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December 4, 2019

Open Possibilities: There is not only one neat way to imagine our futures




As information technology and globalization continue to transform our society, what kind of vision of the future can we imagine?

Held in Singapore and Tokyo from December 2019 to March 2020, this exhibition is an attempt to reinterpret the singular image of the future that has been cultivated by modernization, scientific and technological progress, and instead present multiple possibilities for our future. With a focus on new media art in Asia, the featured artists use technology as shared tools or platforms to explore mythology, ritual, and the relationship between mankind and machine. Within Asia, the forms and processes by which modern technology was accepted differ greatly. These artistic practices reveal remarkable creativity and rich sensibilities.

Through different perspectives of artists on technology, this exhibition endeavors to broaden our vision of a linear future into futures with open possibilities.


1. Singapore Exhibition

Date: December 6–21, 2019
Venue: Japan Creative Centre (JCC)
Address: 4 Nassim Road, Singapore 258372
Hours: 10:00am–6:00pm
Closed: Mondays, Sundays
Admission free
Organizers: The Japan Foundation Asia Center; NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation); Japan Creative Centre, Embassy of Japan in Singapore

Participating Artists

ICHIHARA Etsuko [Japan]

INTER–MISSION [Singapore]

Tanatchai BANDASAK [Thailand]

HAYAMA Rei [Japan]

Waft Lab [Indonesia]

Related Events

During the exhibition, Japan Creative Centre will host guided tours and talks featuring the curators and participating artists. In addition, outreach programs will be organized at two other venues: a workshop at Science Centre Singapore for making your own new media art and a workshop for building a musical instrument at The Substation. In conjunction with the main exhibition, these events offer participants the chance a hands-on experience with the unique creative possibilities of art and technology.


2. Tokyo Exhibition

Date: January 11–March 1, 2020
Venue: NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] Gallery A
Hours: 11:00am–6:00pm (Admission until 30 minutes before closing)
Closed: Mondays (If Monday is a holiday, then Tuesday), Maintenance day (February 9)
Opening hours and holidays are subject to change. Please visit the ICC website for up-to-date information.
Admission Fee: Adults / University students 500 (400) Yen, Admission free for High school students and younger
* Rates shown in parentheses are for groups of more than 14 persons.
Organizers: NTT Intercommunication Center [ICC] (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation), The Japan Foundation Asia Center

Participating Artists

ICHIHARA Etsuko [Japan]

INTER–MISSION[Singapore]

Zai TANG [Singapore]

Tanatchai BANDASAK [Thailand]

HAYAMA Rei [Japan]

yang02 [Japan]

Lintang RADITTYA [Indonesia]

Waft Lab [Indonesia]


Heri Dono [Indonesia]


Exhibiting Works

ICHIHARA Etsuko
‘Virtual Currency Offering Festival’ 2019

Ichihara organized an event called the Virtual Currency Festival in Tokyo in November 2019. Having taken inspiration until now from various regional traditions, this project was both an update of religious rituals as well as a social experiment attempting to ask if it is possible to start a festival from scratch, establish it in a contemporary city, and then ensure it continues. A central part of the festival was “Server Mikoshi” (collaborated with WATAI Taiki), an interactive work in which a Shinto shrine palanquin (mikoshi) would respond in real time to virtual currency payments from around the world.

INTER–MISSION
“The Lapse Project (Panorama Lapse)” 2018

Made in collaboration with Nor AZMAN, “Panorama Lapse” digitally erases the National Museum of Singapore, National Gallery Singapore, and Singapore Art Museum from their respective locations in the city, as though they had never existed within the Singaporean landscape. “Panorama Lapse” is presented as a video projection triptych that shows the surrounding street views from various vantage points in the vicinity of these three major cultural institutions. In their absence, what is left behind is a haunting expanse of space that perhaps incubates other imaginative possibilities. How would the viewership of art or the systems and structure of the Singapore national art ecology exist in a parallel reality where these buildings are absent?

Zai TANG
“Escape Velocity I” 2018, “Escape Velocity II” 2018

“Escape Velocity” is a series based on field recordings taken from 2013 to 2016 at three locations in Singapore. All of the sites—Bukit Brown Cemetery, MacRitchie Reservoir, and Rail Corridor—are rich in biodiversity but also under threat from urban development. Fascinated by interspecies communication and apprehensive about the relentless speed at which capitalism progresses, the artist created a sound composition by manipulating the recorded birdsong and calls of wildlife to match the hearing ability of humans. Visitors play the sound themselves and, prompted by hearing things liberated from their original locations, engage in a form of reduced listening—Pierre Schaeffer’s concept of isolating sound from meaning and context so as to listen to sound purely for its own sake. “Escape Velocity I” is an installation comprising a turntable onto which the composition is engraved and a graphic score of the composition made by Tang. Visitors are free to try playing the record themselves. “Escape Velocity II” is a video work that visually utilizes the graphic score of “Escape Velocity I.”

HAYAMA Rei
“The Pearl of Tailorbird” 2018

For this exhibition, Hayama Rei reconfigures her video and sound installation “The Pearl of Tailorbird,” which she conceived in Hong Kong last year, based on the ecology and architecture of the exhibition venues. “The Pearl of Tailorbird” comprises a video and sound of Hayama imitating various native birds she encountered in Hong Kong. Part of the sound from Hayama’s mimicking of these bird calls is played outside the JCC building, intending to initiate a dramatic conversation between nonhuman and human by means of technology. The video shows the lyrical poetry that results from the cinematic drifting she performed in Hong Kong. Exploring the potential for rhythmic juxtaposition of sound and image, “The Pearl of Tailorbird” offers an aesthetic experience in imagining a new method of translating the language of human and nonhuman.

