Stealing Public Space

How Southeast Asian contemporary art co-opts the city and other collective sites

      Since the 1970s, and more markedly after 1990, regional artists have occupied alternative spaces for their works to expand viewership beyond the white cube, or in reaction to institutions unreceptive to experimental art. This site-specificity emerges from necessity, and a desire to activate art as an incursion into public zones, which can be physical, as well as sometimes intangible.

 Stealing Public Space explores the connection between Southeast Asian art languages, the city, and intangible or symbolic public “sites” such as money, national anthems, history, and maps. This expansive exhibition comprises 25 artists and 32 historical and newly-commissioned works by established and emerging artists from across the region. Several works invite audience participation, exemplifying expressive strategies that distinguish Southeast Asian contemporary art on the global scene.

The exhibition postures that public urban space is often a key component of art, with practitioners creating their pieces for urban locales where public visibility, exposure, and response are assured; Sutee Kunavichayanont’s History Class (2000), installed at the foot of Bangkok’s Democracy Monument is one example.

Stealing Public Space is part of The Substation’s 2019/20 programme season, A Public Square.



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About the Curator

Iola Lenzi is a Singapore art historian and curator of contemporary Southeast Asian art. Also trained in law, she studies visual art practices grappling with history and society, analysed within Asian cultural frameworks. She has curated numerous institutional exhibitions of Southeast Asian art in Asia and Europe and commissioned–edited four research anthologies centering on themes of Southeast Asian contemporary art. Lenzi is a lecturer in the Asian Art Histories MA programme of Singapore’s Lasalle-Goldsmiths College of the Arts and is the author of ‘Museums of Southeast Asia’. Lenzi is currently pursuing doctoral studies on Vu Dan Tan and early contemporary art in Hanoi at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.




Angel Velasco Shaw (b. 1963, Philippines)

Angel Velasco Shaw is a media artist, educator, curator, and cultural organiser living in Manila and New York City. Her experimental documentaries—Inherited Memories, When Absence Becomes Presence, Motherload, The Momentary Enemy, Umbilical Cord, Asian Boys, and Nailed have screened internationally in festivals, museums, and schools. They are in several European museum archive collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Curatorial visual art and film exhibitions, and cross-cultural exchange projects include “Not Visual Noise”, “The Inverted Telescope”, “Markets of Resistance”, “Women as (Mythical) Hero”, “Vestiges of War”, and co-curated “Empire and Memory: Repercussions and Evocations of the 1899 Philippine-American War”. Publications include the anthology Vestiges of War: The Philippine-American War and the Aftermath of An Imperial Dream: 1899-1999, co-edited with Luis H. Francia (New York University Press, 2002 and Markets of Resistance anthology (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2020). She received a Filipina Women’s Network 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S. “Innovators & Thought Leaders” award, 2011.

Alwin Reamillo (b. 1964, Philippines)

Alwin Reamillo studied painting at the University of the Philippines’ College of Fine Arts, and began his career as a visual art teacher at the Philippines High School of the Arts. His practice moves between mixed media, painting, sculpture, installation, shadow, puppetry, performance and typically through found materials. After migrating to Australia in 1995, Alwin became interested in ideas about memory, mobility, exchange, collaboration and the experience of moving between different cultures. Through an exploration of intertwined themes of colonisation, migration and globalisation of culture, Alwin has collaborated with community groups in Australia and overseas, creating a number of participatory ‘social sculptures’ in response to local contexts and histories.

He had solo exhibited in Australia, Japan, the Philippines and the United States. His shows include Contemporary Art in Asia: Traditions/Tensions by The Asia Society (1996) in New York City; the 3rd Fukuoka Triennale (2005); Thrice Upon A Time: A Century of Storyin the Art of Philippines (2009) at Singapore Art Museum; and Making History: How Southeast Asian art reconquers the past to conjure the future (2010) at the Esplanade in Singapore.

Bui Cong Khanh (b. 1972, Vietnam)

Bui Cong Khanh is an artist deeply fascinated with social assumptions of cultural heritage. As one of the first local artists to gain an international reputation in the 1990s, with his performances questioning restrictions of individual expression in Communist Vietnam, Bui’s multifarious practice has since embraced painting, sculpture, installation, video and drawing with significant showcase across the South East Asian region and beyond. Bui is a poetically provocative artist, whose art continues to grow with depth afforded by historical research, a marriage of the plastic arts with conceptual method not taught within the educational system of Vietnam.

