James Jack. Khayalan Island from Pulau Balakan Mati (As seen by a seven-year old island resident). Digital Inkjet print, 2015
Khayalan Island is rumored to have disappeared from the Singapore harbor in the beginning of the nineteenth century when the British were establishing a post in Southeast Asia. This work has been made while searching for the island in the complex realities surrounding Singapore today. Links between islands are discovered with archipelagic thinking that led to an investigation of the islands in Seribu, Setouchi, Ryukyu and Riau. The search resulted in a collection of poems, titled Stories of Khayalan, shaped by the voices of former island residents, maritime diaries and the actual experience of searching for Khayalan. Inspired by this exploration, the poem Reparative Islands is read aloud by two participants on a boat trip in the South Harbor. The night before the search trip, the seven-year old participant, an islander himself, made an image of the island. Presented in an intimate installation that merges memory and imagination, the poem — read aloud by the artist, Veryan and Jasper Stephens — and the image serve as mnemonics for reimagining the rich stories of the island we live on today.
James Jack. Reparative Islands. 2016, Sound installation view at Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore. 2017
The Making of an Institution is divided into four sections borrowed from the structure of a public report: Reason to Exist: The Director’s Review; Ownership, Development, and Aspirations; Artistic Research; and Communication and Mediation. The section dedicated to Artistic Research frames the material and immaterial aspects that constitute contemporary art practices. It takes over the Centre’s physical Spaces of the Curatorial—The Exhibition Hall, The Single Screen, The Lab, and The Vitrine—juxtaposing artworks and research projects by NTU CCA Singapore’s Artists-, Curators-in- Residence, and Research Fellows alongside various formats of public programming.
The public report will culminate into a book planned for publication in mid-2017, gathering the voices of all the artists, curators, researchers, and academics who have contributed to this first phase of the Centre.
The Making of an Institution is curated by Ute Meta Bauer, Anna Lovecchio, Curator, Residencies, and Anca Rujoiu, Manager, Publications.