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A digitally generated natal chart based on soft/WALL/studs’ date and time of establishment. Twelve zodiac symbols are interspersed at an equidistant along the circular chart’s circumference, with arrows pointed at a couple of symbols, while planetary symbols are also marked out along this widest ring. Lines of pink, blue, and red criss-cross between roman numerals at the centre of the chart, drawing a succession of triangles, overlapping and entangled. It indicates, among other things, that soft/WALL/studs is an Aries Sun and Moon, and a Libra Rising.
Date and place of birth
Established in 2016, Singapore
Year(s) of residency and/or fellowship
2020, Rapid Response Fellow
Kamiliah Bahdar (soft/WALL/studs), Marcus Yee (soft/WALL/studs), Johann Yamin (soft/WALL/studs), Div (soft/WALL/studs), ila, Nurul Huda Rashid (Bras Basah Open), Rikey Tenn Bun-Ki 鄭文琦 (No Man’s Land, Nusantara Archive Project), Esther Lu 呂岱如, Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina, Lo Shih-Tung 羅仕東, Norah Lea, Okui Lala, Sheryl Cheung 張欣, Siddharta "Sidd" Perez, Syaheedah Iskandar, Ting Chaong-Wen 丁昶文, Tan Zi Hao, Luca Lum (soft/WALL/studs), Shawn Chua (soft/WALL/studs, Bras Basah Open)

soft/WALL/studs was a collaborative project in Singapore involving several artists, writers, film makers, art workers, and researchers. Their projects included exhibitions, acts of amplification, hosting, fugitivity, counter-rhythm generation, support, resource gathering, research, writing, detournement, game-making, teaching, collaboration, and maintenance.

Having moved out of their space in June 2021, soft/WALL/studs has been brought to a close, both as a collaborative project and space. Moving ahead in each of their individual capacities, their website currently remains as an archive of past projects.

Rapid Response Project Context

For Eyebeam’s 2020 Rapid Response for a Better Digital Future, several members from soft/WALL/studs (such as Kamiliah Bahdar, Johann Yamin, Marcus Yee, and Div) worked with artists ila and Nurul Huda Rashid to co-organize the online project, Pulau Something. Additional collaborators and contributors of Pulau Something include the No Man’s Land「數位荒原」Nusantara Archive Project, Esther Lu (呂岱如), Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina, Lo Shih Tung (羅仕東), Norah Lea, Okui Lala, Rikey Tenn Bun Ki (鄭文琦), Sheryl Cheung (張欣), Siddharta Perez, Syaheedah Iskandar, Ting Chaong-Wen (丁昶文), and Tan Zi Hao, as well as soft/WALL/studs Co-Founder Luca Lum and member Shawn Chua.

The collective soft/WALL/studs proposed a critical examination of the Southeast Asian regional construct of Nusantara, which translates from Old Javanese to “other islands”, and is a contested historical term that has resurfaced in relation to recent conversations about decolonisation and the Malay archipelago. Phase 1 included a series of online programs bringing together twenty cultural workers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan to build affinities through exercises that involve the sharing of cuisines, languages, gestures, folk medicine, games, and histories. “Pulau Something” seeks to cultivate sustained futures of cross-border solidarity and decolonial affinities between cultural workers within and beyond the Malay archipelago. With the region’s history of colonial division and its present contexts of intensified ethnonationalism, xenophobia, and right-wing nativism, finding ways to cultivate regional solidarities is an urgent need.

About the Collaborators

Kamiliah Bahdar (soft/WALL/studs), she/her 

Kamiliah Bahdar is an independent curator living and working in Singapore where she is currently pursuing a degree in Masters of Arts (Research) Spaces of the Curatorial, a programme by the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in collaboration with the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore.

Her research interest spans from socially-engaged artistic practices, and how such artists develop ethical frameworks and strategies in intersubjective negotiations and exchanges, and the vulnerabilities experienced, to exploring the different art ecologies in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, particularly the role that residencies and artist-run spaces play in fostering global and local connections and exchanges, and to how curators can develop a more collaborative and social curatorial practice.

Marcus Yee (soft/WALL/studs), he/him

Marcus Yee is currently a Ph.D. student at Yale University, researching the environmental histories of South and Southeast Asia, as well as a 2022-2023 Whitney Humanities Center Fellow in the Environmental Humanities.

Yee’s doctoral research proposes to trace the history of urban heat against the legacies of colonial, international, and national developmentalist agendas across cities in Asia, understanding heat as a multivalent phenomenon involving the histories of climatology, urban environmental injustice, and the senses.

