Inspired by Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW) New York annual signature program FIELD MEETING, the Invisible Cities Forum is an exhibition in the form of an all-day gathering that will feature lectures, performances, and lively discussions that will underscore current practices and initiatives in the moving image art of Asia. This forum will feature an exclusive screening and talk by Ho Tzu Nyen, live performances and Q&As with Moe Satt, Ho Rui An, and Come Inside, and a panel discussion led by the Invisible Cities curators.
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HO RUI AN – DASH
Opening with footage of an accident captured from a dashcam, DASH considers how the accident—or crisis—becomes legible within a risk-managed and financially hedged era. While the dashcam was originally designed as a device that bears witness to the accidents that happen to the vehicle to which it is fitted, its proliferation in recent years has inadvertently yielded a contemporary index of the accident in the form of the vast accumulation of crash footage on the Internet.
Taking this condition of the dashcam as a point of departure, the lecture considers the broader logic of “horizon scanning” that underpins the foresight programmes of the Singapore government, which combine big data and scenario planning as tools for “surprise anticipation”. As a crucial node along the electronic circuits of global finance as well as the sweaty regional routes crossed by disenfranchised migrant labour, Singapore is held up within the lecture as a privileged site to attend to the disturbances or “weak signals” that crop up on the horizon. From this limit-space where one can never know what might come at you, a fantastic speculative economy—populated by the likes of “black swans” and “dragon kings”—is produced to affirm some narratives while extinguishing others.
HO RUI AN (b. 1990; lives and works in Singapore)
Ho is an artist and writer working in the intersections of contemporary art, cinema, performance and theory. He writes, talks and thinks around images, with an interest in investigating their emergence, transmission and disappearance within contexts of globalism and governance. Working primarily across the mediums of lecture, essay and film, his recent research considers questions surrounding liberal hospitality, participatory democracy and speculative futures. He has presented projects at the 2nd Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Wiener Festwochen, Vienna; Haus de Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Hessel Museum of Art and CCS Bard Galleries, Annandale-on-Hudson; NUS Museum, Singapore; Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center, Manila; Serpentine Galleries, London; NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore and Para Site, Hong Kong. He was Artist-in-Residence abroad the Tara Oceans Polar Circle Expedition in 2013 and at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore in 2016. He is also the Singapore desk editor for ArtAsiaPacific and has contributed to numerous publications.
Come Inside’s new performance is inspired by the intentionally-posing girls’ photo shoots on social media. It explores how the subjects dress in stereotypical costumes of certain “girl” roles in daily life, and how they use props and exaggerated body language to create ridiculous, yet daily-seen scenes, and encourage viewers to take photos and make comments. This time they wear typical tennis outfits, with short skirts and head bands, each holding a tennis racket. A thread links the two rackets, upon which a tennis ball slides, from one side to the other. The sole purpose for the girls’ awkward poses and body movements is to keep the thread tightly pulled between the rackets so the ball will continue to slide.
Together, Mak and Wong use their pseudo “Come Inside” brand and fake pop group personas to critique social norms and gender constructs in Hong Kong, as well as consumer culture’s influence on gender-based merchandise. The pair uses adolescent visuals to parody hyper-feminine culture, while appropriating stereotypes to turn them into strengths. The objectification of women is everywhere on the internet today; even the most common activities, like sports, are used as tools to promote the single standard of a desired, flawless woman: healthy, sporty, energetic, and young, with a tanned and tight body.
COME INSIDE (based in Hong Kong, S.A.R.)
Come Inside is a new art collective formed by young Hong-Kong-based artists Mak Ying-tung and Wong Ka-ying. Since Mak graduated from the School of Creative Media – City University of Hong Kong and Wong graduated from the Fine Arts Department, Chinese University of Hong Kong, they both have strived to be established artists in the past three years, by participating in various group shows, and held solo exhibitions in Hong Kong, China, and other countries. In 2016, their art journey has come to a new page as they are fed up with the formalized system and depressed atmosphere of society, and decided to attack the world with “Come Inside”. Come Inside welcomes everyone to join their newly created, fancy and funny world, and wish everyone can experience the “art orgasm” from the bottom of their inner selves by creating guerilla art in diverse spaces.
