Ute Meta Bauer Joins Singapore's CCA
By The Editors
German-born Ute Meta Bauer has been appointed as founding director of the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Nanyang Technological University’s national research center, which opened in Singapore’s Gillman Barracks on October 23, coinciding with the 4th edition of the Singapore Biennale. In her commencement speech, Bauer outlined plans for the CCA, which is supported by Singapore’s Economic Development Board, to operate as a local hub with an international perspective, with the overall aim to “shape and profile a new institution that embraces academic scholarship and research with art as knowledge production in its own right.”
Bauer, who has held positions as associate professor for visual art in the School of Architecture and Planning for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and as the dean of Fine Art at the Royal College of Art in London, is best known for engaging with works that crisscross the mediums of contemporary art, film, video and sound. While at MIT, she was the founding director of the Programme in Art, Culture, and Technology and in 2012 she co-directed the first World Biennial Forum in Gwangju with curator Hou Hanru.
Among the various programs she plans to initiate at the CCA, Bauer has inaugurated the “Free Jazz” series, which will run through December, inviting artists, curators, composers, designers, architects, musicians, writers and those with an intellectual curiosity for art practice to collaborate with the aim of generating new currents for the space. In addition, a residency and fellowship program will be established in an effort to “intertwine artistic and scholarly discourse”.
With 25 years of experience under her belt, Bauer will head a diverse team of arts administrators the names of whom she announced during her speech. Katrina Soo will take up the role of assistant director for administration alongside Aparna Nambiar who will serve as assistant manager for exhibitions and residencies. The three curators set to shape the space are Lee Weng Choy, the former artistic co-director of Singapore’s The Substation, Anca Rujoiu, formerly co-director of FormContent and a lecturer at Goldsmiths College and Saint Martins University, London, and Vera Mey who hails from Auckland, where she was assistant director and curator at AUT University. Mey will be managing the CCA’s residencies and public programming,
Along with an introduction to the CCA's vision and mandate and its curatorial team, audiences were treated to live performances and screenings by Jason Wee and Lee Wen and Bani Haykal, among others—demonstrating the institution’s commitment to transdisciplinary knowledge production and innovation.