Exchanges for Good

Disappearing Moon celebrates the cross-cultural collaboration between artists Genevieve Chua and Emma Critchley under our Artist-in-Residence Exchange programme.

S'porean Genevieve Chua and Briton Emma Critchley spent three weeks in each other’s countries, interacting with arts communities and continuing research on their existing practice

Part of Briton Emma Critchley’s cultural experience in Singapore included her observation of how coffee is served in plastic packets here. “I was in a taxi, and I couldn't work out what the packet of kopi was, hanging from the driver's indicator - it looked like some sort of mobile blood transfusion".

Emma is one of two artists whose cross-collaborative works were celebrated on 18 January, at the launch of their joint exhibition, Disappearing Moon, held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore. Emma and her co-artist, Singaporean Genevieve Chua, are part of the prestigious Artist-in-Residence Exchange programme (AiRx), jointly organised by SIF and the British Council to promote cross-cultural understanding between the peoples of Singapore and the United Kingdom through arts and cultural exchanges.

The two visual artists spent three weeks in each other’s countries, interacting with arts communities and continuing research on their existing practice. They then continued their collaboration online back in their respective home countries. The exhibition records their on-going dialogue with new solo and collaborative work, serving as a living documentation of the exchange programme.

Disappearing Moon comprises three new collaborative series as well as solo works

Disappearing Moon comprises three new collaborative series as well as solo works. The collaborative series are Sterno, an immersive star-map series, Glistening Twigs Undersea,photographic explorations of moonlight, and Disappearing Moon, a simultaneous record of the phases of the moon over the coasts of the United Kingdom and Singapore.

The artists’ solo works include Chua’s series, 72, based on interpretation of geomancy, a system of pseudo-scientific rules which can be traced back to the human need to control natural forces. In her solo works, Critchley worked with free divers underwater to create Figures of Speech, a photographic series, and Before Language, a series of video works. Both series explore the relationship between the body and its surrounding environment, the ways in which communication becomes the physical interplay between the body and the underwater environment, a space where language is broken down into tones, rhythms and vibrations.

The evening also saw the SIF and the British Council renewing their Memorandum of Understanding, reinforcing their commitment to encouraging collaborations between artists from the two countries. The MoU was first signed two years ago, leading to the first AiRx collaboration in 2011 between Singaporean and British visual artists Michael Lee and Bob Matthews, who reflected and researched the notion of Utopias.

The resulting exhibition was presented at the National Museum, Singapore and Asia House in London. SIF Governor Jennifer Lewis, speaking at the launch, said, “Tonight’s official extension of this partnership is a simple testimony to the great success of the first two years of our collaboration.” She spoke alongside Director of the British Council, Mark Howard, who also applauded the contribution by and collaboration between exhibition curators, Briton Tolla Sloane and Singaporean Sam I-Shan.

Disappearing Moon is open to the public until 7 Feb 2013. 10am – 6pm, Tues to Sun (except 1.30 – 2.30pm).
Closed on Mondays and public holidays. Admission is free.

It will travel to London in March 2013.

Click here to view the photo gallery.

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