Symposium: Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History. On the occasion of the Four-Year Anniversary of NTU CCA Singapore
Image credit: Ho Tzu Nyen, The Name, 2015, still from single-channel HD projection, surround sound, 16 min 51 sec, with 16 books by the author Gene Z. Hanrahan. Courtesy the artist.
Event Talk
Symposium: Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History. On the occasion of the Four-Year Anniversary of NTU CCA Singapore
28 Oct 2017 - 28 Oct 2017  09:30 AM - 08:00 PM
FEE: $35

Admission fee S$35.
Free for NTU students.

On the occasion of the exhibition Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History 
and NTU CCA Singapore’s four-year anniversary, this symposium brings together the exhibiting artists as well as curators and scholars from the region to expand on the subjects approached by the works. Taking as a point of departure the artworks’ impulse of bringing to light past events and revive collective memory, each session in the symposium deepens the understanding of the varied artistic processes and strategies through structured conversations consisting of lectures, presentations, and moderated discussions.

Symposium Programme

9.30 – 10.00am

10.00 – 10.10am

 Welcome address by Professor Ute Meta Bauer

10.10 – 11.10am 

Keynote Lecture by curator and moving image theorist Dr May Adadol Ingawanij 
Focusing on artists cinema and moving image installations in Southeast Asia, the lecture addresses the relationship between contemporary moving image aesthetics, historical invocation and the politics of enunciation. Dr Ingawanij will expand on how everyday life, conflicts, violence, and historical erasures specific to places in Southeast Asia are sources of inspiration and motivation for many artists.


11.10am – 1.10pm
Panel: Shadows of History
Chaired by curator and art historian Dr Roger Nelson
Lecture by curator and art historian Dr June Yap
Presentations by artists Ho Tzu Nyen and Nguyen Trinh Thi
Dedicated to the uncovering of neglected histories, this session will look at the construction of historical narratives and its role in reflecting social, political, and cultural conditions. Occluded by propagation of progress and nation building, what has been left out and rendered in the region’s bid to establish national identities and political autonomy? Referencing the works of Ho Tzu Nyen and Nguyen Trinh Thi, this session traces Post War and Cold War legacies in Asia and investigates its lingering spectres.


1.30 – 2.00pm
Introduction of Exhibition Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History by Khim Ong


 2.30 – 4.30pm
Panel: Ghosts and Spectres 
Chaired by researcher and curator Dr David Teh
Lecture by curator Hyunjin Kim
Presentations by artist Park Chan- kyong and art historian Dr Clare Veal (on Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
This session deals with notions of ghosts and spectres as allegories to historical moments and dreamlike realities. Embedded in myths and folklore traditions, what roles do they play in constructing an understanding of the past and in reflecting socio-political circumstances? How do cinematic works engage its medium-specificity in a play of historical phantoms of repressed collective memories to create a language for portraying trauma, loss, dreams, and nightmares?


4.30 – 5.30pm
Closing Keynote Lecture by Professor Kenneth Dean, Head of Chinese Studies Department, NUS
Professor Kenneth Dean will reflect on the day’s discussions from the perspective of local historical research, and expands on them through referencing folkloric and vernacular practices.


5.45 – 6.30pm
Book Launch: Thai Art: Currencies of the Contemporary (MIT Press, 2017) by Dr David Teh
With introduction by the author and conversation with Dr May Adadol Ingawanij and Dr Roger Nelson
Since the 1990s, Thai contemporary art has achieved considerable international recognition. But while many Thai artists shed identification with their nation, “Thainess” remains an interpretive crutch for understanding their work. David Teh examines the competing claims to contemporaneity staked in Thailand, and on behalf of Thai art elsewhere, against a backdrop of sustained political and economic turmoil.


7.00 – 8.00pm
The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia, Volume 4: V for Voice
Performance by artist Ho Tzu Nyen and Bani Haykal
Ho Tzu Nyen's The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia (cdosea, 2012-ongoing) has generated a number of works for the artist including The Name and The Nameless. Since 2016, Ho has been working with a group of collaborators to manifest cdosea, resulting in the creation of an algorithm that composes endless combinations of audio-visual materials extracted from the Internet (cdosea.org). This experiment performance is the first time cdosea is presented in a live context, with sound artist Bani Haykal improvising in response to images generated in real time.






Professor Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore) is the Founding Director of the NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor at the School of Art, Design and Media, NTU, and was prior Associate Professor (2005–12) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States, where she served as the Founding Director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology. Professor Bauer is a curator for contemporary art, film, video, and sound, with a focus on transdisciplinary formats. Since 2015 she is an expedition leader of TBA21–Academy The Current exploring Pacific Archipelagos and littorals that are most impacted by climate change and human interventions in their environments.


Professor Kenneth Dean (Canada/Singapore) 
is Head of Chinese Studies Department at 
the National University of Singapore. His research interests include Chinese religions, temples, and Daoist studies. He received
 his BA in Chinese Studies from Brown University and PhD in Asian Studies from Stanford University and has taught at McGill University, where he was Director of the Centre for East Asian Research. Professor Dean has been published widely and is the author of numerous books on Daoism and Chinese religions. He has produced a documentary, Bored in Heaven (2010), about ritual celebrations around Chinese New Year in Southeast China.


Bani Haykal (Singapore) is an artist, composer, and musician. Haykal considers music (making/process) as a metaphor for cybernetics. His projects revolve around interfacing and interaction in feedback/feed-forward mechanisms. He was an Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore in 2015, and is a member of b-quartet and Soundpainting ensemble Erik Satay & The Kampong Arkestra.


Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore) makes films, videos, and theatrical performances out of historical and philosophical texts and artefacts. His work has been presented at major museums and institutions worldwide including the Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao, 2015; New York, 2013), DAAD Galerie, Berlin (2015), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2012), and Tate Modern, London (2010). In 2011, Ho represented Singapore at the Venice Biennale.


Dr May Adadol Ingawanij (Thailand/ United Kingdom) is a moving image theorist, teacher, and curator, and co-director of 
the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM), University of Westminster, London. She is currently writing a book titled Animistic Cinema: Moving Image Performance and Ritual in Thailand. Her publications include Exhibiting Lav Diaz’s
 Long Films: Currencies of Circulation and Spectatorship (2017); Nguyen Trinh Thi’s 
Essay Films (forthcoming); Animism and the Performative Realist Cinema of Apichatpong Weerasethakul (2013). Dr Ingawanij's curatorial projects include Lav Diaz Journeys (London, 2017), and On Attachments and Unknowns (Phnom Penh, 2017).


Hyunjin Kim (South Korea) is a curator, writer, and researcher, currently teaching
at R.A.T School, Seoul. She is an advisor of Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong. Her recent curatorial and interdisciplinary practices explore disparate points of regional modernity, in various forms and productions. She was Director at Arko Art Center, Seoul (2014–15), and a co-curator of 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008). She curated numerous exhibitions and projects including Tradition (Un)Realized, Arko Art Center, Seoul (2014); Perspective Strikes Back, L’appartement22, Rabat (2010); Plug-In #3-Undeclared Crowd, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2006), and published extensively on contemporary artists including Park Chan-kyong ("Colossal Roots, Tradition-Reality and Contestation of Asian Modernity" in Flash Art).


Khim Ong (Singapore) is Deputy Director, Curatorial Programmes at NTU CCA Singapore. Prior, she worked as an independent curator and held curatorial positions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LASALLE, and Osage Gallery, Hong Kong. She was Manager, Sector Development (Visual Arts), at the National Arts Council during which she contributed to conceptualising NTU CCA Singapore. She co-curated with Founding Director Ute Meta Bauer the exhibitions Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice (2016), Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest (2016), and Yang Fudong: Incidental Scripts (2014). Selected curatorial projects include the Southeast Asia Platform, Art Stage Singapore (2015), and Landscape Memories, Louis Vuitton Espace, Singapore (2013).


Dr Roger Nelson (Australia/Singapore) is an art historian and curator specialising in the modern and contemporary arts of Cambodia and the region. He joined NTU ADM and NTU CCA Singapore as a Postdoctoral Fellow in September 2017. Prior he pursued his PhD research in Phnom Penh. Dr Nelson is
 a co-founding co-editor of Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia, a journal published by NUS Press. He co-convened Gender in Southeast Asian Art Histories, an international symposium at the University of Sydney (2017).


Nguyen Trinh Thi (Vietnam) is a Hanoi-based moving image artist. Her diverse practice, transcending the boundaries between cinema, documentary, and performance, has consistently engaged with memory and history. Her works have been shown at international festivals and art exhibitions including Jeu de Paume, Paris (2015–16); CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux (2015); the Lyon Biennale (2015); Asian Art Biennial, Taichung (2015); Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial (2014); and Singapore Biennale (2013). Nguyen is founder and director of Doclab, Hanoi, an independent centre for documentary and experimental films and video art.


Park Chan-kyong (South Korea) is a media artist, film director, and writer. His work often engages with histories and politics of representation by evoking traditional cultures and ritualistic practices. Park’s major works include Citizen’s Forest (2016), Manshin: Ten Thousand Spirits (2013), the award-winning Night Fishing (2011, co-directed with Park Chan-wook), Sindoan (2008), Power Passage (2004–07), and Sets (2000). Park served as Artistic Director of SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul in 2014.


Dr David Teh (Australia/Singapore) is a researcher based at the National University of Singapore and is the director of Future Perfect, a gallery and project platform in Singapore. His curatorial projects have included TRANSMISSION, Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok (2014), Video Vortex #7, Yogyakarta (2011), Unreal Asia, 55. Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen (2009), The More Things Change, 5th Bangkok Experimental Film Festival (2008), and Platform (2006). His writings have appeared in Third Text, Afterall, Theory Culture & Society, LEAP, Aan Journal and The Bangkok Post. His new book, Thai Art: Currencies of the Contemporary was published in 2017 by MIT Press.


Dr Clare Veal (Australia/Singapore) is
 a lecturer in the MA Asian Art Histories programme at LASALLE College of the
Arts, Singapore. She undertakes research on Southeast Asian photography, art and visual culture, with a particular focus on Thailand. She received her PhD from the Department
 of Art History and Film Studies at the University of Sydney for her thesis entitled Thainess Framed: Photography and Thai Identity, 1946-2010. Dr Veal was the sub-editor for Asian Art for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism (2016) and has contributed papers to a number of publications, including Journal of Aesthetics and Culture and Trans-Asia Photography Review.


Dr June Yap (Singapore) is Director of Curatorial Programmes and Publications at Singapore Art Museum. Selected curatorial projects include No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia for the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative (2013–14), The Cloud of Unknowing by artist Ho Tzu Nyen at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), The Future of Exhibition: It Feels Like I’ve Been Here Before, Institute 
of Contemporary Arts, Singapore (2010), Das Paradies ist Anderswo/ Paradise is Elsewhere, IFA, Germany (2009), and Bound for Glory, NUS Museum (2008). She is the author of Retrospective: A Historiographical Aesthetic in Contemporary Singapore and Malaysia (2016).
NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore)
Exhibitions: Block 43 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109443. Research Centre and Office: Block 6 Lock Road, #01-09/10, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108934

Exhibition Hours
Tue - Sun: 12.00 - 7.00pm
Mon: Closed
Open on Public Holidays
Free Admission

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