Please Explain: The Rise of New Asia Is Not the End of the World
SYDNEY. SATURDAY 13 APRIL 2019.
2.00PM – 3.30PM
4A’s series Please Explain invites presenters to rethink, recharge and reimagine contemporary issues through the arts, academia, journalism and related fields. Responding to By All Estimates presented at 4A, an exhibition that brings together works by artists that give form to narratives often obscured by the Singapore’s rapid urban and social development, this edition of Please Explain will feature exhibiting artists Erika Tan (UK) and Moses Tan (Singapore) alongside academic Dr Yvonne Low (Power Institute, The University of Sydney) and Ursula Sullivan, co-owner of Sullivan+Strumpf, the first Australian gallery to establish a presence in Singapore at Gillman Barracks.
Taking the seminal essay Authenticity, Reflexivity, and Spectacle; or, The Rise of New Asia is Not the End of the World (2004) by prominent Singaporean art critic and curator Lee Weng Choy as a key reference for discussion, speakers will explore a range of ideas and relate their own experiences concerning Lee’s central premise that “Singapore imagines itself not just as taking the best from the East and the West—as the inheritor of the great traditions and the latest technologies—but, by offering itself as the paradigm of New Asia, Singapore also stakes a claim as part of the avant-garde of the next stage of global capitalism.” This Please Explain will ask: How has his contention may have further evolved over the past fifteen years? How does the construct of ‘New Asia’ play out in the contemporary arts scene and global imagination? How have past and present institutional and national agendas influenced the way local artists and art markets operate? What is the democratic role of the arts in public discourse? And what role do artists play within Singapore’s investment in its rise as a global knowledge-based economy in the twenty-first century?
Dr Yvonne Low, Erika Tan, Moses Tan, Ursula Sullivan, University of Sydney, Moderator: Pedro de Almeida, 4A
| Ursula Sullivan
| Erika Tan
Erika Tan is an artist and curator based in London. Her work evolves from an extensive process of research focused on interests in received narratives, contested heritage, subjugated voices and the transnational movements of ideas, people and things. Solo exhibitions include APA JIKA, The Mis-Placed Comma, National Gallery Singapore ‘Uncommissioned’ tablet platform (2017-2020); Come Cannibalise Us, Why Don’t You? (Sila Mengkanibalkan Kami, Mahu Tak?), a major exhibition, symposium and artist book project presented at NUS Museum, Singapore, and Central Saint Martins School of Art, London (2014-2016), and Persistent Visions, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester (2005), NUS Museum, Singapore (2010) and Vargas Museum, Manila (2010). Group exhibitions include Diaspora Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale (2017); On Attachments and Unknowns, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh (2017); Double Visions, He Xiangning Museum of Art, Shenzen (2014); Camping and Tramping Through The Colonial Archive: The Museum in Malaya, NUS Museum, Singapore (2011–2013); Thermocline of Art, ZKM, Germany (2007); Around The World in Eighty Days, South London Gallery/ICA (2007); the inaugural Singapore Biennale (2006); Cities on the Move, Hayward Gallery, London (1999). Tan studied Social Anthropology and Archaeology at Kings College, Cambridge; Film Directing at The Beijing Film Academy, followed by an MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins School of Art, London. She currently teaches Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, was awarded the Stanley Picker Fine Art Fellowship 2018-2020, and is a founding member of Asia-Art-Activism, Raven Row, London.
| Moses Tan
Moses Tan is a Singapore-based artist whose work explores histories that intersect with queer theory and politics while looking at melancholia and shame as points of departure. Working with drawing, video and installation, his interest lies in the use of subtlety and codes in the articulation of narratives. He graduated from LASALLE College of the Arts with a BA(Hons) in Fine Arts and a BA(Hons) in Chemistry and Biological Chemistry from Nanyang Technological University. He was awarded the Noise Singapore Award for Art and Design in 2014, Winston Oh Travel Research Grant in 2016, and the LASALLE Award for Academic Excellence in 2016. He has shown in Grey Projects (SG), Hidden Space (HK), Indiana University (US), Sabanci University (TR), Kunst Im Dialog (DE) and also recently completed a residency in Santa Fe Art Institute (US).
| Moderator: Pedro de Almeida
Pedro is Business Manager at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and exhibition curator of By All Estimates.
Exhibition curator: Pedro de Almeida
Assistant curator: Janet Jin, who has assisted on development of this Please Explain discussion.