No Country Opens on May 10 at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore
No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia Opens on Saturday, May 10 at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore
Final Presentation of the First Phase of Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative Curated by Singaporean June Yap
(New York and Singapore, May 7, 2014) – From May 10 to July 20, 2014, the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Singapore, a national research centre of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), will host the critically acclaimed exhibition No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, as part of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. Curated by June Yap, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, South and Southeast Asia, the exhibition will feature 19 works by 16 artists and collectives from 11 countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom.
No Country features thought-provoking recent artworks in a wide variety of media including painting, photography, sculpture, and video. The Centre for Contemporary Art exhibition will mark the first presentation of two works from the Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund not previously shown as part of No Country: Loss by Sheela Gowda and Morning Glory by Sopheap Pich. The exhibition presents audiences with a selection of South and Southeast Asia’s most challenging and inventive artists including Navin Rawanchaikul, Shilpa Gupta, and Singapore-based Tang Da Wu, and features individual video installation rooms for works by Tran Luong, Amar Kanwar, and The Otolith Group.
The exhibition was first presented last year at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (February 22–May 22, 2013) prior to its recent showing at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center (October 30, 2013–February 16, 2014). No Country’s presentation in Singapore brings the artworks back to the region from which many of the artists hail, and calls for a closer examination of regional cultural representations and relations. This return suggests the possibility of a renewed understanding through a process of mutual rediscovery that transcends physical and political borders.
The exhibition—the title of which was drawn from the opening line of W.B. Yeats’s poem “Sailing to Byzantium” (1928)—presents South and Southeast Asia in terms of transformation and trace, charting patterns of historical and contemporary influence within and beyond the region itself. The artworks are grouped according to four themes: reflection and encounter, intersections and dualities, diversities and divisions, and the desire for unity and community. No Country presents artworks that challenge and explore the region’s historical ambiguities, territories both psychic and literal, individual subjectivities, and political, economic, and aesthetic negotiations.
The artists and artworks in the Singapore presentation are:
According to Ms. Yap, “There is a tremendous diversity of artistic practice in South and Southeast Asia, and certainly more artists and artworks than any single project can accommodate. In this exhibition, the intention is to present the range of aesthetic developments and subjects of interest to contemporary artists, and to challenge the privileging of nation and national narrative as a basis for understanding them. Accompanied by programs for engagement with different local audiences, No Country is more than an exhibition, it is a platform for discussion and exchange.”
June Yap has curated No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia with assistance from Helen Hsu, former Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and guidance from Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, and Joan Young, Director of Curatorial Affairs, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, are providing curatorial oversight for the entire multi-year Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. The Centre for Contemporary Art is collaborating closely with June Yap and the Guggenheim curatorial team in presenting the exhibition in Singapore.
Professor Bertil Andersson, President of Nanyang Technological University, said: “As one of the world’s fastest-rising universities in Asia, NTU is proud to be associated with this exciting exhibition that showcases some of the best contemporary artworks from Singapore and the dynamic region. This historic first-time partnership between the CCA and the Guggenheim will be the start of great things to come, as it strengthens cultural and artistic exchanges across borders and inspires our creative young talents in Singapore and elsewhere to aim for artistic excellence. By engaging the public through on-the-ground and online activities, it will also deepen the relationship between artists and the larger community, and expand the global dialogue about the region’s rich contemporary art scene.”
Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art, stated: “We are very pleased that the CCA is working together with the Guggenheim on an exhibition that critically examines contemporary art in South and Southeast Asia. June Yap, the exhibition curator, is one of the curators whom I met during my first visit to Singapore a decade ago and whose rigorous curatorial approach I appreciate highly. No Country's consideration of ideas and themes related to postcolonial spaces is in line with what the CCA explored in Paradise Lost, our first exhibition in our new gallery space. The CCA is committed to research and discourse, and No Country will bring a complex perspective on contemporary artistic production that addresses the diversity of South and Southeast Asia.”
About Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative
Launched in April 2012, the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative is a multi-year collaboration that charts contemporary art practice in three geographic regions—South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa—and encompasses curatorial residencies, international touring exhibitions, audience-driven education programming, and acquisitions for the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. The program builds upon and reflects the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s distinguished history of internationalism and significantly increases the Guggenheim’s holdings of art from these dynamic communities. All works have been newly acquired for the Guggenheim’s collection under the auspices of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund. The first exhibition of the Latin American phase of MAP, entitled Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today opens at the Guggenheim Museum in New York on June 13, 2014. Under the Same Sun is organized by Pablo León de la Barra, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Latin America.
Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, stated: “At the Guggenheim, we are firmly committed to meeting people where they live—whether they are museumgoers in Singapore, artists working in and around this region or curators such as June Yap who travel the world. In that sense, No Country is more than a survey of artworks. It embodies some of the rich and endlessly productive interactions we’ve had around the globe, and it will inspire other dialogues while on view at the CCA. This is the great strength of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative: it enables us to go beyond the walls of our museums and engage with people on an equal footing, across a vast part of the world. We are thrilled to be working with CCA on such a meaningful and multi-faceted collaboration.”
Edmund Koh, Singapore Country Head and CEO UBS Wealth Management, South East Asia and APAC Hub, stated: “UBS is delighted to see No Country open at the CCA in Singapore. The exhibition sees many of the artworks returning to Southeast Asia, a region of incredibly diverse and vibrant cultural practice. For UBS, an important part of the Initiative is the drive to foster and nurture local talent. We are proud to be able to support artists from South and Southeast Asia and Singaporean curator, June Yap, through this project. UBS's commitment to contemporary art in the dynamic, fast-growing Asia region demonstrates our dedication to bringing contemporary art to our clients and to a wider global audience, especially as Singapore increases its prominence as an arts hub for the region.”
Expanding the Dialogue, on the Ground and Online
The exhibition is accompanied by a variety of public and educational programming at the Centre for Contemporary Art and online. Programs include:
As part of its mission to encourage cross-cultural dialogue about contemporary art and cultural practice, the Guggenheim has worked in close collaboration with the CCA and the National Gallery Singapore to develop interactive exhibition touring strategies for adults and youth. Teacher Resource Guides will be provided in print and online formats, and teacher workshops, hosted by Singapore Teacher’s Academy for the Arts (STAR), will focus on ways that teachers can introduce contemporary art to their classrooms.
The initiative’s online environment features writing, audio, and video by curators, art historians, artists, and regional experts. Individual pages for each exhibition artist provide further information on their practices, and on the acquisitions made through the Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund.
Detailed exhibition and program information can be found on CCA’s website, gillmanbarracks.com/cca
About the Centre for Contemporary Art at Gillman Barracks
The Centre for Contemporary Art is a research centre of Nanyang Technological University, developed with support from the Singapore Economic Development Board. Located in Gillman Barracks alongside a cluster of international galleries, the CCA operates as a local hub with an international perspective. Led by its Founding Director, Professor Ute Meta Bauer the CCA embraces academic scholarly research and contemporary art as a form of knowledge production in its own right. The CCA takes a holistic approach towards art and culture by intertwining its various platforms: exhibitions, public programmes, residencies and research.
About the Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College, London. NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes—the National Institute of Education, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering—and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N), and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI). A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia. Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district. For more information, please visit ntu.edu.sg.
About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The Guggenheim network that began in the 1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has since expanded to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (opened 1997), and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (currently in development). Looking to the future, the Guggenheim Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that take contemporary art, architecture, and design beyond the walls of the museum, including with the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, and with The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative. More information about the Foundation can be found at guggenheim.org.
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The Centre for Contemporary Art at Gillman Barracks
Block 43 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109443
Admission: Free Gallery Hours: Tue-Sun, 12–7 pm; Fri, 12–9 pm; Closed Mon
The Centre for Contemporary Art Website
The Centre for Contemporary Art
For updates on the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, follow #GuggUBSMAP on Twitter.
For a complete press kit, go to guggenheim.org/presskits.
For publicity images visit guggenheim.org/pressimages
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For inquiries about No Country at CCA, Singapore:
For inquiries about the overall MAP initiative, and the Guggenheim Museum, New York:
Betsy Ennis / Keri Murawski
(001) 212 423 3840
Polskin Arts & Communications Counselors
(001) 212 715 1551
For inquiries about NTU, Singapore:
Feisal Abdul Rahman
NTU Corporate Communications Office
(65) 6790 6687
For inquiries about UBS, Singapore:
(65) 6495 8633
May 7, 2014
Installation shot of No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, the inaugural touring exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore, a national research centre of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), May 10–July 20, 2014. Courtesy of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore.