To kickstart the 7th edition of Tropical Lab, the participating artists were inducted in a seminar delivered by guest speakers on the designated theme for the year, ECHO – The Poetics of Translation. 

Tropical Lab 7 : ECHO Seminar

Date: Thursday 25 July 2013

Time: 1.30pm-5.30pm

Venue: Room F208, Block F Level 2, LASALLE

Admission: For Tropical Lab 7 participants and all LASALLE students & staff

The panels of speakers who will deliberate on the differing aspects of ECHO – The Poetics of Translation include:

Venka Purushothaman

VP (Academic) & Provost, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore

Venka Purushothaman is an art writer, academic, and arts and cultural manager. He is currently Vice-President (Academic) & Provost at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. He has researched and written extensively on visual arts, performing arts and arts management. His seminal book, Making Visible the Invisible: Three Decades of the Singapore Arts Festival  (2007) remains the most comprehensive study of the festival and cultural policy in Singapore, while Narratives: Notes on a Cultural Journey, Cultural Medallion Recipients, 1979-2002 (2002) kick started the documentation and study of artistic leaders in Singapore.  He has an interest in contemporary art and seeks to locate art, through the lens of cultural criticism, within the context of its production. He gives talks and lectures on contemporary art and guest lectures in the Master in Asian Art Histories programme at LASALLE on contemporary theoretical frameworks that can inform art practice. He has written essays on numerous artists including Pierre & Gilles (France), Nathalie Junod Ponsard (France), Parvati Nayar (India), Atta Kim (South Korea). His artist monographs include: Dance Me through the Dark: The Photography of Tan Ngiap Heng (2008); and Salleh Japar: Gurindam dan Igauan. (2004). Venka is a member of the Association of International Art Critics, France (AICA) and Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, UK (RSA).


Lai Chee Kien

Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, NUS 

Dr. Lai Chee Kien is Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore.  He graduated with an M.Arch. by research from NUS in 1996, and from University of California, Berkeley with a PhD in History of Architecture and Urban Design, in 2005.  He researches on histories of art, architecture, landscapes and urban environments in Southeast Asia, and is a registered architect in Singapore. His publications include A Brief History of Malayan Art (1999), Building Merdeka: Independence Architecture in Kuala Lumpur, 1957-1966 (2007) and Singapore: towards another Botanical Age (2008).


Darren Moore

Lecturer – Music, Faculty of Performing Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts    

Darren Moore is an Australian drummer, sound artist, composer and educator based in Singapore. He performs regularly on drum set, electronics and modular synthesiser in predominantly jazz, experimental and improvised music styles.

Darren is an active member of the music scene in Singapore and performs extensively in Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan and Europe with leading musicians in his field.

Darren is a Lecturer in Music at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore and is also pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, which looks at the adaptation of Carnatic Indian rhythms to drum set.


Tan Pin Pin


Tan Pin Pin’s films about Singapore and her histories, have screened at Berlin, Pusan, Cinema du Reel, Viennale, Visions du Reel, Rotterdam, MOMA and at the Flaherty Seminar. They have also screened internationally on Discovery Networks. In Singapore, they have received sold out theatrical screenings, toured schools and was acquired by Singapore Airlines for their in-flight entertainment services. Cinema du Reel, in its award citation, describes Invisible City as “A witty, intellectually challenging essay on history and memory as tools of civil resistance”. The Straits Times describes Singapore GaGa, voted the Best Film, 2006, as “One of the best films about Singapore”. Moving House, her thesis film won the Student Academy Award for Best Documentary. Pin Pin has an MFA from Northwestern University, and an MA from Oxford University.


Adeline Kueh (moderator)

Senior Lecturer – Postgraduate Studies, Faculty of Fine Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts

Adeline Kueh makes installations that reconsider the relationship we have with things and rituals around us. With desire and longing infused in them, her works are modern-day totems that explore issues of sexuality, domestic objects and magic linked with personal histories, thereby bringing to fore an overlooked moment in time.

Adeline has also produced installations and interventionist projects within the collaborative MatriXial Technologies in old boys network 01 ((Hamburg, 2001), Next 5 Minutes 4: International Festival of Tactical Media (Amsterdam, 2003), and Version >03 Digital Art Convergence (Chicago, 2003).

Rooted in cultural studies, her research interests include notions of monstrosity within Southeast Asian contexts, architecture, fashion and the future of cinema. She has chaired and presented at a number of cultural studies conferences in UK, Australia, Finland, Hungary, Singapore and Malaysia.

Currently a Senior Lecturer, she is also a consultant for a number of research, lifestyle and design projects. Through her consultancy with architecture firm CPG-TSS, they were the first runner-up of the Sentosa Boardwalk Competition (2009), and the winner of Dubai International Financial Centre Competition (2006).