Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the European Union Delegation to Singapore have launched an exhibition of new works by regional artists, created after their residencies in Europe, as part of SEA AiR – Studio Residencies for Southeast Asian Artists in the European Union.
SEA AiR is a joint programme funded by the European Union and developed by the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore). Hoo Fan Chon, Citra Sasmita, Vuth Lyno: New Works marks the culmination of the first cycle of the programme.
As participating artists in the inaugural cycle of SEA AiR, Hoo Fan Chon (Malaysia), Citra Sasmita (Indonesia), and Vuth Lyno (Cambodia) were each awarded a three-month-long residency at an art institution in Europe as well as funding for the creation of artworks.
Stemming out of a year-long engagement, Hoo Fan Chon, Citra Sasmita, Vuth Lyno: New Works, is the outcome of a multifaceted process shaped by journeys and institutional collaborations, fieldwork and encounters, research and artmaking.
Located at NTU CCA Singapore’s Residencies Studios at Gillman Barracks, the exhibition is curated by Dr Anna Lovecchio, Assistant Director (Programmes) at NTU CCA Singapore, and is part of Singapore Art Week 2023. It will run from 11 January to 5 February 2023.
In the first half of 2022, amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing pandemic, the artists took off from their home countries to conduct their respective residencies: Hoo Fan Chon at HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme (Finland); Citra Sasmita at WIELS (Brussels, Belgium); and Vuth Lyno at Villa Arson (Nice, France).
These residency programmes share a long history in facilitating cultural mobility and a commitment to supporting emerging artists through curatorial mentorship, peer-to-peer dialogues, and public programmes.
The artworks featured in Hoo Fan Chon, Citra Sasmita, Vuth Lyno: New Works were created by the artists in the months following their residencies, a much-needed time for critical reflection and material experimentation that allowed them to develop their research findings and creative inspiration into full-fledged artworks.
Ranging from installation and video to sculpture and painting, some of these works also mark the artists’ first attempts at embracing new mediums and materials: 3D animation techniques for Hoo Fan Chon, video for Citra Sasmita, and paper for Vuth Lyno.
Shaped by their respective residencies, the exhibition shows how the artists’ interests in the cosmetics of food, cultural collaborations, the empowerment of women and the resilience of marginalised communities have evolved over the last year.
Iwona Piórko, Ambassador of the European Union to Singapore, said: “We have in SEA AiR a made-in-Singapore programme to drive the development of Southeast Asia’s contemporary art and serve as a springboard for dialogue and mutual learning between European art institutions and Southeast Asian artists. SEA AiR celebrates diversity and people-to-people connectivity between the EU and ASEAN. We embarked on this pioneering project in a milestone year as the EU and ASEAN commemorated the 45th anniversary of their relations in 2022. This project embodies this rich spirit of dialogue and exchange that are hallmarks of the partnership between our two regions.”
Professor Ute Meta Bauer from NTU’s School of Art, Design and Media and Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore, said: “As a Centre, we are enthusiastic to continue our support to emerging artists in the region through SEA AiR, a unique partnership between NTU and the European Union Delegation to Singapore. By weaving together research and production, the unique structure of this programme foregrounds the tremendous importance of cultural mobility to nurture artistic practices and, on a broader level, more open and inclusive societies.”
“Thanks to three-month long residencies conducted in different European countries in the spring of 2022 with our partner institutions for the first cycle of SEA AiR, artists Hoo Fan Chon, Citra Sasmita, and Vuth Lyno had the opportunity to pursue their research interests and immerse themselves in different cultural contexts. Hoo Fan Chon, Citra Sasmita, and Vuth Lyno: New Works features the artworks inspired by the artists’ experiences in Europe and we are delighted to present this exhibition to the audiences in Singapore in our Centre’s Residencies Studios at Gillman Barracks during the Singapore Art Week 2023.”
