Singapore’s Pride Season is on this month! IndigNation 2017: Unafraid to Assemble

For the whole month of August, yes, this month(!), we will be able to engage ourselves in the line-ups of programmes and events at IndigNation Singapore! The opening party will start at 7pm tonight (4th August) at DYMK (41 Neil Road, Singapore 088824), followed by two days of talks, panel discussions, and workshops over the weekend with Natural Education 2: A Queer Conference.

Bookworms may want to check out The Bear Project x Queer Book Club: Faeries, Bears, & Leathermen, and ContraDiction XIII: HOMO BOMOH. The culturally-inclined can take a look at Sayang/Chellame: A Multilingual Queer Love Poetry Event, and TransIt 2: An Evening of Trans Art and Culture, both to be held at Artistry (17 Jalan Pinang, Singapore 199149).

The third weekend of the month will feature IndigNation Film Festival, and not to forget The Glory Hoes Present: Pride (2014) – “a very queer film experience with optional pre-movie dinner, encouraged in-movie drinking and dancing at an all disco Afterparty”, both at The Projector, 6001 Beach Road, #05-00, Golden Mile Tower.

Do set aside some time during the same weekend for QRIENTATION, presented by Inter-University LGBT Network. Here’s a message from them – “We respect the right to privacy of all LGBTQ+ freshmen joining us so if you’re not out, not to worry – your attendance will be kept confidential 🙂 Sign up today!”

Last but not least, on the 28th of the month, drag queens Ashley Fifty, Becca D’Bus, and Mona Kee Kee will create a fabulous spread for a fundraising dinner in aid of IndigNation – The Giving Table. Pleeeeeese support!

Most of the programmes and events are free, a couple of them require registration.

I love it that this is not a one-way traffic, as in attendees are not merely at the receiving end of information and entertainment. Far from that, they are encouraged to actively participate by voicing up, asking questions, sharing, dancing, working together to develop new ideas, and helping to inculcate thoughtfulness in everyone.

See the full list and details of IndigNation here, and Natural Education 2 here.

Here are my personal picks: 

1.) TransIt 2: An Evening of Trans Art and Culture

2.) Inter Alia presents: Conversations on Activism

Natural Education 2:

3.) Ten Years After the Campaign to Repeal 377A

4.) Facts and Myths about PrEP

5.) Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex Work But Were Afraid to Ask

6.) Shades of Purple: Bisexual & Pansexual Experiences in Singapore

7.) Bisu: A Talk on the LGBT Malay Community

IndigNation Film Festival:

8.) Short Circuit 6

9.) Fathers

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Singapore Biennale 2016: the sensorily impactful fifteen (part 2 of 3)

Here are five more of the artworks I find sensorily impactful. To read a short write-up and see five other works in Part 1, click here.

(Download the Exhibition Guide or visit the Digital Exhibition here.)

(Read a good piece, Zoned Out at the Singapore Biennale 2016, for insightful insights here.)

Harumi Yukutake, Paracosmos (2016). Sense: visual (it's obvious isn't it?); audition (footsteps of people walking up and down the stairs, not sure whether this was anticipated during curation, but the sounds somehow blend in)

Harumi Yukutake, Paracosmos (2016). Sense: visual (it’s obvious isn’t it?); audition (footsteps of people walking up and down the stairs, not sure whether this was anticipated during curation, but the sounds somehow blend in)

Harumi Yukutake, Paracosmos (2016). Sense: visual (it's obvious isn't it?); audition (footsteps of people walking up and down the stairs, not sure whether this was anticipated during curation, but the sounds somehow blend in)

Harumi Yukutake, Paracosmos (2016). Sense: visual (it's obvious isn't it?); audition (footsteps of people walking up and down the stairs, not sure whether this was anticipated during curation, but the sounds somehow blend in)

Harumi Yukutake, Paracosmos (2016). Sense: visual (it's obvious isn't it?); audition (footsteps of people walking up and down the stairs, not sure whether this was anticipated during curation, but the sounds somehow blend in)

Harumi Yukutake, Paracosmos (2016). Sense: visual (it's obvious isn't it?); audition (footsteps of people walking up and down the stairs, not sure whether this was anticipated during curation, but the sounds somehow blend in)

Harumi Yukutake, Paracosmos (2016). Sense: visual (it's obvious isn't it?); audition (footsteps of people walking up and down the stairs, not sure whether this was anticipated during curation, but the sounds somehow blend in)

