Wayne Wang-Jie Lim, Singapore / Netherlands

Residency Period: August 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017


Bio

Incidentally conceived in China, raised in Singapore, Wayne Wang-Jie Lim is an art practitioner working and living in Amsterdam. Since 2009, he had exhibited and presented in shows at various venues, from the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (ICAS), Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (CCA), to the Singapore Art Museum. He was awarded the Winston Oh Travel Research Award in 2013 for a research in Hong Kong, a writer-in-residence at maumau Art Space in Istanbul, Turkey in 2015 and most recently part of a research-residency project co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the EU, called “Understanding Territoriality” at Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy.

He is currently pursuing his MA at the Dutch Art Institute as a recipient of the Non-EU scholarship grant from ArtEZ Institute of the Arts. His current inquiry focuses on geopolitics, language, philosophy and history in relation to art and hence, experiments with formats that are not the conventional, such as, travelogues, thinking and the writerly.

URL: waynewjlim.com Instagram


On-hiatus Proposal Summary

During his BA studies, Wayne was drafted into the army for mandatory military service that brought a two-year halt to his “practice” — he practically made/produced nothing, and participated in a few minor exhibitions for which he only showed old works he had done in school. Instead, he read a lot, and in retrospect, “prepared” for his final year after his obligatory service ended. This was the first time he questioned what an “artistic practice” meant.

When he returned to finish his degree, he could no longer make art in the way he used to, and his production shifted to a focus on researching and writing, making strategic plans on practicing at the fringe of what can be called “art” before spending only a short couple months at actually producing the “artworks”. Though a national arts body has funded his projects and exhibitions, he is not recognized officially as an artist under the institutions’ national framework of what constitutes artistic practice. This simultaneously “insider / outsider” state has further led him to his current research.

As Wayne begins his hiatus, he will also be working towards his graduate degree, where his thesis-research explores the notion of “non-position/location”. He feels that this timing will prompt him to really ask himself how he could “nourish” himself and re-strategize his artistic practice in order to benefit from the artworld’s infrastructure/institutions but not be subsumed into the wider agenda of neoliberalism and nationalistic rhetoric as a contemporary art producer or a cultural and knowledge producer. He hopes to investigate alternative modes of art production with an ultimate goal of infiltrating the arts market from the peripherals while being completely non-positional and ambiguous. Or practically, what he has to do in order to survive as an artist in a way that will also afford him a comfortable living -- and not like a "poor artist".

During his residency at RFAOH, he primarily wants to spend time on brooding over the function of his “art” and his “practice”. He plans to use the stipend “for nourishment” by purchasing books and organizing a reading group, putting food on his table, paying for his website domain, buying a hashtag on his Instagram account, paying an exorbitant amount for a VIP ticket to an art fair to look at art-for-sale, etc. He also plans to routinely write and perhaps finally learn how to use Instagram to “market” his non-art/borderline art activities.


Final Report

What do I think about when I don't think? As I round up my last few beautiful days in the outskirts of Seoul before I have to head off to Beijing to reunite with my family for a well-deserved vacation, a defiant North Korean missile was fired at 6am this morning, and it landed in the sea not far from Hokkaido, Japan. While the US is conducting its 'regular’ — often unapologetic — military exercise with the South Koreans military, I am sitting here opening, closing, and reopening this report, contemplating — or even procrastinating — about I can possibly write.

“What am I doing here?”, is a question I routinely pose myself. I now wonder if my relentless pursuit of the never-ending “here’s” is perhaps too disruptive. In the same vein, I can’t seem to know where I want to be; except knowing where I do not want to be. It’s an excuse I sometimes use to cover up my escapism. On a different note, while noting the political context of the Korean Peninsula (or the nature of conflicts), I have been rethinking the difference between presence and occupation. It questions not just the essentialism of identity and place — if not nationalism, and the rhetorics of the nationstate — how else and what other ways to justify the existence of being/the conception of statehood. Where is the “inside” and/or the “outside”?

A year ago, I applied mainly with the intention to understand my own practice, and perhaps to find a “direction in my life”, in regards to being simultaneously, an "insider" and an "outsider" of where I come from. The combination of my trajectory at the Dutch Art Institute and RFAOH have certainly pushed my practice into a more theoretical, and political direction/place. With that in mind, it is, therefore, important to think, and employ strategies that bring about higher agency in one's (artistic) practice. Although my initial research premise relating to my thesis have changed — from a "non-position/location" to the "hyperrestrained order" — it nevertheless helped me to understand better my position or role (and even the escapism), and my relationship with the state (Singapore), that changes from being a citizen, a soldier, to an "artist" (as an occupation). I have seen this process as a crucial development — as a theoretical inquiry, and the understanding of the previous — in relation to my art practice. During my hiatus, I have learnt to bring research-traveling-writing to the forefront of my practice — not entirely inclined to the notion of producing artworks as the 'only' way of art-making. Ironically, I believe this journey — of art and life — will/can never truly be on a “hiatus”. If one is practicing life (thinking about Tehching Hsieh's talk), can we say or consider art as the medium of life, while life never stops, and art nourishes life?

The “here” now is post-hiatus. I am excited about what Beijing can I offer me, as well as what I can learn from this potential move. “Post-hiatus” is, so to speak, actually getting over an ex-lover, and confronting some fears I had the past couple years; anxieties and insecurities, where I don’t just ask myself the purpose of my existence at a physical location. It is about living through it, making decisions even if I won’t be liking it, whether its on life, art or love.


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recent comments

On Jul 1 2017, Wayne Lim commented on Back to Life: Hi Shinobu, you're right! Thanks for reminding me about the positive things! And, I am so glad we go[...]

On Jul 1 2017, co-director(s) commented on Back to Life: Congratulations Wayne for finishing both school and RFAOH residency!!! (How ironic that is ;P) You [...]

On Apr 10 2017, Wayne Lim commented on Touristing the United States/But Let's Call This an Airport Rating: Oh I can't imagine how much worse it could get in the snow storms! It's a good lesson. I should alwa[...]

On Apr 10 2017, Lee commented on Touristing the United States/But Let's Call This an Airport Rating: This is terrible! I have a love/hate relationship to travelling. I do most of my air travel in Canad[...]

On Apr 2 2017, Wayne Lim commented on From Brussels to Mechelen, Mexico City to New York City: @S No discussion needed (it is exactly how I described it "pseudo-work-study-trip" :P)!! Hahaha! But[...]


