource Centre, University Town, NUS (Directions: http://utown.nus.edu.sg/contact/getting-here/)

Panel Discussion
Han Suyin in Malaya: In conversation with Professor Koh Tai Ann and Ina Zhang
Date: 25 July 2015, Saturday
Time: 3.30pm
Venue: ST Lee Atrium, NUS Museum

Free with registration.


The first of a two-part programme on the life and ideas of Han Suyin, NUS Museum presents this film screening of Love is a Many-Splendored Thing as an introduction to the background of Han Suyin, prior to her arrival in Malaya. The second part on 25 July 2015 will feature Professor Koh Tai Ann and Ms Ina Zhang, a journalist, in conversation as they discuss Han Suyin in Malaya, her views, her writings and her ideas.

As a contemporary of Marco Hsu, a Chinese writer who wrote a series of newspaper articles under the title A Brief History of Malayan Art, Han Suyin was part of the diversity of voices that reflected the aspirations of the different communities of Malaya. Together, this programme considers how Han Suyin’s ideas may still have resonance fifty years after the merger and independence of Singapore.

About the Foundations Series
Held in conjunction with the exhibition Between Here and Nanyang: Marco Hsu’s Brief History of Malayan Art, the Foundations Series is conceived to contextualise art and artistic practices against the backdrop of nation building and independence in the period of the merger ofSingapore and Malaya.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern | Carved in Stone: Appreciating the Beauty of Chinese Seals

Note: Diary of an NUS Museum Intern is a series of blog posts written by our interns about their experiences during the course of their internships. Working alongside their mentors, our interns have waded through tons of historical research, assisted in curatorial work, pitched in during exhibition installations and organised outreach events! If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information!  

 

Jeanette Tan is a 3rd year History student at the NTU School of Humanities and Social Sciences. In May 2015, she joined us as a Museum Outreach Intern. In this blog post, she reflects on the Singapore-Malaysia Cross Cultural Exchange: A Post-Residency Seal Carving Exhibition, held at Visual Arts@Temenggong. The curator of our Lee Kong Chian Collection of Chinese Art, Chang Yueh-Siang, was a key contributor to the exhibition, which ran from 23 to 31 May 2015.

The links between art and written communication have traditionally been grounded in history. To discuss Chinese literati culture would be to engage in the four traditional arts in China; that is, calligraphy, painting, poetry writing and seal carving. Historically, seals were material objects common across a number of civilisations as symbols of authority and identity. Used for a variety of purposes, both official and private, the ink of a seal upon paper speaks for the importance of the document marked, as well as the gravitas of the seal owner. It can even be said that the seal was the earliest form of the contemporary logo or brand.


Apart from being an object used to mark an official imprint, the seal, small as it may be, is also a significant communication tool. In the context of Chinese art, members of the scholar gentry often collected seals as connoisseurs and as such, the seal could be seen as an art form that encouraged the exchange of knowledge and the execution of ancient scripts amongst the intelligentsia. This spirit of shared meanings and mutual admiration for art thus made it very common for scholar-artists to design and create seals for one another.


The tradition of exchanging knowledge still has contemporary appeal, and the concept of artists-in-residencies are a firm testament to that. The Temenggong Artists-In-Residence programme recently hosted three distinguished Malaysian seal carvers, Chong Choy, Tai Boon Piow, and Tan Shin Tiong, and the three-month long programme resulted in Singapore-Malaysia Cross Cultural Exchange: A Post-Residency Seal Carving Exhibition. This was an art exhibition showcasing the three Malaysian artists’ newly inspired works, both as individual artists, and as well as a collective alongside three fellow Singaporean seal carvers, Oh Chai Hoo, Soh Suan Cheok, and Tang Yip Seng. NUS Museum’s curator of the Lee Kong Chian Collection of Chinese Art, Chang Yueh Siang, played an important role in this event as contributor, and Mr Sam Tan, Minister of State (Prime Minister’s Office) and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, graced the occasion as Guest-of-Honour. Politically, the opening of this exhibition marks a milestone as it celebrates 50 years of bilateral ties between the two countries. Artistically, the seal carvers’ stay at the historical Temenggong residences was noteworthy as it endowed them with the profound experience of engaging in creative dialogue and experiences necessary for the creation of their works.


