After obtaining her B.A. in English
Literature from the University of Malaya, Malaysia, in 1988, she has ventured
into a variety of engagements and disciplines, which includes full-time feature
writing, book editing, teaching, and art management (fundraising, publicity and
programming) and NGO work.
In 1993, following a brief period of study in Fine Arts at Lasalle-SIA College in Singapore, she became involved with the Artists Village and Fifth Passage, 2 artists-initiated collectives dating from the late 1980s in Singapore. From 1994 she began working with The Substation, Singapore’s first independent art space. Since then to late 90s she was juggling art production with art management in Singapore, during a time when “artist-run” spaces and activities came into prominence in many parts of the world.
From 2000, she became involved with cultural activism, as Director for Projects with IFIMA (International Forum for InterMedia Art), a not-for-profit international cultural organisation focusing on forging intercultural and interdisciplinary collaborations and knowledge-sharing, and on advancing a socially responsive and engaged way of art making. She co-founded NICA (Networking and Initiatives for Culture and the Arts) an arts and cultural resource development initiative in Yangon, Myanmar, where she was based from 2002 to 2005.
She worked in collaboration with Singaporean born artist Jay Koh from 2000, focusing on public participatory and socially engaged ways of art making. They adopted an 'Artists in Multifaceted Practice' approach, where they took on diverse roles in order to negotiate with social-political structures on site and conceives of appropriate actions in response to each site.
She has carried out public participative projects in Poland, Finland, and Sweden, and has recently exhibited in ‘Public Moment”, an arts festival focusing on new approaches in public art, in Seoul, Korea. She has been in numerous residency programmes with The Substation, Singapore; HIAP – Helsinki International AIR Programme at Cable Factory, Helsinki, Finland; RAUMARS residency at Lonnstrom Museum, Rauma, Finland; IASPIS – International Artists Studio Programme in Sweden (which is run by invitation only); and Biz-Art, Shanghai.
In 2008, she co-founded 1948 Artspace (now 1948 Projects) based in Seri Kembangan, Malaysia. She presently teaches Visual Culture at New Era College in Malaysia.
NICA – Networking & Initiatives for Culture & the Arts
IFIMA – International Forum for InterMedia Art
No. 663, Jalan SK 4/4, Seri Kembangan, Selangor, 43300 Malaysia
1985-89 Bachelor of Arts (English, 2nd upper, Hons.), University of Malaya, Malaysia
1993 Fine arts studies, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore
1997 Metabolic Theatre Laboratory, Singapore
2008 – present Lecturer (part time) on Visual Culture, Art & Design Dept., New Era College, Malaysia
2008 – present Founding partner and Director for Programmes, 1948 Artspace/ 1948 Projects
2003 – 2006 Director for Programmes and Training, NICA – Networking & Initiatives for Culture & the Arts, Yangon, Myanmar
2000 – 2006 Project Director, IFIMA – International Forum for InterMedia Art, Singapore
1998 - 1999 Office Administrator promoted to Marketing Executive, Aspect Communications Pte Ltd (Asia-Pacific), Singapore
1994 - 1995 Development Executive (publicity, marketing, fundraising), and Programme Executive, The Substation Ltd., Singapore
1989 - 1990 English Tutor, Mara College of Higher Education, Seremban, Malaysia.
1990 - 1991 Book Editor cum Publishing Coordinator, Select Books Pte Ltd., Singapore.
1988 - 1989 Writer, Metropolitan Publishing (now defunct), Singapore.