Hoo Fan Chon, SEA AiR artist said: “I have limited experience with artistic residencies. I participated in a month-long research residency in Taiwan in 2017 and a two-week-long research and production residency in Sulawesi, Indonesia, for the Makassar Biennale in 2019. Both were organised by artist-run initiatives. SEA AiR is a well-supported residency that creates an environment that allows artists to focus purely on learning, reflecting, and producing. It is a privilege to take part in it.”
Citra Sasmita, SEA AiR artist said: “The SEA AiR residency for me was a stepping stone to regenerate existing thinking methods. Exposed to new situations and experiences, my artistic ideas and processes have been constantly tested through intense discussions and meetings with audiences from different cultures.”
Vuth Lyno, SEA AiR artist said: “Being an artist-in-residence in SEA AiR meant that I could immerse myself in a new environment and develop new research. This structure has been around for a very long time in the history of artistic residencies. However, SEA AiR also has the second component of supporting the materialisation of research ideas into new works for an exhibition. This model drives motivation. It is concrete and realistic because, in the end, as artists we make artworks. To be able to think, and to know from the beginning that there are the material conditions to create an artwork out of the research was very helpful to bring my ideas to fruition.”
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About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Medicine, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. NTU is also home to world-renowned autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).
Under the NTU Smart Campus vision, the University harnesses the power of digital technology and tech-enabled solutions to support better learning and living experiences, the discovery of new knowledge, and the sustainability of resources.
Ranked amongst the world’s top universities, the University’s main campus is also frequently listed among the world’s most beautiful. Known for its sustainability, over 95% of its building projects are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a medical campus in Novena, Singapore’s healthcare district.
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg
About NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
A national research centre of Nanyang Technological University Singapore, with a focus on Spaces of the Curatorial, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore) addresses the urgencies of our time such as the climate crisis and its impact on communities. A leading international art institution, driven by dynamic thinking in its three-fold constellation: Research and Academic Education; Residencies Programme; and Exhibitions. It brings forth innovative, multi-disciplinary, holistic and experimental forms of emergent artistic and curatorial practices that intersect the present and histories of contemporary art embedded in social, geo-political, geo-cultural spheres with other fields of knowledge. NTU CCA Singapore’s office and research centre is located at Gillman Barracks.
SPACES OF THE CURATORIAL
The Centre seeks to engage the potential of “curating” and its expanded field. What are the infrastructures and modes of presenting and discussing artistic and cultural production in diverse cultural settings and in particular throughout Southeast Asia’s vastly changing societies?
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About the European Union
The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 Member States. Together, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. With the help of over 140 diplomatic representations around the world, the EU cooperates closely with its Member States to promote the values and interests of the EU and establish networks and partnerships, promoting multilateral-based solutions to common challenges. The EU is the largest trade block in the world, as well as the world's main source and the top global destination of foreign direct investment.
In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the causes of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
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About the European Union Delegation to Singapore
Set up in December 2002, the EU Delegation to Singapore formally opened on June 30th, 2004. Since then, the EU’s diplomatic representation has worked to promote closer ties between the EU and Singapore. In close coordination with the diplomatic missions of the EU Member States, the Delegation ensures consistency and effectiveness of the EU’s external action in Singapore.
With 27 countries, nearly 450 million people and the largest GDP in the world, the EU is of increasing importance to Singapore, especially since the entry into force of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA). The Delegation covers a range of issues such as trade, foreign policy, climate change, environment, transport, industrial policy, research, science, technology as well as education projects such as the Study In Europe higher education fair and EU at Your School and on the cultural front presents SEA AiR (in partnership with NTU CCA) and the annual European Film Festival (EUFF).
On 15th December 2022, the substantial conclusion of a new Digital Partnership between the EU and Singapore was announced in Brussels. This Partnership expands the robust EU-Singapore relationship into the digital realm, which has a transformative potential for the future of our economies. The Digital Partnership builds on long-standing cooperation between the EU and Singapore on trade, research and technology. It will also serve as a strategic pathfinder for closer region-to-region digital connectivity.
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