Yee earned a BA from the University of Hong Kong (HKU), double majoring in History and Earth Systems Science, with a minor in Thai. He researched Hong Kong’s environmental history and worked with Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre for their exhibition, Ecology in the Making (1816 – present). Together with Jed Kaplan, he published a study on Urban Climate quantifying a century of urban heat using historical GIS and climatological data. At HKU, he received the Centenary Prize in History, the Wang Gungwu Prize for Undergraduate Students in History, and the Huey Suen Fat Prize in History.

In Singapore, he was an art worker and writer involved with soft/WALL/studs, a collaborative project involving artists, writers, filmmakers, art workers, and researchers. He previously co-organized various art projects, including Beyond Repair, supported by the National Gallery Singapore (2020–21); Pulau Something, supported by Eyebeam, New York (2020); and Adrift: A Shore, presented at ADM Gallery, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2020), and In a Hard Place Apply Soft Pressure/s, presented at Cemeti Institute of Art and Society, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2018). As an art writer, he has contributed pieces to Arts Equator, ArtAsiaPacific, Global Performance Studies Journal, and art-agenda, among others.

Johann Yamin (soft/WALL/studs), he/they

Johann Yamin is a Singaporean artist whose projects have taken shape as essays, moving image installations, text-based videogames, alongside curatorial work and other forms of support. His writing and research focus on emerging media, digital cultures, and histories of technology. He was previously a Curatorial & Research Resident at the Singapore Art Museum in 2021 and a 2020 Rapid Response for a Better Digital Future Fellow at Eyebeam, New York, for co-organizing the online project Pulau Something.

Div (soft/WALL/studs), they/them

Div (b.1999, Singapore) is an art maker whose practice traverses and reroutes timelines and bloodlines, towards a trajectory of unapologetic Queer, Dravida futurism. Their work extends into photography, performance, sculpture, and more.

ila, she/her

ila is a visual and performance artist who works with found objects, moving images, and live performance. With light as her medium of choice, ila weaves imagined narratives into existing realities. Using her body as a space of tension, negotiation, and confrontation, ila creates work that generates discussion about gender, history and identity in relation to pressing contemporary issues. She seeks to create alternative nodes of experience and entry points into the peripheries of the unspoken, the tacit, and the silenced.

Rikey Tenn Bun-Ki (鄭文琦) (No Man’s Land, Nusantara Archive Project), he/him

Rikey Tēnn (Bun-ki) (鄭文琦) is the founder and editor of an online art platform – No Man’s Land, at Digital Art Foundation, Taipei. He initiated the NML Residency & Nusantara Archive Project (since 2017) as a collaborative platform for artists concerning the shared history and its process of decolonization. He is the nominator for the Taishin Arts Award (2018~2019). His art-related writing can be found on Cobo Social and ARTCO magazine. He was one of the speakers for “2019 Spring Dialogue” (2019/5/4~5, Spring Foundation) and Taipei Contemporary Art Center’s “Open Curatorial School” (2015, W4). He is the co-curator of the Open Contemporary Art Center’s Petamu Project (2019).

Esther Lu (呂岱如), she/her

Esther Lu is a curator and writer with a background in literature, art history, activism, and curatorial studies. She is interested in formulating conceptual ways of seeing and discursive events crossing art and reality. Her projects focus on interplays of sensibility, body, institution, and memory, driven by the curiosity to explore human conditions, boundaries of knowing, and how art embodies and exceeds our imagination to address various concerns toward humanity, culture, and the relevances of life.

Esther was the director of Taipei Contemporary Art Center from 2015 to 2017 and the curator of This is not a Taiwan Pavilion, a collateral event in the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. She has curated a number of international exhibitions and workshops in Asia and Europe. Her recent curatorial practice involves creating co-learning and innovative mediation strategies for professional workshops and audience experience.

Lo Shih-Tung (羅仕東), he/him 

LO Shih-Tung is a Taiwanese artist who focuses on the special textures present in our daily life, seeing them as in Walter Benjamin’s discourse — fragments and reflections of a complete structure, a whole world. His works can be viewed as organic documents, unlimited to specific mediums, attempting to arouse inquiry and contemplation on ever-changing warped messages.

Lo has been an artist in residency at Treasure Hill Artist Village, Taipei, in 2010 and at BankArt 1929 NYK, Yokohama/Japan, in 2012. His works place emphasis on the temporality in processes of creating and interacting with the community, networks, or spectators, whereby the fragmented, fissured, and forgotten history can be restored or even fictionalized. They are about seeking one’s identity, residence, hometown, and city within contemporary society — those long-forgotten, unseen ghosts. Lo has participated in the 2011 Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid at Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris/ France, and Une terrible poetique, La Biennale de Lyon, France.

Lo graduated from the National Taiwan University of the Arts, Graduate School of Plastic Arts. He currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan.