Extending far beyond the aesthetic beauty of the flat, two-dimensional seal mark, stunning pieces of stone, ceramic, and wood are also employed to create exquisite seal carvings that are unique miniature sculptures in their own right. Carvers usually favour the “soft” stones from mainland China (such as Shoushan or Shuikeng), but these have become more expensive in recent years. Closer to home, both Malaysian and Singaporean seal carvers have experienced the depletion of wood and clay as a result of environmental damage arising from extensive mining. To combat this issue of environmental degradation, Tan Shin Tiong primarily uses “found” or salvaged wooden objects such as chair parts, chopsticks and nonya pastry moulds as the medium for his carvings. Oh Chai Hoo, who specialises in Western art, is similarly atypical in that he breaks away from the cast of tradition and embraces ceramic in his works, a difficult medium to work with. Moving away from the standard cuboid forms of early Chinese seals, Oh veers towards the abstraction of studio pottery techniques and glazes, creating new forms in his approach towards the art of seal-making. These are methods that reveal the possibility of making the seemingly archaic Chinese art form contemporary. It is through reinventing ink, calligraphy and material practice, and by flirting with international styles and movements, that new modes of expression are negotiated within the realm of seal carving.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Exhibition Opening & Talk | Vietnam 1954-1975: War Drawings and Posters from the Ambassador Dato' N Parameswaran Collection

Welcome the Liberation Army of Ho Chi Minh City, Huy Toan
1975; Gouache and lacquer on thick paper
32 X 53 CM

Collection of Ambassador Dato’ N Parameswaran
Exhibition Opening
Date: 25 June, Thursday 
Time: 7 - 9pm 
Venue: Ng Eng Teng Gallery, Top Level, NUS Museum

In conjunction: Talk
Vietnamese Propaganda Art in the Age of Global Capitalism 
Date: 26 June, Friday 
Time: 7 - 9pm 
Venue: ST Lee Atrium, Lobby Level, NUS Museum

Free admission with registration.

Vietnam 1954 - 1975 features the collection of Dato' N Parameswaran, an effort which commenced while he was Malaysia's ambassador to Vietnam from 1990 to 1993. Comprising posters, woodcuts and drawings from the French phase of the Indochinese war of resistance against the Americans, and drawings and sketches of life and people at the frontlines, the collection is an important documentation of the Vietnamese response to the war and its perspective of history that is usually remembered through international reportage and popular culture.

2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War.

Exhibition runs until April 2016.

**

In conjunction: 
Vietnamese Propaganda Art in the Age of Global Capitalism 

This talk will examine the history of political art in Vietnam from the 1940s until the present with a special emphasis on drawings during wartime and recent re-visiting of political art by contemporary artists such as Dinh Q. Le and the Propeller Group. It will also look at the market for political art in Vietnam since economic reforms under the policy known as Doi Moi.

About the speaker
Dr. Nora A. Taylor is the Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently Visiting Professor at the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University (NTU ADM) and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Contemporary Art, NTU, Singapore. She is the author of Painters in Hanoi: An Ethnography of Vietnamese Art (Hawaii and NUS Press, 2004-2009) and co-editor of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art: An Anthology. She has published and curated extensively on Vietnamese and Southeast Asian art. She is recently the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship to conduct research on the history of performance art in Vietnam, Singapore and Myanmar.


Exhibition Opening

<Vietnam 1954 - 1975: War Drawings and Posters from the Ambassador Dato' N Parameswaran Collection> features the...
Posted by NUS Museum on Thursday, 25 June 2015
Gallery Impressions 

<Vietnam 1954 - 1975: War Drawings and Posters from the Ambassador Dato' N Parameswaran Collection> features the...
Posted by NUS Museum on Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Exhibition | "There are too many episodes of people coming here..." [projects 2008 - 2014]


Exhibition period: 28 May - 29 November 2015
Venue: NX2, Concourse Level, NUS Museum


PRESS RELEASE

An exhibition about exhibitions, “There are too many episodes of people coming here…” [projects 2008 – 2014] brings together a group of artworks, artefacts, and documentations drawn from projects organised by the NUS Museum between the years 2008 to 2014. Together, they can be considered highlights of recent curatorial projects; but importantly, they are assembled to prompt considerations into ways of working, and the broader relationships between objects, subjects, and authorial control or the lack of it. Many of these projects were also devised along encounters that drift between discipline and heuristic impulses, and as such render readings or positions dependent on negotiations and play.

