Dancer in climbing on a fence in an alley next to the Singapore History Museum 2001


Bonemap's Spore is the project outcome of the first interdisciplinary residency from the visual arts and performing arts panels of Asialink. During this combined residency Rebecca Youdell and Russell Milledge worked with The Substation in Singapore for four months, developing site-specific works with local artists. As an interdisciplinary residency across visual and performing arts, Youdell and Milledge interacted with a wide range of institutions, artists and events. They presented four major works at three venues: The Substation, Plastique Kinetic Worms Gallery, and the Australian High Commission in Singapore. The positive connections made with significant Singaporean artists and the video documentation of ephemeral artworks are of lasting value.

Asialink Arts elevates the agency and capability of the Australian arts sector to engage with Asia through sharing insights, creating connections, and building capacity. Asialink, established in 1989, was a joint initiative of the Australian Government's Commission for the Future and philanthropic The Myer Foundation. Now more than ever, Australia's security and prosperity depends on a population comfortable with its geography and sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled to engage effectively with Asian peoples and cultures.

The contemporary arts sector in Singapore links to myriad personal and institutional connections on the global stage. Artists contribute to the currency of debate with attitudes informed by themes honed by integration with international cultural networks. At just 1° north of the equator, Singapore is a tropical city-state with a multicultural population; however, there is a history of severe artistic censorship. Radical and experimental art forms stand in sharp contrast to sociopolitical and cultural ideals, held up by the state and media, characterised by an intolerance for political critique or representations of sexual diversity.

The Bonemap residency at The Substation responded to various sites around its building at 45 Armenian St. Singapore. The Substation is Singapore's first independent contemporary arts centre. Established in 1990 by the late Kuo Pao Kun, it is known for its pioneering and experimental arts programming. Over the years, The Substation has worked with some of Singapore's most critically acclaimed artists, writers, and intellectuals.

In addition to the works at The Substation, Bonemap presented at Plastique Kinetic Worms gallery and the Australian High Commission to Singapore. The experimental quality of the dance and installation works required audiences to be open to, and own, their responses. Free associations with gender, race, sound, choreographic composition, architectural proximity or flicker of light may have triggered abstract impressions absorbed by audiences. The performances featured unfolding improvisational structures and interpretive gestures informed by site-specific elements inherent in the alternative performance spaces used.

2001 Asialink self-initiated interdisciplinary residency at The Substation, Singapore

Singapore Presentations:
SubGallery 1, 11, 111: The Substation: New Criteria 9
Spore: 1˚N: Human Density: The Substation 15 - 17 July
The Wild Edge: Australian High Commission Singapore, 26 July
New Image New Way: curator Russell Milledge: Plastique Kinetic Worms, Singapore 23 May - 3 June

Asialink artists:
Russell Milledge (visual arts), Rebecca Youdell (performing arts)

collaborating artists:
George Chua Khim Ser, Misumi Suzaki, Lim Tzay Cheun, Francis Ng, Lee Wen

New Image New Way artists:
Jill Chism, Caroline Daniell, Jandy Pannell, Shaun Edwards, Claudine Marzik, Roland Nancarrow, Sharon Pacey, Sasi Victoire, Melissa Waters

Asialink | The Substation | Arts Queensland | The Australia Council for the Arts | Australian High Commission, Singapore

Gail Priest interviews Bonemap

Video documentation:
Francis Ng: Delocating Margins 2001
performance intervention: Bonemap | George Chua Khim Ser | Misumi Suzaki