Monday, 29 October 2012

Roundtable Discussion | Grounded Conversations: Artists, Sites, Practice

Date: 10 November 2012
Time: 11am - 1pm
Venue: NX Gallery, NUS Museum

Alfredo Esquillo Jr., Charles Lim, Lucy Davis, Renato Habulan and SHIMURAbros in conversation with Roxana Waterson

About Grounded Conversations
Presenting a series of distinct projects on how art practitioners have begun to adopt comprehensive paradigms in their fieldwork methods traditionally associated with anthropological or historical research, Grounded Conversations brings together practitioners from the contemporary art world to unravel this ‘anthropological turn’. Working across a range of mediums (and at times even standing in contrast  to the overwhelming dominance of the written and verbal form – a primary characteristic of modern academy), the roundtable explores the potentially productive function the 'artist-anthropologist-historian' could play in not only allowing histories and voices to be represented differently, but also testing the limits of ethnographic authority itself.

Roxana Waterson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore. She did her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology at New Hall, Cambridge (1981), and has done fieldwork with the Sa'dan Toraja people of Sulawesi (Indonesia) since 1978. Her ethnographic monograph on the Sa'dan Toraja, Paths and Rivers: Sa'dan Toraja Society in Transformation was published by KITLV, Leiden in 2009. Since 2002 she has been teaching critical and practical courses on visual ethnography. Her other current interests include social memory, life history and childhood research.

Alfredo Esquillo Jr. expresses a passion for content in his themes, leaning more towards a socially relevant repertoire in exploring the interstices between the mystical and social in the Philippines – as a site where gender roles, poverty, materialism and religious faith converge. Using his attention to detail to translate them into works on canvas and sculptures, he views his work as more personal, using symbolisms in the gestures and overall context of his subjects.  

Charles Lim is a visual artist, filmmaker and former competitive sailor. He exhibited in prestigious international events such as Documenta11, Manfesta7, Shanghai Biennale, Cuvee Biennial, and Singapore Biennial 2011. His films were screened in the Rotterdam Film Festival 2011 and in the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. 

Lucy Davis is a visual artist, art writer and Assistant Professor at the School of Art Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University Singapore. Lucy is also the founder of The Migrant Ecologies Project, an umbrella for arts and ecology initiatives in Southeast Asia.

Renato Habulan having established himself as one of the Social Realist painters that emerged from the period of Martial Law in the Philippines, presents the poignant human condition amidst varying themes of social justice and religious imagery. He constantly explores the dialectics where the master and slave, native and colonial, lowlander and the ethnic collide in controlled tension.

SHIMURAbros. A Sister/Brother artist duo, Yuka and Kentaro graduated in 2006 from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design London. They are known for incorporating elements of sculpture, installation and avant-garde filmmaking. A new expression of imagery is achieved through their inventions. Their works have been shown at the The National Art Centre, Tokyo (2010,2011); MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei), Taiwan; the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts Museum(PICA), Australia; Museums Quartier, Vienna (2009); Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic (2006). SEKILALA received theExcellence Prize (Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Prize) at the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival.

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