Harumi Yukutake, Paracosmos (2016). Sense: visual (it's obvious isn't it?); audition (footsteps of people walking up and down the stairs, not sure whether this was anticipated during curation, but the sounds somehow blend in)

Do Ho Suh, Gate (2003). Sense: visual, very visual, and then sometimes you are in awe, sometimes your hair stands, sometimes you want to walk through the Gate, sometimes you wonder about space, place, dimension, and time

Do Ho Suh, Gate (2003). Sense: visual, very visual, and then sometimes you are in awe, sometimes your hair stands, sometimes you want to walk through the Gate, sometimes you wonder about space, place, dimension, and time

Do Ho Suh, Gate (2003). Sense: visual, very visual, and then sometimes you are in awe, sometimes your hair stands, sometimes you want to walk through the Gate, sometimes you wonder about space, place, dimension, and time

Do Ho Suh, Gate (2003). Sense: visual, very visual, and then sometimes you are in awe, sometimes your hair stands, sometimes you want to walk through the Gate, sometimes you wonder about space, place, dimension, and time

Do Ho Suh, Gate (2003). Sense: visual, very visual, and then sometimes you are in awe, sometimes your hair stands, sometimes you want to walk through the Gate, sometimes you wonder about space, place, dimension, and time

Do Ho Suh, Gate (2003). Sense: visual, very visual, and then sometimes you are in awe, sometimes your hair stands, sometimes you want to walk through the Gate, sometimes you wonder about space, place, dimension, and time

Eddy Susanto, The Journey of Panji (2016). Sense: visual; makes my hair stand too, when going very near the words spilled from the book and on the painting, yet amazed by them tiny words at the same time

Eddy Susanto, The Journey of Panji (2016). Sense: visual; makes my hair stand too, when going very near the words spilled from the book and on the painting, yet amazed by them tiny words at the same time

Eddy Susanto, The Journey of Panji (2016). Sense: visual; makes my hair stand too, when going very near the words spilled from the book and on the painting, yet amazed by them tiny words at the same time

Eddy Susanto, The Journey of Panji (2016). Sense: visual; makes my hair stand too, when going very near the words spilled from the book and on the painting, yet amazed by them tiny words at the same time

Eddy Susanto, The Journey of Panji (2016). Sense: visual; makes my hair stand too, when going very near the words spilled from the book and on the painting, yet amazed by them tiny words at the same time

Eddy Susanto, The Journey of Panji (2016). Sense: visual; makes my hair stand too, when going very near the words spilled from the book and on the painting, yet amazed by them tiny words at the same time

Eddy Susanto, The Journey of Panji (2016). Sense: visual; makes my hair stand too, when going very near the words spilled from the book and on the painting, yet amazed by them tiny words at the same time

Eddy Susanto, The Journey of Panji (2016). Sense: visual; makes my hair stand too, when going very near the words spilled from the book and on the painting, yet amazed by them tiny words at the same time

Eddy Susanto, The Journey of Panji (2016). Sense: visual; makes my hair stand too, when going very near the words spilled from the book and on the painting, yet amazed by them tiny words at the same time

Pannaphan Yodmanee, Aftermath (2016). Sense: visual (the colours and other things); it stirs clashes of one's perceptions and ideas, it evokes a struggle to make sense of things when in fact differentiation is not a thing of the fluidity, in fact there is no fact

Pannaphan Yodmanee, Aftermath (2016). Sense: visual (the colours and other things); it stirs clashes of one’s perceptions and ideas, it evokes a struggle to make sense of things when in fact differentiation is not a thing of the fluidity, in fact there is no fact

Pannaphan Yodmanee, Aftermath (2016). Sense: visual (the colours and other things); it stirs clashes of one's perceptions and ideas, it evokes a struggle to make sense of things when in fact differentiation is not a thing of the fluidity, in fact there is no fact

Pannaphan Yodmanee, Aftermath (2016). Sense: visual (the colours and other things); it stirs clashes of one's perceptions and ideas, it evokes a struggle to make sense of things when in fact differentiation is not a thing of the fluidity, in fact there is no fact

Pannaphan Yodmanee, Aftermath (2016). Sense: visual (the colours and other things); it stirs clashes of one's perceptions and ideas, it evokes a struggle to make sense of things when in fact differentiation is not a thing of the fluidity, in fact there is no fact

Pannaphan Yodmanee, Aftermath (2016). Sense: visual (the colours and other things); it stirs clashes of one's perceptions and ideas, it evokes a struggle to make sense of things when in fact differentiation is not a thing of the fluidity, in fact there is no fact