Recent projects include: ‘Dislocate’ (solo), San Art and The Factory, Ho Chi Minh City, 2016; ‘Fortress Temple’ (solo), 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong, 2015; ‘The Roving Eye: Contemporary Art from South East Asia’, Arter, Istanbul, 2014; ‘Concept, Context, Contestation: Art and the Collective in South East Asia’, BACC, Bangkok (touring), 2013-2015; 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2009. He currently lives and works in Hoi An, Vietnam.

Chaw Ei Thein (b. 1969, Myanmar)

Chaw Ei Thein is highly regarded as a painter and a performance artist, especially through the guidance of her father and mentor, artist Maung Maung Thein (Pathein). Her international career is highly profiled as she portrays the contradictions and conflicts of her socio-political environment. Her artworks are primarily the interpretation of her personal experiences over how she has struggled with lack of freedom of speech and the impact of social transformation. She was a finalist of the “2017 Joseph Balestier Award for the Freedom of Art”. She is a co-founder of STUDIO MUDRA gallery in Santa Fe.

Over the years she has lectured and exhibited extensively, participating in numerous international performance art festivals. She exhibited “September Sweetness”, in collaboration with Richard Streitmatter-Tran, at Singapore Biennale 2008 and gave talk “The Burmese Performance Art Scene: Faced by Burmese Artists” at the Asia House Gallery, London, in 2007. She has been selected for several awards and residencies in the United States, including Asian Cultural Council fellowship in New York from 2009 to 2010 and Art Omi, the Gardarev Center Fellow, and the Sea Change Residency, GAEA Foundation. In 2016, she received AIT (Art Initiative Tokyo) fellowship in Tokyo, Japan. Her work has been widely covered in the international arts press including Sculpture Now (2013), Asia Art Now (2012), Artforum, Art Asia Pacific, Yishu, C-Arts, and The New York Times, Washington Post and The Straits Times.

Chris Chong Chan Fui (b. 1972, Malaysia)

Chris Chong Chan Fui works with varying materials in an installation format surrounding themes that involving space, authenticity, and commerce. Chong has exhibited his works at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Palais de Tokyo, EYE Film Institute Netherlands, Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, and Singapore Art Museum. Chong has also premiered at the Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, Vienna, BFI London, and Toronto’s Wavelengths. Works within public collections include Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden and the Singapore Art Museum.

Chong is a Smithsonian Institute fellow (National Museum of Natural History) and a Ford Foundation fellow. Recent residences include: Cité internationale des arts artist residency (Paris), and the NTU Center for Contemporary Art artist-research residency (Singapore).

In 2018, Chong will be presenting at the 2018 Gwangju Biennale, Korea. In 2019, he has been awarded the 2019 Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Arts Fellowship, Italy.

Dinh Q. Le (b. 1968, Vietnam)

Dinh Q. Le was born in Ha-Tien and immigrated to the US to escape Khmer Rouge attack in Southern border between Vietnam and Cambodia. He received his BA in Art Studio at UC Santa Barbara and his MFA in Photography and Related Media at The School of Visual Arts in New York City. In the early 1990s Le has returned to Vietnam and resided in Ho Chi Minh City, where he later co-founded Sàn Art with 3 other established Vietnamese artists. Dinh Q.Le is known for his weaving photographic works and videos that re-imagine different perspectives of the wars in Vietnam and other colonised nations and what is happening now in Vietnamese society.

Notable solo exhibitions include ‘Memory for Tomorrow’, Mori Museum, Tokyo, Japan in 2015; ‘Erasure’, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney, Australia and ‘Project 93: Dinh Q. Lê’ at MOMA, New York in 2010; ‘A Tapestry of Memories: The Art of Dinh Q. Lê’ at the Bellevue Art Museum, Washington State in 2007 and ‘Destination for the New Millennium, The Art of Dinh Q. Lê’, at the Asia Society, New York in 2005.

Green Zeng (b. 1972, Singapore)

Green Zeng is a filmmaker and artist from Singapore. His art practice explores issues of historiography and identity, and examines how history is scripted, perceived and disseminated. His earlier work focused on areas such as alternative histories, student activism, and the social-political understanding of landscape. His current work questions the connection between the archives, the State and the individual, and the role that an artist plays in Foucault’s notion of ‘parrhesia’ (truth-telling).