2006 Artist-in-Residence, Bonton Resort, Langkawi, Malaysia
2005 Artist-in-Residence, IASPIS – International Artists Studio Programme in Sweden (by invitation only), hosted by Umea University School of Fine Arts, Umea, Sweden
2005 Artist residency project: public art project with Lonnstrom Museum, Raumar, Finland
2005 Research residency programme, KUVA - Academy of Fine Arts of Helsinki, Finland
2005 Artist-in-Residence, HIAP - Helsinki International Artist-in-residence Programme, Cable Factory, Helsinki, Finland
2001 Artist-in-Residence, The Substation, Singapore
Grants Received (selected)
2008 Prince Claus Fund, Netherlands
2008 Heinrich Boell (Asia) Foundation, Chiangmai, Thailand
2008 Ford Foundation USA
2008 The Annexe Central Market Grants for Grabs
2006 Singapore Airlines-National Arts Council Travel Grant, Singapore
2006 Heinrich Boell (Asia) Foundation, Chiangmai, Thailand
2005 Asia-Europe Foundation, Singapore
2005 Rotary Club Training Grant, Singapore
2004 Asian Arts Council, New York, USA
2003 Lee Foundation, Singapore
2002 Prince Claus Fund, Netherlands
2002 Japan Foundation Asia Center, Bangkok, Thailand
2002 Lee Foundation, Singapore
2002 Singapore Airlines-National Arts Council Travel Grant, Singapore
2001 Lee Foundation, Singapore
2001 Singapore Airlines-National Arts Council
1993 Rotary Club Student Art Bursary
Solo Performances/ Exhibitions
2008 Relentless, solo exhibition, 67tempinis1, Malaysia
2007 Relentless, solo exhibition, The Substation, Singapore
2005 Performance Site: Myanmar, Borders Within Without Festival, solo performance, Yangon, Myanmar.
1999 Participating for an Active Community Fair. Solo performance, Suntec City Mall. Organised by TWC - The Working Committee, Singapore.
1999 The Re-membering Body solo performance within an installation exhibition. The Substation, Singapore.
1998 The Forgotten Body, solo performance, The Substation, Singapore
1997 Utterances, solo performance, The Substation, Singapore.
Collaborative/ Group Exhibitions (selected)
2009 Between the Lines, The Annexe Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2007 BSurma – Nakymia Burman Arjesta, Helsinki, Finland
2006 Public Moment: New Approaches in Public Art, Artists Forum International, exhibitions, symposium, public art projects, Seoul, Korea
2006 Bureau for Intercultural Connectivity: Myanmar, presented in Public Moment, Artists Forum International Festival, Seoul, South Korea
2005 Bureau for Intercultural Connectivity, interactive art project, Umea, Sweden
2005 "Responding to the Local", video and performance, Bildmuseet, Umea University, Umea, Sweden
2005 Portraying Ourselves: Rauma Residents on Rauma, public art project, Rauma, Finland.
2003 “Speech Patterns”, Installation Art Workshop Series, Yangon, Myanmar.
2002 Nomadism/ Normalisation II: Performance with Jay Koh in Wasted Time for Performance. Taidehalle, Helsinki, Finland.
2002 Nomadism/ Normalisation I:Performance with Jay Koh in International Performance Workshop: Collaboration, Networking and Resource-Sharing: Myanmar, Yangon, Myanmar.
2002 Voicing the City, part of City Transformers: Engaged Art and Architecture of the City, Gdansk, Poland.
2001 Digiframe, Cologne, Germany
2001 Open Ends, exhibition of performance art in Singapore, The Substation, Singapore.
2000 Translation, Displacement, Actualisation. Gallery 68elf. Cologne, Germany
2000 Very-nars-sarri. Art Council of Central Finland & City of Jyvaskyla. Jyvaskyla, Finland.
2000 Nokia Singapore Art 2000. HOPE. CHIJMES, Singapore.
1998 All That Remains. The Substation, Singapore
Weather Report, International Travelling Exhibition.
1995 Heimat. Kassel, Germany.
1995 Dilating Pupils. Gallery A & O, Berlin, Germany.
1994 Personae I: Confering on Woman. 5th Passage Artists Limited, Singapore.
1994 Surrogate Desires. 5th Passage Artists Limited, Singapore.
1993 -94 Artists’ General Assembly. 5th Passage Artists Limited & Artists Village, Singapore.
