About the exhibition

How to Desire Differently is a group exhibition that imagines complex representations of bodies of difference. In looking at “choreographies” of race, gender, and sexuality, artists Zulkhairi Zulkiflee and Farizi Noorfauzi reframe prevailing issues of identity as informed by their practices through artworks ranging from photography to paintings. Here, the group exhibition considers facets of diverse bodies and their minor positions, encouraging critical engagements with imaging practices in Singapore.

This online presentation contains aspects of context in audio and visual content informing the artists’ practice, relating to the theme of the exhibition.

The group exhibition How to Desire Differently imagines complex representations of bodies of difference in relation to existing imaging practices in Singapore. The title is adapted from the statement by bell hooks, which was written with a focus on Blackness and Black subjectivity but undergirded by a theoretical framework that encompasses alternative thinking towards representation. In the context of this exhibition, a “choreography” of race, gender, and sexuality is actively assembled and reframed as a way to reimagine difference. Through diverse artworks from photography, video and painting, the exhibition engages and addresses prevailing issues of simplification and binary-seeing implicated in approaching diverse bodies and their minor positions, paying attention to Singapore’s complex yet often reduced landscape.

How to Desire Differently is an exhibitionary proposition that hopes to compel other ways of looking. It does not necessarily contend in equivalent retaliation through visual representation, but attempts to untangle habits and rituals that have normalised certain established modes of engagement as “normal”. Such normalcy has in many ways, prevented some bodies from a full range of complexities to specific frames of reference. At the same time, the exhibition in its realisation, addresses communicative inequities, where exhibitionising acts as a way to participate in existing communicative structures. In some way, the exhibition has attempted to make some things more representative than before.

Biographies

Susie Wong

Susie Wong began her artistic practice in the late 1980s as a painter and art writer, later developing curatorial projects focused on collaboration and women’s issues. In recent years, her work has engaged with memory and loss, documentation and nostalgia through a variety of mediums such as painting, drawing, and time-based installation.

Yeo Tze Yang

Yeo Tze Yang is a visual artist with a primary interest in painting everyday life. A self taught painter, his paintings often depict the unnoticed and bypassed people, places and objects of his immediate surroundings. Avoiding contemporary conceptual approaches to art, he instead reverts back to a more direct and emotive approach to painting. 

Jason Wee

Jason Wee is an artist and a writer working between contemporary art, architecture, poetry and photography. His art practice contends with sources of singular authority in favour of polyphony and difference. He transforms these histories and spaces into various visual and written materials, and is keenly interested in their secrets and their futures, their idealisms and their conundrums. 

Fitri Ya’akob

Fitri Ya'akob is constantly exploring the philosophical nuances in relationships and societies as a way of understanding her social environment. Her works are commentaries of the different circumstances where she expounds on the duality and sometimes hypocrisy of certain ideologies and theories that have been made palatable. 

Adeline Kueh

Adeline Kueh makes works that reconsider the relationships we have with things and rituals around us. Her installation, photography and video works are imbued with a sense of desire and longing, and act as modern-day totems that explore personal histories and overlooked moments. 

Farizi Noorfauzi

Farizi Noorfauzi works at the intersection of media and performance, exploring his interests in trends in culture, specifically within the socio-cultural context of Singapore as an intersection of diasporic cultures. He approaches personal histories as an entry point to imagining past, present and future tropes of cultural identity, recontextualising current assumptions and understandings of the self and each other.

Vimal Kumar

Vimal Kumar is a multidisciplinary artist whose works often explore themes related to culture, heritage, and traditions. His interest in the visual aspect of story-telling, performance and ritual, serves as the basis to his creations. His strength lies in traditional media such as oil, gouache and ink, often incorporating digital media such as photography, digital painting and motion graphics to further enhance and expand on his explorations.

Zulkhairi Zulkiflee

Zulkhairi Zulkiflee has been committed to a practice that revolves around the idea of Malayness. Since 2016, his practice has addressed the topic with a focus on creative knowledge-making and the distinctions between Eurocentric standards and a Malay ontology. He is interested in subverting the expectations of art-making where he addresses the tensions of habituses concerning taste and class positions.

Rizman Putra

Rizman Putra's practice straddles between performance, visual arts and music for the last decade. He is a co-founder of the now-dissolved arts collective, Kill Your Television (KYTV), as well as frontman for an indie music group, Tiramisu. Motivated by the impulse to imbibe multiple cultural influences in his works, Rizman's multidisciplinary practice has been showcased in Australia, Germany, Indonesia,Italy, Japan, Korea, USA, Taiwan, United Kingdom and Vietnam. Rizman graduated with Master of Arts (Fine Arts) from Lasalle College of the Arts in 2007, and is currently an Associate Artist with Cake Theatrical Productions.


All rights of the materials presented here are held by their respective authors. The exhibition project How to Desire Differently is a collaboration between the Institute of Southeast Asian Arts & Art Galleries and Zulkhairi Zulkiflee and Farizi Noorfauzi. The exhibition will present at Lim Hak Tai Gallery, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore from 18 July to 30 August 2020.

For information please contact [email protected]