Say it Straight, Simple and with a Smile

Just going home and #takingcare #fuckworktoday “Say it straight, simple and with a smile.” 🙂 #takingcare #yogitea #amsterdamkanal #notart #notartresidency #wayneonhiatus #rfaoh

The past week has been an awful battle with myself (and perhaps with you) again and it’s not over. But what is this, really? This struggle and discontent that I’m facing now; post-breakup, the artist’s condition, the effects of capitalism, the state… Or just, thinking too much? 2016 took a huge toll on my mental health. Since my last episode in Madrid, I have been relatively okay until last week. I want to cry every time I talk to someone about my problems/issues because it hurts so much inside. My thoughts are so quick and far and I cannot keep up. I admit that I have known my problems for a few years now but only recently being confronted by them because I lost the person whom I love very much and could connect with me on this level, guiding me and holding me through. For the past two years, I’ve been trying to understand (and trying at the same time) to just, stay afloat, alone. 

Most of the time, it’s the problem of being unable to channel out my thoughts (those big ones — philosophical ones — in relation to art and politics, life, people, etc.) and being disenchanted and desolated by things and the state of order around me. This has caused me my ability to even grasp simple things in life and I want to grasp simpleness of life, I do. 

Last night, my friend said that I’m always in either the past or too far in the future — never here and now. She continues to say that for the time that she has known me, she never saw me happy and I lack emotional intelligence despite being an emotional person. She had said so much more, although not as a critique on my personality. I can’t help feeling a certain degree of helplessness and a need to seek for support from friends and family from time to time. It is certainly okay to be not okay. 

“Nocturnes, Op. 55: No. 1 in F Minor” from Chopin: Nocturnes by Arthur Rubinstein.

You used to tell me to smile more because I’m too dead serious for anyone — too inaccessible and too unapproachable. I must have forgotten to smile lately because I don’t even know how to anymore. 


This post was supposed to be a rather lengthy one but I think I lost what I could say because there’s so much to say.

Leave a Comment (6)

Wayne Lim wrote on Feb 16:

Hey Marisa, thanks for the little encouragement/reminder.

Shinobu, sounds like quite a fascinating day job you got there and yes, you're making sense. I just delivered a I-suppose-successful presentation on Monday about the "risk" I talked about some posts earlier. I was telling my friend last night how people only want to hear plights, hardships, and sufferings of others. I don't want to overstate the innate struggles of being an artist, writer, thinker and all other peripheral pursuits but why does it have to be at the expense of our mental and physical being and psychological health?

I think the world needs a hiatus. Franco "Bifo" Berandi was just at my school last week and he talked about empathy. He often throws the idea of "any possibility of another world" outside the window because it is hard to not go to the extreme when this is the way it is right now. Last year, I talked a lot about ambivalence and ambiguity in my writings. It is inherently impossible to think about the previous two properties without empathy. Since without sharing feelings, you cannot have mixed feelings, and without mixed feelings, you cannot be ambiguous.

Closing with what Berandi said the other day at a lecture, "depression is the dangerous relation with truth!"

marisa wrote on Feb 11:

my best advice has always been:
"life is long and the world is large"

yes, you need to be in the "here and now",
butt when the here and the now aren't helping,
I think it is nice to remember that there is more to come:
Great things beyond your expectations.

Good luck!

co-director (s) wrote on Feb 8:

Hi Wayne, it's me again.
We are happy to hear that. But never feel obliged to post reports when/if you can't for whatever the reason. We know life is more important than art and nonart.
One thing I wanted to add here was my own long personal inquiry related to yours. Besides all the hardships in life that everyone goes through such as death, illnesses, breakups, I've pondered our uneasy choice of being in the arts which could induce an even greater existential crisis, knowing that there's really no demand for our endeavour/production, ultimately done for our own needs. I believe in art but not the virtue of art per se, to service others or change the world (which of course is entirely possible but I'm actually suspicious of the popularization of some art phenomena such as art fairs/biennales supposedly conceived to achieve that purpose -- another topic for another time). And particularly when you want to practice art as a vehicle to talk about things beyond art in a means harder to get monetary renumeration back for, that's another strain -- it has taken me a long time to come to terms with all this dilemma but first I arrived at the age that I realized I don't have so much time left before my retirement (; (I bite my nails lots though)
I think we need a hiatus. I think it's good to think about art outside the framework of art or do other things to nurture more empathy towards others (like the people with certain jobs say, nursing). But on the other hand, when you are super focused on stuff like art for the sake of art and are indifferent about any business of others' that often motivate the kinds of judgements harmful for the world, it's also effective. For my day job, I've been translating oral history archives of people from the Fluxus time, some of who went through the end of WWII, when they just wanted to do their bloody art and music and thus naturally hated the politics which prevented it. It is kind of refreshing to read their self-absorption and dis-interest that separated them from the rest of the world. I don't know if I'm making any sense but that's where we and RFAOH come from -- a paradox, conundrum, and ambivalence where no one can pin us down, like art and nonart (; And of course, we'll all keep in touch, as you have seen us do so with our ex-residents. Take care

Wayne Lim wrote on Feb 6:

Hello directors, quite frankly, RFAOH has turned out to be more important that I initially envisioned it to be. I enjoy being here that's without a doubt. I'm going to continue this diarist-writerly practice even after I finish my stint here. Would be nice if you guys continue to show support!

I think the misery has always been there and greatly intensified ever since I started practicing full-time (and my break up). I'm also not saying that I'm destined to be miserable but at the moment I'm simply trying to understand my condition (also the artists' condition and the human condition) and seek help if I can/need to.

I know I should emphasize to myself the importance of the here/now. I just cannot believe how much effort I'm putting to do that and I feel like giving up or I don't even think about the here/now most of the time.

I hope with whatever that is currently going on around the world — the political instability, the precariousness, the never-ending crises — we should not just take care of ourselves (only), but take care of others to take care of oneself, extend and reach out in order to rebuild and restore faith in the era of political decay...

co-director (s) wrote on Feb 6:

Hi Wayne. Thank you for sharing this, it's extremely generous. Whether or not it's helping to distract you a bit, or even doing anything to you in some small way, I hope you like being here with us. I must agree that people in the arts, the deep thinkers, are not the happiest bunch. (I'm including my own personal case too). But that's how it goes, I feel. We are or we aren't. We try to stay afloat in the meandering paths of consciousness and conscience while thinking deep about everything, which is tough and feels weirdly unfair. (: But I think there are ways, even though they are highly personal. I hope we all find them. Or help each other find them. (PS: your image is beautiful btw)

co-director (m) wrote on Feb 5:

The artist's condition or the human condition? Its good (and important) to talk to people about these things Wayne, to get things off your chest, or as a way to organize your feelings into a form (language) that can then be more easily comprehended, re-imagined etc. I'm with your friend in valuing the importance of being present in the here/now, which doesn't always miraculously make things better but perhaps allows us to recognize it as part/process of being alive, to let these types of sadness wash over and pass us instead of wrestling against them. Take care of yourself. It IS ok to not be ok. Let us know if you need anything. Love this Chopin track.

