White Space

15 February - 01 March 2020
Lim Hak Tai Gallery, NAFA Campus 1, 80 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189655

15 February – 1 March 2020
Lim Hak Tai Gallery
NAFA Campus 1, 80 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189655
11am – 7pm
Closed on Mondays
Free Admission

Official Opening
Friday, 14 February 2020, 6.15pm
Lim Hak Tai Gallery

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) is proud to present White Space, a platform that encourages creative experimentation, collaboration and the discussion of new ideas. The exhibitionshowcases practice and research processes by researchers, practicing artists, and partners locally as well as in the region.

The inaugural White Space was held in May 2019 and featured three young Southeast Asian artists who were pursuing their Master of Arts in Cultural Management in Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. This second iteration of White Space will feature Malaysian-born award-winning filmmaker, photographer and visual artist Sherman Ong. Winner of the Prudential Eye Awards 2015 for Photography and the ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu Photography Award 2010, Ong has premiered works in art biennales, major film festivals and museums around the world.

Ong’s practice has always centred on the human condition and our relationships with others within the larger milieu. White Space showcases a selection of his films exploring heritage and history through experiences and expressions of identity, people, culture and their beliefs.  His four presentations in this exhibition are steeped in Southeast Asia’s rich cultures and traditions, ranging from a dance film commissioned by the Singapore Arts Festival in 2011 to allegoric works told in documentary-style first person monologues that transcend time and boundaries.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is Dara, Bini, Mati Laki (Maiden, Wife, Widow), a three-channel film which aims to open discourse about power and gender in a patriarchal environment. Specially created for this White Space presentation, the work explores the three phases of a woman’s life set against the backdrop of the often arcane Peranakan culture’s customs and rituals.

Another notable work, Tak Tau Chai Si (meaning “it is foolish for someone not to be aware about his / her own position in a given situation or place" in Baba Malay), is a reflective piece that aims to invoke  the assimilation, acculturation and migration experiences of the early Chinese migrants into Nanyang, now known as Southeast Asia.

This showcase of films by an outstanding artist that explores the nuances of Southeast Asia’s cultures and identities serves as a part of NAFA’s mission to enrich the learning experience and creatively inspire the academy’s aspiring artists, strengthening NAFA’s position as a premier arts institution in Singapore and the region.

Annex 1 - Selected works of White Space
Annex 2 - Artist Biography