Asia-Art-Activism Sharing Event: Annie Jael Kwan, Noel Ed De Leon and Sim Chi Yin

_11A5097┬®EvaBroekema copy
UnAuthorised Medium, Framer Framed. Shown: Bomb Ponds (2009) Vandy Rattana; Elements (2011-2018) Noel Ed De Leon & Memory Dispute (2017), Sung Tieu. Image: Eva Broekema

23 November 2018
6.30 – 8.30pm
Raven Row
Eventbrite: Please book a place here.

This AAA Sharing Session presents some reflections on the individual practices of founding member, curator and researcher Annie Jael Kwan, and AAA members visual/live artist Noel Ed De Leon, and photographer/visual artist, Sim Chi Yin, fresh from the recent exhibition, UnAuthorised Medium, presented 15 September – 18 November 2018 at Framer Framed, Netherlands. Followed by Q/A with the audience.

The Age of the UnAuthorised Medium
By the way of introducing the evening, curator/researcher Annie Jael Kwan will give a short presentation on her curatorial practice involving archives that explore memory, the material and the metaphysical. Tracking the evolution of the exhibition concept and choices, she will also discuss some of the concerns and challenges around curating in relation to ‘Southeast Asia’.

Tracing the Traces
Noel Ed De Leon will discuss his art practice working with found objects in creating his mixed media installation ‘Elements’ Series (2011-2018) that brings the four natural elements of earth, water, fire and air, together with four military beds. The work is inspired by two military beds the artist has owned since the 1990s. Thinking about their former owners, the folding beds present visible and invisible traces of their existence, conjuring up images of transitory lives. For De Leon, who is interested in mapping history through material things, the military bed specifically is an object laden with meaning. On the one hand, it serves as a place to support a living body, quite literally, but metaphorically, it also represents a quiet place of peace and reflection. Simultaneously, the portable, make-shift beds, previously owned by soldiers, evoke a spectre of struggle, war and death.

De Leon also discusses his new performance I Existed I Mattered I Was Alive (2018) presented during the opening event, that traced an ephemeral pathway from the IJ river into the gallery space to ‘activate’ the military beds with a reflection on the presence of marks left upon physical structures by everyday existence. These scratches and scars form ‘traces of the past’ on buildings, objects, the landscape, and the body, as part of our daily environment. The performance explores the role of our senses and the physical relationship we develop with our surroundings. It uses an experimental and live form of art to inquire into how we establish emotional and historical connections between ourselves as living beings and non-living things.

Noel Ed De Leon (b.1976,  Philippines)  is a visual and performance artist whose interests span archiving as artistic practice, installation, art made with readymade and found objects,  and multimedia sculpture. De Leon’s work explores the themes of memory, DNA, remembrance and mapping traces of history through material objects. He holds a degree in  Architecture and is an avid collector of memorabilia and original artefacts from the First and  Second World War. De Leon frequently incorporates these artefacts into his installations and live performances which explore how memories are kept alive in the social fabric, as well as are erased through changing political, religious and social developments.


_MS__3815 copy
 I Existed I Mattered I Was Alive (2018), Noel Ed De Leon. Image: Eva Broekema


Inconvenient Evidence 

For over 60 years, the family never spoke about her grandfather. Photographer and artist Sim Chiyin started to piece the inconvenient evidence together and recreated an archive that lurked in the shadows. A part of her long-form project is showing in the UnAuthorised Medium group exhibition currently on at Framer Framed Gallery in Amsterdam. Sim, represented by Magnum Photos, will speak about this project and her evolution as a visual arts practitioner.

Sim Chi Yin (b. 1978, Singapore) focuses on history, memory and migration and its consequences, working with photography and time-based media. She joined Magnum Photos as a nominee in 2018, and is based between Beijing and London. The Nobel Peace Prize photographer for 2017, her photo and video work has been exhibited in museums, galleries, and festivals in the United States, Europe and Asia, including at the Istanbul Biennale in 2017, the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Framer Framed Gallery in Amsterdam, the Annenberg Space For Photography in Los Angeles, PhotoVille in New York, Southeastern Center For Contemporary Art in North Carolina, and Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art in South Korea. Her work has also been screened at Les rencontres d’Arles and Visa pour l’Image festivals in France, and the Singapore International Film Festival.

Chi Yin also does commission work for publications including the New York Times Magazine, Time and Harpers. A finalist for the 2013 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, she was an inaugural Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice fellow in 2010 in New York. She is now a tutor and mentor on the fellowship. She won the Chris Hondros Fund award in 2018.

Chi Yin read history at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She recently started a research PhD at King’s College London. She is researching a book on the early Cold War that tells the story of her grandfather, his compatriots and their anti-colonial battle in British Malaya, and working on a global project on sand.


SCY201809-Malaya-Amsterdamshow-2 copy
One Day We’ll Understand (2018) Sim Chi Yin



UnAuthorised Medium was made possible with support by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture & Science, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Tolhuistuin, Prince Claus Fund, National Arts Council Singapore, YAA (Young Art Support Amsterdam), Outset Netherlands, Mercedes Zobel, Nell Sully, Sandra and Marlof Maks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s