MOE SATT – SMILE
Note about the performance from the Artist: “Smiling is medicine for people. Smiling is a good communication tool for people. When you get your enemy to smile at you, you forget he/she is your enemy. When you come back home from your office, and your mom or wife smiles at you, you reduce your stress. When I developed this piece, the country was under pressure, so people seemed unhappy with life. That is why I wanted to make people smile. People armed with smiley faces will be able to resist and move beyond the pressure they face. So, smile, smile, smile. Everybody, smile.”
MOE SATT (b.1983; Lives and works in Yangon, Myanmar)
Artist and curator Moe Satt started creating art after graduating from East Yangon University in Myanmar with a degree in Zoology in 2005 and is part of a new generation of emerging Burmese artists. In 2008, he founded and organized Beyond Pressure, an international festival of performance art in Myanmar. He has been invited to be the resident artist at several locations including International Residence at Recollets (Paris, 2015), IASPIA (Sweden, 2016) and so on. He has actively participated in live arts festivals throughout Asia and Europe. He has participated in several major exhibitions including the Busan Biennale (2012), CAFA biennale (Beijing, 2013), Concept Context Contestation: Collective-Driven Art In Southeast Asia (Bangkok, 2013), and The Journal of the Plague Year (South Korea, 2014). Select exhibitions he has curated include “On/Off: Myanmar Contemporary Art Event”, The Almaz Collective (Vietnam, 2010), “Forward/Backward: 8 Myanmar Second-Wave Contemporary Artists”, H Gallery (Thailand, 2011), “The Mirror_ reflect the society”, TS1 Gallery (Myanmar, 2014), and “Silent for a while: Contemporary art from Myanmar, 10 Chancery lane (Hong Kong, 2016).
SCREENING AND ARTIST TALK:
HO TZU NYEN
We see the site of an unknown disaster, where fifty 50 humans oscillate between consciousness and unconsciousness, life and death, as the light constantly alternates between warm to cool, day to night.
EARTH reconfigures history painting in an apocalyptic mode, and traces of paintings by Caravaggio, Girodet, Géricault and others haunt its landscapes like ghosts. EARTH exists with multiple soundtracks, created by different experimental musicians and sound artists from different places in the world. Collaborators include The Observatory (Singapore), Yasuhiro Morinaga and Stefano Pillia (Japan, Italy), Wolfram (Poland), Oren Ambarchi (Australia), Aki Onda (Japan) and Nils Frahm (Germany).
This version of the film features the soundtrack of Black to Comm (Germany)
Director & Editor: Ho Tzu Nyen
Project Manager: Stephanie Goh
Producer: Fran Borgia
Director of Photography: Amandi Wong
Lighting Designer: Andy Lim
Production Designer: James Page
Soundtrack: Black to Comm
Sound mix by Titus Maderlechner
Cast: John Low, Helen Chua, Ian Tan, Jim Goh
HO TZU NYEN (b. 1976; Lives and works in Singapore, Singapore)
Ho makes videos, installations and theatrical performances, often working with historical and philosophical texts and artifacts. His work has been presented at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin, 2017); Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2015); DAAD Gallery (Berlin, 2015); Guggenheim Museum (New York, 2013); Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, 2012); the 54th Venice Biennale (2011); Artspace, (Sydney, 2011); Tate Modern (London, 2010); the 6th Asia-Pacific Triennial (Brisbane, 2009); the 1st Singapore Biennale (2006) and the 26th Sao Paulo Biennale (2004). His feature and medium length films have premiered at Cannes Film Festival (2009) and the 66th Venice International Film Festival (2009). His theatrical works have been presented at the Asian Arts Theatre, Gwangju (2015); Wiener Festwochen (2014); Theater der Welt (2010); the KunstenFestivaldesArts (2006, 2008).
View the Forum schedule.
Seating is limited. Tickets are non-refundable.