2008 Creating Entry Points between Art and Community, presentation at The Emergency Festival, Five Arts Centre, The Annexe, Central Market, Malaysia
2008 The Role of Artists in the Shaping of Cities presentation and forum, part of Re-imagining the Cities project; organized by The British Council, The Annexe, Central Market, Malaysia
2006 Public Moment presentation and forum, Artists Forum International 2006, Konyik University, Seoul, South Korea
2005 “Responding to the Local”, artist’s talk, Yayasan Kesenian Perak, Ipoh, Malaysia
2005 Roundtable on Arts and Community, CityArts, Dublin, Ireland
2005 Kuasa Tinggi (Not That Balai festival II), Lost Generation Space, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2005 Artist's presentation, IASPIS, Stockholm, Sweden
2005 Res Artis conference, Berlin
2005 Multiple Records, seminar on interactive art practices, Bildmuseet, University of Umea, Sweden
2005 Artist's presentation, Umea Kultur, Umea, Sweden
2005 Lecture at University of Turku, Pori, Finland
2005 Symposium on “Art and Knowledge: Encounter in Intercultural Art Projects", Helsinki Art Museum and Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki/ Finland, Helsinki Art Museum & KUVA, Finland
2005 “Repositioning the Artist in Society” symposium at Tate Britain, London
2003 Comparative Contemporaries: symposium and workshops on contemporary practices in Southeast Asia, The Substation, Singapore
2002 Locus 1: Interventions in Art Practices, Lopez Museum, Manila, The Philippines
2002 City Transformers: Engaged Art and Architecture of the City, Gdansk, Poland
2002 International Symposium on Public Engaged Art (symposium organizer and presenter), The Substation, Singapore
2001 Seminar on Engaged Art in Public Spaces, Lasnia Centre for Contemporary Art, Danzig, Poland
2000 International Symposium on Xchange: Crossing Cultures, Theories and Practices on Engaged Art (symposium organizer and presenter), Museum of Site. Hong Kong
2008 The Open Academy: Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (curator and teacher)
2008 The Open Academy: Vietnam, Hanoi, Vietnam (teacher)
2008 Entry Points, community engaged arts series, 1948 Artspace, Malaysia (Project curator and leader)
2008 Seeking to Connect: Contemporary Art from Burma/ Myanmar series; Soe Naing’s Line Expressions, The Annexe Gallery, Central Market, Malaysia (Project advisor & manager)
2006 Compass Project in Mongolia, orgainsed by BizArt Shanghai, Ulaanbaataar, Mongolia (workshop instructor)
2006 “Articulating the Art Encounter” workshop, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (facilitator)
2005 "Responding to The Local", art workshop on Community Participative Art, Bildmuseet, Umea University, Umea, Sweden (facilitator)
2005 Bureau for Intercultural Connectivity, Umea, Sweden (artist & researcher)
2005 Art Writing Workshop, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (facilitator)
2004-present Artstream Myanmar, website on Myanmar arts and culture, collaborative project by NICA, Myanmar with Perumal Studios, Singapore and Tampere Polytechnic, Finland (project director and editorial advisor)
2004 Documenting Our Lives, Our Times project, resulting from photography workshops initiated and conducted by Nicholas Leong at NICA (Networking and Initiatives for Culture and the Arts), Yangon, Myanmar (project curator and manager)
2004 Writing Our Art Histories project, NICA (Networking and Initiatives for Culture and the Arts), Yangon, Myanmar (curator, researcher and programme director)
2004 The Open Academy Programme Year II (intercultural knowledge and resource-sharing), NICA (Networking and Initiatives for Culture and the Arts), Yangon, Myanmar (programme director)
2003 MNX (Mekong Networking & Exchange), NICA, Yangon, Myanmar; Chiangmai University Art Museum, Chiangmai, Thailand; About Art Related Activities, Bangkok, Thailand; Reyum Institute for Culture & the Arts, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (project co-director and forum facilitator)
2003 Installation Art Workshop Series, NICA (Networking and Initiatives for Culture and the Arts), Yangon, Myanmar (curator, programme director and workshop facilitator)
2003 The Open Academy Programme (intercultural knowledge and resource-sharing), NICA (Networking and Initiatives for Culture and the Arts), Yangon, Myanmar (programme director)
2003 Young Adults Training Programme, NICA (Networking and Initiatives for Culture and the Arts), Yangon, Myanmar (programme director & trainer)
2002 International Symposium on Public Engaged Art, The Substation, Singapore (Project curator and coordinator).
2002 Collaboration, Networking & Resource-Sharing: Myanmar, Myanmar (Project co-curator and coordinator).
2001 Investigating Public Engaged Art, Artist-in-Residence Project, The Substation, Singapore (Project coordinator, curator and artist-researcher).