Pannaphan Yodmanee, Aftermath (2016). Sense: visual (the colours and other things); it stirs clashes of one's perceptions and ideas, it evokes a struggle to make sense of things when in fact differentiation is not a thing of the fluidity, in fact there is no fact

Pannaphan Yodmanee, Aftermath (2016). Sense: visual (the colours and other things); it stirs clashes of one's perceptions and ideas, it evokes a struggle to make sense of things when in fact differentiation is not a thing of the fluidity, in fact there is no fact

Ade Darmawan, Singapore Human Resources Institute (2016). Sense: visual, visually and intellectually demanding. A good awareness of general knowledge may help. One can never tell how randomly or not randomly each object is positioned.

Ade Darmawan, Singapore Human Resources Institute (2016). Sense: visual, visually and intellectually demanding. A good awareness of general knowledge may help. One can never tell how randomly or not randomly each object is positioned

Ade Darmawan, Singapore Human Resources Institute (2016). Sense: visual, visually and intellectually demanding. A good awareness of general knowledge may help. One can never tell how randomly or not randomly each object is positioned.

Ade Darmawan, Singapore Human Resources Institute (2016). Sense: visual, visually and intellectually demanding. A good awareness of general knowledge may help. One can never tell how randomly or not randomly each object is positioned.

Ade Darmawan, Singapore Human Resources Institute (2016). Sense: visual, visually and intellectually demanding. A good awareness of general knowledge may help. One can never tell how randomly or not randomly each object is positioned.

Ade Darmawan, Singapore Human Resources Institute (2016). Sense: visual, visually and intellectually demanding. A good awareness of general knowledge may help. One can never tell how randomly or not randomly each object is positioned.

Ade Darmawan, Singapore Human Resources Institute (2016). Sense: visual, visually and intellectually demanding. A good awareness of general knowledge may help. One can never tell how randomly or not randomly each object is positioned

Ade Darmawan, Singapore Human Resources Institute (2016). Sense: visual, visually and intellectually demanding. A good awareness of general knowledge may help. One can never tell how randomly or not randomly each object is positioned

Try pointing out in the first photograph where this open drawer is. Ade Darmawan, Singapore Human Resources Institute (2016). Sense: visual, visually and intellectually demanding. A good awareness of general knowledge may help. One can never tell how randomly or not randomly each object is positioned

Try pointing out in the first photograph where this open drawer is.
Ade Darmawan, Singapore Human Resources Institute (2016). Sense: visual, visually and intellectually demanding. A good awareness of general knowledge may help. One can never tell how randomly or not randomly each object is positioned

Singapore Biennale 2016: the sensorily impactful fifteen (part 1 of 3)

Initially I had aimed to seek visually impactful artworks, after all, visual art is supposed to be quite visual right? I thought it should be visually artistic too, then again, contemporary art seems to heavily shoulder the mission of reflecting social, political, economical, psychological matters of sort, and to convey certain solemn messages. This has somewhat broaden the meaning of being visually artistic.

Well, when it comes to Singapore Biennale 2016, I was more than fascinated by how my other senses, apart from my sense of sight (ophthalmoception), were aroused and agitated by certain works. These 15 sensorily impactful artworks are selected for their powerful impact on my sensorium in one way and/or another, without any influence from their artist, title, wall text or any review and comments by anyone. I pretend that I am illiterate, and I avoid letting people talk to me about the Biennale. It’s “impact at first sight, love/hate at first sight”.

Works at National Museum of Singapore & Stamford Green, Asian Civilisations Museum, The Arts House, and Singapore Management University are not taken into consideration, because I have not seen them personally. Therefore, the 15 works in this three-part post are shown at Singapore Art Museum, and 1 at Peranakan Museum.

These artworks are attention-grabbing and curiosity-piquing, below are five of them.

(Download the Exhibition Guide or visit the Digital Exhibition here.)

(Read a good piece, Zoned Out at the Singapore Biennale 2016, for insightful insights here.)

Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

They look like they are burning, they are not. Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

They look like they are burning, they are not. Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

Hemali Bhuta, Growing (2016). Sense: olfaction, visual

Martha Atienza, Endless Hours at Sea (2014, 2016). Sense: audition, visual. Emotion-induced sensation: visceral, probably sea sickness

Martha Atienza, Endless Hours at Sea (2014, 2016). Sense: audition, visual. Emotion-induced sensation: visceral, probably sea sickness

Martha Atienza, Endless Hours at Sea (2014, 2016). Sense: audition, visual. Emotion-induced sensation: visceral, probably sea sickness

Watch this YouTube video, fast forward to start from approximately 2:05, and you will get a feel of the artwork in a more integral manner. The on-site sound (think waves rocking, thunder roaring, metal clanging) and lights (or the lack of lights) play an important part in one’s experience of the artwork, which can only be felt there and then.

