Artistic Director: Professor Chua Beng Huat


Singapore’s premier international visual arts festival of the year – a thought-provoking, eye-catching visual feast that will engage the serious artist and every man on the street!



SENI Singapore 2004: Art & the Contemporary aims to be an impactful visual arts festival that creates active dialogues between Singapore and international artists through a focus on contemporary Southeast Asian and Asian art. The event is co-organised by the National Arts Council and the National Heritage Board, with other partners such as Multimedia Art Asia Pacific (MAAP) and TheatreWorks.  SENI is also the precursor for the Singapore Biennale 2006.


The term seni is the modern Malay lexicon for art.  The theme of the festival Art & the Contemporary investigates the future and current roles of contemporary art via six related but distinct components, one of which will confront the public in the street as they go about their daily lives.


With over 90 artists from 14 countries, the festival aims to reach out to more than 200,000 people.  SENI is also accessible online and a friendly magazine-format catalogue.





Venue     : Singapore Art Museum

Coordinating Curator: Ahmad Mashadi, SAM


Showcasing the works by 10 artist collectives from Southeast Asia, Home Fronts investigates the often-fluid notions of place, locations and boundaries, characterised by the permeability of social and geographical spaces. The theme may also be explore in relation to displacement, dispossession, migration and diaspora – voluntary or enforced – often exacerbated by continuing social tensions caused by impacts of urbanisation and capitalism. Economic inequalities, social injustices and political tensions formed localised dimensions for the larger global dynamics.



Participating Collectives & Artists:


1.             The Artists Village (Singapore)

Artists Investigating Monuments


The Artists Village was founded by Tang Da Wu in his kampung-studio in Ulu Sembawang in 1988 and was registered as a non-profit society in February 1992. The goals of The Artists Village are to promote contemporary art and to bring about a better understanding of contemporary art practices and their contribution to society. It played a crucial role in the Singapore contemporary art development and has organized many important art events that serve as platforms for contemporary art projects by local and overseas artists. It organises projects in Singapore as well as those that traveled to international art venues and art festivals. Through its projects, it seek to investigate and address the historical, social and political issues regarding the particular space, while at the same time, reach out to a wider audience. In the coming years, we will continue to create interesting and meaningful work in these different spaces as well as develop a stronger regional and international network.


For SENI, Artists Investigating Monuments will invite artistic response to existing monuments and heritage sites; in this way re-presenting its original meanings as artistic findings.


12 Artists: Agnes Yit; Colin Reaney; Jeremy Hiah & Kai Lam Hoi Lit; Iwan Wijono (Yogyakarta); Ho Tzu Nyen, Jason Soo & Mark Chua; Rizman Putra & Dovan Ong Teng Chye; Zulkifle Mahmod; Juliana Yasin



2.             Big Sky Mind (Philippines)

What does home feel like?


Big Sky Mind started organizing exhibitions and other events in October 1999 on the second floor of a café in a quiet semi-residential area in New Manila, Quezon City. It aims to support young and less-established artists by providing them with a platform to present their work to a wider public by way of resource and skill-sharing. It also aims to expand notions about art by introducing fresh ideas and alternatives to the common art practice. Encouraging innovation and diversity in art through crossover and collaboration. By locating art in a non-traditional art context, Big Sky Mind also explores ways to develop new audiences and to bring art closer to the public. Big Sky Mind seeks to create further awareness on contemporary Filipino art both on a local and global scale and to take part in a trans-national, trans-cultural support system for the arts. The Foundation pursues linkages with other artists, curators, groups and spaces worldwide.


For SENI, What does home feel like? will explore the conditions of the domestic, examining home and its contents and drawing implications on the nature of familial, gender, and class relations.


7 Artists: Ringo Bunoan; Katya Guerrero; Patricia Perez Eustaquio; Maria Taniguchi; Lena Cobangbang; Johnny Alcazaren; Anthony Maculangan



3.             Fondation Arabe pour l’Image (Lebanon)

Mapping Sitting


Fondation Arabe pour l'Image was created in 1996 in Beirut by Akram Zaatari, Walid Raad, and other artists and photographers, is the only functioning public photographic archive in the Middle East. The artists on their installation: "we are presenting works from a specific cultural and geographic context; these stimulate questions concerning portrait photography not only in the Arab world, but also portrait, photography, and culture in general."