Sheryl Cheung (張欣), she/her 

Sheryl Cheung is an artist who experiments with the idea of the body as an instrument continually played by affects. Like an open, metabolic body, her sound palette is vulnerable and harsh at the same time. Sheryl works between experimental music, abstract scoring, and writing to explore a materialist understanding of power, emotion, and moral order. Her recent research focuses on sound and medicine through the perspective of Chinese ontology.

Sheryl earned her Master of Arts from the University of Manchester (2009) and her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute (2005). She has held supported residencies, workshops, and research projects in China, the UK, Thailand, Korea, and Taiwan. Her work, performances, and collaborative projects have been shown at Flaneur Festival 2019, Bangkok Biennial 2018, Taipei Biennial 2018, Asian Meeting Festival, Somerset House studios, Osmosis Festival, and Chronus Art Center, among others. Sheryl is a co-founder of, an art project currently exploring Taoist-informed mind and body technologies. She currently lives and works in Taipei, where she is an independent artist and writer.

Ting Chaong-Wen (丁昶文), he/him

Ting Chaong-Wen is a multi-media artist who creates spatial installations with images, video, and sound. His works are often inspired by personal experiences and include prefabricated objects that become part of a specific historical narrative in the exhibition context. By deconstructing, interpreting, and reinterpreting our collective history, he explores prevailing values and historical conflicts resulting from, for example, colonialism or migration. TING explores cultural collective memory and their cross-border significance and finds surprising and innovative ways to make their relevance to society tangible.​

Okui Lala, she/her 

Chew Win Chen aka Okui Lala is an artist and cultural worker based in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia. Her practice spans from video, performance to community engagement. Okui‘s work explores themes of diaspora, home, and belonging through the performances of domestic acts or vocational labor, such as sewing, cooking, conversing, and building.

Past presentations include shows at Singapore Biennale (2019), Festival/ Tokyo (Japan, 2019), Yamaguchi Art Centre for Arts and Media (Japan, 2019), Para Site (Hong Kong, 2018), and National Art Gallery (Malaysia, 2017).

Aside from teaching multimedia and moving image subjects at the Malaysian Institute of Art, Okui also facilitates visual workshops (photography and video) with NPO and social groups that work with place-based education and different communities. Okui was a recipient of the 2017 Japan Foundation Asia Centre Fellowship Grant for her research on migration, mobilities, and identities in Myanmar and Japan.

Okui is currently collaborating with Pertimig Malaysia (Indonesia Migrant Domestic Workers) on a documentary about domestic workers’ experiences.

Irwan Ahmett, he/him, and Tita Salina, she/her

Tita Salina and Irwan Ahmett are an artist duo from Jakarta. Their tactical, interventionist approach is developed in response to living in a megacity of 15 million people and amid large-scale contemporary political power struggles. Their practice frequently intervenes in public spaces and brings about sharp social commentaries on urgent issues concerning urban development, ecological catastrophes, political repression, colonial legacies, and the exploitation of human and ecological resources. The lack of institutional support in Indonesia has encouraged Ahmett and Salina to adopt a self-organized and collective spirit.

Ahmett and Salina have exhibited their works in international institutions and biennales such as Bangkok Art Biennale, Bangkok, Thailand (2020), NTU Centre of Contemporary Art Singapore (2019), Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland (2017), Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark (2016), Asian Art Biennale, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan (2015), Biennale Jogja, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2015) and the Singapore Biennale (2013).

Ahmett and Salina currently live and work in Jakarta.

Tan Zi Hao, he/him

Tan Zi Hao is an artist, writer, researcher, and educator. His practice employs a revisionist strategy to contest essentializing and totalizing tendencies prevalent in postcolonial nation-states. His works have covered a wide range of subjects, from translingual practices, multiscript typography, and imaginary creatures, to carrier shells and household casebearers. Dwelling on ontological insecurity, his works present a deep investigation of what it means to be singular-plural in an age of global and ecological interdependence.

As an artist who moves across different disciplines, he also holds a Ph.D. in Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, undertaking fieldwork research on animal imagery in the Islamic art of Cirebon, Indonesia. His scholarship has been published in Art in Translation, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Indonesia and the Malay World, and the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies (in press). Tan is currently teaching research and theory at the Faculty of Cinematic Arts, Multimedia University.

His recent exhibitions include Paraphrase, A+ Works of Art, Malaysia, 2023; Dream of the Day, Ilham Gallery, Malaysia, 2023; Synthetic Condition, UP Vargas Museum, Philippines, 2022; Kathmandu Triennale 2077, Nepal, 2022; A Short History of Instant Noodles, A+ Works of Art, Malaysia, 2022; Phantasmapolis: 2021 Asian Art Biennial, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan, 2021; Crypto for Cryptids, JWD Art Space, Thailand, 2021; What’s Left for Gathering, Mutual Aid Projects, Malaysia, 2021.

