Wednesday 3 December 2014

10 Questions with | Selene Yap

1. Tell us about yourself in one sentence.
I’m Selene, a Sociology graduate who finds interest in issues regarding art and its publics. More recently, I’ve been kept intrigued by discussions revolving around ‘participatory art’, spectatorship, and museums as hotbeds of engagement-centric crowdsourced/outsourced curated experiences.
Photo credit: Bernice Ong

2. How did you end up in Curating Lab?
I saw Curating Lab as a test bed for me to experiment with and progressively develop my initial interest (or naivety) in curating. The opportunity also came at a time when I was seriously considering my career path and the possibility of entering grad school.
That said, the “How” part of it was with much encouragement and pep talk from friends. I must’ve read through the application process a million times before deciding to spend a day off at the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) “critique[ing] the shit out of” some works and submitting it as part of my application


3. What has been the most challenging moment of Curating Lab so far?
Every moment spent at Hanis Café at NLB. From agonizing over exhibition proposals/essays with team NAC (Euginia, YC, Jia and myself) to keeping up during the brilliant reading sessions facilitated by our mentor, Mustafa, it seems as if the place has become a metaphor for all the ‘curatorial combustions’ we’ve experienced in Curating Lab.  

Adventures ahoy with team NAC
Photo credit (left): Hanis Café and Bakery Singapore
4. What do you do at the National Library Board?
I’m one in a team of ‘Cultural Concierges’ – the designation for my role in NLB (not too far away from being a cultural bell-boy, really). We plan for arts and culture programmes and public arts education, which include exhibitions and community engagement outreach in Public Libraries.

5. Has Curating Lab changed how you approach your work?
I used to look at things in a firmly logistical and practical manner of how the art work can suit the exhibition spaces that we have, but in recent times, I have become more curious about the process and the poetics leading up to creation.

6. What kind of programmes should we look out for at the library?
Depending on one’s area of interest; I would say look out for design-related programmes in Library@Orchard and programmes with a focus on literary arts at Central Public Library. 

7. What are you up to at present? / What’s next for you?
I’m currently working with NAC and curator, Joanna Lee in presenting the Ho Chee Lick: Homage to the Faithful exhibition in our Public Libraries as part of Art Week 2015. Next on my to-do list: I would really like to start seriously looking through open calls and residencies for emerging curators just to see what the requirements for these projects are; how to write a letter of intent, craft a proposal etc. To finally have the guts to apply for something!

8. Favourite book.
The book that I’m halfway through now - A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit. It’s such a great book that I feel like I’m compromising its elegance by reading the e-version out of my crappy LED-backlit iPhone.

9. Favourite artwork(s).
I thoroughly enjoyed WE THINK ALONE by Miranda July and Chen Sai Hua Kuan’s Space Drawing 5.
Photo credit: Randian Online
10. Favourite local art space.
No favourite local art space at the moment. Having said that, I’d like to think that a good art space is one that matches the quirks of the exhibition it houses!

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