Novel Ways of Being

OVERVIEW

How can art imagine new possibilities for the future and inspire hope during these times? Proposals for Novel Ways of Being brings together 12 local art institutions, independent art spaces and collectives with over 170 local artists and cultural workers to present exhibitions and programmes that explore new ways of living in a world changed by the pandemic.

WHAT'S ON THIS MONTH
Novel Ways of Being

ONLINE TALK

Homi Bhabha In Conversation with Eugene Tan

Monday, 26 October 2020
8–9pm (GMT+8)
Livestreamed on National Gallery Singapore's Facebook and YouTube pages

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Novel Ways of Being

ONLINE TOUR

Time Passes Tour with Curator Samantha Yap
by Singapore Art Museum

Friday, 23 October 2020
7–8.30pm
Conducted live on Zoom
Free with registration

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Novel Ways of Being

ONLINE EXHIBITION

#NEVERBEFORESG
by National Museum of Singapore

From 5 October 2020 onwards
This exhibition will be held online
Free

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Novel Ways of Being

PROGRAMME

Stranger Still: Care Package
by Grey Projects

Until December 2020

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Novel Ways of Being

TOURS

Docent-led Tours of Time Passes and An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season
by National Gallery Singapore and Singapore Art Museum

Every Saturday until 20 Feb 2021
Tour in English: 2pm
Tour in Mandarin: 1.30pm
National Gallery Singapore
Free with registration

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EXHIBITIONS & PROGRAMMES

Exhibitions and programmes will open at different venues between August 2020 and February 2021.

Novel Ways of Being

ADM Gallery, NTU School of Art, Design and Media

In Our Best Interests: Afro-Southeast Asian Affinities during a Cold War

21 January–27 March 2021
ADM Gallery
Nanyang Technological University
School of Art, Design & Media
81 Nanyang Drive, Level 3
Singapore 637458
Free admission

In Our Best Interests presents contemporary artworks and archival material that nuance Afro-Asian legacies that grew out of the Cold War. Focusing on Southeast Asia as a geopoetic imagination alongside a post-WWII global anti-colonial resistance to racism, the exhibition traces a historical line between early regional imaginations such as Maphilindo to contemporary appropriations of Afro-Asian histories, such as China’s development of cultural infrastructure in Senegal.

In parallel with a series of webinars that map out the histories of Afro-Southeast Asia affinities, In Our Best Interests questions what a global solidarity can mean. Thus, bringing into relief the geopolitical stakes of working for "our" best interests in a failed “post-racial” contemporary and in the face of the global pandemic, COVID-19.

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Novel Ways of Being

Coda Culture

Precious Things

21 November–12 December 2020
Coda Culture
67 Aliwal Street
Singapore 199942
Free admission

Precious Things is a visual art exhibition with 12 Singapore artists who have often produced works with extant objects. The “value” of art and artists have been called to question due to the ongoing pandemic. However, for some artists, their methodologies and artworks have always existed at the margins of presumed “value”.

This exhibition features new works from artists across generations, aesthetic styles and artistic practices to examine the “value” of art objects, one that is especially curious now.

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Novel Ways of Being

Grey Projects

Stranger Still

20 August 2020–20 January 2021
Strange Bodies opens on 20 August 2020
Grey Projects
6B Kim Tian Road
Singapore 169246

Strange Bodies is an exhibition by artists Jerome Kugan and Yang Zhong Da (opens on 20 August 2020)

Journal of A Pandemic is a mail art project between three artists and writers, and the elderly residents and schoolchildren in Bukit Merah, Ghim Moh, Tanglin Halt and Tiong Bahru.

Care Package is a digital project centred on the cultivation of a culture of care between artists during the pandemic. The project hopes to create a chain of trigger-responses between artists that are documents of the distance of travel for our friendships and other intimacies, a chain conversation as objects and as exhibition.

Lastly, Enmoving is a solo exhibition by artist Ng Hui Hsien, set to launch in December 2020.

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Novel Ways of Being

INTER—MISSION

Negentropic Fields

4 December 2020–5 February 2021
City Hall Wing, Level B1, Anteroom and extended corridor space, National Gallery Singapore
Free admission

Negentropic Fields is curated by INTER–MISSION with co-curator formAxioms. The project is a process-based digital platform that incorporates a virtual environment. It explores archival practices in the context of emerging digital modes of artistic expressions and forms of being. The current paradigm shift exposes the necessity to imagine new emancipatory practices for non-physical forms of creation, mediation and exposure; for navigating through, and the manipulation of, abstract materials (dis)placed within the fields of the platform.

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Novel Ways of Being

LASALLE’s Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore

The Fabric of Sympathy

12 September–11 October 2020
Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
LASALLE College of the Arts
1 McNally Street
Singapore 187940
Free admission

While the nation is in recovery from this global pandemic, The Fabric of Sympathy encourages the viewer to get in touch with their innate ability to feel and to examine the interior of things. The featured artists employ a wide range of art forms while sharing a keen devotion to materiality. Their works reveal forms of how we can make sense of our life amidst uncertainties, a call to treat things with care and sympathy.