In SENI project Mapping Sitting, Akram Zaatari and Walid Raad present geographically and culturally specific photographic works that raise questions about portraiture, performance, photography and identity in general, drawing from photographic practices in the Arab world in the early to mid-20th century such as passport studio photographs, institutional group portrait photographs, Surprise photographs and street portrait photographs by itinerant photographers.


2 Artists: Akram Zaatari & Walid Raad



4.             Taring Padi (Indonesia)

Indonesian Laundry Service


Taring Padi is a diverse and multi-skilled group of artists and cultural activists who have lived and worked collectively in Central Java since the fall of Suharto's military regime in 1998. They were instrumental in organising some of the radical cultural protest and performance that animated the student movement of 1998, and continue to push democracy and social justice education amongst urban and rural Javanese. Their early projects include in December 98 producing and publishing a monthly interactive magazine Terompet Rakyat (The People's Trumpet); producing, printing and distributing 10,000 woodcut posters March - June 99 as a commentary regarding various ethnic and religious conflicts leading up to the general elections in June 99; producing giant wayang puppets 'Anti-militarisme (Against Militarism) for the closing street parade for the Yogyakarta Festival of Art, July 1999.


For SENI, Indonesian Laundry Service is an interactive installation which proposes to create a room for dialogue between the taring padi representatives, other artists participating in the forum, and the Singapore public. It proposes to present a space, modelled like the average kitchen you would find in the homes of most Indonesian migrant labourers. This kitchen is meant as a signifier of the still very traditional and domestic spaces women inhabit in Indonesian rural communities.


8 Artists: Ahmad Koyyum; Fitriani; Heidi Arbuckle; Surya Wirawan; Tresnawati; Yustoni Volunteero; Totok Kontil; Budi Santosa



5.             Spacekraft (Malaysia)

Everything is Peachy!


Spacekraft is the first 'artist-run-space' in Malaysia. It was established on the 5th of June 1999 with the intention of creating an alternative avenue for young and radical Malaysian cultural and art workers to share, experiment and showcase their works to the Malaysian general public. The idea also is to create a sense of worthiness for artists to embark diligently on a more creative and exuberant pursuit of art in Malaysia today - total empowerment of local art/cultural workers against unfavorable/ counter creative circumstances have been our most sincere and consistent aim.


For SENI, Everything is Peachy! will provide a multi arts approach to investigating personal, private and official histories/ views/issues. These will encompass the social, cultural political, racial, gender and many more.  The process intends to uncover the many ‘hidden’ layers and ‘players’ that act a part in the interpretation, production, construction and preservation of Malaysian social realities past and present.


12 Artists: Mark T.E.H; Gan Siong King; Chang Yoong Chia; Wong Taysy; Jerrica Lai; Fahmi Fadzil; Fahmi Reza; Imri Nasution & Tan Kui Lan; Tan Sei Hon; Roslisham Ismail @ Ise; Hariati Azizan



6.             Project 304 (Thailand)

Home around, Around Home


Project 304 was founded by a small group of Thai artists and art-supporters in July 1996 to bridge the gap between art and society and to integrate art into the community. This nonprofit visual arts organization is dedicated to providing exhibition space and promoting public access to the contemporary art. In its philosophy Project 304 focuses on nurturing artistic dialogue. Its goals are to use art as a means of uniting the contemporary arts community and bring greater awareness and appreciation of the arts to Thailand, by providing a forum for emerging artists, as well as for well-established national and international ones. While not shy away from aesthetics, exhibition will be concept-oriented, focusing on social, cultural and political issues.


For SENI, Home around, Around Home, a photographic and video installation, will provide an examination of relationships between personal-domestic environment and the urban contexts that informs it. Investigation environments around themselves, artists will also take a self-conscious approach in critical, sarcastic, angst and humorous manners: “It also allowed us to see ourselves either clearer or blurred in our daily life amidst the everyday city chaos. The way we move our space as home around, would help us explore our society in different aspect, in Bangkok where is no exact limitation and ‘Boundary’ in social class of home's location.”


8 Artists: Prapon Kumjim; Gridthiya Gaweewong; Teerapol Ngamsinjamrus; Sajeetip Nimvijit; Kamol Phaosavasdi; Chatchai Puipia; Michael Shaowanasai; Apichatpong Weerasethakul



7.             sciSKEW Collaborative (Singapore)



sciSKEW is an art collaborative comprised of three Singaporean architects based in Shanghai and New York. Its practices seek to dissolve the artificial boudaries between art, architecture and media. Despite its continued engagement with Singapore, its approach and scope of intervention has always veeb deliberately global. Its previous projects include installation works in New York, Princeton and Singapore.