The exhibition title is based on the words of Wak Ali, a custodian of a Muslim shrine that once stood on the banks of the Kallang River. It is at once an affirmation and a lament about the potentials of a site that may transform the individual regard, and the very contingency of positions on immediate experiences and commitments. An exhibition can only harbour meanings that are provisional and conditional, if it is to be an active site for a public with an active agency. Is this our purpose? If so, what of institutional methods and practice?

About the artist
A socially-engaged artist, Tisna uses a wide range of techniques and medium available (drawing, etching, aquatint, mixed media, installation and performance art) to raise awareness of the human, social and political conditions in Indonesia, though often done so with a characteristic humour. He has exhibited widely both in Europe and Asia, and was most recently included as part of the exhibition Secret Archipelago at the Palais de Tokyo in March 2015.

Gallery Impressions
28.05.15 - 08.15An exhibition about exhibitions, <"There are too many episodes of people coming here…” [projects 2008 –...
Posted by NUS Museum on Monday, 1 June 2015

Friday, 15 May 2015

Performance Lecture by Tisna Sanjaya | "There are too many episodes of people coming here..." [projects 2008 - 2014]


Date: 28 May, Thursday 
Time: 7 - 9pm 
Venue: NUS Museum
Register:
episodes.peatix.com


Programme
7 - 7.15pm: Curatorial introduction to "There are too many episodes of people coming here..." [projects 2008 - 2014]
7.15 - 8pm: Performance-Lecture by Tisna Sanjaya
8 - 8.30pm: Exhibition Tour
8.30pm: Reception

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On occasion of the exhibition, “There are too many episodes of people coming here…” [projects 2008 – 2014], Indonesian artist Tisna Sanjaya will be conducting a performance-lecture that revisits his 2011 exhibition presented at the Museum, Cigondewah: An art project by Tisna Sanjaya. As a project that began in 2007 and attempted to articulate a post-auratic positioning of art and artist within a communitarian framework of purpose and agency, the performance-lecture will evaluate and prospect evolving strategies, and the complex complicities that necessarily link between advocacy, the exhibitionary and publics, within and beyond Cigondewah. A publication on Tisna’s project Cigondewah will also be launched during the occasion of the lecture.

The Cigondewah exhibition of 2011 is one of several projects re-presented in “… too many episodes …”. An exhibition about exhibitions, it brings together a group of artworks, artefacts, and documentations drawn from projects organised by the NUS Museum between the years 2008 to 2014. Together, they can be considered highlights of recent curatorial projects; but importantly, they are assembled to prompt considerations into ways of working, and the broader relationships between objects, subjects, and authorial control or the lack of it. Many of these projects were also devised along encounters that drift between discipline and heuristic impulses, and as such render readings or positions dependent on negotiations and play.

The exhibition title is based on the words of Wak Ali, a custodian of a Muslim shrine that once stood on the banks of the Kallang River. It is at once an affirmation and a lament about the potentials of a site that may transform the individual regard, and the very contingency of positions on immediate experiences and commitments. An exhibition can only harbour meanings that are provisional and conditional, if it is to be an active site for a public with an active agency. Is this our purpose? If so, what of institutional methods and practice?

About the artist
A socially-engaged artist, Tisna uses a wide range of techniques and medium available (drawing, etching, aquatint, mixed media, installation and performance art) to raise awareness of the human, social and political conditions in Indonesia, though often done so with a characteristic humour. He has exhibited widely both in Europe and Asia, and was most recently included as part of the exhibition Secret Archipelago at the Palais de Tokyo in March 2015.

Exhibition runs till November 2015.

Event Photos
On occasion of the exhibition, <“There are too many episodes of people coming here…” [projects 2008 – 2014]>, Indonesian...
Posted by NUS Museum on Thursday, 25 June 2015