 


It’s 2017, It’s Going to be Better, and More Dangerous?

2016 year is finally over, but the horrids of 2016 recognize no year?! Since the year, is just a measurement. Today did not feel any more fresher just because it’s a new calendar year; it’s really just another day. So, no, it doesn’t feel like it’s a “new year”. Perhaps, this is just my resentment towards the last week of the year, a week (most of the time longer) of anxiety, compounded stress and the fear of being forgotten. A conversation with a friend recently made me think why don’t I try to treat 2017 differently by making New Years resolutions and so, I did it! Although, she said that my goals are not “quantitative” enough and are too personal/subjective.

Attempting #2017 New Year’s resolution on #risk #gettingemployed #newworks #takingcare #drinkingless #newyearsresolution #notart #notartresidency #wayneonhiatus #rfaoh

Which brings me to a particular subject; how does one calculate risk? I have been pondering about this in relation to my kitchen presentation at the DAI. In retrospect, I must admit that I have lived rather riskily in Singapore; being investigated for using a sensitive word (which I’d rather not use here) on my blog at the age of 15/16, charged in court for 7 counts of vandalism at 19, arrested and charged in court again at 23 for illegal driving. I’ve been rather obedient after the last incident simply because I do not want to give any more reasons for the state to “restrict my freedom” due to my “crimes”, jeopardizing my “artistic practice”. And when I say “restricted freedom”, I really meant being locked up. 

I began to analyze what encompasses this risk. Hence, the following “quantifying” questions of; what do I want to do that is so gravely dangerous that I have to think in such a way? Am I already traumatized from that 36 hours lock-up? Have I already lost my fight after being handcuffed in my own home that one time? Is this how much faith I have on Singapore (the state)? Would I put unnecessary attention/shame to my family for challenging the system, or the authority? How do I generate controversial narratives without putting my freedom or identity at risk? How much risks can I take as a citizen/an artist before my personal freedom gets impounded? Does it have to be at the expense of an individual — an “exemplary convict”? How can I talk about the fraud committed through the different state apparatuses? How far of an extent is the exploration of the limits of (il)legality done by utilizing a body or by creating a fictitious one, challenging the rhetorics of state apparatuses and thus, questioning the legitimacy of law, authority and power? 

I’m just thinking aloud here. I hope this thought exercise can trigger a larger discourse and perhaps an ongoing writing/propositional work. 

Now, happy New Year again, to readers, RFAOH crew, all ex and current residents, wherever you are! 

Leave a Comment (4)

co-director (m) wrote on Jan 5:

Hi Wayne, yes, my fb And an image from Thomas Hirschhorn's Gramsci Monument in the Bronx a few years back.

I actually had read that article last week but thanks for the impetus to re-read it; Another causality of our hyper mediated times is our (my) attention span and or our (my) ability to pick out/retain the important bits from the deluge of information that comes across various feeds. I kind of want to read Mbembe's book now. I'm not sure we can separate politics from economics; at least they always feel perpetually entwined and a kind of ultimate ground (social/cultural) you can never really dig beneath, but maybe we can MacGuyver methods no navigate it or invent knew rhetoric to understand it. You have to actively work within (or fuck around with) the culture to be part of it. Creating ambiguity is opening possibility.

co-director (s) wrote on Jan 5:

Gosh, you sound much cooler than any of us. I got only once suspended from high school for a week. Dah
Happy New Year to you, too! No risk no life (;

Wayne Lim wrote on Jan 4:

Ahh hello Matt! Is that you on facebook?

I can't help it but what a coincidence, I just saw this lecture by Avital Ronnell at the European Graduate School, On Writing a Dissertation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zanetT7b5Ko

I think the risk is becoming bigger for everyone, the stakes are higher for anyone to do anything; from spending significantly more in a bio supermarket to whether a newly-wed couple should dump in so much cash to buy a roof over their heads. I'm not sure I can articulate any better than Achille Mbembe in his article, The Age of Humanism is Ending:

http://mg.co.za/article/2016-12-22-00-the-age-of-humanism-is-ending

Art has come to the forefront again, although this time (a general) against on politics. Unlike before — during the renaissance — when art rose with politics as one of the enlightened paths in creating the imaginaries of the new world. Coming back to Ronnell's, I get this impression of her dealing (very well?) with her schizophrenic self as a writer, not to be subsumed by the endless external hindrance. It's good to learn/know that there are people out there trying too; dealing with the uncertainties, distress and discontents of today's world.

co-director (m) wrote on Jan 3:

Happy New Year Wayne

I feel quantitative reasoning is overrated - lol -- But of course new years resolutions are inherently subjective no?

There is always risk. As an artist, easy risks like rejections, moderate risks like growing old without a pension, or a life hovering around the poverty line, and occasionally (most urgently) in real consequences for falling a foul of the power aparatus of social control. (The level of social control in Singapore is a bit more amped than Canada or the Netherlands, granted) My Foucault is a bit rusty these days but I always have a soft spot for the anti authoritarian "punk" ethos; the Pussy Riots, The Ai Wei Weis, The Goyas and Delocroixs. And though all art is inherently also politics I predict a resurgence of this super-earnest punk-assed spirit in the coming post Brexit, Trumpian dystopia. Though the earnestness of these types of expressions are/will be cathartic I think the potential of art's agency for change truely lies in its ability to be completely irreverant, in its shape shifting ability to assume various forms and its resistance to being pinned down -- Its open ended-ness, in its existence as *nonsense*.

To paraphrase Avital Ronell, To leave things open-ended and radically in-appropriable and admitting it's something beyond our understandning is much less satisfying, more frustrating and much more necessary. The political battles for peoples conciousness and social obedience comes through various promises of meaning - the appropriation of culturally sanctioned rituals, the free market, entertainment and news industries, etc. People are fed and fuelled by promises of immediate gratification in thought and food and junk -- junk thought and junk food and so on -- so there is a politics of refusing that gratification. Art can potentially provide a great areana for that.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153187549775315&set=a.10153187548280315.1073741826.801570314&type=3&theater

 


Finding Home, Finding Love and Finding Work: the Proximity Between Us

It’s 8,500km kilometers as I type away (when en route from Singapore to Zurich). This is finally over, I meant my time in Singapore… Pardon my tone but it was hard being there; the anxiety, the panics, the stress and so on. Work was hardly possible — except during my first week — with everything going on at home now. 

