October 6, 2016 - NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore - Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice
October 6, 2016

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore

Interior of People’s Park Complex, 1973. Designed by Design Partnership (succeeded by DP Architects). Courtesy DP Architects. 

Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice
October 29, 2016–January 29, 2017

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
Gillman Barracks
43 Malan Road
Singapore 109443
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–7pm,
Friday 12–9pm

T +65 6460 0300

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Ideas Fest (pilot edition)
November 2016 and January 2017

Conference: The Impossibility of Mapping (Urban Asia)
November 14, 25–26, 2016

Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice is an open-ended exhibition by the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore) that serves as a laboratory of ideas, exploring the indeterminacy and changeability of urban living. Borrowing its title from eminent Singaporean architect William S. W. Lim's book Incomplete Urbanism: A Critical Urban Strategy for Emerging Economies, 2012, this multifaceted project takes Lim’s practice and the initiatives of the Asian Urban Lab that he started with colleagues in 2003, as a point of departure, and presents various researches into the spatial, cultural, and social aspects of city life.

Honouring Lim’s practice as an architect, urbanist, and more importantly, as an initiator of critical discussions on architecture, spatial justice, and development economics, the exhibition examines Lim’s formidable oeuvre and methodology. Tracing his role in catalysing research-based urban/architectural/design collectives, Incomplete Urbanism looks upon the networks of influences and people encountered during Lim’s interdisciplinary collaborations. Acknowledging Lim’s contributions as a prolific urban theorist and activist, whose vision asks that we reconsider the traditions of Asian architecture for the “contemporary vernacular,” Incomplete Urbanism is a direct response to his critical ideas—a space that encourages participation and agency, proposing ways for imagining future habitats.

Lim’s key ideas will be explored by several commissioned contributions, including:

–Hong Kong-based M+ Associate Curator for Design & Architecture Shirley Surya’s selected moments of “collective imaginings,” examining the alignment (or tension) between architecture and the broader social and urban interests

–Jakarta-based research scientist Etienne Turpin develops labnet.asia, a network of existing urban labs, hacker spaces, and community-led data-infrastructure projects in Asia

–Film scholar and NTU ADM Visiting Scholar Dr Marc Glöde’s selection of moving image works, offering an introspective look at architecture as represented in films and videos

–Smell researcher and artist Sissel Tolaas’s “smellscape” of Singapore, a phenomenological experience of the city through mapping a diversity of locations in their olfactory specificities

Incomplete Urbanism seeks to present a dynamic space to engage urban issues, through discussions, debates, and collective efforts.

On the occasion of the exhibition, the NTU CCA Singapore launches an Ideas Fest. This pilot edition will take place in November 2016 and January 2017, comprising of a two-part conference and will bring to life some of the ideas examined through collaborative projects and experiences led by artists and architects engaged in critical spatial practice. These projects consider issues of sustainability (food, biodiversity, energy, water resources), the varied uses of public/informal spaces, and will activate various parts of the Gillman Barracks arts precinct where NTU CCA Singapore is located.

The conference in November 2016, titled The Impossibility of Mapping (Urban Asia), will extend what is presented spatially in the exhibition and further engage with its key themes through cross dialogue and exchange between urban researchers, cultural producers, artists, and architects. It will focus on Southeast Asia and its multiple modernities. Responding to Lim’s provocation “imagining the unimaginable”, the conference will commence with a keynote lecture honouring Lim’s practice on November 14 by his long-term collaborator, Leon van Schaik, Innovative Professor of Architecture, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Speakers include  William S. W. LimJeremy Chia, Lilian Chee, Chomchon Fusinbaiboon, Sacha Kagan, Kwok Kian Woon, Roger NelsonEunice SengPen Sereypagna, Simon Soon, Tan Dan Feng, Alvin Tan, Koon Wee, amongst others.

Visit our website for full list of programmes.

Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice is curated by Ute Meta BauerKhim Ong, and Magdalena Magiera, with exhibition design by Laura Miotto. 

The Ideas Fest (pilot edition) is presented by NTU CCA Singapore and Gillman Barracks with the support of the National Arts Council, Singapore. 

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
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