[15 Aug — 28 Sep 2019]
Queer Show 2019
a group show feat. Denise Yap, Divaagar, Jerome Kugan, Marylyn Tan and Yen Phang
'Repel Revel' is an exhibition as proposition — what if one way to repeal present impositions on queer lives is to not only reveal future imaginative possibilities for our ways of being, but to revel in them? The deep entrenchment of binary gender formations into our descriptions of family, country and capital demands visible, wilder counter-scripts for the flourishing of other lives. We have to deconstruct the naturalisation of gender that the nationalism and capitalism has imposed on our life. We ask, what are our genders after this current time? What would post-authoritarian kinship be like, if we make families after our own unnatural selves? How else will Asia and Southeast Asia change, when our expressions of intimacy, attachment, commitment, sociality, change? What will they change to? Because we can accept speculation about the future, but can no longer accept the superstition of the present.
About the artists:
Denise Yap (b. 1998, Singapore) is a re-packager, an inbetween of pre-writer and post-reader; Yap draws from different sources of information to build a world that is plausible. Her artworks explore potentiality of sincere investments such as alternative kinships and entanglements (and all the embarrassments!) of the human condition. Yap’s recent group exhibitions include A Very Objective Video, Telok Ayer Arts Club in 2019 and Frame +, exhibitionframeplus.com in 2018.
Divaagar (b. 1992) is a visual artist whose practice explores the relationships between desires and spaces through installation, space-making and performance. He works at the intersections of bodies, identities and environments, proposing alternative economies and ecologies through engaging with localities, methods of display and re-routing gazes.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (1st Class Honours) in Fine Arts from LASALLE College of the Arts in 2018 and has exhibited both locally and internationally since 2010. He has had two solo presentations thus far; Between a rock and a hard place, as part of a Summer residency in Untitled Space (Shanghai) and The Soul Lounge, soft/WALL/studs (Singapore). Other notable exhibitions include Not the norm: On conjugal blisses and misses, Goodman Arts Centre (Singapore), The Lands Of, The Reef (Los Angeles), and Space Oddities, The Substation (Singapore).
Jerome Kugan was born in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, in 1975. Over the years, he has worked as a writer, musician, event organiser, and activist. He was one of the co-founders of Seksualiti Merdeka, a sexuality and gender rights fest in Kuala Lumpur, which ran from 2008 to 2011, when it was infamously shut down by the Malaysian government. He also co-edited, with Pang Khee Teik, “Body 2 Body”, the first anthology of queer Malaysian writing, published in 2009. He also co-organised “KL Sing Song”, an annual concert series featuring Malaysian singer songwriter, from 2005 to 2010. In 2012, he founded Rainbow Rojak, an independent monthly queer dance party in Kuala Lumpur, which is still active.
In 2018, after being based in Kuala Lumpur for 17 years, Kugan moved back to his hometown to become a caregiver to his mother, while pursuing his art practice on the side. Although he has had no formal training as a visual artist, Kugan has previously shown his works in both traditional and non-traditional media in Art For Grabs ("Epic Understatements” (2017); "Talismans” (2016); "Catological” (2016); and "With Closed Eyes” (2013), The Annexe Gallery (2009, 2010) and Reka Art Space (2003, 2005). "Red & Gold" (2017) at RAW Art Space KL was his first solo exhibition. In November 2018, he showed “Pondan Nation” as part of #ReimagineUs, a group exhibition in KL. He is currently preparing for his next solo show.
Marylyn Tan is a queer, female, linguistics graduate, poet, and artist, who has been performing spoken word since 2014. She is invested in building community, emancipating the marginalised, and the alienated, endangered body.
Her first volume of poetry, GAZE BACK, is published by Ethos Books and is the lesbo Singaporean folk witch grimoire you never knew you needed. Her research interests, besides the occult, include pleasure as power, linguistics, queer activism and art, and the subversion of established order. She writes for your bewilderment.
Yen Phang (b. 1979, Singapore) inhabits space where the biological rubs against the controlled. His current preoccupations revolve around exploring concepts of dirt and the regulation of bodily processes and interactions, played out through the rubric of painting and performance.
Yen is a recipient of the Winston Oh Grant (2016), Winston Oh Travel Research Award (2016), and was awarded the Cliftons Art Prize (2015) and the UNSW Julius Stone Prize (2006). His work has been collected by the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore, Cliftons Venues, One Farrer Hotel & Spa, as well as British Airways for their Terminal 1 Lounge at Changi Airport, Singapore. He has also initiated projects such as Displacements: 13 Wilkie Terrace (2013), Interstitium (2015), and Repurposing Nostalgia (2016) under the Displacements banner.