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The Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Singapore
2014.01.18 Sat - 2014.03.30 Sun
Opening Exhibition
01/17/2014 18:30
43 Malan Road, 9 Lock Road, Singapore 109443
+65 6684 0998
Opening Hours

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[Press Release]


exhibition featuring:

Trinh T. Minh-ha, Surname Viet Given Name Nam

Zarina Bhimji, Yellow Patch

Fiona Tan, Disorient

Opening Night: Friday January 17, 2014 6.30-9pm

forum with presentations by:

Professor Sarat Maharaj and Ann Demeester

Friday January 17, 2014, 4-6pm

CCA is pleased to announce its first exhibition, “Paradise Lost”. Conceived as a constellation of three artistic productions that together explore narratives of travel and migration, place and displacement, the personal intertwined with colonial history, “Paradise Lost” introduces an imaginary Asia — Asia as a space of projections and desires stemming from an experience of dislocation and asynchronicity. Curated by Ute Meta Bauer and Anca Rujoiu, the show juxtaposes trans-generational perspectives, bringing together three major installations of moving image: Surname Viet Given Name Nam by Trinh T. Minh-ha, Yellow Patch by Zarina Bhimji and Disorient by Fiona Tan.

In Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989), Trinh T. Minh-ha questions the norms of representation and filmic documentation, as she examines the lives of women in Vietnam and the US through themes of dislocation, exile and resistance. A filmmaker, composer, anthropologist and post-colonial theorist, Trinh has advocated in her art and writings for a continual readjustment of our understandings of what is “other” and “otherness”.

In Yellow Patch (2011), Zarina Bhimji traces her father’s migration from India to East Africa, revisiting an array of buildings and landscapes in Bombay and Gujurat through a disembodied, almost ghostly viewing experience that isolates images from any contextual information. Refraining from facts and references, Bhimji allows stories to manifest in the physical structures of abandoned buildings — archeological palimpsests that evoke a phantomatic presence, the spectre of a land of emotion.

Inspired by Marco Polo’s travels, Fiona Tan’s Disorient was conceived for the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2009. This project questions stereotypical representations of the East as constructed by Western historical narratives and orientalist imaginations. The work disorients our patterns of looking by contrasting hoards of exotic and aesthetically loaded objects with incongruous images of violence, pollution and poverty.

“Paradise Lost” complements current explorations on the region, from the 2013 Singapore Biennale to the 2014 Art Stage Singapore art fair, bringing to the fore a perspective of Asia and its colonial history as perceived from near and afar. The exhibition investigates fictions of Asia by complicating them with more fictionalities. While Trinh T. Minh-ha articulates a cinematic dialectic, Fiona Tan and Zarina Bhimji work through an immersive visual language. Wrapped up in allegory and fiction, each work maintains a tight connection with the artists’ personal experiences of navigating cultural identity and homeland, migration and crossing borders.

A series of talks, reading groups and workshops will further explore the conceptual framework of the exhibition, including keynote presentations by Sarat Maharaj (Professor of Visual Art and Knowledge Systems, Lund University, and Malmo Art Academies, Sweden) and Ann Demeester (currently director De Appel, Netherlands, from February 2014, assuming leadership of the Frans Hals Museum and de Hallen Arts Centre in Haarle).

“Paradise Lost’ will also serve as a catalyst for a long-term collaborative research project that will investigate the asynchronisities of diasporic spaces connected to the political and economical histories of migration along old and new trade routes.

CCA Talks at Art Stage 2014

Happening concurrently with “Paradise Lost”, CCA Talks at Art Stage features presentations by academics, curators, collectors, and directors of art institutions. Convened by Lee Weng Choy, the talks will address such topics as the relationships between art and knowledge and the institution, the changing ecology of visual art in Singapore and Hong Kong.


Saturday 18 Jan 2014

Time: 1pm to 6pm

Venue: Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Level 3

1)  Hong Kong vs Singapore

1pm to 2.15pm

Matthias Arndt (Director Arndt Gallery, Berlin & Singapore)

Savita Apte (Founding Director Platform, Singapore)

“Junior” Laksamana Tirtadji (ROH Projects, Indonesia)

The panelists will share their thoughts on how Singapore and Hong Kong position themselves in the global art market, and in comparison to each other. What are their comparative strengths and weakness? — and most importantly, what are the unique perspectives that each city can offer for the region? We are interested in international perspectives on these two cities that in their own ways aim to be gateways to Asia.

2)  Art & Knowledge

2.30pm to 3.45pm

Professor Sarat Maharaj (Professor of Visual Art and Knowledge Systems, Lund University, and Malmo Art Academies, Sweden)

Professor  Adèle Naudé Santos (Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, MIT, Cambridge, USA)

3)  Local Art Institutions: New Horizons

4pm to 6pm

Eugene Tan (Director, National Art Gallery Singapore)

Susie Lingham (Director, Singapore Art Museum)

Bala Starr (Director, ICAS, Lasalle, Singapore)

Ute Meta Bauer (Director, CCA Singapore)

This panel brings together some of the directors of the major art institutions in Singapore — many of whom are relatively new in their jobs. The panelists will share how their respective institutions see their roles in the changing Singapore and larger regional and international art scenes: to talk about how these institutions could work together, interdependently, collaboratively or complementarily, and to perhaps also explore the productive tensions between the different institutions.