In 2015, his debut feature film, The Return, made its international premiere in competition at the 30th Venice International Film Critics’ Week. Zeng has also directed short films such as Blackboard Whiteshoes, which was selected for the Cannes Film Festival in 2006, and Passenger, which in the same year was awarded the Encouragement Prize at the Akira Kurosawa Memorial Short Film Competition in Tokyo.

As a practicing artist, Zeng has exhibited widely in Singapore and abroad. In 2011, Zeng held two solo exhibitions, Malayan Exchange, at the Arts House and An Exile Revisits The City at The Substation in Singapore. His most recent solo exhibition Returning, Revisiting & Reconstructing was held at Foundation Cinema Oasis, Bangkok in 2019. In 2012, he was a Finalist for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in Hong Kong. In 2014, he was nominated for the Asia Pacific Breweries Signature Art Prize. He won the Bronze Award in the 26th UOB Painting of the Year (Established Artist Category) in 2018.

Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan (b. 1965 and 1962, Philippines)

Philippines-born husband-and-wife artists Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan’s collaborative practice often evolves around the spheres of home and family, exploring the notions of identity and belonging, journey and displacement, sensing presences in absence and accumulating memory. They continue to process these issues through materials and objects that are both abstract and referential, objects that serve as metaphors of everyday human life.

The works of Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan have been exhibited extensively in galleries and institutions worldwide, including the Thailand Biennale (2018) ; Gangwon International Biennale, South Korea (2018); Honolulu Biennale, USA (2017); Sharjah Biennale, UAE (2013); Asia Pacific Triennale, Australia (2009); Singapore Biennale (2008); Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2006); Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2004), Venice Biennale, Italy (2003). Their works are included in major collections such as the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (Australia); Singapore Art Museum; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Japan); Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (Australia); and Lopez Museum Foundation (Philippines).

Jakkai Siributr (b. 1969, Thailand)

Jakkai Siributr‘s practice is primarily textile based, but defined by his use of the medium to confront Thai society’s cultural and political shifts since the end of the Vietnam War. Exploring increased urbanisation, materialism, political instability, and growing frictions between rural and urban populations, his delicate tapestries act as exposés of political corruption, transforming beliefs, and cultural frictions within the Kingdom. Studying and residing in the USA for nearly ten years, Siributr earned his BA in Textiles/Fine Arts, at Indiana University Bloomington in 1992 and MS in Printed Textile Design at the Philadelphia University in 1996.

His exhibition history includes: 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Centemporary Art (2018), Bangkok Art Biennale (2018), Dhaka Art Summit (2018), PATANI SEMASA, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum (2017); DISPLACED, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Bangkok, Thailand (2017); First Look: Collecting Contemporary at the Asian, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Transient Shelter (2015); Viewpoints and Viewing Points – the 2009 Asian Art Biennial, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (2009); and ArtPosition, Murten, Switzerland (2005); among others. His work is included in the collections of the Singapore Art Museum, Queensland Gallery of Art / Gallery of Modern Art, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art; Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USA; and the Vehbi Koc Foundation, Istanbul.

Lee Wen (1957-2019, Singapore)

Lee Wen is a Singaporean performance artist who is considered one of the genre’s pioneers in Southeast Asia. Though often thoughtfully critical in his take on national issues, he was awarded Singapore’s Cultural Medallion in 2005. The artist is best known for his Journey of a Yellow Man performances, in which he paints his body with bright yellow poster paint, an exaggerated symbol of his ethnic identity as a citizen of Singapore. Evident in his strong body of work are themes of culture and identity.

Lee Wen has participated in the Busan Biennale (2004), the 3rd Asia Pacific Triennial of Conteporary Art (1999), the Havana Biennale (1997), the Gwangju Biennial (1995), among other events. With the help of The Artists Village, he initiated the performance art event ‘Future of Imagination’ in Singapore,which has been held annually since 2003.

Manit Sriwanichpoom (b. 1961, Thailand)

Manit Sriwanichpoom is one of Thailand’s leading photography artists, as well as one of Southeast Asia’s most internationally exhibited. Manit graduated with BA in Visual Arts from Srinakharinwirot University and lives and works in Bangkok. He is best known for his Pink Man series that began before the Asian Crisis of the late 1990s. Operating as an ironic and sometimes pathos-injected critique of consumer culture in Thailand and wider Asia, Pink Man probes Thailand’s social concerns and censored histories of recent decades. Manit is the 2007 recipient of Japan’s prestigious Higashikawa Overseas Photographer Award.

