‘Tropical Lab’ is an annual international art workshop at LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore, where Master’s candidates from the world’s top arts institutions gather to research, experiment and collaborate to create contemporary art. The lab explores the blurring polarities of the urban and the non-urban by drawing upon the geo-political differences to stimulate innovation and experimentation. This intensive and highly engaging 14-day event is in its 7th edition this year and is coordinated by Milenko Prvacki, Senior Fellow at LASALLE.
The theme for this edition is 'Echo: The Poetics of Translation'. Walter Benjamin once compared translation to hearing an echo in a forest. Such a metaphor for the act of translation suggests the sonic if not oral dimension of language and reminds us of the way in which there is a space between the original and its repetition. Translation then is a rich terrain of exploration for the arts. While, on one hand, translation allows for the discovery and creation of connections between two or more positions, it also makes evident a gap. This unbreachable gap reveals the limits of translation – the echo is not the original sound, and the copy is not the original. We see shadows, supplements or hybrids that appear to relate back to some point of reference and yet, at the same time, take on their autonomy and life after the fact.
Participating artists: Ahmad Nursalim, Alexandra Van, Bridget Batch, Bridget Tay, Chika Takagi, Damien O’Connell, Danny Liu, Gabriel Stones, Guy Blundel, Helena Hernández Tapia, Isaac Whitcombe, James Jack, Jim Edward Threapleton, Joshua David Y’Barbo, Kambui Olujimi, Karen Pearson, Kayla Ward, Koharu Kimata, Kyung Min Roh Bannwart, Leander Schwazer, Lisa Frankland, Lucas Guidetti Perez, Lucile Dupraz, Pheng Guan, Rattana Salee, Wahyu Utami Wati, and Zeynep Ozel.