2001 Seminar on Engaged Art in Public Spaces, Danzig, Poland (Seminar conductor)
2001 Open Ends Project, history of performance art in Singapore (Researcher and interviewer).
Published Writing – selected
Fourth World Thinking, exhibition review, Kakiseni.com online arts journal, May 2006 http://www.kakiseni.com/articles/reviews/MDg2Nw.html#top
Locating the Mobile Artist: from Cultural Diversities to Local Specificities in Residencies: Spaces + Artists + Managers + Communities, UFA Fabrik, RES ARTIS and Asia Europe Foundation, Berlin, 2006, Pg.18 - 26, co-author: KOH, Jay
Soe Naing: A Little Human & Other Creatures, NICA, 2005, Yangon
Politics of the Self in the Negotiation of Soilidarities in Locus: Interventions in Art Practice, Lopez Memorial Museum and Pananaw ng Sinnig Bayan Inc, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Manila 2005, Pg.188-193, co-author: KOH, Jay
Engaged Art in Public Spaces, City Transformers 2002 Gdansk, Danzig, Poland, Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdansk. Pg. 133, co-author: KOH Jay (with Polish translation)
Stories that the City Tells, City Transformers 2002 Gdansk, Danzig, Poland, Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdansk. Pg. 133, (with Polish translation)
Potholes and Corners: Intentions, Desires and Constraints of Cross and Intercultural Activities in Links, Platform and Networks, Publications of Asia Art Archive (AAA), Hong Kong and International Association of Art Critics Hong Kong (AIAC/HK), Hong Kong, 2004. Published in Chinese, English and later in Vietnamese in the The National Culture and Arts Magazine ( Tạp chí Văn hóa Nghệ thuật), Hanoi, 2007, NR.5. Pg 85 – 90, Co-author: KOH Jay
Encounters in Engagement: Investigating Public Engaged Art in Singapore, Section One-Public Engaged Art, focas, issue #4, Forum On Contemporary Art & Society, Singapore, 2002. Pg. 38 – 52, co-author: KOH Jay
Open Ends, history of performance art in Singapore, The Substation, 2001.
Bibliography (Articles, Features, Reviews - selected)
Relentless Pursuit: Chu Yuan’s Recent Paintings by Sharon Chin, Off The Edge magazine, Malaysia, April 2008
Tembak: Chu Yuan’s Relentless, Kakiseni.com, 3 January 2008
Artist Debuts on Home Turf, The Star English news daily, Malaysia, 31 December 2007
Critic’s Picks, Straits Times, LIFE!, English news daily, Singapore, 12 October 2007
If These Bubbles Could Speak, Straits Times, LIFE!, English news daily, Singapore, 20 October,
Art Journal, Vol. 66, no. 3, Fall 2007, College Art Association, New York, USA (Artwork Offering of Mind featured on cover of issue)
Public Moment, Artists Forum International, exhibitions, symposium, public art projects, October 2006.
Umea University Academy of Fine Arts, Sweden, website, Bureau for Cultural Interconnectivity, activities of artist-in-residence, 2005 www.umu.se/art/utbildning/iaspis/2005/iaspis_05.html;
Teltta: Kohtaamisia nuorten taidetyopajoissa, Lea Kantonen, LIKE, Helsinki, 2005
Open Ends, history of performance art in Singapore, The Substation, 2001
AIR Your Views, They’ll Listen, The Straits Times, Life! 18 April 2001. SPH. Singapore
The Arts magazine, performance review, Dec/Jan 2000 issue, The Esplanade, Singapore
Art Asia Pacific, exhibition review by Lee Weng Choy, Vol. 3 No. 2, 1996, Fine Arts Press P.L., Australia