Syaheedah Iskandar, she/her

Syaheedah Iskandar is a Singaporean curator who works with vernacular ideas of seeing, thinking, and being. Drawing from Southeast Asia’s visual culture(s), her interest considers entanglements between the unseen, the hypervisual, and their translations from material to new media practices. Recent projects include Between the Living and the Archive (2021), State of Motion: [Alternate/Opt] Realities (2021), and An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season (2020). Syaheedah was the inaugural Emerging Writers’ Fellow for the academic journal Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia and the IMPART Awards 2020 (Singapore) recipient in recognition of her curatorial practice. She holds an MA in History of Art and Archaeology from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

Nurul Huda Rashid (Bras Basah Open), she/her 

Nurul Huda Rashid is a researcher, visual artist, and writer currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies in Asia at the National University of Singapore. Her research interests focus on images, narratives, visual and sentient bodies, feminisms, and the intersections between them within the digital world. 

Rashid’s current research project, Women in War, is a survey of images of women in war, critiqued through lenses of gender and violence, politics of the visual, and the roles of the algorithm and archive as methods. Nurul has collaborated on a Nusantara digital archive, Pulau Something (2021), facilitated a decolonial pedagogical camp, New Curriculum for Old Questions (2019), co-created and facilitated programs with Objectifs and The Substation. Her most recent exhibition activation, Nodes (2022), was presented at Substation’s SeptFest 2022. 

Siddharta “Sidd” Perez, she/they

Siddharta “Sidd” Perez is a curator and educator experienced in initiating and managing projects that are cultural, contemporary, and pedagogical in nature. Curatorial practice is at the heart of Perez’s study and work, administered through the realm of university museums and facilitated by a regional lens.

Perez has written for artists, galleries, and art publications since 2006, while her curatorial practice began in 2009 through collectives and cultural spaces that are regional in aspiration. Their active relationships are with artists, curators, writers, and thinkers from the Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, and diaspora communities in the United States and Latin America.

Perez’s collaborative motivations center around decolonizing practices with local communities, academics, university museums, independently run spaces, and artistic thinkers/practitioners. Sensitive to personalities, institutions, and cultural ethics, Per is conscientious in aligning the visions of her work affiliation and the offerings of collaborative parties to meet at optimal possibilities. Perez’s experience working with different scales of organizations and multiple localities that grapple with postcolonial legacies developed her adaptability to a range of work environments, mobilizing her to perform roles as a leader and reciprocal collaborator.

Perez is part of a two-person, Manila-based curatorial team, Planting Rice, with Lian Ladia (founded in 2011). Aside from curatorial projects featuring emerging artists and online and physical publications, Planting Rice aims to foster the rise of cross-pollination among artistic communities. Through their online platform,, the collaborative generates a resource of writings on current discussions and collaborations that are developing beyond available publications or mainstream spaces in the Philippines. Planting Rice’s previous exhibitions include: SPROUT, a project that investigated curatorial contributions in contested artistic communities; #studiovisit, which offered an intimate opportunity to engage with contemporary art practices within artists’ personal or self-regulated environments; and #offshoot, a program centered on guerrilla events and happenings, continuing Planting Rice’s interest in re-potentializing spaces and acknowledging that art production goes beyond the regular syntax of gallery programming.

Norah Lea, she/her

Norah Lea is a multidisciplinary artist whose works investigate the performative aspects of our identities. 

Lea’s artistic practice is rooted in self-portraiture. Her works span the disciplines of photography, film, video, performance, text, and spoken word poetry to engage with ideas of belonging and identity through the frameworks of gender performance, ethnographic portraits, and transnational histories. She presented a solo exhibition, In Love at Coda Culture (2018, Singapore), and has shown at group exhibitions, including MAT at the Objectifs – Centre for Photography & Film (2019, Singapore), My Body, Your Body, Their Body at Kawanishi Gallery (2019, Japan) and Minor Infelicities at Post Territory Ujeongguk (2020, South Korea). 

Luca Lum (soft/WALL/studs), she/her

Luca Lum is an artist and writer. She works across and between fiction, performance, mixed-media installation, and forms of mediation. She is also the co-founder of soft/WALL/studs, the now defunct studio-library-project space in Singapore.

Shawn Chua (soft/WALL/studs, Bras Basah Open), he/him

Shawn Chua is a researcher and artist based in Singapore, where he is engaged with the archives at The Necessary Stage. Chua’s research and teaching have focused on the ethics of discomfort, embodied archives, and uncanny personhoods. Shawn’s work has been published in journals such as Global Performance Studies and Dramatise, as well as Vulture magazine.

Chua is a recipient of the National Arts Council Scholarship from Singapore. He holds an MA in Performance Studies from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Waseda University. He currently teaches at LASALLE College of the Arts and at Singapore Management University, and he serves on the Performance Studies International (PSi) Future Advisory Board.

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