Venus Lau

1 “GHOSTS AND SPECTRES—SHADOWS OF HISTORY” (NTU CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART SINGAPORE; CURATED BY UTE META BAUER AND KHIM ONG) Apparitions are a common metaphorical medium for an unspoken and unmourned past, and the works in this show, which addressed various traumatic Asian histories of the postwar period, featured ghosts in myriad guises. The video installation The Nameless, 2015, by Singapore-based artist Ho Tzu Nyen, comprises clips of the Hong Kong actor Tony Leung, edited together so that he appears to inhabit the persona of Lai Teck—one of fifty aliases used by the phantom-like secretary general of the Malayan Communist Party from 1939 to 1947. Meanwhile, the work’s murmuing Vietnamese and Mandarin narration brings to mind the Cantonese phrase for slurring one’s words: gwái sihk nàih, literally “ghost eating dirt.” The cultural geology of ghosts in this show added welcome

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