For SENI, Inhabitations:Shanghai, artists will device a work based on contemporary Chinese domesticity - the artist's apartment in Shanghai. The extracted moments are interrogated, reconsitituted and superimposed into the an exhibition space. The section cuts through bodies (the inhabitant, the visitor of the gallery), space (the apartment, the museum) and time (daily routine, gallery hours).


3 Artists: Chow I-Shin; Eunice Seng MF; Wee H Koon



8.             16Beaver (US)


16Beaver is the address of a space initiated/run by artists to create and maintain an ongoing platform for the presentation, production, and discussion of a variety of artistic/cultural/economic/political projects. It is the point of many departures/arrivals.16BEAVER is an independent self-sustaining project. Key activities are based around regular weekly meetings: reading together, presenting work, organizing panel discussions and screenings. The collective is somewhat unconventional in that although it sometimes germinates collaborations through facilitating conversations between artists, and many of those involved with the group are interested in the potential of collaboration as an alternative practice, it does not exist to produce art. Instead, what 16Beaver produces is a space; a platform to think and to talk; a refuge from day jobs, from the commercial gallery scene; an "optimistic community" to support and produce art, with links to other communities of artists and activists; an alternative version of a New York artworld, determined by artists, curators, thinkers, not economics.


For SENI, 16 Beaver members of West Asian origin will be presenting works that will explore social and cultural implications of the 911 event in their own communities, often extended beyond geography and nationality.


10 Artists: Alia Hasan-Khan; Avi Mograbi; Ayreen Anastas; Emily Jacir (to be confirmed); François Bucher; Jayce Salloum; Jesal Kapadia; Paul Chan; Peter Lasch; Rene Gabri


9.             VCTokyo (Japan)


VIDEOART CENTER Tokyo (VCTokyo) was founded as an association in 2001 dedicated to videoart and other time based arts in Japan. The aim of VCTokyo is to form an international alternative network for those arts and develop the situation. VCTokyo is managed independently as a Non Profit Organization by videoartists and the staffs who consider it's necessary to establish a critical role of the videoart of the present against the society of spectacle. VCTokyo is to manage projects described below. Its operating funds are to be covered not only by profits of the projects, but also by support from various membership contributors, individuals, corporations, and foundations.


For SENI, members of VCTokyo will present works that explore the impact of urbanism and capitalism on the human psyche and metaphysical conditions, characterised by the spiritual void.


2 Artists: Masayuki Kawai; Akiko Nakamura



10.           CASA Documentation Centre (India)

The studio spectacular


The CASA Documentation Centre was established in January 1999 by Ashim Ghosh, with the intention to encourage explorations into Indian contemporary social-history, by way of documenting and examining photographic documents from the Indian subcontinent. Its initial collection includes a body of over 3000 photographs, collected under a research programme Project Unearth, by driving 9948 km by road around India. The photographs range from early family portraits, to the political scenes and other bodies of documentary work. In 2000, the Centre's archival photographs was exhibited at the Asian Video/Photography Exhibition (The Japan Foundation, Tokyo) and later in the same year in New Delhi (India International Centre Art Gallery).


For SENI, The studio spectacular will present and explore the photography from Indian photo-studios post-1947. Its varied approach provides symptoms to a sophisticated, elaborate and educated aesthetic, yet often  unschooled, joyful, spontaneous, produced on occassions of birth, death, marriage, festivity, passports, family photographs, portraits, personal landmarks… an unwitting documentation of the Indian peoples.


2 Artists: Ashim Ghosh; Charlene Rajendran (Singapore/Malaysia)





Venue     : Outdoor areas and other public spaces in the city

Coordinating Curators: June Yap, SAM, in collaboration with Kim Machan (MAAP)


Three interactive exhibitions integrated into the public urban landscape aims to capture the audio and visual attention of the public as they go about their activities.  Each exhibition investigates the relationships between image, urban spaces and the audience, and/or the production of social spaces through aesthetic interventions.



Participating artists & exhibitions:


1.             People's Portrait by Zhang Ga


For two weeks from the end of October, each member of the public is invited to present portraits of themselves in large scale format on video walls and online portals.  A networked public art installation, their portraits will also be posted simultaneously on video walls in Brisbane, Singapore and New York.


