Recipient of the Curator Open Call 2019

Curated by Zulkhairi Zulkiflee (Sikap)
Chapel Gallery, Objectifs
2 Aug to 1 Sept 2019
Tues to Sat, 12pm to 7pm / Sun, 12pm to 4pm
Closed on Mondays and public holidays
Admission is free

:: Opening Reception: Thurs 1 Aug, 7pm
Admission is free to all the following programmes. RSVP via Peatix at
:: Opening Performance: Getaran Jiwa by Farizi Noorfauzi: Thurs 1 Aug, 7.30pm to 8.30pm
:: Guided Tour by Artists: Sat 3 Aug, 2pm to 3pm
:: Panel Discussion by Artists: Sat 17 Aug, 2pm to 3pm
:: Guest Talk by Dr Nazry Bahrawi: Sun 25 Aug, 2pm to 3pm
:: Closing Performance: Bujang *apok by Norah Lea: Sun 1 Sept, 4pm to 5pm

The vernacular term “Mat” is often used as a shorthand for Malay males with the first name “Muhammad”. It may also be used to describe Malay males characterised as delinquent or disobedient.

Using this term as a point of departure, this exhibition seeks to challenge common assumptions about Malay identity by presenting artistic responses that unpack gender relations, class affiliations and cultural politics through the works of three emerging artists: Norah Lea, Farizi Noorfauzi and Zulkhairi Zulkiflee.

This exhibition curated by Sikap is the recipient of the inaugural Objectifs Curator Open Call, part of our ongoing effort to broaden perspectives by supporting curatorial research and innovative ways of presenting image-based work.

:: Opening Performance by Farizi Noorfauzi: Thurs 1 Aug, 7.30pm to 8.30pm
In Getaran Jiwa, Farizi Noorfauzi explores different unconventional methods of wearing / unwearing a traditional Malay garment known as the ‘kain pelekat’, as a way to uncover the garment’s historical narratives.
:: Guided Tour by Artists: Sat 3 Aug, 2pm to 3pm
:: Panel Discussion by Artists: Sat 17 Aug, 2pm to 3pm
:: Guest Talk by Dr Nazry Bahrawi: Sun 25 Aug, 2pm to 3pm
More details soon.
:: Closing Performance: Bujang *apok: Sun 1 Sept, 4pm to 5pm
Bujang *apok is a collaborative performance and spoken word piece by Norah Lea, Atiq and Zeha, exploring the intersections of Malay identity, religion, life experiences of racism, queerness and love. 

About the curator

The exhibition is organised by ​Sikap,​ a project ​group that engages in organisational experiments and focuses on notions of mutual support, autonomy in idea, and artist-centered actions. Founded by Zulkhairi Zulkiflee, Sikap has supported three projects thus far: LUCKY show (2018) at Lucky Plaza Singapore, ​Malais-a-trois (2018) (as part of Sobandwine’s 233 Joo Chiat), and ​an intimacy that allies us… (2019)​, at 203 Lavender Street. ​Zulkhairi has also been featured in for his curatorial efforts.

About the artists

NORAH LEA (b. 1993, Singapore) is an artist whose works investigate the performative aspects of our identities. Her work is rooted in self-portraiture, exploring themes such as gender, sexuality and ethnicity through photography, film, performance and spoken word. Some exhibitions include a solo presentation, ​In Love (2018)​, Coda Culture, and group exhibitions like ​Waning, Waxing (2018)​, ION Art Gallery, and ​Deciphering Clothes: The Troublemakers’ Wardrobe (2018)​, Hatch Art Project. Norah is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in NTU’s School of Art, Design and Media.

FARIZI NOORFAUZI (b. 1998, Singapore) is a multi-disciplinary artist in Singapore who works predominantly with media and performance art. He is interested in investigating the relevance of culture, specifically within the unique socio-cultural context of Singapore as an intersection of diasporic cultures. Recent exhibitions include ​ORTHODOX (2019) at Coda Culture and Undescribed #3 (2018)​ at DECK.

ZULKHAIRI ZULKIFLEE (b. 1991, Singapore) is a visual artist, educator and exhibition-maker based in Singapore. His practice explores the notion of Malayness in relation to knowledge production, the social agency and distinction/ taste. Recent exhibitions include ​Stories We Tell to Scare Ourselves With (2019)​, MOCA Taipei, Taipei; ​Tell me how they kiss you, tell me how you kiss (2018)​, Telok Ayer Arts Club, and ​The Direction I Rub One Matters (2018)​, Grey Projects.


Buro 24/7 Singapore: Artist-curator Zulkhairi Zulkiflee on ‘MAT’ and the evolution of Malay identities in Singapore

Header image credit: No Corner by Farizi Noorfauzi