The artist has participated in international exhibitions including the 1st Fukuoka Triennale (1999); Cities on the Move (1999); the 50th Venice Biennale (2003); Next Move: Contemporary Art from Thailand (2003) in Singapore; the 6th Gwangju Biennale (2006); and Negotiating Home, History and Nation: Two decade of contemporary art in Southeast Asia (2011) at Singapore Art Museum.  His works are included in the collections of the Singapore Art Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, and the Koc Foundation, Istanbul, amongst others.

Martha Atienza (b. 1981, Philippines)

Martha Atienza is a Postwar & Contemporary artist. Her work was featured in numerous exhibitions at key galleries and museums, including the Asia Society and Museum, New York and The Jewish Museum. Her first artwork to be offered at auction was 0.99 n. miles N (348°) inland, at León Gallery, Makati in 2018. She has been featured in articles for the Art Asia Pacific, the ARTINFO and the Frieze Magazine. The most recent article is The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art Confronts Climate Calamity with Indigenous Cultural Practices written by Helen Hughes for the Frieze Magazine in February 2019.

Ming Wong (b. 1971, Singapore)

Born in Singapore, Ming Wong now lives and works in Berlin. Ming Wong builds layers of cinematic language, social structure, identity and introspection through his own re-telling of world cinema. He deliberately ‘mis-casts’ himself and others in re-interpretations of iconic films and performances, sometimes playing all the roles himself, often in languages foreign to him. Working through the visual styles and tropes of such iconic film directors as Fassbinder, Wong Kar-wai, Visconti, Pasolini, Douglas Sirk, Ingmar Bergman, Polanski, etc, Wong’s practice considers the means through which subjectivity and geographic location are constructed by motion pictures.

He participated in the 53rd Venice Biennale 2009 representing the Singapore Pavilion with his solo presentation ‘Life of Imitation’ which was awarded a Special Mention. Exhibitions in 2013 include Lyon Biennale (France) and solo shows at the Shiseido Gallery in Tokyo (Japan) and University of Oregon (USA). In 2012 he participated in the Liverpool Biennial (UK), and the Toronto International Film Festival (Canada) with his project ‘Making Chinatown’ first shown at the REDCAT in Los Angeles (USA). He has also shown at Performa 11, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Hara Museum, Tokyo; House of World Cultures, Berlin; Frye Art Museum, Seattle, Washington; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Singapore Biennale 2011; Sydney Biennale 2010; Gwangju Biennale 2010.

Nindityo Adipurnomo (b. 1961, Indonesia)

Nindityo Adipurnomo finished his visual art education at STSRI ”ASRI” Yogyakarta in 1988. He went to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1987 for a year residency at The State Academy of Amsterdam. Since then, he has been joining many international/local residency programs as well as workshop for artists and art activists up to now. Together with Mella Jaarsma, he founded The Cemeti Gallery in 1988 in Yogyakarta (since 1999 changed into Cemeti Art House), curating monthly exhibitions and art projects of Indonesian as well as international artists in galleries. In 1995, he set up The Cemeti Art Foundation which is now IVAA (Indonesian Visual Art Archive) and is recently functioning as an advisor of the foundation’s Advisory Boards. In 2005, he received A Long Life Achievement Award: John D. Rockefeller’s 3rd Award of the Asian Cultural Council in New York together with Mella Jaarsma. With more artists and art activists as well as architects, Nindityo Adipurnomo is an active think-tank member of the boards of Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation which initiated Biennale Equator in 2011, 2013, 2015.

Nindityo’s works have been presented in the collection of art institutions, such as museums, national galleries, and any other art spaces. They have also been exhibited in key exhibitions such as “The Jakarta Art Council Biennale IX” (1993), “The 2nd Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art” in Brisbane (1996), “Contemporary Art in Asia: Traditions/Tensions” in New York (1996), “The Havana Biennial” in Havana – Cuba in 1997, “The Second Fukuoka Triennale” in Fukuoka, Japan (2002), “Gwangju Biennale” in Gwangju, South Korea (2002), “Circle Point Open Biennale” in Jakarta (2003), “Busan Biennale” in Busan, South Korea (2004), “Taboo and Transgression in Contemporary Indonesian Art” in Herbert F. Johnson Museum Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (2005), the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Milano, Italia (2006), the National Gallery Singapore, and recent Jakarta Biennale (2013).