Tanatchai BANDASAK
“Central Region” 2019

In this work, Tanatchai BANDASAK explores the standing stones of Hintang near Sam Neua, Laos, by using a combination of dissolves and superimpositions of moving images with ambient sound. “Central Region” captures the transient movement and vibrations in the spaces surrounding the stones. The process evokes the spectral way in which the stones, though appearing as inert ruins randomly scattered throughout the landscape, powerfully demarcate potent territories of undead and nonhuman sovereignty. In “Central Region,” the role of moving images becomes an essential technology in examining new possibilities of communicating with the unknown as well as the unseen ecosystem that surrounds the stones.

yang02
“Orogeny” 2019

The monitor embedded into the canvas displays an image similar to the cross-section view of a mountain range. This is a chart showing recent changes in the market price of a virtual currency, based on data captured in real time. The integrated technology that creates the image, Raspberry Pi, is also running a virtual currency data mining software at the same time. This means that the work is, as long as it is connected to a power supply, continuing to raise its own value in small increments. The financial value of a work of art is not always aligned with academic assessment of its worth. Virtual currencies are typically decentralized, not relying on a single authority or repository, and their values as speculation can fluctuate wildly. Orogeny is a term from geology, referring to a process in which a section of the earth’s crust is folded and deformed by lateral compression to form island arcs or mountain ranges on landmasses. Likening the shifts in virtual currency prices to this crustal deformation, the artist attempted to respond with a degree of irony to questions about the “value” of works of art and the influence virtual currencies may have on society.

Waft Lab
“Solah Trabas” 2019

In “Solah Trabas,” Waft Lab continues its efforts to reconstruct the underground illegal motorcycle culture of East Java. This time it is trabas, an off-road motorcycle culture where farmers in the highlands of East Java find new routes for crop distribution and also enjoy the thrill of driving dangerously. Waft Lab conceptualizes an image of the dystopian machinery of trabas and blends this with the aesthetic of the Javanese trance dance ritual jaranan. The wild boar shown in the installation represents the character of Celeng in jaranan, a character who dances like a wild animal that knows no rules and exists in a total trance. By creating this installation, Waft Lab seeks to envision a future of the Indonesian underground that belongs to the jargon of “high tech, low life” and also raise questions about whether the culture of trabas is the futuristic answer to the character of Celeng in jaranan.

Special Exhibit

Heri Dono
“GAMELAN OF NOMMUNICATION” 1997/2020 (ICC Collection)

Drawing on aspects of traditional Indonesian arts such as the gamelan musical ensemble and wayang kulit shadow puppets, “GAMELAN OF NOMMUNICATION” connects these various components together through a somewhat primitive mechanical system that plays sounds automatically and makes the puppets dance. Gamelan performances originally used only bronze instruments, but later developed into something more flexible that could also incorporate wooden and bamboo instruments as well as lighting. Heri Dono writes that the gamelan, wayang kulit, and other elements are all direct products of the Javanese philosophy and motto of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity), and that their loose interrelatedness contrasts with the centralism of Western thought that leads to absolute values. The artist also sees this work as a “gateway of communication” in the sense that the gamelan and drinking culture of the title (nommunication is a Japanese word meaning roughly “communicate by drinking”) are forms of language—that is, communication tools.

“GAMELAN OF NOMMUNICATION” was commissioned by ICC for its collection when the institution first opened. This work by Heri Dono, one of Indonesia’s most important artists today, has been especially restored for showing again as part of the exhibition.

Related Events

Artists’ Talk

Date: Saturday, January 11, 2020, 1:00pm–5:00pm

Session 1 “GAMELAN OF NOMMUNICATION: Past, Present, Future, and the Changing Same”

1:00pm–2:30pm
Speaker: Heri Dono

Session 2 “Exposing the Limit: On Futures, Media Art, and Technology”

3:00pm–5:00pm
Speaker: ICHIHARA Etsuko, INTER–MISSION, Waft Lab, yang02

Capacity: 150 persons (first-come basis)

Workshop “Bright Future: DIY LED Workshop with Waft Lab”

Date: Monday, January 13, 2020, 1:00pm–5:00pm
Artist: Waft Lab
Guest: yang02
Recommended for: elementary school students and older
Capacity: 15 persons
* Application is required.

Artists’ Talk “On Surroundings: Reconfiguring the modes of communication with nature”

Date: Saturday, January 18, 2020, 2:00pm–4:00pm
Speakers: HAYAMA Rei, Tanatchai BANDASAK, Lintang RADITTYA, Zai TANG
Capacity: 150 persons (first-come basis)

Workshop “Emergency Noises: Workshop on Sound, Instrument, and Alarm”

Date: Sunday, January 19, 2020, 1:00pm–5:00pm
Artist: Lintang RADITTYA
Guest: suzueri (sound artist)
Recommended for: the higher classes of elementary school and older
Capacity: 10 persons
* Application is required.

The 4th International Symposium for Media Art

Date: Saturday, February 22, 2020


Screening Program

* Please visit the ICC website for up-to-date information.


Inquiry


NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC]

Curator: YUBISUI Yasko
Press Contact Details: AKASAKA Emiko

TEL: 03-5353-0800 FAX: 03-5353-0900
E-mail: query@ntticc.or.jp
URL: http://www.ntticc.or.jp/

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