Re/call/Re/form/Re/master, a group exhibition of Southeast Asian artists curated by Jason Wee taking place at Silverlens Gallery, Gillman Barracks from September 12 to October 12, 2014.
The exhibition explores the ways in which creative reuse and modes of material transfer produces a frisson of unexpected meaning and a tingle of strong emotion. The exhibition looks specifically at three processes: the syneasthetic recollection of one sensation (sound) that is provoked by an experience of a different sensation (sight); the transformation of found material into new physical form; and the transfer of ideas and information from one material substrate to another. These dynamic material transformations are analogous to the fluid conturbations that we witness in contemporary art practices.
The artists in this exhibition work in a variety of media such as sound, performance, moving image, photography and installation. They are Bani Haykal (Singapore, b. 1985), Nipan Oranniwesna (Thailand, b. 1962), Prilla Tania (Indonesia, b. 1979), Vanessa Ban (Singapore, b. 1989) and Vincent Leong (Malaysia, b. 1979).
Oh, I still shy away from calling myself a curator, and still understand myself as an artist and a writer, and the latter is where I’d premise my work, where exhibitions becomes occasions for writing. And as proof of this, I remain one of those who are drawn to notions of independent curating, where ‘independence’ is compatible with ‘unschooled’. And that’s really how I begin, as an untrained, bad curator.
There are some ideas about the ecology of things, and how things relate to one another quite apart from us, that I’ve been thinking about. And working with Lucy Davis on her show at the NUS Museum has given me another opportunity to think these through. I followed one strand of that idea without worrying immediately about the limits of national borders or place of birth, and Silverlens was game to be my partner in this.
Isa Lorenzo really left me to do my work, and I am sure there are many moments where the gallery must have wondered if it’s actually coming together! But I really appreciate the freedom to work this way. I am most keen on artists who I think can speak alongside what I will say in the exhibition essay, and have sufficiently dense connections to the works in the same space as them. The space also has its specificities, its size, no fully enclosed room, and so on, so that influenced my decisions too. I was also looking for a new home for my photo-based works after Valentine closed his gallery, and Silverlens will be showing some new photo works of mine in January.
I don’t have a lot to say about Southeast Asia that does not repeat platitudes about it, and I am working with Kathleen Ditzig, a young curator, on developing writing about the development of this idea of a coherent ‘Southeast Asia’ that we seem to take for granted, looking at Cold War alignments for example between Africa and Asia. So maybe I’ll just say that, that we think we know what we talk about when we talk about Southeast Asia. Maybe it’s time to locate Southeast Asia on something else other than geopolitical categories or national social histories.
Re/call/Re/form/Re/master opens from 12 September to 12 October 2014.
Silverlens Gallery is at Gillman Barracks, 47 Malan Road, #01-25, Singapore.
Rapid Fire Quiz!
Wherever my friends are showing me their work
Yes. I get dressed first. Otherwise I might shock people more than I need to.
Wherever they have milk stout on tap or a floral cider.
Notches on my bedpost.
A photograph by Jovian Lim.
The yet-unseen classified materials on Operation Coldstore and Operation Spectrum. There’s an art work in there, I’m sure of it.
Ask like I do now?
Where are the toilets?
I think more people should read Yeow Kai Chai’s poetry.
Jason Wee is an artist and a writer.
His art practice is concerned with the hollowing out of singular authority in favour of conundrums and polyphony. He transforms these singular architectures, histories and spaces into various visual and written materials.
He runs Grey Projects, an artists’ space and residency in Tiong Bahru. He is a graduate of The New School and Harvard GSD.
He is the author of Tongues (2012), a commission by the Singapore Fringe Festival. His latest poetry book The Monsters Between Us was named by TODAY newspaper as one of the top art picks of 2013.
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
Back to Top
Sign up for the latest updates
in contemporary art & design!