press release

Free Jazz III
October 1, 2020–March 31, 2021

Collaborative and experimental by nature, Free Jazz III builds upon its past iterations by activating and challenging common understandings of exhibition-making and the use of space. Sound walks. Machines listen. We are living through unusual times.

As the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore approaches a major transformation away from a permanent exhibition space in early 2021, Free Jazz III continues to explore the possibilities of an international research centre for contemporary art, featuring many artists who have been part of NTU CCA Singapore’s exhibitions, residencies, and programs since 2013, when the Centre presented Free Jazz as its inaugural event. The project began as a form of inquiry and an active tool to generate new possibilities for conceptualizing and programming an art institution. Free Jazz III convenes diverse projects united by themes of adaptation via masterful improvisation, trans-mediatic pivots, and the conscious renegotiation of our relationships to nature, technology, and each other. The disparate components of Free Jazz III explore the elements of dissonance, resistance, and innovation embedded in its musical namesake and the ability for sound and art to transcend physical and social distance. Embracing sound and walking as two powerful ways to overcome distance and bring people together, Free Jazz III comprises projects that can take place in non-gallery spaces, independently, asynchronously, or in purposeful syncopation with the present moment, reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future.

Admission to all programs and events is free.

Sound. Walks. January–March 2021 (On-site and online)

Reflecting on the loss of physicality through increased virtual interactions as well as many histories of sound and walking, artists address common life and communality in times of social distancing. In this series of performative explorations of sound, music, and community building, reflections take the form of soundwalks, sonic wayfinding and other physical and aural experiences, offering multiple ways for the public to actively witness, listen and participate, both remotely and on-site. Soundwalks by Tini Aliman (Singapore), Christa Donner and Andrew S Yang (United States), and Diana Lelonek (Poland) and Denim Szram(Poland/Switzerland) are propelled by sonic outputs of nature. Storytelling, correspondence, and the impossibility of direct communication factor into projects by Cheryl Ong(Singapore), Ana Prvački (Romania/Germany) in collaboration with Joyce Koh (Singapore), Galina Mihaleva (Bulgaria/Singapore), and Vivian Wang (Singapore/Switzerland). Sound, history, culture, and space overlap and intertwine in works by Arahmaiani (Indonesia) and Jimmy Ong (Singapore), bani haykal (Singapore) and Lee Weng Choy (Malaysia), Reetu Sattar (Bangladesh), and anGie Seah (Singapore), as well as in a collaborative fusion of music and poetry by Ramesh Krishnan, Munir Alsagoff, Md Noor, and Harini V (all Singapore) responding to the work of Singaporean Tamil literary stalwarts P Krishnan, Ma Ilangkannan and Rama Kannabiran.

Free Jazz III. Sound. Walks. is curated by Magdalena Magiera (Germany/Singapore), NTU CCA Singapore Curator, Education and Outreach, and Dr Karin Oen (United States/Singapore), NTU CCA Singapore Deputy Director, Curatorial Programmes