Guo-Liang Tan (b. 1980, Singapore) is a visual artist working primarily in the field of painting, from which works in other mediums such as text, collage and video sometimes emerge. In his work, surfaces, painterly or otherwise, becomes a space for performing gestures of affect and conjuring a haunting that converses the ghosts of abstraction. Alongside his own work, Tan also collaborates with other artists on curatorial and publication projects, including Aversions and Found & Lost (2009) for Osage Gallery, We Who Saw Signs (2011) for Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Side Affects (2019) for Ota Fine Arts and Rushes Of Time (2020) for Asian Film Archive.

As an artist who has worked with curators and in your own experiences as a curator, what you do value in the curatorial relationship?

As an artist, I really value good conversations. There is usually a moment in the creative process where I seek conversations out to help shape the direction of the work. Sometimes, these conversations are around art but they can also be about other things like sharing a funny idea or engaging in wild speculations. When I’m curating for other artists, I try to create that shared space to encounter meaning together.

What will you be looking for in the proposals? 

The open call is really an opportunity for someone to experiment with the craft of storytelling and image-making. For me, it is important that there is a sense of urgency for the story to be shared but I also want to be excited about the ways in which that narrative can delivered, visually or otherwise. Beyond that, we just really hope to support an emerging voice or an artist, photographer, filmmaker who is looking to take the next step in their practice.

The Objectifs Documentary Award is now open for applications. The deadline for applications is 11 May 2020.

Read our interview with mentor Veejay Villafranca here.