Martha Atienza, Endless Hours at Sea (2014, 2016). Sense: audition, visual. Emotion-induced sensation: visceral, probably sea sickness

Martha Atienza, Endless Hours at Sea (2014, 2016). Sense: audition, visual. Emotion-induced sensation: visceral, probably sea sickness

Deng Guoyuan, Noah's Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it's eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Deng Guoyuan, Noah’s Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it’s eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Deng Guoyuan, Noah's Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it's eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Deng Guoyuan, Noah's Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it's eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Deng Guoyuan, Noah's Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it's eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Deng Guoyuan, Noah's Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it's eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Deng Guoyuan, Noah's Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it's eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Deng Guoyuan, Noah's Garden II (2016). Sense: visual (it's eye-pricking); sense of direction, balancing

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory). This is one of 7 pieces of artworks.

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory). This is one of 7 pieces of artworks

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory)

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory). This is one of 7 pieces of artworks.

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory). This is one of 7 pieces of artworks

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory)

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory)

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory). This is one of 7 pieces of artworks

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory). This is one of 7 pieces of artworks

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory)

Adeela Suleman, Dread of Not Night 1, 3, 4, 7-9 (2015, 2016). Blood Stains the Soil (2016). Sense: visual (beautiful), and then visual again (oh, gory)

Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016). Sense: visual, curiosity; a by-product sense is touch - warmth from my own breath by cupping my face very near the glass to avoid any reflection on the glass, so as to get a clearer view of the performance art

Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016). Sense: visual, curiosity; a by-product sense is touch – warmth from my own breath by cupping my face very near the glass to avoid any reflection on the glass, so as to get a clearer view of the performance art

Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016). Sense: visual, curiosity; a by-product sense is touch - warmth from my own breath by cupping my face very near the glass to avoid any reflection on the glass, so as to get a clearer view of the performance art

Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016). Sense: visual, curiosity; a by-product sense is touch - warmth from my own breath by cupping my face very near the glass to avoid any reflection on the glass, so as to get a clearer view of the performance art

Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016). Sense: visual (so this is the final product, wow!); touch (visitors may feel (and even study closely) the material (leeks) and texture of the "knitwear"

Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016). Sense: visual (so this is the final product, wow!); touch (visitors may feel (and even study closely) the material (leeks) and texture of the “knitwear”

A video documentation of the performance art. Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016)

A video documentation of the performance art.
Chia Chuyia, Knitting the Future (2015, 2016)

Read part 2 here.

Less than a week’s time to get your Early Bird tickets to Singapore Biennale 2016!

Yes it’s back! From 27th October 2016 until 26th February 2017. Without further ado, let’s get straight to the ticketing information with the two tables below.

Early Bird tickets for students, seniors, NS men, and the general public are available until 26th October 2016, the eve of the opening day. All tickets on sale at Singapore Art Museum and at SISTIC.

The second table shows ticket prices after the opening of Singapore Biennale (SB2016) and other ticketing information visitors should take note of.

Early Bird tickets available until 26th October 2016, the eve of the opening day. Prices include GST (where applicable) but not the SGD1 Booking Fee for each ticket priced SGD20 or below. Image source: screenshot from SISTIC website

Early Bird tickets available until 26th October 2016, the eve of the opening day. Prices include GST (where applicable) but not the SGD1 Booking Fee for each ticket priced SGD20 or below. Image source: screenshot from SISTIC website

 

Ticket prices after the opening of SB2016. Prices include the SGD1 Booking Fee for each ticket priced SGD20 or below. Image source: screenshot from SB2016 website

Ticket prices after the opening of SB2016. Prices include the SGD1 Booking Fee for each ticket priced SGD20 or below. Image source: screenshot from SB2016 website

Do keep a lookout for my next post coming up real soon on how I will sieve out my weekly (or fortnightly) picks of artworks this time round. To read my picks in the previous edition, If The World Changed, click here.

To get an idea of the idea behind SB2016, see the screenshot below or explore their website here!

sb-2016-about

Post-Museum re-configured The Substation, 2016 September

“For the month of September, Post-Museum presents Survey: Space, Sharing, Haunting, a series of programmes examining and reflecting upon the state of arts and culture in Singapore.

