Photo by Albert Lim K.S © 2014.

Photo Credit: Angles of Incidence: SIF-BC AiRx 2013-2014. © Albert Lim K.S, 2014.

Artist-in-Residence Exchange (ARIX) Programme

The British Council-Singapore International Foundation Artist-in-Residence Exchange programme (BC-SIF AiRx) was a collaboration between the British Council and the Singapore International Foundation (SIF)  to bridge communities between the two countries through the exchange of ideas and perspectives and collaborations in the arts and thought leadership. 

It was a residential and cultural immersion programme by BC and SIF that provided Singaporean and British artists with the opportunity to gain new insights, understanding and inspiration through interacting and exchanging perspectives with foreign communities, while assuming the role of ambassadors to promote awareness and to bridge communities. The programme culminated with BC-SIF AiRx participants collaborating on work(s) that reflect insights gained and their experiences on the residency programme.

BC-SIF AiRx was organised pursuant to the BC-SIF Memorandum of Understanding in 2011 to bridge Singaporean and UK communities through the exchange of ideas and perspectives, and collaborations in the arts and thought leadership. For each exchange, two artists engaged in a dialogue and created new collaborative works that reflect their experiences in their respective host country. 

Angles of Incidence public installation at Singapore Botanic Gardens -2014

Angles of Incidence was the result of the third Artist-in-Residence Exchange (AiRx) programme featuring Singaporean architect Randy Chan and British artist Philippa Lawrence, organised by British Council and the Singapore International Foundation.

Following residencies and interactions in communities in each other's cities– Singapore and London – Chan and Lawrence created a site-specific collaborative installation at Singapore Botanic Gardens, in response to the universal themes of heritage, memory and sustainability. The installation, curated by Tolla Sloane of Give Art Space, comprises reflective multi-faceted steel pods placed beneath the canopy of the Kapok tree. Visitors experienced the oscillation between object and site as the reflective pods blur boundaries with the landscape.

Following on the Singapore edition, the installation then launched in London at the Inner Temple Garden on 4 June 2014

Angles of Incidence at the National Museum
After successful launches at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and the Inner Temple Gardens in London, the installation was presented in an urban environment under the iconic Banyan Tree at the National Museum of Singapore from 29 August 2014 to 28 February 2015. Emerging from the ground as a set of reflective multi-faceted steel structures, some patterned with crystal elements, Angles of Incidence is an artwork that is part of the landscape and the landscape part of the artwork. In the day, the oddly shaped prisms reflect sunlight to kaleidoscopic effect and at night, strategically positioned lights near the artwork form beautifully geometric shadows. This collaborative installation was created by Singaporean artist-architect Randy Chan and British artist Philippa Lawrence following their residencies and interactions with communities in Singapore and London. 

Disappearing Moon - 2013

This two-person exhibition was the culmination of Genevieve Chua and Emma Critchley’s participation in the year-long AiRx programme 2012. The exhibition recorded their on-going dialogue with a new series of solo and collaborative work, and served as an important documentation of the exchange.

The central collaborative work was a set of digital montages titled Disappearing Moon which lends itself to the title of this exhibition. The artists photographed the moonrise and moonset on the same night in Singapore and the UK, conducting observation studies in the two separate environments. Through their explorations of ambivalent spaces and shifting qualities of light, the collaborative work raised questions of representation and communication.

Also featured are Chua’s and Critchley’s individual works. Chua created a new set of work titled 72, a series of 42 rendered prints that depict the destroyed edges of geometrical solids being used to conceive a set of die that can calculate futures. Critchley developed ‘Figures of Speech, a series of interconnected video and photographic works that explores ways in which communication underwater can become a physical interplay between the body and the environment.

 The exhibition was launched at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore in January 2013, and will also be launched at Asia House in London, UK on 7 March 2013. Disappearing Moon is curated by Tolla Sloane and co-curated by Sam I-shan.

UTOPIAS - 2012

UTOPIAS Artists Michael Lee and Bob Matthews got more than they expected in our inaugural exchange in 2011.

Michael spent three weeks in London and Bob in Singapore. They developed new solo works based on observations and experiences of their host cities and connected with local arts communities.

What they hadn’t expected was their ongoing collaboration, The Great Levellers. This series of works contemplated human existence in the 21st century, and premiered in 2011 as part of an exhibition titled Utopias. The exhibition has presented to the Singapore and London public the solo and joint works that resulted from AiRx.