2.             The Epic by Emily H. Chua and Rutherford Chang


The work re-situates the miniaturised and disposable images on the front page of the daily newspapers, by displaying them in the context of a grand-scale narrative monument. Everyday from Oct 1 to Nov 28, the artists will black out the front page of The Straits Times (the national English daily), leaving only images of human parts remain visible. These images will be mounted in chronological order, along a stretch of wall. The installation will begin as one relatively inconspicuous newspaper page, but will grow more difficult to ignore, as each day’s front page is added to the previous ones. On the last day of the show, the installation will finally be complete – an epic narrative scroll depicting the past 60 days of human history, running the length of a commuter walkway.


Emily Chua and Rutherford Chang are young Singapore artists currently working and living in the USA.


3.             Untitled by Ann Healey & Lisa A. Cunico


22-31 October

Venue: Raffles City Shopping Centre


This work constitutes mixed media photography prints/stickers to be located on the floor of a public space.  The public will be interacting with the artwork as it slowly becomes defaced by the act of walking upon it, bringing to light the very transient nature of art. This also then calls into question the sacredness of art.  By the act of walking on top of it we negate the value of the art and yet at the same time it presents the walker with uneasiness that they are defacing the work.  Reminiscent of the children’s game of not stepping on the cracks in the paving stones, the whole act of putting the art on the pavement becomes an issue for the walker: to walk over or walk around.  Installation of around 80 A1 size stickers.



§          moving pictures


Venue     : Singapore Art Museum

Coordinating Curator: June Yap, SAM


An investigation into the relationships between image, location and the audience. moving pictures focuses on the image surface of digital video and new media through the tensions of art and cinema.  It explores contemporary video artworks by artists from Asia in relation to the varied media landscapes within Asia and popular media culture. Within media culture, the language of the moving image creates a framework for reading, presenting and understanding contemporary images through narrative and dramatic effect. In focussing on the image surface, the curatorial theme intends to explore various contestations of the boundary between art, and the language of cinema and media culture.


moving pictures comprises nine video works from 8 artists from Singapore, France, Germany, Japan, China, Indonesia and India.



Participating artists & works:


Heman Chong (Singapore) & Corinna Kniffki (Germany)

Divided Tonight


Michael Lee Hong Hwee (Singapore)

A Psychotectonic Experiment


Tan Kai Syng (Singapore) & Christophe Charles (France)

The 21st Century's Big Big Sci-Fi Disaster Horror Movie


Arahmaiani (Indonesia)



Krisna Murti (Indonesia)

Empty Time


Feng Mengbo          (China)

The Last Three Minutes of the Earth


Valay Shende (India)








GRAVITY and other forces


27 October – 21 November


Venue: Singapore Art Museum, The Esplanade, The Substation, Earl Lu Gallery, NIE/NTU

Coordinating Curators: Kim Machan, MAAP, in collaboration with venue curators


Organised by Multimedia Art Asia-Pacific (MAAP), an international platform for New Media Art based in Brisbane, specialising in practices emphasising on new media.  The theme incorporates a wide range of work that explores both a physicality and conceptual weight of our digital being.  Gravity incorporates works by 2 Singaporean artists and 12 others from the United States, Australia, France, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, China, and Taiwan.



Participating artists & works: (Singapore)

Crush Documentation, video, broadband


Paul Lincoln (Singapore)

The Return of the Fabulous Air-conditioned People,            video installation


Tan Teck Weng (Malaysia, resides in Australia)                                            Tim Plaisted (Australia)

Panopticon, interactive sculpture                                                                   Surface Browser, online net browser


Annie Wilson (Australia)                                                                                 Marcus Lyal (Australia)

Fight/Flight, video                                                                                           Slow Service, video


Ding Danwen (China, resides in USA)

disCONNEXION, photography

Urban Fiction (tbc), video


Kogo Takuji (Japan) & Dan Graham, Lawrence Wiener (USA)

Candy Factory, net-art


Yoshi Sodeoka (Japan)

Prototype #44, Net Pirate Number Station, net-art


Kim Ki-Chul (Korea)                                                                             Byun Ji-Hoon (Korea)

Sound Drawing, interactive sculpture                                                 Spring, interactive installation    


Shu Lea Cheang (Taiwan)                                                                  Yves Klein (France)

BURN, net-art, projection                                                                    Leap into the Void, photo-installation         



Negative Plus Positive component:

Sakarin Krue-on (Thailand)                                         Wit Pimkanchanapong (Thailand)

Circle of Hope, video                                                  Family Portrait, still animation, 3 screen video loops


§          INSOMNIA48


1 – 3 October


Venue: The Arts House at Old Parliament Lane

Curator: Ong Keng Sen



Insomnia48 is a non-stop 48 hour event of performance, clubbing, music, happenings, videos, installations, ateliers, workshops and social interactions.  The audience is invited to join the completely free event (there are no catches!) from Friday 8pm to Sunday 8pm.


