Key practitioners, curators and writers on photography and film

In the spirit of broadening our understanding and appreciation of photography and film, these of public talks are about ways of looking at and understanding photography and film in Singapore and Southeast Asia, through the eyes of key practitioners, curators and writers.

The following online lectures by guest speakers are open to the public.

A (very) short history of photography in Singapore
By Charmaine Toh
Tue 1 Dec, 8.30pm – 9.30pm
Via Zoom. Register here.

Manit Sriwanichpoom: image-maker/curator
By Manit Sriwanichpoom
Monday 7 Dec, 8.30pm
Via Zoom. Register here.

A history of cinematic exhibitions in Southeast Asia 
By May Adadol Ingawanij
Wed 16 Dec, 8.30pm
Via Zoom. Register here.

While these are free events, please consider donating to Objectifs if you are able to. Your contribution goes directly to supporting our programmes, and the freelancers and artists we work with during this difficult time.

Header image credit: ‘Net Collecting’, Wu Peng Seng, Net Collecting, c. 1950s, Singapore, photograph. Collection of National Gallery Singapore


A (very) short history of photography in Singapore
By Charmaine Toh
Tue 1 Dec, 8.30pm – 9.30pm
Via Zoom. Register here.

The first photographs were made in Singapore in 1841, barely two years after the daguerreotype was unveiled to the world. By 1843, Singapore had its first photography studio. However, to date, there has been very little research on photography in Singapore; photography has not been included in the narratives of art history in Singapore until its appearance as contemporary art. Taking a straightforward chronological approach, Charmaine Toh will speak on the history of photography in Singapore from the 1840s till the present, paying particular attention to art photography and the various shifts in photographic practice caused by the wider changes in society. 

About the speaker

Charmaine Toh received her PhD from the University of Melbourne and is a curator at National Gallery Singapore. Her research primarily looks at modern and contemporary art in Southeast Asia, with a focus on photography. Recent exhibitions include Chua Soo Bin: Truths & Legends, Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia and Siapa Nama Kamu? Art in Singapore from the 19th century till today. Previously, Charmaine was the Programme Director at Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film where she played a pivotal role in revitalising the gallery programme. She also co-curated the 2013 Singapore Biennale.



Manit Sriwanichpoom: image-maker/curator
By Manit Sriwanichpoom
Monday 7 Dec, 8.30pm
Via Zoom. Register here.

Manit Sriwanichpoom, one of Thailand’s most influential photographers and visual artists, will speak about how his views on photography has changed over his years of art-making and exhibiting. He will address how this has influenced his art and curatorial practice, why exhibitions continue to be important, and what he considers when he exhibits work.

In doing so, Manit will look back at a practice spanning decades, with special reference to personal projects including Rediscovering Forgotten Thai Masters of Photography, a curatorial project that involved years of research, and contributed towards a wider understanding of the role of photographic images in modern Thai society.

About the speaker

Manit Sriwanichpoom (b 1961) is one of Thailand’s leading photo artists. His works have been exhibiting  internationally and being part of important museums including in the Maison Europeenne de la  Photographie (Paris), DZ Bank (Germany), Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (USA), Fukuoka Asian Art  Museum (Japan), Queensland Art Gallery (Australia), National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery  Singapore and Singapore Art Museum. In 2007 he was awarded the Higashikawa Overseas Photographer  Prize from Japan and 2014 the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by French Ministry of Culture. Currently he  teaches photography at Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.



A history of cinematic exhibitions in Southeast Asia 
By May Adadol Ingawanij
Wed 16 Dec, 8.30pm
Via Zoom. Register here.

This talk addresses the question of film exhibition histories rooted in Southeast Asia. Starting from prehistories of video art in the region to contemporary cinematic practices, writer and curator May Adadol Ingawanij will address the ways in which our relationship with screen media has evolved, and what this means for art practitioners, curators and audiences.

The talk will reference various screen projection practices, artworks and projects, including Animistic Apparatus, Ingawanij’s most recent project. It takes as its departure point practices in Thailand where films are screened for spirits, in an exploration of the affinities between cinema and animism that begins to formulate a position away from Western theories of film spectatorship.

About the speaker

May Adadol Ingawanij is a writer, curator and teacher, and Professor of Cinematic Arts at University of Westminster where she co-directs the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media. She works on decentred histories and genealogies of cinematic arts; avant-garde legacies in Southeast Asia; forms of potentiality in contemporary artistic and curatorial practices; aesthetics and circulation of artists’ moving image, art and independent films in, around, and beyond Southeast Asia. Recent publications include articles on Karrabing Film Collective, Nguyen Trinh Thi, and Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook. Curatorial projects include Animistic Apparatus, and Lav Diaz: Journeys. May is writing a book titled Animistic Medium: Contemporary Southeast Asian Artists Moving Image.


Please note:
1. Objectifs will ‘photograph’ (e.g. screenshots) and audio/video record this online discussion for the purposes of documentation. We require participants to enter the Zoom call using the same name they have registered with so we may check against the registration list. You may subsequently change your username and switch off your device’s camera if you would prefer not to be photographed or recorded. We will make an announcement about this before we start any documentation.
2. Objectifs is committed to maintaining a safe and inclusive space for this online discussion. By registering for this session, participants agree to abide by the following guidelines:

  • Treat all people with courtesy and respect.
  • Harassment/discrimination of sexual, physical, vocal, emotional or any other nature based on gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, or religion are not appropriate.