One would accuse me of being an escapist. Perhaps I am, but I am also very much so trying to face the problems that I (and everyone else) have of; finding home, finding love and finding work. I do not expect these things to magically be resolved and therefore I’m constantly telling myself that it is okay to be in such a state — a state of precarity — I just have a more unconventional approach, that’s all. Moreover, it’s been way past that question of, “why leave, not stay”, it is exactly because of my failure to see and grasp the reality of staying after that trauma. Despite that, my heart is dying to stay but my soul gets sucked dry each time I try. 

I’m glad we did not meet (yes, I said it) although we did briefly and coincidentally crossed path. And the reason being because we are just not ready to see each other again, or maybe it is really just me. Being friends is wishful thinking because the moment we fell in love we both knew going back would be impossible (as our history has shown). I am accepting that “we” will become memories we hold dear to. Since all else has failed, my insistence on moving on and letting go came on so strong after that trauma, it is only fair that we both try to let this love go, just like how we held on to it. 

Chances are, I’m going to be drifting for a few years but that’s fine as long as I’m doing something. I will naturally “settle” once I find a place that gives me a reason to. The possibilities of moving back to Singapore is high considering the urgency but then, how possible is it for me to maintain life both in Amsterdam and Singapore? In terms of work, at the moment (as I always say at the end of the year) it looks promising. My main task would be completing my masters thesis and graduating from the DAI in June with a kick-ass research on hand. Then, hopefully ending my hiatus and kicking off with a Demasculinized research residency with Andre in Switzerland and then a research (I cannot disclose yet) in Beijing for two months before returning to Singapore for a bit and Amsterdam during late fall. 

Off to school for now! 

 

Leave a Comment (0)

 


From Amsterdam to Yogyakarta

Thank you everyone; the audience, presenters who shared their ideas, team #equatorsymposium2016 #throwback #yogyakarta was wonderful! #presentation #symposium
Thank you everyone; the audience, presenters who shared their ideas, team #equatorsymposium2016 #throwback #yogyakarta was wonderful! #presentation #symposium

Writing from Yogyakarta airport! I survived the presentation with a jetlag! I think I started out really scared and awkward, reading directly from my paper without giving a proper introduction. I had to break it down further as someone from the audience commented that my paper was too abstract and “poetic”. There were more questions later on, so I’d like to think that it went okay as I answered those questions. Most importantly, people came to speak to me afterwards about my concept. I guess my only complaint is that the presentation just wasn’t horizontal enough. I was nice to see support from some of the audience. 

After the symposium, it has been mostly hanging out with people, going to art spaces, dinners, etc. in a very relaxed mode. Unfortunately, I caught a cold, a series of headaches after more than two weeks of traveling; Brussels, Eindhoven, Arnhem, Amsterdam, Singapore and now here in Yogyakarta. 

Thoughts about moving here are getting stronger and the possibilities are higher than ever. While chatting with Gesya, I’ve been thinking how ridiculous it has been to go all the way to the Netherlands to be closer to a network so close to home and untouchable from Singapore. This totally reminds me of my response when Sidd Perez’s mentioned the “circuit” after her presentation. When is one considered to be outside of the “art circuit”? What kind of works or production allows one to stay in such a “circuit”? Who makes the decision for the kind of works to represent a certain nationstate? These are questions to be asked

Thank you Equator Symposium! Everyone I’ve met and just met this semi-work trip; Enin, Grace, Riksa, Ratna, Tamara, Tepu, Nindit, Gesya, Charles, Sidd, Edwina, Sanne, Malcolm and many others! Although I really hate to present, I must say that I also learnt and know what I am truly uncomfortable about doing, hence, making it a really valuable experience! 

Time Capsule reminding me how long I have left Singapore.
Time Capsule reminding me how long I have left Singapore.

I am not panicking about going back to Singapore, so that’s a good thing. Although I know the panic attack will come at some point but I can’t afford to anticipate when it will happen. I just need to be busy; working for money, writing, making plans, etc. Even Time Capsule reminds me how long I have not been ‘home’. ‘Home’, because we fell apart. ‘Home’, because I used to have a room that I cannot enter anymore for my own sake. ‘Home’, because my parents might want to get a divorce which potentially means this ‘home’ might just mean nothing at the end. ‘Home’, because I do not long to be back here or be present here anymore… 

How timely. I need to work on a piece of writing for a publication for the research residency I participated in Biella. I hope being in Singapore temporarily can help me in some ways on that essay. 

Leave a Comment (2)

Wayne Lim wrote on Nov 29:

I'm happy to be part of the RFAOH circuit! :)

co-director (s) wrote on Nov 7:

There's room for everyone in the RFAOH circuit (some are payed and others aren't)

 


Paying for Errors

This is going to be somewhat a ranty post because I’ve been rather stressed lately because of the symposium I’m about to deliver in Yogyakarta.

img_5674
What a familiar space; I feel like it is a merge of my studio and my mom’s studio.

I started my DAI week pretty good as I’ve been hired as a freelance craftsman at a leather designer bag brand called Maria Jobse. The ‘interview’ went really well, we immediately hit off, Maria and I think quite similarly in terms of worldview, work ethics, life patterns and so on. I would be able to start working around January which is great because that is about the time I would really hit the bottom of my bank account. So the job part is settled. 

On the way to Arnhem.
On the way to Eindhoven from Amsterdam.

The following day went completely haywire. I don’t know how to describe it and it was also beyond comprehensible. I had sufficient sleep but I woke up uneasy and super intense knowing I’ve yet to finish my paper. I was pondering over comments on my paper made by Moonis and also discussions surrounding topics of art and social change, decoloniality and modernity in class, headed by Nick Aikens, Charles Esche and guest, Will Bradley. 

The story began when I left my phone on the hostel bed that morning, I returned to find my phone untouched. Then, I thought I might be too late for class, so I decided to take a bus to the center. I checked out of the bus when I got off and headed towards Van Abbemuseum. When I arrived, I realized that my wallet was missing. Panicking, because the class was about to begin, I thought I must have just misplaced it. When the class ended, I tried to trace back the route I took early that morning but I had to just accept that I have lost my wallet. Aldo (a DAI schoolmate) helped me to purchase a new ov chipkart (the transport card in the Netherlands). 

Back in Arnhem, I went to the bank and they told me that I cannot take out any money because I don’t have my passport with me. The ov chipkart office did not allow me to block my card because I could not provide the address that my card was initially sent to, which is the address of a graduated DAI student, Sebastian who had moved to the U.S. While trying to contact him on Facebook realizing that it was still early in the morning on the east coast. I saw a message containing a picture of the cards from my wallet!! And it was sent at 9am in the morning but filtered because I have no connections with this person, Talal Fayez, a Palestinian. 

