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Interview with Khim Ong

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Interview with Khim Ong
Choy Ka Fai, "De Groot Collection," 2012, 3D printed speculative artifacts, from Lan Fang Chronicles (2009-2012). Image copyright & courtesy of the artist

The Artling caught up with Khim Ong, Southeast Asia Platform Curator for Art Stage Singapore 2015, to learn more about the Platform and the upcoming fair.  

What links, if any, do you see between contemporary art practices in the South East Asian countries you’ve highlighted in the platform?

Many artists work with a wide range of mediums to communicate their ideas, going beyond conventional modes of artmaking; or are experimenting with and investigating a particular medium in an attempt to challenge the confines of the medium itself and our understanding of them. A number of works at the Platform examine knowledge production, and structures and systems, whether within the art world or at a broader national and socioeconomic level yet these come across in different ways through different approaches each artist adopts.

 

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Chris Chong Chan Fui, video still from HEAVENHELL, 2009, 6-channel video installation. Image copyright & courtesy of the artist. Still by Y. Kasagi

 

Are the artists you have selected representative in some way of particular artistic movements occurring in these countries?

I wasn’t consciously looking out for particular works or types of practice when researching and selecting works for the Platform. Artists are not confined to conventional, recognisable mediums and this is also a reflection of their wide-ranging interest (artists also play in bands, work as designers or fabricators, are activists, etc.). Rather than looking in terms of contemporary visual art, it is perhaps representative of a larger visual culture.

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Hoang Duong Cam, Prelude in D Minor Op 28 No 242012, Digital C-print. Image courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Quynh

 

By focussing on the personal biographies of each artist, you seem to have neatly side-stepped the difficulty of ‘nationalising" each artist’s practice or seeking to label it as ‘Southeast Asian.’ Was this intentional?

I see it as another way of approaching the region. I am not particularly interested in attempting a broad definition of what contemporary art from the region or of each country in the region is about, but to give a sense of what it is. In pulling together these individual artistic practices, we are providing a snapshot of the art scene, just not in neatly labelled boxes. Just as when we meet a new person, we first ask for a name then of their origin, I hope visitors experience the exhibition as a series of encounters with ‘individuals’ rather than through the lens of what can often be pre-conceived notions of a particular nation; and through these encounters, gain a better understanding of the region and form their own impressions.

Are any of the artists producing new works for the Platform? If so, did you / Art Stage commission the works?

Quite a number are producing new works. Other than the entrance artwork, Art Stage does not commission works. We do however work very closely with the galleries and artists to present the works in the best possible manner.

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Khim Ong. Image courtesy of Art Stage Singapore

 

Biography

Khim Ong is an independent curator based in Singapore. She was previously curatorial assistant at Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LASALLE, assistant curator at Osage Gallery, Hong Kong, and manager for Sector Development (Visual Arts) at the National Arts Council, Singapore. Some of her curatorial projects include Jane Lee: 100 Faces at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Singapore (2014), Landscape Memories at Louis Vuitton Espace, Singapore (2013), Biographies (co-curated with Biljana Ciric) at Osage Gallery, Hong Kong (2010). She has also worked on solo exhibitions of Antony Gormley, Wolfgang Laib, On Kawara, Nipan Oranniewesna, and Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, among others.

Art Stage Singapore will run from the 22nd to the 25th of January, 2015, at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre. For more information, go to: https://www.artstagesingapore.com/

 

 


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.


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