Ubah Rumah Residency Artist

Zarina Muhammad

Residency Period:
25 Jun
22 Jul

Zarina Muhammad is an artist, educator and researcher whose practice is deeply entwined with a critical re-examination of oral histories, ethnographic literature and other historiographic accounts about Southeast Asia. Working at the intersections of performance, installation, text, ritual, sound, moving image and participatory practice, she is interested in the broader contexts of myth-making, haunted historiographies and role of the artist as “cultural ventriloquist” who lends polyphonic voices to data-driven systems and shapeshifting worlds. She has been working on a long-term interdisciplinary project on Southeast Asia’s provisional relationship to the otherworldly, spectrality, ritual magic and the immaterial against the dynamics of global modernity, the social production of rationality and environmental histories. In addition to presenting recent incarnations of her projects, performances and installations at Singapore Art Museum (Singapore), ArtScience Museum (Singapore), NTU Centre of Contemporary Art (Singapore), Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film (Singapore), T-Works (Singapore), Indonesia Contemporary Art Network (Indonesia), Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (Taiwan,) she has also presented her work and been involved in projects across Asia Pacific and Europe. She has been nominated as a finalist for several awards such as the President Young Talent, The Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize and most recently The Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize.

Outcomes in residency
Selected Works To Date

Zarina Muhammad, Moving Earth, Crossing Water, Eating Soil, 2022, mixed-media installation, Singapore Biennale 2022 © and courtesy the artist

not terra nullius (2018) In Latin, terra nullius means ‘land belonging to no one.’ Singapore was no terra nullius. Its history does not begin with its ‘modern founding’ in the 19th century. In this work, the artist invited audiences to participate in an old, Javanese ritual called merti (meaning “take care of” or “maintain”). She asked - what does this land mean to you? Nearby, the artist displayed hand-made spirit houses and shrines, where participants left their offerings. These served to remember the spirits of the land who previously occupied or passed through 37 Emerald Hill in the last few centuries. They also acted as bird and butterfly feeders, a small connection with other occupants of the land. Created with the support of: Tini Aliman Irfan Kasban