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Wishful Images: When Microhistories Take Form

explores the impact of contemporary geopolitical realities recapitulated under the Asian Cold War through a re-historicization of the past into the present.

Daily until 25 December 2021 | Free Entry | NUS Museum

Together with five artists whose artistic practices question the governmentality between the lived and the non-living — Lucy Davis, Kao Chung-Li, Kuniyoshi Kazuo, Nguyễn Trinh Thi, and Aya Rodriguez-Izumi — Wishful Images resembles a collective attempt to relate lesser-known historical events through the persistent efforts of artists, recounted and re-articulated in various forms and mediums.

Featuring artist films, experimental animations, photographs, prints, audio, and archival documents, each artistic inquiry illuminates how Cold War politics materialize as aesthetic processes under their respective geopolitical conditions. Taking its cue from Ernst Bloch’s concept of wishful images, the exhibition examines a constellation of unrealized possibilities, in which history, images, and politics triangulate.

Image: Detail from Reproduction of a photo of timber merchant Simon Oei as a child (approx. 1974) standing in the grounds of P. Bork A/S International, Kranji, where his father Allen Oei was employed. Lucy Davis, 2014, Wood-print collage.