You, Other; I, Another

Introduction

The Private Museum is pleased to present You, Other; I, Another, a group exhibition curated by Dr Susie Lingham. This marks The Private Museum’s new initiative in collaborating with Guest Curators to facilitate and support independent and experimental curatorial practice, and to present different perspectives on our world. The exhibition will feature works by nine artists including Regina De Rozario, Mithun Jayaram, Mumtaz Maricar, Siew Kee Liong, Leroy Sofyan, Vincent Twardzik Ching, Victor Emmanuel, Susie Wong and Yeo Chee Kiong.

Relation is reciprocity. My You acts on me as I act on it. […] Inscrutably involved, we live in the currents of universal reciprocity. *

To and from every I there is a You, a They, a We, an Us, an Other. To whom is another, Other? Or is it more precise to say: when is the other Other to another? Otherness is an oscillation; is in oscillation. The binary-dynamic of finding the self in the other has always been tipped at moments, and shifts to finding the other in the self—recognising difference within oneself is ongoing, and unnerving, for every ‘I’.

Within the structures of any society, how is the other conditioned into being ‘Other’? How is otherness represented? Who represents otherness? In what way do we feel ‘other’, and how do we feel for and with ‘the other’ who differs from our self-sensed otherness?

The Other demarcates the line of belonging; what we identify against. The Other fascinates; confounds; is feared and rejected; is reviled; is ignored, dismissed; is mistreated, marginalised, alienated; is tolerated. Then again, some specimens of otherness are denied even ‘existence’ because quite anomalous, and uncategorisable: perhaps the Other is a Hydra, not a community.

Otherness differentiates on a spectrum of ‘difference’—in kind, by degree, by decree, by choice, inevitably. In You, Other; I, Another, nine artists’ works diverge off various individual realities of lived Otherness, or concepts of difference—expressed in diverse materialities and modes. From the rhythms of the natural world to the measures of culture and custom, and stemming from the personal, the familial to societal—all manner of Other manifest here reciprocally, “inscrutably involved.”

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* Martin Buber, I and Thou, trans. Walter Kaufmann (New York: Touchstone, 1996), p 67.

Artists

Artists Biographies

 

Regina De Rozario (b. 1973, Singapore) is an artist and writer. Her practice and research interests include psychogeography and urban visual culture—specifically, how related strategies of walking, mapping, writing and image-making enable us to recognise, reflect on, and respond to notions of power and control in the shaping of the physical and narrative spaces we inhabit. Apart from her solo practice, De Rozario is active as one-half of Perception3, an interdisciplinary art duo established in 2007 with design practitioner Seah Sze Yunn. Their collaborative work is currently focused on exploring the notions of loss and memory through text, photography, digital video, and site-specific installation. Recent exhibitions include An Atlas of Mirrors, Singapore Biennale (SB2016), Singapore (2016), Urbanness: Contemplating the City, Dubai (2015), and Unearthed, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2014). She received her MA in Contemporary Practice, and a BA (Hons) in Fine Art with Contemporary Writing from the University of Huddersfield (U.K.) at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore in 2010 and 2008 respectively. She has lectured and facilitated workshops at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore Management University, National Library, and Singapore Art Museum.

 

Mithun Jayaram (b. 1980, Calicut, India) is a Dubai-raised, Bangalore-based artist whose interest lies in observing the transience, decay, and frailty of everyday materials and objects, which are then translated into segments of mental landscapes through process-intensive installations. These installations tend to follow a pattern where an intended object/material gets processed and then reconstructed to form a site-specific texture. Though this texture eventually becomes sculptural in form, Jayaram places prime importance on the making and the taking down of the work. His participations and exhibitions include Between Conversations, Yavuz Gallery, Singapore (2013); The Feeling Bubble of Forgetting, Gloria Jeans Coffees, Bangalore (2009); Photographing Everyday, Alliance Française de Bangalore, Bangalore (2008) and A Roomful of Old Ladies Clattering their Fingernails, TickleArt Series, CityLink Underground Shopping Mall, Singapore (2005). Jayaram received his BA (Hons) in Fine Art (First Class Honours) from RMIT University, Melbourne at LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore, where he was also presented the Winston Oh Award to travel to Romania for a research project.