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I have never been in such chaotic situation in Holland.
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Trying to calm myself down during the walk to Tala’s house.
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Maarheeze, 40mins south of Eindhoven.
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The winter sun.
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Talal cooperating for a picture.

I called him and thanked him, then he said that he cannot speak English and knows a little Dutch. I passed my phone around to Kim and later he said he speaks Arabic. Mira spoke and arranged a meet up for me and I was beaming at that point because I had also spoken to a staff from the international office on the consequences of losing my Dutch residence permit-ID). The damage would be over €300 to get my card replaced. After much chat, it was finally decided that I would leave to meet him right away, which was in the town of Maarheeze, 45mins south of Eindhoven. This was when the horror began, all my trains were disrupted and/or delayed or simply too full to get in — all of them. I wasn’t the only victim, at least 2 trains full of passengers were waiting to board and most of them were going to Eindhoven airport. Many of them must have missed their flights. I managed to get into one train with an American couple beside me trying to catch their flight, frantically trying to check the next connection from the next destination. 

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I suppose this is what a typical Dutch surburb looks like.
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Passing by places I would never return to again.

Arnhem to Eindhoven is a simple one-hour journey with a transit in Den Bosch. Due to the disruptions, it took me roughly 3 hours including 20minutes of walking, to Talal’s house in Maarheeze. During my journey, Talal was messaging me asking me where I’m at, making me so anxious and stressed. At some point, I even regretted making this trip because I could very well get my cards replaced but because I’m leaving the Netherlands in 3 days, I had to return to get it. Upon arrival, this kind soul invited me to his house, made me sit down, wanted to charge my phone that was at 1% and wanted me to stay for dinner at his house. He called his friend who was able to speak English to translate what I had to say to him. At that point, I was wanted to return to the DAI. I felt so rude to reject him over and over again and he was very very persistent. Later, he even walked me to the bus stop.

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Train-dashing Americans whom I chatted and shared a bad day with.

I was tired, battered and hungry. (Again) I could not get on the train I was supposed to when I arrived in Eindhoven so I took the chance to get myself a Burger King meal. I finally managed to fill my stomach, got on the train with the remaining food. Right before the train departed, the American couple whom I stood beside with dashed in and saw me sitting there munching. We looked at each other and started sort-of laughing and exclaimed, “oh god, this is not happening”. They sat down and I offered them fries. We exchanged stories and really started chatting away. They were going back to Nijmegen since they missed their flight and I was returning to Arnhem, which was the stop before. We really exchanged our stories, talked about education, philosophy, economy and American politics and it was such a great conversation. We were so glad to have bumped into each other and kind of mutually comforting each other after such a terrible day. 

Without Aldo’s free student subscription ov chipkart, I would have spent more than €60 just to retrieve my wallet, which would have been cheaper to really have my cards remade (€7.5 for bank card, €11.5 for ov chipkart, €15 for gym card). When going towards Maarheeze, I was also illegally using the 40% discount for joint travels, cause I was alone. I used Aldo’s free subscription for the bus ride since the chances of getting caught was slim to none. Of course, whatever it is, I got my wallet back, I’m gonna try to minimize the damage by submitting a refund request from the train companies for all that disruptions. I left the DAI at 2:30pm and returned at 8:30pm, completely missing the first class of Casco. 

I have since returned to my stressed mode, trying to finalize my paper that I have to deliver on 29th in Yogyakarta. In a strange way, I am ‘glad’ to be stressed, as compared to what I had gone through that is still beyond my comprehension. 

Signing off from Arnhem, I will report from Yogyakarta next week, after the Equator Symposium

Leave a Comment (4)

Wayne Lim wrote on Oct 31:

Yes, really glad I got it back anyhow! Oh I can only blame myself. I'm usually super careful but shit happens!!

Lee wrote on Oct 28:

I feel your pain Wayne.
Sometimes it feels as if nothing can go right! I am glad you got your wallet back and hope you are feeling better!

Wayne Lim wrote on Oct 27:

If my life is art, I wonder when am I really on hiatus then. :O

co-director (s) wrote on Oct 26:

This is incredible, Wayne. You are not making this up, are you? And I truly love that you are now hired as a freelance craftsman at a leather designer bag brand. Your life is art.

 


Looking for Moneys on the Internet

My curiosity to know is causing me dollars. I’m not the earning moneys like I’m supposed to. Not that I have to but because I’ve been told that way (I believe many people too); going to school equates to privilege, getting higher education guarantees job(s) and financial security/stability. Good news though, I’ve been selected to present a paper at the Equator Symposium in Yogyakarta, Indonesia end of this month and I have decided to also return to Singapore as I figured that I am not going to ‘work for free’, in fact, at my own expense. I admit to feel a bit bitter about not being (fully) funded to go to Indonesia but despite that, there are so many pros for going since I can really spend a bit of time there to do research and network that can really bring about future good. Most important, returning to Singapore to stall my financial difficulties in Amsterdam; I’m going put myself to work while I’m back (like work that actually pays and has nothing to do with my practice). 

My recent obsessions of certain subjects of interest have also led me to obsessively looking for money on the internet; scholarships, research grants, project grants and travel funds. One inevitably starts realizing how much knowledge production is dictated by granting institutions through a set of frameworks (from god knows where). 

Lately, I am really interested in China’s new Economic Silk Road, where I see it as China’s attempt to return to its former glory. The ancient Silk Road was what connects between the East and the West through the harsh and inhospitable plains of Eurasia. The pioneering innovations such as the printing press and gunpowder found their way to Renaissance Europe. Western academics and scholars (especially the Americans and British) have been particularly critical of China’s new plans. Let’s call them Sinoskeptics. The unjust and biasedness of these Westerncentric academics and scholars are truly disgusting. I’m not siding China here (and you’ll see what is the main gist of this post). Some Sinoskeptics think that this is China’s blatant attack on the world order established by the United States through imperial motives and dominations, without considering the intrusiveness of current world order that is currently in place. 

Yang Rui in this interview was speaking to Wang Gungwu, a prominent scholar from Malaysia currently teaching in Singapore and Australia and has been an ‘expert’ on the Overseas Chinese diaspora. With the way Yang frames his questions, allowed Wang Gungwu to immediately point out the inequalities of global institutions such as, the IMF, United Nations and so on, suggesting how China is continuously sidelined and oppressed by these institutions that have never thrived to be equal in their conception. And of course, this is what CCTV wants their viewers to hear. Yang, being an extremely prominent and popular TV host in China on the state-own channel, he often highlights the unjustness of the West. Furthermore, using a very particular set of vocabulary and language to constantly perpetuate notions of Sinocentrism and attack Sinoskeptics that is now becoming excessively propagandistic. 

