5 x 7, 5 invitations with 7 guests

Sep 18 – Nov 28, 2015

Para Site is pleased to present 5 x 7, 5 invitations with 7 guests, a series of public programmes taking place alongside A Luxury We Cannot Afford, an exhibition that uses art, popular culture, and architecture of the 1950s/60s and 2000s (two moments in which Singapore, currently celebrating its 50th year of independence, was at the brink of economic utopia) to reflect on the formation, development, and paradoxes of the country's national ideology. The events feature lectures and discussions, which explore various trajectories within the exhibition such as public spaces, autonomy of artistic practice, and community politics, with artists and curators Ho Rui An, Qinyi Lim, Godwin Koay, Samson Young, Shirley Surya, Eunice Seng of SKEW Collaborative, Ming Wong, and Wong Hoy-Cheong.
On September 18, during the exhibition’s opening reception, Ho Rui An performed Screen Green, a newly commissioned lecture performance for A Luxury We Cannot Afford. Inspired by a screen capture of the current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech in 2014, Ho tracks how green screens are speculative cinematic spaces used for the projection of possible futures (and as filtering devices to screen out futures undesirable by the State).
Ho Rui An is an artist and writer working in the intersections of contemporary art, cinema, performance, and theory. He writes, talks, and thinks around images, investigating their sites of emergence, transmission, and disappearance. He currently lives and works between New York and Singapore.
Upcoming Events include:
Thursday, September 24, 7-9pm
Para Site Education Room
Qinyi Lim in conversation with Godwin Koay
in collaboration with Things That Can Happen
Qinyi Lim invites Godwin Koay, the first and current artist resident at the new independent art space Things That Can Happen, to discuss the permissibility of antagonism and defiance in a time of wealth and contentment in Singapore.
Godwin Koay’s works explore and test possibilities of artistic practice that intersect with anarchist ideas of social and political praxis, broadly engaging tensions between autonomy and authority while examining thematics of fiction, imagination, precarity, anxiety, urgency, and counterhegemony. He currently lives and works in Singapore.

Saturday, October 17, 6pm onwards
Launch of It will be a heaven over there, a podcast by Samson Young
Accessible through Para Site Website and Mixlr
Looking at the asymmetrical socio-economic competition between Singapore and Hong Kong, Samson Young’s podcast performance, newly commissioned for the exhibition, takes its point of reference from the 1991 advertising campaign that the Singapore government created to encourage the migration of Hong Kong residents to Singapore in light of the oncoming 1997 handover.
Samson Young is deeply influenced by his formal training of classical music composition, and investigates the auditory experience through means of visual and emerging technologies. Blending diverse techniques, his practice centers on a unique cross-media experience that defies labels of classical music and visual arts. He currently lives and works in Hong Kong.
Tuesday, November 10, 7-9pm
Para Site Education Room
Qinyi Lim in conversation with Shirley Surya and Eunice Seng, SKEW Collaborative 
This discussion will delve into the public spaces, public housing projects, and modes of utopias featured and referenced in the exhibition. These include looking at the Singapore Conference Hall and Trade Union Hall (1961-65) and other works by Malayan Architects Co-Partnership/Architects Team 3 (MACP/AT3) and one of its founding architects, Lim Chong Keat, and comparing Singapore to Disneyland through projects like Celebration, Florida and the district of Toa Payoh in Singapore.
Shirley Surya is Associate Curator (Design & Architecture) at M+, Hong Kong. She has contributed writings on graphic design and architecture to Design and Culture, Singapore Architect, and The Design Society Journal and co-curated exhibitions including Yung Ho Chang & FCJZ: Material-ism, Building M+: The Museum and Architecture Collection and NEONSIGNS.HK.
Eunice Seng is Associate Professor and Chair of the Departmental Postgraduate Program at the University of Hong Kong, and founding principal of SKEW Collaborative, Shanghai/Hong Kong. Her research interests include the histories and theories of modernity, housing, domesticity and the metropolis, politics of power and post-colonialism, utopias, as well as artefacts and their cultural representations.

Saturday, November 28, 5-7 pm
Para Site Education Room
Discussion with artists Ming Wong and Wong Hoy-Cheong
Taking the point of departure from Sparrow with Bamboo Twigs, a song that was banned for 23 years due to the “Speak Mandarin” campaign in Singapore (1970 - onwards), the artists look at the positioning of Chinese in Malaysia and Singapore through filmic history and national policies.
Ming Wong has had recent solo exhibitions at UCCA, Beijing; the Museum of Moving Image, Queens, New York, as part of Performa 11; Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou; the Frye Art Museum, Seattle; the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and the Singapore Art Museum. He currently lives and works in Berlin.
Wong Hoy-Cheong works in drawing, photography, painting, performance, and films and had solo exhibitions at the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (1996 and 2004) and Eslite Gallery, Taipei (2010). He currently lives and works in Kuala Lumpur.

Attachment greenscreen image upload

Screen Green
Ho Rui An
Performance lecture and green screen installation
Courtesy the artist