“Oceans as Archives” Cosmos Ocean presentation, University of Amsterdam July 2022


Tuesday, 5 July 2022 University Theater (University of Amsterdam) 11:45 am – 1:15 pm

Panel Speakers

Hana Qugana & Simon Layton, Nadiah Rosli & Basten Gokkon, Wei-Hsiu Tung & James Jack

Moderated by: Kim Darbouze


“Remaining Nearby While Faraway” Essay for LASALLE MA Show



“In the opening lines of Faisal Tehrani’s novel 1515, Nyemah Mulya comes back from five centuries ago to ask a history professor today, “How would it be if we work together to change history?” Layers of the past opened respectfully with protocols sensitive to the place(s) we are in carry the ability to change history. Relearning what is nearby and how it has been impacted by faraway places is one way we can actively work “on decolonial time.”¹ The proposition of this show faraway nearby as a title chosen collaboratively chosen by the artists themselves might be to work with what is near, while rethinking our relationship to what is faraway, a bright proposition indeed.”





dokyu.space collaboration with poet Collier Nogues

“We began by talking about tidal fluctuations between Okinawa, Hong Kong and Singapore, which led us to think about our relationships to our local shorelines. Soon we found ourselves considering larger historical and political questions about access—and losing access—to the sea and land, particularly in the context of our shared affinity for demilitarization in the Pacific. The networked root systems of mangroves, with their embrace of contradictory currents, grounded our collaborative creative process.”

—James Jack & Collier Nogues

Poet Collier Nogues (Hong Kong) and artist James Jack (Japan) have engaged in a series of creative conversations over the past year together. For dokyu space Collier composed new poems using the interactive storytelling app Twine and the VR web framework A-Frame, exploring networked, tidal, and immersive poetic forms. James created new graphite drawings on paper investigating the rhizomatic structures of mangroves interwoven with text(s) that resist land-centric colonial histories by putting sea spirits, maritime ways of life and ancestral roots back into the center. They shared these works with all dokyu space participants, from which brief discussion excerpts have been selected here along with samples of their works in progress for the website in preparation for an upcoming exhibition.



“Emerging Encounters” exhibit 16 August – 30 September 2021 Tokyo & online

Emerging Encounters 
TURN 2021

James Jack with Harmony

Documentary film 2016-2021
Directed by Dai Tamura

*Video available online through 30 September 2021

Our lives nowadays demand considerable change. We each respond to this change in a variety of ways. Even those who are confused by change may find pointers towards new promise and possibilities by adopting a TURN-like perspective.


Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art

Akashi Ikawa

“The Sea We Sea”
by James Jack and Harmony

Assembled into a newly imagined chorus of voices.


“Messages from the Virus” in online exhibit @Arts Tropical Okinawa

Artists online exhibit


Art Tropical Okinawa


James JACK

Messages from the Virus



14 April 

“Slow down or perish” the virus seems to be saying to us. It has messages for us. Each day from now on during the “circuit breaker” in Singapore (or “lockdown” in other places) I will find one message the virus is sending us and attempt to translate it into words.

First message:
Love each other, especially from a distance.

Tomorrow I will do the same. Listen to the virus and its carriers to see what they want to say to us. If people listen, perhaps we can improve from this situation from calamity towards one that is more in tune to our environment, each other and the society that we want to become in the future.





Continues here:


Colors Born in Light

On a cloudy April day, just as the first cherry blossoms were beginning to open, I met Shingo Francis at the Kawamura DIC Museum, in Japan, where his work featured in the exhibition “The Unseen Relationship: Form and Abstraction.” Born in Santa Monica, California, in 1969, Francis’ works are saturated with layers of thin oil washes that draw the eye closer to what the artist calls “the Abyss.” Despite having an oceanic aura, Shingo’s perspective is not one of looking across the sea as in traditional landscape paintings. Instead, his perspective is one of being submerged or immersed in the ocean, unable to recognize sky from saltwater.

Read the full interview I did with Shingo Francis at Art Asia Pacific online

Installation view of SHINGO FRANCIS’ Bound for Eternity (space), 2011, and SAM FRANCIS’ Untitled (Blue), 1951–52.