Shifting the focus a bit, but still on and in China, this is the “Third World 60 Years: The 60th Anniversary of Bandung Conference”, Hangzhou Forum, moderated by Chen Kuan-Hsing and Gao Shiming, organized by the Inter-Asia School. The reason why I’m drawn to this is because having met Hilmar Farid last year, I learnt a lot more about Indonesia’s history and the legacy of the Bandung Conference. Now the Director General of Culture at the Ministry of Education and Culture, Farid (in his presentation segment) came with a rather unique point of view; calling for the redefinition of the ‘nation-state’, promotion of transnational collectivity conversation. Although he did not explicitly drop the idea that we should ‘forget about Bandung’ but he did put forth the more urgent questions regarding the state affairs and the role of the state. 

Through the roundtable talk, we can see that the ‘Bandung Effect’ did fail; the interactions between the speakers were not profoundly engaging, although all of them made valid points in respect of the interconnectivity between Asian, African and Latin countries 60 years after the Bandung Conference in 1955. 

So I’m thinking about starting off my paper/presentation, A Political Grey Space: Decolonizing after Dewesternization, with what Farid (and many other critiques) had mentioned about the ‘failure’ of Bandung. How is dewesternization and decolonization taking place at the moment. And finally introducing notions of ‘ambivalence’ and ‘ambiguity’ as a method and transition to post-state thinking/imagination in the context of decoloniality. The ideas of ‘ambivalence’ and ‘ambiguity’ here is extremely applicable and already happening in Indonesia and is something countries around the region should learn from. 

It’s brewing, it’s coming… 

 

Articles written in English by Hilmar Farid

Leave a Comment (6)

Wayne Lim wrote on Oct 27:

Interesting! How did that happen?

co-director (s) wrote on Oct 26:

Here's Farid and I talking about RFAOH together in our own languages ^^: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjPJHsEVtvc We're sure it'll all be good (particularly if it's not art ^^)

Wayne Lim wrote on Oct 14:

Well, I initially had plans to stopover in Jakarta for a couple of days but since my flight back to Singapore is covered I thought I shouldn't spend extra money (having too much fun) in Jakarta. And yes, Farid and I first met last September in Eindhoven, then again in Jakarta during the biennale. He's a (guest) tutor at the Dutch Art Institute.

Thanks! I'm a bit nervous and stressed to be honest! If I was actually producing stuff, I will definitely let you guys know.

co-director (s) wrote on Oct 13:

Wayne, I was thinking after reading this that you gotta meet our ex-resident Farid Rakun in Jakarta on the way to or from Yogyakarta, but he just told me that you guys have already met -- is that true? I knew the "artworld" is small but guess so is "artist-on-hiatus world". Good luck with your presentation, which we take is not "art practice" (;

Wayne Lim wrote on Oct 11:

I suppose exported cultures often take on different shades and meanings in the guise of capitalist marketing.

I think the context I'm trying to draw here is that we often feel Westernization is a given, or a norm even though some of these 'changes' or 'alteration' are sometimes really subtle. Having (just) traveled in Japan, I understand that Japan is "highly Westernized" but as compared to Singapore for example, the degree of Westernization is more serious because there was no 'original' culture or I should say, the colonial narrative had completely overwritten pre-existing culture and history. I don't like making food comparisons but since you brought it up; KFC in Singapore hardly has any changes. In fact, KFCs in Malaysia and Indonesia (and I can't recall if Philippines and Vietnam too) sell rice as part of their main menu but not in Singapore. McDonalds many years ago was selling nasi lemak (a local Malay delicacy eaten mainly in Singapore and Malaysia), and for some reason they discontinued it. We have curry sauce that comes with the McNuggets.

And a side note about this 'food comparison', in Europe these 'fastfood' Asian food are also by default Chinese food. If you go to "Indonesia restaurants", they are 'Europeanized'. I was in Lisbon and I saw a restaurant named, "Buddha Sushi". Then, I thought, what the hell has Buddha gotta do with sushi. That's like going to Asia, finding an Italian restaurant named, "Jesus Pizza Place". So I have doubts about the inverse. The fetishization is real. Plus, it is almost pointless trying to identifying all the differences...

http://chinadivide.com/2010/war-on-westernization-in-china.html

Here's a post by Kevin Slaten, where he managed to pinpoint some 'issues' of Westernization but completely missing the core notion of Westernization; which is the economical-political drift towards using methods of/from the West, eg. free market, 'democracy', participation of the UN, IMF and so on. I will go on and give a couple of solid examples of Dewesternization moves; AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) and BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). These are attempts to operate outside of the current world order led by the United States.

I looked at Homi K. Bhabha but not Bourriaud. I will look it up!

co-director (m) wrote on Oct 5:

Interesting. I'm admittedly under-read on dewesternisation or decolonization but I always think about Japan and how they import aspects of a foreign culture they find fascinating but always re-configure it to meet Japanese sensibilities. Like the ebi(shrimp) burger at McDonalds; or pizza with squid and kombu, or these rockabilly dancers who are kind of a Japanese caricaturization of the American 1950's teenager. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-ScMOs7kPk Similarly the "west" and western culture is hardly monolithic and is forever changing, and incorporating the cultures of the immigrants who move here. Its feels far more hybrid then a lot of identity politics cares to acknowledge. With respect to China, (and Russia) we see these post cold war communist states take to capitalism like ducks to water but with their own authoritarian 1 party spin. While western governments have been equally quick to adopt Chinese methods for cracking down on dissent.

I wonder if you have read much Homi Bhabha; or Nicholas Bourriaud's book on Altmodernism. I'm curious your thoughts on their ideas on these topics with respect to globalisms impact on art and culture.

 


The Outsider-Insider

I think it is inevitable that I often delve into this ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’, or ‘local’ and ‘foreigner’ topic since I’m living in Amsterdam right now. However, it was only recent that I have accepted that I am a moving body and I have un/subconsciously ‘performed’ this displacement over the last years residing in Singapore. 

I was hit hard with this confrontation while in Bandung with the DAI last October. Later on, I wrote an essay titled, #ILEFTMYPDFSOMEWHEREBETWEENSINGAPOREANDINDONESIA: Locating Geopolitical Identity Displacement and the Act of Locating, uncovering my own doings and trying to understand my position from this displacement. Moreover, this oxymoronic title illustrates the missing point pretty darn well; as arts and cultural producer, our work is still very much location-bounded — despite the supposed convenience brought by technology — and this only means that time and space will be redefined over and over again. 