Poklong Anading (b. 1975, Indonesia)

Poklong Anading’s spectrum of work ranges from video, installation, photography, drawing, and painting, continuously expanding on allegedly autonomous projects that reinforce a substantial discourse with an investigative, descriptive character – a chimeric entity, comprehensive in form and coherent in content. Often based on an interactive approach, engaging with the subject and the audience, Anading’s work is defined by a unique standpoint on social occurrences and structures from which calculated intrusion arises from. A vast part of his projects, therefore conceptual approaches, is based on the notion of deductive research – collecting as an act, as a method to extract the essential but then portray the organic appropriateness of dissimilarity.

In his acclaimed work series “Anonymity” and “Counter Acts” (2004-ongoing), Anading photographs people holding a circular mirror in front of their faces and reflecting the sunlight against the artist’s camera lens. The question of identity that arises with the work may not be limited to the subject but extends to the negotiation of the relationship between the One and the Other.

Popok Tri Wahyudi (b. 1973, Indonesia)

Indonesian mixed media artist Popok Tri Wahyudi studied at the Indonesia Institute of Art in Yogyakarta during the 1990s. Toward the end of the Suharto era, he joined Apotik Komik, a Yogyakarta-based artist collective that is engaged in political and social commentary using the graphic media of comics, murals and posters. Wahyudi paints on canvas, paper and glass to express a complex narration that illustrates his personal experiences with images and stories perceived through mass media. His talents as a comic book illustrator are evident in both his illustrative painting style and narrative imagery. Each of Wahyudi’s painting condenses a whole comic strip into individual action packed canvases. He often makes work that represents the lunacy of the current political situation with the country, reflecting social issues and commenting on power structures in contemporary Indonesian society.

Popok has also explored his concerns in cultural contexts beyond South East Asia. Since the late 1990s, his work has been exhibited in Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, Singapore and Germany. The artist spent a period of time in Santa Monica, California, as artist-in-residence at the 18th Street Art Complex with the UNESCO programme in 2001. In 2007, he was invited to participate in a six month artist residency at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. This particular experience of negotiating linguistic and cultural difference tested his ideas about social communication, and it was comics that provided an alternative mode for pursuing dialogue in an unfamiliar oral and written culture.

Restu Ratnaningtyas (b. 1981, Indonesia)

Restu Ratnaningtyas is an artist and illustrator who now lives and works in Yogyakarta. She has worked as a drafter, teacher, and curator. Her work practices include a variety of explorations in the fields of video art, painting, installation, and multimedia, which explore the potential of any mediums, especially watercolours fabric, and paper, focusing on everyday actual topics, and objects related to the balance of human life.

As an artist, she actively creates works and is involved in art projects in Indonesia and abroad. In addition to solo performances – Memento: Room Privatization Room in Vivi Yip Art, Jakarta (2008) , ‘Tantrum ‘at KedaiKebun Forum, Yogyakarta (2016); and ‘Subsume’ at Good Art, Los Angeles (2017) , and Ranah/Tanah, Yogyakarta (2019), Restu has played roles in international group exhibitions, including ‘Monnikos: Art of Memory’ in Bangkok, Thailand (2013); ‘The Roving Eye’ in Istanbul, Turkey (2014).

Sarah Choo Jing (b. 1990, Singapore)

Sarah Choo Jing, who lives and works in Singapore, is known for her interdisciplinary approach to photography, video and installation. Her work depicts identifiable moments and characters within contemporary urban society, suggesting a plethora of private and often solitary narratives. The artist is concerned with the gaze of the flaneur, voyeurism and the uncanny. She recently completed her MFA at the Slade School of Art in London last summer 2015. Choo was recently shortlisted as a Finalist in the Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2017 and awarded the Perspectives 40 under 40 award. She has clinched the Gold Award in the 2016 PX3 Prix de la Photographie, Fine Art Category and been awarded First Place in the 2015 Moscow International Foto Awards. She was also awarded the ICON De Martell Cordon Bleu Photography Award and Kwek Leng Joo Prize of Excellence in Still Photography Award in 2013.

The artist has since exhibited internationally at The Busan Museum of Art (Korea), the Daegu Photo Biennale (Korea), ArtParis at The Grand Palais (Paris), the START Art Fair at The Saatchi Gallery (London), Photo London 2015 at The Somerset House (London), and The Santa Fe International New Media Festival (New Mexico, USA). Her works are collected by both private individuals and public institutions; including the Singapore Art Museum, National Museum of Singapore and The Arts Club Permanent Art Collection (London).