One of the significant changes is altering the way audiences enter into the historic ‘Home of the Arts’ for the month. The main door will be closed, and audiences will enter and exit from another opening in the building.” – Post-Museum News

Woon Tien Wei, founder of Post-Museum, comments, “today, we are in a crisis situation where the very ideals on which The Sub was founded are being interrogated and even subjugated in the ‘Renaissancing’ of Singapore’s cultural landscape. SURVEY asks: How have the values of Singapore’s arts community changed in the last 20 years? What are the values of the arts community today?” – Singapore Art & Gallery Guide

Image source: Post-Museum's Facebook page

Image source: Post-Museum’s Facebook page

The Survey exhibition forms the backbone of the programme. Almost all of the activities are free entry, with prior registration required.

My picks: Community Gardening and Food Futures by Michelle Lai | Wednesday, 7th September 2016, 7:30-9pm | register hereThe Pragmatics of Nostalgia: Alternative Narratives in Contemporary Art Production of Singapore by Jarrod Sim | Saturday, 24th September 2016, 2-3:30pm | register here; Club Yoga | details and registration hereLecture: Pontianak and Her Sisters by Adeline Kueh | Sunday, 25th September 2016, 7:30-9pm | register here.

There will also be several spaces created, such as So It May Seed (an urban farm growing food crops), Post-Provision (a shop selling merchandise), and Club House (multi-purpose social space).

For an assortment of “uncategorisable” events, click here. Post-Museum has it all! I know, they won’t agree with me and ‘has it all’ is not what they have in mind.

My picks: Ghost Story Campfire Night by Wong Chee Meng and Zarina Mohd | Saturday, 10th September 2016, 10pm till late | register hereDocuLovers: The True Cost (2015) | Saturday, 17th September 2016, 8-10pm | register here.

Survey will be opened daily (except Monday and public holiday), 1st to 30th September 2016 | noon to 9pm (Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday) | noon to 12am (Friday & Saturday).

Venue: The Substation, 45 Armenian Street, Singapore 179936

Post-Museum is on Facebook, Twitter.

Why I love the reincarnated Singapore International Festival of Arts?

The previous life of Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) was named Singapore Arts Festival. I totally enjoyed the programmes back then, yet I could not say I loved the Festival. Now I can, with the three-year old SIFA and its pre-festival segment The O.P.E.N, indeed I can. I am thankful to its previous lives, for without them there wouldn’t be something to build on.

Before I state my reasons, I feel the need and urge to put up a special mention of The Sardono Retrospective Presents: Expanded Cinema (free admission) in this year’s SIFA, and related performances The Sardono Retrospective Presents: Solo Live Painting, and The Sardono Retrospective Presents: Black Sun.

Here is why I love SIFA, and The O.P.E.N:

  1. I don’t need another conventionally-proper and world-renowned symphony orchestra or choir or opera or Shakespeare, however, I welcome Borderlands, Ron Arad’s 720° (oh my gosh this one is free admission!), Paradise Interrupted, Hamlet | Collage, and Sandaime Richard.

2. Festival Director Mr Ong Keng Sen is involved from head to toe, he had been seen in performances at past SIFA, always making the effort to perform in at least one production or to present something. He is an artist!

Check out Sandaime Richard by him and Hideki Noda, as well as “an added performative component in collaboration with Festival Director Ong Keng Sen” in THE KULA RING Aesthetic Considerations Of Sharing And Exchange (this one is free admission too!).

3. Affordable pricing; O.P.E.N Pass/SIFA FRIEND; generous discounts.

4. SIFA, and The O.P.E.N present “the darnest” (in the most positive and favourable way) and the most eye-opening events it can bring to Singapore.

For instance, I Am LGB; Everything By My Side; Five Easy Pieces; Ibsen: Ghosts; Sixty-Six; Dances And Ceremonies: Spring/Summer 2017; Artist Workshop by Qetiq & Mukaddas Mijit, just to name a few.

5. SIFA is open to and opts for interesting/thought-provoking/heart-warming venues.

Let’s say, The Projector (for film screening), houses of members of the public, Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, Bukit Brown Cemetery, just to name a few.

LASALLE College of the Arts BA(Hons) Film Graduation Showcase, 20th May to 1st June 2016

Congratulations on your graduation, BA(Hons) Film students!