But let’s put the ‘art’ aside and talk about how do or should people deal with this transition of time, space and place? Its easy to put a finger on globalization after many places have/had benefitted from this system and these places have since gave rise to forms of ‘localism’ — with some being extremely right-winged and many becoming to be as such. “Our” political system and society is not ready to take on the transnational (cultural) identity that globalization have brought us to. The idea of the nationstate is built based on the fact that it is a body that can keep and protect its people within a border and therefore to ensure the existence and ‘conceptual notion of survival’ of a particular group of people. This modernist project have now of course expanded to be something with a ‘darker side’ and this ‘darker side’ is ensuring the ‘basic needs of survival’. 

I was thinking about these issues while having a conversation with a friend/artist-colleague from Singapore about how she only feels happy when she’s away from Singapore. I told her that that feeling or conception is a total misconception because you can also feel unhappy elsewhere. One fact also remains for her, she has never lived anywhere else other than Singapore. If returning to Japan a few times a year and can renew your ‘happiness’, then you can keep doing that and retain your ‘unhappiness’ in Singapore. While I’m not saying that if she’d live in Japan, she’d also feel the ‘unhappiness’, I’m simply saying that we humans constantly pick out good and bad things from the places we live anyway but whether we ultimately can like and choose to live at a place depends very much on our own psychological navigation of a place. Or, it can be deduced to how we choose to psychologically deal with a physical space considering the dynamics and patterns of the city, interaction (both human and spatial) and these factors often changes the personal, psychological and emotional perception drastically. 

Truth is, it will always be hard for Singaporeans to live anywhere else (I’d love to elaborate on this at some point because this is altogether another topic itself, dealing with governance and management). 

~~~

 

Here I copied part of our conversation:

Me: How do you think in Singapore, we consider a ‘foreigner’ a local? 

Friend: When they get a PR (Permanent Resident status) or our citizenship.

Me: Ya but that is state/modern-nationhood rhetorics. I meant on a ground level. 

Friend: When they can speak our language?

Me: I bet that there are tons of people who has our citizenship but still retained their culture. Should we allow that? We should, right? Considering that we’re a nation that empathize and ‘tolerate’ such (cultural and religious) differences. 

Language (if referring to Singlish) is a very complex tool that Singapore uses but it is also the thing that creates that division of this ‘local’ ‘non-local’ phenomenon. Is Singlish (colloquial Singapore English) our language? 

Friend: No la. Not like this — perhaps it’s like we can behave and speak the way that we feel comfortable to one another? I don’t know how should I put it.

Me: Singapore is ‘doing great’ in terms of cultural ’tolerance’ and in fact better than any country on this planet but not transparent enough I think. (I have the impression Canada isn’t too bad given their liberal views on immigration but I haven’t been there or know that much to say). 

~~~

I think I need to read more otherwise I keep getting these ‘thought blocks’ that’s not helping with my writing. Although rfaoh is really giving me a great reason and space to write and read more. 

Understanding the world through Civilization V: playing the Netherlands.
Understanding the world through Civilization V: playing the Netherlands.

I decided to also post an extremely rfaoh-appropriate photo of what I did yesterday. I composed most parts of this post the day before, read a bit of Walter Mignolo, drinking, then finally playing Civilization V and drafting a logo for my handmade leather goods business on etsy. 

Here’s a link to the store: wayfarerworkshop.etsy.com

And follow us on Instagram?

I’m gonna give everyone here the ‘better’ discount code [FRIENDZONE] — 25% off, so show some love if you can? I’m still going through the rebranding phase at the moment and I need help with the logo, and also language translation from English to any of these languages; French, German, Italian, Japanese, Dutch. I’m doing this to support myself because as I mentioned before I’m running low on funds and might have to withdraw myself from the DAI and return to Singapore before end of this year if money doesn’t come into my bank account magically (just kidding). Well, I want to simply avoid taking more loans, especially not from the banking institutions. 

Ciao! 

Leave a Comment (5)

Wayne Lim wrote on Sep 26:

Hey Marisa,

That's my gut feeling as well; mankind has yet to evolutionize to that stage of being able to deal with the change of time and space in such a short period of time. Today, we are dealing with displacment, rootlessness, placelessness, detachment, etc., 'finding freedom in the lack of attachment' is definitely one of the plus.

It's two sides of the same coin, one can feel equally at home in a different time and space versus one who's not able to feel at home due to the different time and space.

Being about to see that freedom is great!

marisa dipaola wrote on Sep 26:

Hello Wayne, it's funny about being an outsider... You are a part of your new surroundings and also apart from your surroundings. I've always felt that way while flying: that my mind makes leaps it normally wouldn't, free in a way it normally isn't. My husband told me of a saying that your soul can only travel as fast as a camel, so when we travel by modern systems, our soul takes days (or weeks) to catch up to our bodies. I'm not sure where our minds are during this transition, but it seems that people who love traveling enjoy this disconnect, finding a freedom in the lack of attachment. (I know I appreciate the time to reflect on the changes more abstractly!)

co-director (s) wrote on Sep 14:

Here's something for you Wayne! Our ex-resident Kelly has just launched a new Contemporary Craft Programme she worked on as her on-hiatus project last year, as a department chair -- http://residencyforartistsonhiatus.org/uncategorized/congratulations-kelly-for-completing-your-on-hiatus-project/

I'm sure she might have lots to say about Etsy and "crafters" and your comment!!

Wayne Lim wrote on Sep 7:

I guess the definition or notion of "making art" or "art-making" has a really wide spectrum! But you got it, etsy sellers only look like artists — not artists — more like cheesy titles like; artisans, crafters, woodworkers, etc. Jeff Koons with his fame and popularity as an artist, selling his sculptures on etsy rejecting gallery representation would be a different story, isn't it? I'm still trying to find out the top 5 countries of etsy's sales.

co-director (s) wrote on Sep 7:

Jeez, are you not making art if for Etsy? Everyone looks like an artist on Etsy. (PS- I've also just read Etsy made 2.4 billion in merchandise sales in 2015)

 


Possibly the Worst Vacation Ever

 

It’s been two weeks since Faro. Summer is finally here, or should I say I’ve been chasing after summer? I’m headed towards Budapest from Bratislava as I write. This lonely traversing life is starting to affect my mental health. Although the cold had left but it will come back as soon as I return to Amsterdam. Summer hasn’t exactly made things better. Summer is making me jealous of people taking road trips with their family. Summer is love birds making out in the parks and frolicking the grass. Summer is going nude on the beach and skinny dipping with your friends and lovers. 

View of the “UFO” tower; leaving Bratislava for Budapest.