 

Mumtaz Maricar (b. 1977, Singapore) is interested in thoughts, sensations, incidences and events that present the body as a site of transgression, negotiation, rebellion and potential revelation. Not reaching out merely for the comfort of well-demarcated areas in perception, she is far more intrigued by covert moments that shift with ease between the grey areas of observation and what appears more well-defined. These moments of sublimation are her focus. As a Synesthete, some of Maricar’s previous works have been explorations into the condition in relation to sound and the formation of memories. Maricar was an art director in the television and film industry in Singapore for 14 years before she decided in 2017 to bid it adieu, and pave her way back into the world of creating art.  Maricar received her BA (Hons) in Fine Art (First Class Honours) from RMIT University, Melbourne at LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore, in 2001. Her video installation piece Tragic Heroine Closet Series (2004) in the exhibition Exploring Memory & Self at Jendela (Visual Arts Space), The Esplanade,– Theatres on the Bay, Singapore (2004) explored cinema, feminine archetypes and the formation of early identity.

 

Siew Kee Liong (b. 1962, Singapore) is a multimedia artist graduated from University of Miami, Coral Gables, with a BSC in Motion Pictures in 1989 and an MFA in Photography in 1991. Working mainly in the realms of photography and moving images in film/video, Siew works with both digital and analogue technology. Influenced by experimental films of the 1960s, he treats the film medium like a canvas where he alters it in an organic way: scratching, staining, burning, or sometimes, given the humid conditions of Southeast Asia,  allowing the inevitable mould and fungus that thrive on celluliod to interact with the emulsion organically. The manipulated film frames, negative or positive, are digitally processed and printed as large-format photographs. His work has been exhibited locally and internationally at Lien Ying Chow Library, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore (2016); The Art Gallery, National Institute of Education/NTU, Singapore (2003); 5th Passage, Singapore (1993); The Substation Gallery, Singapore (1993); Singapore Film Festival, Singapore (1993); the 5th Fukui International Video Biennale, Japan (1993); the Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, U.S.A. (1993); Barbara Gillman Gallery, Miami (1991), and Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables (1991), Florida. Siew has been involved in teaching since 1991, and is currently teaching photography in the School of Film & Media Studies at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore.

 

Leroy Sofyan (b. 1973, Singapore) is an artist and sculptor. His previous career as an Emergency Paramedic exposed him to the grit and grime of everyday living at its most basic, and often traumatic, levels. He is concerned with the struggles of the common person and the responsibility of choice. His sculptural practice includes carving wood and stone, and is centred on found objects and tools. His exhibitions include Some Things that Matter, Jendela (Visual Arts Space), Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore (2013); If the World Changed, Singapore Biennale (SB2013), Singapore (2013); Asia Contemporary Art: Space and Imagination, Chonnam Provincial Okgwa Museum, South Korea (2010) and Asia Contemporary Art: Now and Next, Gwangju National Museum, South Korea (2010). Sofyan received his BA (Hons) in Fine Art from the University of Huddersfield (U.K) at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore, He is currently a Technical Officer at School of The Arts, Singapore.

 

Vincent Twardzik Ching (b. 1970, Canada) is an artist and educator who lives and works in Singapore. Through paintings, drawings and sculpture, Twardzik Ching investigates trauma, healing and various aspects of male identity, often through the genre of landscape. Within these charged mindscapes, he attempts to reconcile experiences of conflict while exploring their dynamics as spaces of action and possibility. An advocate for Arts education he completed an MEd in Visual Art at the National Institute of Education/NTU, Singapore, and holds a BA and an Academic Achievement Award from the University of Regina (Canada). He was awarded Honourable Mention in The Phillip Morris Singapore Asean Art Awards (2002 and 2003) and received a National Arts Council grant (2012) to attend the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto, Canada, where he studied the oil painting techniques of Caravaggio. His sculpture will be presented at Multi-layered Surfaces, a survey of Canadian artists, NICA Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2018), and his work is included in the international travelling exhibition: The Fieldtrip Project (2015-present). Twardzik Ching is currently a part time Visual Arts Lecturer in drawing and painting at NIE (Singapore) and an Early Childhood Arts specialist at SEED Institute (Singapore).