Insomnia48 features visual artists who began from painting but are now exploring new communication strategies with their audience, searching for interactions which transcend ART.


Make The Arts House, the venue for Insomnia48, your new home for 48 hours, dream new dreams, be part of a bold new community.


As the hours unfold, the myriad colours shift from fashion to hard core tattoo artists [Jogjakarta's Venzha and The House of Natural Fiber] who generate soundscapes through electromagnetic waves while tattooing (not for the faint hearted!). 


Come midnight, visit the eerie video retrospective of Chiangmai's Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook who reads to corpses in mortuaries; as the first rays of sunlight appear the video exhibition will fade away as well.


Make your own Music Videos with Singapore's very own KYTV [Kill Your TeleVision], record your own song or choose from a template of indie music, you will be taught how to sing the songs and then you will be filmed in your fantasy environment, chill out in the early morning hours to your own music video.


Stumble into a river cruise or yoga at 6 in the morning and be rewarded at Break Fast with nasi lemak and steaming hot coffee.


Follow Jogjakarta's Teater Garasi, the premier Indonesian contemporary performance company, as they end their trilogy of performances in the sunset.


March into the funkiest auction by Bangkok's Surasi Kusolwong and at 8 pm Sunday, join all the artists for The Insomnia Banquet by the Singapore River with Bandung's video and sound artists Biosampler who not only creates total environments but also makes the super cool music videos. 


Revel in plasma screens throughout The Arts House - reimagine Jakarta with its youthful inhabitants, our neighbouring world megapolis, a city with over 20 million people. Through the video art of Ruangrupa, it remains ever fractured, glorious, tortured and fascinating.


Visit the Joe Apichatpong Focus, winner of this year's Cannes Special Jury Prize.  This Bangkok film-maker's work and vision crosses often into visual arts and draws strength from its hybrid identity.


Sign up early for workshop communities which teach you all about video gaming with Singapore's Tsunamii or learn about ancient technologies with Bangkok's classical Thai painter Sakarin.  Mod or d & d or meditate away with Thai classical painting.


Curate your own film festival in The Public's Choice in Cinema Paradiso.  Fantasize in The Arts House's gallery with Strictly Ballroom.  Here, professional ballroom dancers will teach you how to dance for free, bring your heels and join the public ball.


Come visit artist's ateliers as they intimately share their work with you.


Discover Singapore's hot new talent who is taking the painting scene of New York City by storm.


Best of all, occupy The Arts House, it is your house for 48 hours.


Everybody is invited.



For once, the public is king in Insomnia48 curated by Ong Keng Sen and produced by TheatreWorks.



Those interested in The Public's Choice or the workshops can write to


1 - 30 Sep, Insomnia48 already begins with public outreach workshops by Chiangmai's art collective Zog Zak Village as they play football with Singapore's heartland, as they organise Thai cookouts, fashion shows, birdsong imitation contests around the city.


Oct 2, live streaming in Singapore with 'Sleepless in Singapore' hosted and guided by Insomnia48's curator Ong Keng Sen from 10 pm to 4 am.  A virtual tour with Insomnia48 artists and the public onsite.  Watch it from the comfort of your homes on  Or catch it in Thai in Bangkok, broadcast on AboutTV, Thailand's independent art channel.






20-21 November


Venue: Singapore Art Museum

Curators: Ahmad Mashadi, SAM and Mr T K Sabapathy


A two-day international symposium on the following aspects:


Day 1


          2004: Perspectives, critique and prospects

With critical reviews of the exhibitions and examination of prospects for the development of contemporary art events in the future years


          Defining the Contemporary

Surveying emerging concepts of ‘the contemporary’ with a focus on developments in Asia.



Day 2


          Biennales, Institutions and State

The politics and ecologies of biennale practices, focusing on strategies deployed by institutions and nations to stake particular positions in relation to domestic cultural development and interests to define themselves as part of a larger global community.


          Conditions of Practice: Translocality and Simultaneity

Consisting mainly of artists, the candidates will be invited to speak about the challenges, complexities and contradictions of working within and between cultural spaces of home and the global terrain, subject by the persistent need to sustain meaningful cultural and economic engagements.







Visuals and more information available.


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