Open Studios in December 2023

  • 02 Dec 2023

  • Singapore Art Museum (Corporate Office and Residency Studios), 39 Keppel Rd, #03-07, Singapore...

  • 1PM

SAM Residencies welcomed visitors into our studios, offering an insight into the creative process behind the projects initiated by residents PG Lee (Singapore), Nilanjan Das (Kolkata), Takuya Watanabe (Tokyo/Amsterdam), Yvon Langué (Marrakesh) and Chong Lingying & Winnie Li (Singapore).

Across the multiplicity of ways of working and research methodologies guiding our residents, their projects capture a wide range of topics and artistic interests. From experiments with plants and urban public spaces to revisiting the forgotten Changi Tree and the concept of a community library, visitors experienced a myriad of activities hosted by the residents themselves all day long!

Artist resident PG Lee’s research into horticulture, environmental planning and landscaping in Singapore has culminated in various artistic experimentations with the invasive weed, Imperata Cylindrica, more commonly known as lalang. “Travelling gardener” PG has been on a mission to locate and eliminate lalang around the city’s landscape, thereafter finding new forms for these lalang trimmings and cuttings.

At Open Studios, PG showcased some of his ongoing experimentations with lalang – from baskets to paper, and even pillows!


In his research into urban public spaces and the nature of interactions within these spaces, Artist resident Nilanjan Das explores the concept of placemaking and its greater impacts within the context of Singapore. The project titled City as Play encompasses his explorations into the various facets of urban public spaces, including Singapore’s public housing complexes, privately-owned public areas and land reclamation, in order to surface the impacts of purpose-built spaces across Singapore.

In his ongoing fieldwork, East Coast Park has become a key site for Nilanjan’s project as a place of gathering and play. During Open Studios, Nilanjan invited participants to build sand moulds together. These sand moulds will be brought to East Coast Park for part two of City as Play in December.


Artist resident Takuya Watanabe will showcase a compilation of past video installations and filmic works which are grounded in his research methodology around social phenomena and lived realities. Using moving image as a tool to reframe and reimagine new points of view, Takuya’s work attempts to dissect overarching perspectives, offering new interpretations in the form of his video works.

While in residence, Takuya revisits the Changi Tree, a neglected tree cut down during World War II as part of British military strategy, which remains a legend today. Concurrently, Takuya’s research also explores Singapore’s Green Plan, and the cognitive bias known as "plant blindness." Takuya shared his research findings alongside past works during Open Studios.


While in residence, Curatorial and Research resident Yvon Langué is developing a research framework around “conceptualism” as a template for thinking – bringing together notes, annotations, as well as fictional, poetic and conversational fragments to consider the notion of the “object” in artistic production. In this project titled That Which Cannot be Seen, Yvon leverages on the African and Southeast Asian contexts as two prisms responding to one another, in search of resonance and echoes. This exploration is the starting point of his curatorial process focused on the role of discourse in shaping the meaning of art, the institution, and the role of the artist.

During Open Studios, Yvon presented the lecture-performance That Which Cannot be Seen: Output where he shared his research findings at 2PM.


As part of Heterotopia Library, Community and Education residents Chong Lingying & Winnie Li kicked off Mukbang Reading Camp, a 24-hour marathon on Friday, 1 December at 6PM, which concludes on Saturday, 2 December, 6PM.

First initiated in 2020 during the COVID-19 “circuit breaker”, the camp is an experiment on the book club format and how it can morph and evolve on an online platform. In this 24-hour edition, campers are invited to read together, play games, and share stories. In conjunction with the Mukbang Reading Camp, Lingying and Winnie also hosted 2 book launches: 食时事 (Shishishi) and Dirty Thirty, as well as Teahouse Talk which gathers publishers across mediums and genres. Ritual to Books, part two of the sound activation by composer Ng Chor Guan marked the close of Heterotopia Library’s run in 2023.