“The best collaborations come from deep respect among collaborators, and an almost blind faith that the impossible is possible” Michael Lee, SIF Artist-in-Residence Exchange participant.

Though their participation in AiRx has come to a close, Michael and Bob continued to collaborate, furthering their cross-cultural exploration of the human condition.

By remaining open to new experiences, artists like Michael and Bob challenged their public to address established perspectives and attitudes, bringing about deeper understanding of world communities. Utopias was presented at the National Museum of Singapore from 24 Nov - 18 Dec 2011 and made its London debut at the Asia House from 17 May - 2 June 2012.

UK Artist Biography

Philippa Lawrence (b. 1968, UK) is a Bristol-based artist well regarded for her site-specific land-based art work. Lawrence graduated from the RCA in 1993 with an MA in printmaking. She is a Principle Lecturer at Cardiff School of Art & Design, CMU working on  the Textiles and new Artist Designer: Maker BA (hons) programmes. Lawrence won the Creative Wales Award in 2003 and Welsh Artist of the Year Award in 2008.She has been commissioned by the Arts Council, the Botanic Gardens of Wales, Waddesden Manor Gardens, Moreton Arboretum, Chicago, and Viley Island Iceland. She was worked with a number of UNESCO heritage sites including Saltaire Mills (a textile mill in North Yorkshire and site of the David Hockney museum) and Croft Castle, Herefordshire.

Emma Critchley
 (b. 1983, UK), has worked as an underwater image-maker for over 9 years and recently graduated with an MA from The Royal College of Art. Through her practice, Emma explores the human relationship with the underwater environment.

Her work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and festivals including: The Australian Centre of Photography, Fotofreo (Australia), Le Mois de la Photo (Canada), The National Portrait Gallery the Photographers Gallery and most recently The Saatchi Gallery & Channel 4’s ‘New Sensations’.

Emma’s work has won many awards, including first prize in competitions at The Royal College of Art, The British Underwater Image Festival and The Association Of Photographers. Her work has been widely published, with features in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Art Monthly Australia, HotShoe International, AN Magazine and FOAM International amongst many others. Over the last few years she has worked on projects and commissions that have been funded by organisations such as The Photographers Gallery, The National Media Museum and The Arts Council.

Singaporean Artist Biography

Randy Chan (b.1970, Singapore) is one of Singapore’s leading young artist/architects specializing in the convergence between art and architecture.

Chan was featured in the ’20 under 40’ up and coming architects by the Urban Redevelopment Authority in 2004 and won the Gold Award in the 3rd SAI Façade Design Excellence Awards in 2006 for his work on the Singapore Pavilion at the World Exposition 2005 in Japan. He designed the Singapore Pavilion, “Supergarden” for the Venice Biennale in 2008.

Recently, he has collaborated with Grace Tan for a site-specific installation at the Substation as part of Singapore Art Museum’s FutureProof Exhibition 2012. Chan’s work is currently in Paris as part of the Nouvelle Vagues exhibition at Palais de Tokyo commissioned and curated by Singapore Art Museum. In his attempts to bridge art and architecture, Randy is no stranger to collaborations.

Genevieve Chua (b.1984, Singapore) researches the fear of the unknown. This process involves the appropriation of Southeast Asian horror towards new narratives. These new stories are often realised as a website, installation or drawing. She was a recipient of the NAC Georgette Chen Scholarship in 2003/4.

In Singapore, selected solo exhibitions include Adinandra Belukar at the Singapore Biennale 2011; Child and the Beast at Objectifs (Singapore, 2011); As Brutal As: A Drawing Show (Singapore, 2007), Raised as a Pack of Wolves, at the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival (2009), Full Moon and Foxes at the Atelier, National Museum of Singapore (2009).

The artist has also participated in shows such as Future Proof (Singapore, 2012); BMW Young Asian Artist Series II (Singapore, 2011); Art Project Ideas at Hiroshima MOCA (Japan, 2011); Cross-scape at the Kumho Museum of Art (South Korea, Seoul, 2011); Shadow in the Dark (Hong Kong, 2011) and CUT 2009: Figure, New Photography from Southeast Asia (Kuala Lumpur; Singapore 2009).

She has developed works at residencies in Singapore Tyler Print Institute, The Banff Centre, Gyeonggi Creation Center and C-C-C Shizuoka.

Michael Lee (b.1972) Curator, artist and lecturer at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.