I’ve always pride about being able to work and travel at the same time. Because of this trip, I have decided that I will avoid traveling for no reason other than for work. Reason being that my remaining funds will not last me until next summer. Even if I were to scrimp and save, I can only stay until the end of winter. I’d probably have to leave before the DAI Roaming Academy in March. I am not entirely keen about staying in Amsterdam neither do I want to really move back to Singapore but I need a job to pay my debt and that’s the cold hard reality. At the same time, there are so much opportunities for me outside of Singapore and I don’t want to miss them. 

I admit I’m a little less excited about the next DAI year already because people left, everything that’s no-questions-awesome about it has changed. But of course, my research has to go on and my thesis needs to be written. I want my works/writings to get picked up. There’s going to be Contour Biennale in Mechelen curated by Natasha Ginwala who was my coach, and part of the DAI is going to Brazil next March after visiting Contour. So I should really be looking forward. 

Perhaps I am moving on, since I am making plans. I don’t know what’s what anymore. My heart and mind are dislocated and dispersed continentally and I am allowing as such because it’s okay to not be okay. I am preparing my mind to this countdown because returning to Singapore is a really big confrontation for me after what happened. Furthermore, I do think that I have to face this in order to really move on.

A few wants or aims:

  • Present some of my written works
  • Get a job (and clear my debt)
  • Work and collaborate with artists-researchers and philosophers in East Asia and Southeast Asia
  • Learn German 
image
Devin Castle is just 10km outside of Bratislava.

How do I capitalize on my situation? How to turn my weakness into strength? How can I share my passion? And back to that issue from/of traveling, yesterday was a rather comforting day when I met a group of travelers (from Italy and Germany) at the bus stop of Devin Castle that is situated outside of Bratislava. We started really talking on the bus and one of the guy shared his experience about being and living in India for 6 months. He later on started complaining about Europeans and their ‘privileged traveler’ syndrome that I somewhat talked about in my first post — that really surprised me. I saluted him for his ‘sensitivity’ towards the unknown and the foreign. He is at a young age of 23, from Milan and studies engineering management. Of course, let’s not point fingers at the Europeans. I think tourists coming from developed societies tend to have this ugly trait (including myself) and sometimes academics seem to be doing this the most often, assuming they are experts of certain knowledge simply because they have a university degree. I have learnt over time and experience to not cast a perception or judgement, or to exercise a certain superiority just over the state of things just because you have the monetary power to do so.  

Thinking about trans-border knowledge production at the natural river border of the Danube between Slovakia and Austria.

Today, there is a “crisis of knowing”. The questions I posed before on tourism and education (specifically humanities subjects) is to research on how to change the future conception of knowing and cultivate societal receptiveness to the state of unknown? Can trans-border education across continents work? Currently, such networks already exist but are they doing enough? What are the methodologies employed? What can a geolocation, culture and local politics teach people albeit studying something seemingly different? How can we promote knowledge diversity and to learn beyond the self? Universities need to be decolonized, knowledge production as a process needs to be detached from institutional capitalization and had to be understood as such that knowledge cannot and should not be owned. Which had in turn created generations of ‘experts’ in certain fields/industries who are “most certainly qualify” and granting them authority to speak, write and document about ‘the others’.

I shall end with a quote by Achille Mbembe extracted from Decolonizing Knowledge and the Question of the Archive,

“By pluriversity, many understand a process of knowledge production that is open to epistemic diversity. It is a process that does not necessarily abandon the notion of universal knowledge for humanity, but which embraces it via a ‘horizontal strategy of openness to dialogue among different epistemic traditions.”

 

Leave a Comment (2)

Wayne Lim wrote on Sep 2:

You are so darn right — the 'hidden layer' that I did not cover in my writing — about the relationships and policies made by hegemonic nations and dominating markets are responsible for creating and mediating (in your word) this exact circuit and economy.

Also, I must add that I've been physically 'displacing' myself in order to perform this act/way of seeing my own country, Singapore and from that angle, understand 'my own identity' better. Speaking so much of decolonizing and 'undoing' or 'unlearning' things, unfortunately is not something that can be undone...

co-director (m) wrote on Sep 1:

I think many people in privileged countries, i.e., the ones who travel for leisure , tend to travel with little grace, and are also often oblivious to that. (I write that from a nation so hung up on being mistaken for one of them, that people sew Canadian flags on their luggage) Its a kind of privilege that comes from growing up in a G8 country, but also a consequence of capitalism and a tourist industry that mediates these kinds of experiences for a majority of people. A kind of club med experience of, airport security and 3.5 star hotels - and pictures of the sights. When you travel for other purposes (work) however, usually you are meeting local people being taken to local spots, you get a more authentic experience of the culture. I think there is more empathy to be gained in meeting actual people. Also the longer one can reflect on their own culture form outside the better they can see it/critique it.

 


Kicking-off RFAOH in Portugal

Hello from Faro,

I never ever dreamt about coming to Portugal but I have succumbed to the stories of the southern heat, beach, cheap food and booze. I remember it was just 24 hours ago when I decided to ditch a proposal for a residency in Japan.

The southern coast of Portugal
The southern coast of Portugal

My friends left my apartment at 2:30am and I left straight for Schiphol airport, willingly saving my sleep during the 3 hours flight to Faro.

Some of these houses have very beautiful tile decorations.
Some of these houses have very beautiful tile decorations.

First impression of Faro is that it is surprisingly clean, small and quiet (not that I expected the other way round). Today I spent nearly 3 hours walking along the mildly hot sands and did not enter the ocean. I thought a lot… Mainly about the past year. Many things cross my mind; practice, life, love, and so on.

Walking without knowing that you will not be able to get to the other side.
Walking without knowing that you will not be able to get to the other side.

I’m tired – of traveling, moving or not knowing what’s going to be ahead of me (after I complete my masters program and the end of my ‘on-hiatus’ stint). I realized that I have lesser and lesser patience to travel. Especially seeing bad behaviors, cities in decadence, practicing the unintentional act of (not) knowing, the pretenseand oblivion (of the privileged).

Of course, I know I am reproducing this privilege. Which is why I’m stuck at what I should/could do as an artist. Maybe, I’m just not an artist? I’m thinking if ‘deep tourism’ can transform the current education system and change the mode of knowledge production? Can ‘deep tourism’ eradicate this unintentional act of knowing? (Pardon me for speaking in ‘codes’ right now. Give me some time to unpack these notions.)

I’ll come back to it.

Leave a Comment (1)

co-director (s) wrote on Aug 2:

Welcome on board, Wayne! Looks like a good place to start your new hiatus at (; We look forward to seeing where you're going or not going!

 

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