Sutee Kunavichayanont (b. 1965, Thailand)

Sutee Kunavichayanont was born in Bangkok, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Silpakorn University in 1989, and later obtained a Master’s degree in Visual Arts from the University of Sydney. Sutee’s practice is noted for its layered conceptual approach as much as for its ability to engage a wide audience through participatory strategies – his desk installation History Class (2000), and his inflated latex series, two of Southeast Asian contemporary art canon’s most famous and well-loved pieces. Thematically, his work reflects the rapid social, economic and political changes that have affected Thailand since the 1990s. The artist uses his art to critically probe nationalism, power, identity, history and cultural convention in Thailand and beyond. Producing pieces in a wide variety of media, the artist mines familiar formal languages to engage the viewer in a playful examination of complex questions.

Since 1986, the artist has exhibited widely in Thailand, Singapore, Korea, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the United States. Sutee’s art is in major institutional collections, including the Mori Art Museum, The Queensland Art Gallery, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Singapore Art Museum, and KOC Foundation, Istanbul. Sutee is a curator and a lecturer at Silpakorn University. The artist works and lives in Bangkok.

Tang Mun Kit (b. 1955, Singapore)

Tang Mun Kit graduated with BSc.(Hons) Mechanical Engineering from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, U.K. (1979) before working as a full-time artist in 1985. Tang has participated in various projects and artist residencies including ‘More than 4…’ Installation and Actions as part of the Singapore Festival of Arts (1988), residency in Western Australia College of Advanced Education, Perth Australia (1989) and ‘Facing the Infinite Space’, gallery forum and group exhibition at the Japan Foudation ASEAN Culture Centre Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (1993). He was awarded 7 Certificates of Distinction and Commendation in the UOB Painting of the Year Competitions (1989-1991), 2 Special Awards Promising Artist in MCI Competition (1989) and First Prize in the IBM Art Award (1990).

With 18 solo exhibitions to date, some of Tang’s notable solo exhibitions include ‘Improvisationen’ at Hohmann Galerie Walsrode, Germany (1991) and World Trade Centre Bremen, Germany (1992), ‘researchdocumentationpeace’ at Pitspace Gallery, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia (1995), ‘Improvisasi dan juga’ at Creative Centre, National Art Gallery, Malaysia (1996) and ‘Hibernated Works 3.0 + 30%’ at The Substation, Singapore (2017). Some of the notable group shows that Tang has taken part include ‘Modernity and Beyond,’ the 1996 inaugural exhibition of the Singapore Art Museum, and ‘Siapa Nama Kamu? Art in Singapore since the 19th Century,’ the 2015 inaugural exhibition of the National Gallery Singapore and ‘Concept Context Contestation: Art and the Collective in Southeast Asia’ at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), Thailand (2013-2014). His work has been collected by Deutsche Bank AG, Singapore Art Museum, National Gallery Singapore, and various private collectors.

Taring Padi (Indonesia)

Taring Padi is a society of underground artists in Yogyakarta formed during the fall of Suharto and after. They are well known for the production of cartoon-like posters embedded with political and social justice messages and mostly using the cukli technique on paper or canvas. In addition to their print work, they also create installations, street theatre performances, punk rock and techno music. Works by Taring Padi have been shown in many formal and non-formal settings including Indonesia’s National Gallery in Jakarta, the 31st Century Museum in Chiang Mai and Tally Beck Contemporary in New York City. Taring Padi was also included int he group show Sisa: re-use, collaborations, and cultural activism from Indonesia at the gallery of the University of Technology in Sydney.

Vandy Rattana (b. 1980, Cambodia)

Vandy Rattana lives and works between Phnom Penh, Paris, Taipei and Tokyo. In 2007, he was one of the co-founders of Stiev Selapak / Art Rebels, and in 2009 he was also one of the co-founders of Sa Sa Art Gallery. He contributed, in 2011, to establish SA SA BASSAC, the first dedicated exhibition spaces for contemporary art in Cambodia. Vandy Rattana began his photography practice in 2005 concerned with the lack of physical documentation accounting for the stories, traits, and monuments unique to his culture. His serial work employed a range of analog cameras and formats, straddling the line between strict photojournalism and artistic practice. His recent works mark a shift in philosophy surrounding the relationship between historiography and image making. For Vandy, photographs are now fictional constructions, abstract and poetic surfaces, histories of their own. He began interested in film-making in 2014. The short-film MONOLOGUE is one of his first video works. He is now working on the short-film FUNERAL (exerpt). In 2014, he also co-founded Ponleu Association, which aims to provide access to international reference books, through their translation and publication in Khmer. It also publishes its own books, focusing on various fields of knowledge (philosophy, literature, science, etc.)