The rest of us can at least show our support and give cheers by watching the films and checking out the exhibition lined up at the showcase. There will be daily screenings of “the best in the school’s fiction and documentary narratives” and an opportunity to visit “the film school’s first ever exhibition of props, wardrobe and equipment used in the making of the films. From recreating a Filipino village in Singapore to simulating rain in broad daylight, we take you behind the scenes to discover how the magic is brought to the screen.”

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Screening

Date: daily from 20th May to 1st June 2016
Timing: noon or 6pm

Runtime: 2 hours 30 minutes with a 5-minute intermission
Venue: Screening Room, Block F Level 2 F208, LASALLE College of the Arts, 1 McNally Street, Singapore 187940

Free admission, see the film listing and get your ticket here. Your ticket is for the date that you have booked, it is good for either the noon or the 6pm session.

Exhibition

Date: daily from 20th May to 1st June 2016
Time: 11am to 8pm

Venue: Flexible Performance Space, Block F Level 1, LASALLE College of the Arts, 1 McNally Street, Singapore 187940

Trailer

Imaginary Homeland: 我是不是該安靜地走開 by Boedi Widjaja, drawn negatives of photographs that can be viewed as positive images

I was initially attracted to the exhibition by the interesting techniques used by the artist, Boedi Widjaja. Upon understanding his use of the project to tell his personal life experiences (or the experiences that he had missed?), and perhaps also to seek solace and meaning through the process of making the works, I began to feel the emotional and humane side of the exhibition.

“The process started with the artist drawing negative images of press photographs of Indonesian politics in pre-Soeharto (1945-1968) and post-Soeharto (1998-present) periods. The drawings are then photographed into positive prints.

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Shifting between the modality of drawing and photography, the artist reflects viscerally upon the imagery of his personal history, seeking agency.

Visitors to the exhibition are invited to use their mobile devices, with invert colour setting switched on, to view the positive images of the drawings.” – exhibition introduction, Imaginary Homeland: 我是不是該安靜地走開

Switch on the invert colour or negative colours setting on your phone and use your phone camera to view the positive image (i.e. the "normal" photo that we usually see) of this negative. Know who is this in the image?

Switch on the invert colour or negative colours setting on your phone and use your phone camera to view the positive image (i.e. the “normal” photo that we usually see) of this negative. Know who is this in the image?

Widjaja was born in 1975 in Solo City, Indonesia. With his sister, he was sent away to Singapore when he was nine years old due to ethnic tensions in his homeland. Hence, his historicisation of his “former country” was mostly through images and the imagined.

What is interesting is that, the artist started drawing negatives skipping the Soeharto period, with which the first nine years of his life (1975-1984) spent in Indonesia coincided. Is it because he has more vivid memories of that period (albeit being a child) as he was physically there to experience it, so there is no need to rely on too many press images and too much imagination?

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Are drawing the negatives of photographs (‘reverse mode’), and switching between photographic negatives and the positive images (i.e. developed into photographs that we are used to seeing) some kind of yearning that, one can return to a previous condition in a previous setting/place?

I feel a lot of mixed feelings and intertwined emotions in there. I am sharing below photos of the wall texts at the exhibition, please do read all of them so as to piece the exhibition together.

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Maybe your heart will wrench a little, especially if you particularly relate to Widjaja’s narratives. It may not be about the politics or the identity from a homeland, but about certain things that happened during childhood and how these things still take up a lot of space in our heart and mind through adulthood.

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Upon almost to the extent of examining another component of the exhibition – an installation made up of 28 peci (a type of men’s headgear that’s more commonly known as songkok in Singapore) modified into 28 pinhole cameras, I noticed what seemed to be brand labels were sewn on the inside of each peci, and the “brand name” was TANAH AIR, which also means ‘homeland’ in Bahasa Indonesia! I just cannot help wondering whether this was a poignant coincidence or somewhat intended.

An installation made up of 28 peci (a type of men's headgear that's more commonly known as songkok in Singapore) modified into 28 pinhole cameras

An installation made up of 28 peci (a type of men’s headgear that’s more commonly known as songkok in Singapore) modified into 28 pinhole cameras

Labels bearing the words TANAH AIR on the inside of each peci

Labels bearing the words TANAH AIR on the inside of each peci

And then there is the inclusion of a phrase in Chinese language in the title written in traditional Chinese characters. The phrase, which asks ‘should I walk away quietly?’, is also a song title of a ballad sung by Hong Kong pop star Aaron Kwok and released in 1991. If I were to place the profession of love and the dilemma crooned on one’s homeland, I think I can understand how it feels like.

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The exhibition, which was held at Objectifs from 13th to 24th January 2016, was part of Singapore Art Week 2016.

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