 

Victor Emmanuel (b. 1979, Singapore) spent most of his youth in small local pockets of greenery in Singapore, observing and discovering different fauna in their natural habitats. Later in his teens, his nature-driven journeys were extended to parts of Southeast Asia.  More recently, he has been developing a deeper understanding of artistic techniques, including sculpture and casting, and wood carpentry as well. Victor received his Diploma in Fine Arts (Painting) from LASALLE College of the Arts in 2014. His recent exhibitions include Qi@art, Telok Kurau Studios, Singapore (2016); 50 Obsessions, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (2015) and Telok Kurau Studios Exhibition, Telok Kurau Studios, Singapore (2013-2015).

 

Susie Wong (b. Singapore) began her arts practice in the late 1980s, in painting and art writing, complementing these with art education, teaching, and curatorial projects.  She has exhibited works of figurative paintings, portraits, landscapes, drawings, and installations. Central to her current work is the inquiry of the image/light as a medium that mediates between memory and loss, between documentation and nostalgia. Her work Trace, installations of drawings, was exhibited at The Substation (2008), which travelled to Valentine Willie FA Gallery, Kulau Lumpur. More recently, her works My Beautiful Indies, and After Image, were shown respectively at The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore (2013), and Space Cottonseed, Gillman Barracks, Singapore (2014). Her video installation Take Care of Me was part of the curated series Opening Day at Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre, Singapore (2018).

 

Yeo Chee Kiong(b. 1970, Singapore) is a contemporary sculptor and installation artist who is fascinated with the language and spatial relationship between objects, space and authorship. His work destabilises the familiar notions of spatial proportions and perspectives, whilst examining the human condition in the construction of an extended surreal world. His recent exhibitions include Yeo Chee Kiong Solo Exhibition, Juming Art Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2017); 3rd FORMOSA, Sculpture Biennial 2017, Taiwan (2017); Personal Structures, parallel event of Venice Biennale 2017, Italy (2017); Art In The Forest, Flamingo, Dai Lai Resort, Hanoi, Vietnam (2017); Suide International Sculpture Symposium, China (2017) and International Sculpture Group – Tokyo & Seoul, Tokyo, Japan (2017). Yeo is an alumnus of the Glasgow School of Art (U.K.) and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore), and his list of conferred awards includes the NAFA Distinguished Alumni Medal (2016); the Grand Prize for the Inaugural APB Foundation Signature Art Prize, Singapore Art Museum (2008); the Young Artist Award, National Arts Council (2006), and the Grand prize for the 2nd CDL Singapore Sculpture Award (2005). He is currently the President of the Sculpture Society (Singapore) and Visiting Assistant Professor at National Taiwan University of Arts.

Essay

Curatorial Essay

To be updated.

 

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Dr Susie Lingham (b. Singapore) is an interdisciplinary and independent thinker, writer, educator, curator, and maker in the arts. Appointed Creative Director of An Atlas of Mirrors, Singapore Biennale (SB2016), Singapore (2016/17), Lingham was Director of the Singapore Art Museum from 2013 to 2016, shaping its new vision/mission, curatorial direction and acquisition strategy, and oversaw the development, organization and curating of 13 exhibitions, including After Utopia: Revisiting the Ideal in Asian Contemporary Art, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2015) and 5 Stars: Art Reflects on Peace, Justice, Equality, Democracy and Progress, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2015/16). Prior to these appointments, Lingham was Assistant Professor at the National Institute of Education/NTU, Singapore (2009-2013). Conferred the Distinguished Alumni Medal 2014 by Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Lingham has a DPhil in Literature, Religion and Philosophy (University of Sussex, U.K.); an MA (Hons) in Writing (University of Western Sydney, Australia); and a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching Higher Education (NIE/NTU, Singapore), and has taught at universities and art colleges in Australia, Singapore and the U.K.

 

Documentation

Opening Reception

 

Artist Talk

For information and documentation of the artist talk, click here.

 

Press