Simryn Gill

Simryn Gill

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore

Simryn Gill, photograph from “Standing Still,” 2000–03. Courtesy of the artist.

March 13, 2015

Simryn Gill
Hugging the Shore

27 March–14 June 2015

Special preview: Friday 20 March, 7–11pm 

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore  
Block 43 Malan Road
Gillman Barracks
Singapore 109443
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday noon–7pm, Friday noon–9pm
Free admission

T +65 6460 0300
ccaevents [​at​]

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore) presents Hugging the Shore, the first major solo exhibition in Southeast Asia of Simryn Gill (b. in Singapore, lives and works in Australia and Malaysia). Simryn Gill’s artistic practice carries a sensitivity towards the everyday and unpacks the complexities of our world from various angles and subjectivities. Much of her work results from a process of sifting through and exploring her immediate surroundings in acts of collecting, writing, reading, archiving or photographing.

The exhibition brings together a series of large body of works that reveal the artist’s specific attitude towards ways of seeing and understanding the world around us. The photograph series are all the result of a durational process, of hours of looking, wandering and collecting translated into hundreds and hundreds of photographs.

“Standing Still” (2000–03) captures a large number of ambitious building projects across Malaysia abandoned before completion in the wake of the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s instigating a reflection on modern ruins and historical layers that define our landscape.

The photograph series “Dalam” (2001) comprises 260 photographs of living rooms taken across West Malaysia over a three-month period. Dalam which means “indoors” in the Malay language looks into the production of interior space as a portrayal of ourselves but also the fragile relation between host and guest, the conventions and boundaries that define the delicate realm of hospitality.  

“May 2006″ (2006) is an ambitious body of work consisting of 800 photographs that traces a one-month journey by foot in the artist’s neighbourhood in Sydney. The work is paradigmatic of Simryn Gill’s approach in “understanding the place as a verb rather than as a noun, which exists in our doings: walking, talking, living.” 

Simryn Gill’s new work, “Like Leaves (Syzygium grand is)” (2015) uses leaves from the Syzygium grande species of tree, or the Sea Apple Tree which is found throughout the coastal areas in parts of Southeast Asia. Presented as pinned leaves, the work draws attention to surface, material, its process of making, but also the lifespan of the work which gradually perishes throughout the exhibition time. 

The metaphor of Hugging the Shore, a reference to John Updike’s 1983 collection of essays and reviews, can be conceived as a way of seeing and approaching the world that traverses throughout Simryn Gill’s large group of works. It is an act of stepping back, as a way to allow ourselves be absorbed into the overall picture. 

PLACE.LABOUR.CAPITAL. is NTU CCA Singapore’s overarching framework for the year that will intertwine our platforms: exhibitions, residencies, research and education. This open-ended research and curatorial project will address the complexities of a world in flux and the dynamic relations between local and global. The notion of place as a locale often fades into the background, how does labour, routes of migration, and flows of global capital impact upon smaller scale? Singapore—the world’s second-largest trading port and economic epicentre of Southeast Asia—serves as point of departure to examine place, labour, and capital.

Curated by Ute Meta Bauer and Anca Rujoiu, Curator, Exhibitions 

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, opened in October 2013, is a national research centre of Nanyang Technological University, developed with support from the Economic Development Board, Singapore. Located in Gillman Barracks alongside a cluster of international galleries, the NTU CCA Singapore operates as a local hub with an international perspective under the leadership of its Founding Director, Professor Ute Meta Bauer. The NTU CCA Singapore embraces academic and scholarly research with contemporary art as knowledge production in its own right, taking a holistic approach towards art and culture by intertwining its three platforms: exhibitions, residencies, and research & education.  

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
Winner of Prudential Eye Awards 2015 “Best Exhibition of Asian Contemporary Art” for No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia as part of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative



Simryn Gill at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
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NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
March 13, 2015

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