Select solo exhibitions include MONOLOGUE, Jeu de Paume Paris and CAPC Bordeaux (2015), Surface, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh (2013), Bomb Ponds, Asia Society, NYC (2013) and Hessel Museum of Art, NY (2010). His group exhibitions include dOCUMENTA(13), Noorderlicht International Photo Festival (2012), Kassel (2012), 1st Kiev Biennale (2012), Institutions for the Future, Asia Triennial Manchester II (2011), 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane (2009).

vertical submarine (Singapore)

vertical submarine (VS) is an art collective from Singapore. The group has received accolades such as The President’s Young Talents Award (Singapore/ 2009), The Celeste Prize (New York/ 2011), and Finalist for Sovereign Asian Art Prize (Hong Kong/ 2015). In 2010, VS was appointed the Associate Director of TheatreWorks (Singapore/ 2010-13), and part of the Associate Artist Research Programme at The Substation (Singapore, 2011-13). They have participated in projects such as Kuandu Biennale (2010), Roundtable: Gwangju Biennale (2012) and The Roving Eye: Contemporary Art from SE Asia, ARTER (Istanbul/ 2014 and CCC: Jogjakarta organised by Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre (2016). To date, their widely acclaimed art installations, which includes The Garden of Forking Paths/ Mirror Room (2010) and John Martin: Butcher or Surgeon (2015), have travelled internationally. The group is also part of Thailand Biennale: The Edge of Wonderland (Krabi/ 2018).

Vu Dan Tan (1946 – 2009, Vietnam)

A self-taught artist, Vu Dan Tan was born into a literary family in Hanoi. Influenced by his father, he studied art and music and later travelled to the Soviet Union where he honed his skills as a painter. Returning to Vietnam, Vu Dan Tan took interest in found objects and detritus, transforming these into whimsical and fantastical creations. These practices were at odds with the conventional modernist painting of his contemporaries. Visually seductive and playful, his installation, performance, prints and musical creations are global in their iconographic exhibitions include 8th Sculpture Triennial Fellbach (1993), 10th Osaka Triennale (2001), Gap Viet Nam at the House of World Cultures in Berlin (1999), Inside at Documenta X (1997, and the 2nd Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (1996). The artist has participated in numerous shows and residencies in Japan, the United States, Germany, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and China. Vu Dan Tan is represented in several public collections including those of the Queensland Art Gallery, Singapore Art Museum, and the World Bank in Washington, DC.

Yadanar Win (b.1987, Myanmar)

Yadanar Win is a performance, video, and installation artist. With an early interest in international exchanges, driven by her university studies in English, she joined New Zero Art Space as a collaborative member in 2009, then she remained for 9 years as an organizer, participant, and art professional based in Yangon. Her unique ability to seamlessly join her own body, to the document of her performance, and bring them together into an art object is reflective of her generation’s willingness to experiment with all mediums, and abandon the traditional painting and sculpture so common in the Myanmar art scene. Her performances are passionate and critical, often citing the plight of Myanmar’s peace process or personal struggles as a young, female artist. While participating several exhibitions local and internationally, she was also works as a cultural coordinator at the Goethe Institut – Myanmar for two years. Now, she is an independent artist and organiser of several cultural projects in Yangon.

Exhibition Opening Hours:
11 January–23 February 2020

Tue – Sun, 12pm – 8pm daily
Closed on Mondays and Chinese New Year (24 – 27 Jan 2020)
Free admission

Opening events:
14 January 2020

Artist panel with curator
5pm – 6pm / The Substation Theatre
Free via registration here

Performance by Bui Cong Khanh
6.15pm – 6.30pm

Opening reception
6.30pm – 8pm

Related programmes:

Curator-led tour
18 January, Sat / 11am – 11.30am / The Substation Gallery
Free via registration here (Limited to 25 pax)

Public art talk
22 February, Sat / 11am – 12.30pm / The Substation Theatre
Free via registration here