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Novel Ways of Being

National Gallery Singapore

An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season

4 September 2020–21 February 2021
City Hall Wing, Level 3, Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery C, National Gallery Singapore
Free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents

Art for a long time has participated in building muscle memory of trusting bodily intuitions through introspections. Building into collective sentiments, many of these contemplations unveil extraordinary truths. An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season looks into contemporary art practices that embody these ideas, highlighting local articulations that mirror the many undercurrents the world is grappling with in light of this pandemic.

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Novel Ways of Being

National Museum of Singapore

#NEVERBEFORESG

From early October 2020 onwards
This exhibition will be held online on National Museum Singapore’s website
Free

The National Museum of Singapore offers NEVER BEFORE, an online exhibition curated by Yang Derong, that explores our state of mind during this global pandemic.

The presentation serves as a visual diary that documents the different emotions—anxieties, fears and hope—as the world transitions and adjusts into the “new normal”.

#NEVERBEFORESG is presented through nine chapters that showcase a multitude of 139 artworks by 87 artists and creatives, in solidarity, capturing the psyche of this unprecedented crisis.

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Novel Ways of Being

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore

Under the Skin

1 December 2020–31 January 2021
This exhibition will be held online on NTU CCA’s website
Free

A trio of new performative works by artists George Chua, Nina Djekić and Noor Effendy Ibrahim curated by artist Cheong Kah Kit for NTU CCA Singapore’s Free Jazz III, which aims to activate and challenge common understandings of exhibition-making and the use of space. These artists each engage with sound, bodily movements and performance. In this project, the artists will create new performative pieces that will be translated to the medium of video and streamed online.

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Novel Ways of Being

Singapore Art Museum

Time Passes

4 September 2020–21 February 2021
City Hall Wing, Level 3, Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery B, National Gallery Singapore
Free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents

Time Passes is inspired by the middle chapter in Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse. It is conceived as a corridor of time that echoes the indeterminate passage of our days as we navigate through this global pandemic. The exhibition stages our return to one another and to shared public spaces. The works in the exhibition manifest acts of care-taking through the handling of different materials, and the commitment towards uncovering possibilities of living and relating even through difficulty and uncertainty.

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Novel Ways of Being

soft/WALL/studs

Beyond Repair

29 August 2020–31 January 2021
soft/WALL/studs
No. 11, Lorong 21A Geylang, Level 8
Singapore 388429

For Beyond Repair, soft/WALL/studs becomes a site for mutual care, thinking through wellness as a repertoire of gestures, existing along continua of repair within fractured worlds. What might it mean to live “well”, given our imbrication within structures of harm, extraction and precarity? What portals can be accessed to form new relations?

A tangle of nine collectively organised activities will be presented, spanning gardening, research platforms, cinematic remedies, complaints resolution systems, gaming, remote listening scores, nap-times, publications and collective aid.

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Novel Ways of Being

STPI

Strange Forms of Life

5 December 2020–31 January 2021
STPI Gallery
41 Robertson Quay
Singapore 238236
Free admission

A physical exhibition taking place at STPI Gallery, Strange Forms of Life explores ideas of "liveliness" and questions of form, in relation to abstraction as a mode of engaging with different aspects of being. Comprising works by STPI artists and other prominent Singaporean artists, the exhibition considers the natural, emotional, technological and temporal facets of our existence through the language of abstraction. It serves to ignite conversations centred around moving forward from the ongoing crisis in new and generative ways.

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Novel Ways of Being

The Substation

we are not going back, we are coming around

12 August 2020–15 January 2021
The Substation
45 Armenian Street
Singapore 179936
Free admission

we are not going back, we are coming around presents a series of artistic endeavours which seek the kind of direction our society should be moving towards in the wake of this pandemic. The future appears bleak even as we start to open up the economy and segments of our society. Should the world go back to business as usual? How can the arts rethink their role in a world that is broken?

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MEDIA RELEASES

27 August 2020
National Gallery Singapore and Singapore Art Museum Come Together with Local Artists and Curators in Two New Shows to Support the Art Community

25 August 2020
Art Experiences by 12 Museums, Art Spaces and Collectives to Support the Local Art Community Opens to Public

27 July 2020
Art Spaces Across Singapore Come Together for a New Art Initiative to Support the Local Art Community

ABOUT PROPOSALS FOR NOVEL WAYS OF BEING
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Proposals for Novel Ways of Being is a new local initiative by the visual arts community to present a series of exhibitions and programmes, both physical and online, as a united response to the changes brought about by COVID-19. Its title references an earlier name of the virus, i.e. '2019 Novel Coronavirus', which serves as a reminder that we need new ways of being as we grapple with a new reality brought about by this pandemic.

The key visual design for Proposals for Novel Ways of Being was inspired by the humble rubber band. The spirit of flexibility, adaptability and its binding qualities are depicted metaphorically in the outcome of the design. This key visual reflects the aspiration and most meaningful intention of the exhibition—which is to rally our community in bringing the arts back to local audiences whilst at the same time, signify the collaborative spirit across all partners for this show.