Asia Art Archive and Para Site co-present ‘Camping and Tramping through the Colonial Archive’, a two-part programme by Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, Curator, National University of Singapore (NUS) Museum and current participant of the PS IAR.

Part 1. About and Beyond
Venue: A Space, Asia Art Archive, 10/F Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Time: 6.30-7.30pm

One of the more provocative approaches of what it means to curate in the public sphere to emerge since the 1990s has been one where the curator self-consciously renders the site of the exhibition ‘incomplete’ and simultaneously (de)constructs meaning with reference to a conceptual paradigm in which the experience of the public is seen as an intervention. Considering the NUS Museum’s unique position within Singapore’s cultural landscape as a ‘University Museum’, this talk will broadly reflect on curatorial methods adopted since 2007 with the aim of developing exhibitions that have multidisciplinary interests. The speaker will discuss the dynamics and implications such encounters may have by looking at two exhibitions in particular; namely, ‘Camping and Tramping Through The Colonial Archive: The Museum in Malaya’ and ‘Prep Room|Things That May or May Not Happen’.

Part 2. Throes of Empire
Venue: Para Site, 4 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan 
Time: 8-9 pm

Presenting a selection of films curated by Shabbir Hussain Mustafa from, an online platform that engages representations of ‘Malaya’ through the moving image archive, the screenings, titled ‘Throes of Empire’, will explore the work made by the Malayan Film Unit in colonial Singapore as it increasingly recognised the potency of film in maintaining social order, leading up to a modern and self-governing society.

Shabbir Hussain Mustafa is Curator with the NUS Museum and current participant of the Para Site International Art Residency (PS IAR). His research interests are in modern Southeast Asian history. Within the broader framework of the archival-curatorial method being developed at the NUS Museum, his approach has centered heavily on deploying archival texts as ploys in engaging different modes of thinking and writing, all in an attempt to open up the archive to multivariate struggles of perception and reading. Some exhibitions that Mustafa has curated include: ‘Persistent Visions | Erika Tan’ (2009); ‘Archives and Desires: Selections from the Mohammad Din Mohammad Collection’ (2009); ‘Camping and Tramping through the Colonial Archive: The Museum in Malaya’ (2011); ‘Writing Power | Zulkifli Yusoff’ (2011); and most recently, ‘Semblance/Presence: Renato Habulan and Alfredo Esquillo Jr’ (2012).

PS IAR is a multi-sited programme, with a continuous address in Artist Home Base, an initiative of the Hong Kong Arts Centre in a historical venue provided by the Urban Renewal Authority, Hong Kong. PS IAR is also engaged in a substantial long-term dialogue and collaboration with Spring Workshop, which generates joint residencies and related activities. Past and future participants of PS IAR are Sung Hwan Kim (December 2012), Hyunjin Kim (January-February 2013), Claire Bishop (January 2013), Shabbir Hussain Mustafa (March 2013), and Ruth Noack (April 2013). 



Relevant content

Camping and Tramping Through the Colonial Archive: The Museum in Malaya
Camping and Tramping Through the Colonial Archive: The Museum in Malaya
Exhibition Catalogue

Camping and Tramping Through the Colonial Archive: The Museum in Malaya