prep-room Archive


[prep-room] Intimate Landscapes

Intimate Landscapes is a curated discussion on methods: how does one survey, document, map, draw, represent, write, collect, picture, archive, or narrate a landscape? Taking the format of the prep-room, the exhibition is a studio-in-process that will develop and evolve over the span of a year, where three M.Arch graduates from NUS’ Department of Architecture (Lin, 2018; Mun, 2020; Goi, 2021) revisit their thesis archives, while a fourth who is presently undertaking a doctoral study at the Department (Wong, PhD candidate 2019—2023) assembles a new drawing archive.


2019 – 2022

[prep-room] Visual Notes: Actions and Imaginings

Visual Notes: Actions and Imaginings, the prep-room project sees a continued examination of modern/contemporary artist Jimmy Ong’s practice, delving into the liquid identities the artist and his constructed personas inhabit. Drawing upon the artist’s experiments in video from the 2010s, alongside a selection of Ong’s earlier study sketches, drawings, paintings, photographs, and personal effects since the 1980s, the prep-room becomes a fluid space to consider various streams: Of the colonial histories, art histories, political histories, personal histories, and mythic narratives that surface across Ong’s works, as well as their inflections across modern and contemporary temperaments.


2019 – 2020

[prep-room] Sites, Stories & Subsequence

Sites, Stories and Subsequence is a prep-room project with Asia Research Institute that excavates, assembles and envisages the complex physical and immaterial tapestries of the Southern Islands, with a specific focus on St John’s and Lazarus Islands, formerly known as Pulau Sekijang Bendera/Besar and Pulau Sekijang Pelepah/Kechil, as well as Seringat Island. Drawing on archival research, oral history interviews, and surveys of its current uses, the project attempts to consolidate knowledge on the islands. This current iteration surveys what could be missing in the consciousness of these islands, and redefines the shifts that are found in its names and functions, thereby furnishing the lacuna present in contemporary understandings of their culture and history. With only vestiges of the islands’ former features and attendant narratives existing presently, the repository of research and memories in the prep-room also informs its further function of providing prompts for re-imaginations of the Southern Islands’ future potentials.


2018 – 2019

[prep-room] Of Place And A Paradox

Of Place and A Paradox is a prep-room project with Zulfadhli Hilmi around the ecologies that sprung from Patani Art Space in the recent years. This prep-room suggest frames in which an art community initiate and operate. These ideas situates the community that Patani Art Space builds upon and construct, encountering imaginaries of this liminal ecology whose components hope to be defined. The drive of this project is to gather these artists and community leaders to determine their own narratives, timelines, and practices. Access


2017 – 2019

[prep-room] | After Ballads iteration

After Ballads is a prep-room project by artist Fyerool Darma that locates literary foundations to historic figures such as Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir, and objects from the museum collection. This series of presentations are exercises on the epistemology of texts, artefacts, and systems of language that proceeds to trace how it is shaping contemporary society. The current phase of this project inquires on the scribe Munshi Abdullah and the recurring impression that his work was to embody values of the colonial British. Darma speculates on this individual’s agenda in the milieu where fiction and non-fiction were not literary conventions.


2016 – 2018

[prep-room] BUAYA: The Making Of A Non-Myth

Buaya: The Making of a Non-Myth is an evolving body of works around ideas on the saltwater crocodile in Singapore. It holds a space that welcomes the working presentations of parallel research projects and interpretations done by professionals in the fields of natural history, arts, cultural studies as well as organising projects done by students from the NUS. This project  continues Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum conservator Kate Pocklington’s ongoing research around present and historic records of this reptile’s population and circulation in the human habitat of Singapore. Simultaneous to these works-in-progress by Kate Pocklington in the prep-room are contributions by university students, and conversations with artists and environmentalists.

2016 – 2017

[prep-room] Crater Studios

Crater Studios is a prep-room programme of Adrienne Joergensen and Zurich-based artist collective U5. The premise of their studio work in NX3 is to create portraits of 17 Javanese volcanoes out of the materials gathered in the broader ETH-Zurich Future Cities Laboratory Singapore research project “Tourism and Cultural Heritage: A Case Study on the Explorer Franz Junghuhn”. Following Junghuhn’s footsteps, these 17 volcanoes form territorial markers that interweave historical and contemporary narratives of Indonesia.