Thursday, 20 March 2014

History and Its Currency Talk Series | Contrapuntal Alliances: Reconsidering Domesticity through Architecture and Film by Lilian Chee & Looi Wan Ping

Lilian Chee in conversation with NUS Museum assistant curator Kenneth Tay

Date: 20 March 2014, Friday
Time: 8.00pm - 10.00pm

Venue: NUS Museum


Domestic architectures are productive sites of identity and class formation, as well as gender, privacy and ethnicity struggles. However, much of architectural emphasis continues to overlook domestic spaces and their interior environments. Given that domestic space is produced secondhand through occupation, beyond and after the architect has left his mark, how does one record, and represent, this space's 'afterlife'? Through a discussion of the research film, Three Flats, which documents the lives and spaces of Singapore’s public housing, this session proposes that film allows us to attend to the blindside of architectural discourses, revealing the heterogeneous dimensions of domesticity.

Lilian Chee obtained her doctorate from University College London and is Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore. Her recent publications include “Materializing the Tiger in the Archive,” in Feminist Practices (2011), “The Domestic Residue,” in Gender Place Culture (2012), Conserving Domesticity (Novatio, 2012), “The Public Private Interior” in The Handbook of Interior Design (2013); and is co-editor of Asian Cinema and the Use of Space: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Routledge, forthcoming 2015). She is also regional editor for the Journal of Architecture. Three Flats is a collaboration with film maker Looi Wan Ping, from 13 Little Pictures.

Looi Wan Ping graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons) in Sociology, before going on to pursue an Advanced Diploma in Film Production at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Since then, he has been involved with many projects, including the critically-acclaimed Sandcastles (2010) for which he served as Art Director. In 2009, Wan Ping directed his first feature film White Days which won the Green Chilies Audience Award (2nd Prize) at the Asian Hot Shots Berlin Festival in 2010. In 2012, Wan Ping was conferred the Young Artist Award in Film by the National Arts Council of Singapore.

About History and Its Currency Talk Series
Every glimpse of history is a merely freeze-frame in transit. History, in other words, is constantly on the move, always caught in a state of perpetual becoming. What would it mean for us to write history then? The flow of ink on paper, the flickering of words on screen; both suggest the myriad ways in which history moves us. But perhaps the inverse is just as valid: it is us who continue to animate, perform and simulate history as such. Presented as part of the Writing Lab 2014 programme, the talk series History and its Currency: Archives, Anecdotes, Contemporary Practice will gather together practitioners such as Paul Rae, Tan Pin Pin, Heman Chong, Lilian Chee and Looi Wan Ping, whose projects often entail a thinking of history as contested, imagined, and always open to a future still to come.

Writing Lab 2014 is a seven-week script-writing mentorship programme, running from 13 Feb-27 Mar 2014 facilitated by Huzir Sulaiman of Checkpoint Theatre, and organised by NUS Museum for the NUS Arts Festival 2014. Under Huzir's guidance, students will write short plays that draw from, refer to, or intersect with the collections of NUS Museum. The programme will consist of one mentoring session and one public talk per week, culminating in a public script reading session on 27 March 2014 during the NUS Arts Festival 2014. 

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