Future Known as Unpredicted (Festival) 未知的未来 (摄影节)

Future Known as Unpredicted

8th Singapore International Photography Festival 

Festival Curators

He Yining
John Tung

Festival Theme 

In equal measure, the medium of photography has contended with history and interrogated memories. It has also constructed alternative realities, prophesied the future and conjured magical, absurd and hopeful visions at once. As humanity lives amidst the most uncertain of times with sieges and struggles on all fronts of sovereignty, healthcare, environment, socioeconomic issues and politics, mankind has arrived at the crossroads of navigating this complex future together. How can we think about the times ahead? What do we need to do, and who do we need to be? In the coming eighth Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF), we turn to explore this shared vulnerability, courage and resilience with the theme Future Known as Unpredicted.

Expanding on the belief that mankind should mine its boundless creativity for the capacity to create the path forward, 2022’s festival shall focus on photography’s infinite potential to envision and empower, highlighting the role of artists as visionaries to advocate, inspire and inform. Central to this year’s lineup are experimental works which operate at the intersection of arts, science, technology, and design and embody strong messages for the future. Multivalent in nature, they examine the shape-shifting and subversive nature of imagery as documentation and phantasmagoria, offering new insights for us to relook and reconfigure our world.

This approach is a flight from the previous edition’s theme of Departing and Arriving, which mapped out webs of interconnections in human genealogies and origins and the construction of identities in relation to diasporas, migration, and colonial history. After establishing the past and turning it over for direction and wisdom, we now embark on a fresh journey in the present time to test bed and practise new permutations in navigating the human condition.

It is inevitable one lapses into nostalgia about the times before, where travel used to be limitless and physical contact with loved ones, a given. Moreover, the vastness of possibilities may appear simultaneously empowering yet debilitating; addicted as mankind is to prediction and certainty, these assurances continue to frustrate us.

Yet, we have concluded that it is better to look forward: to gather the lessons we have learned and use our perseverance, courage and empathy to better understand and support each other. To look forward to things like a kinder and more inclusive society, equitable rights, and an end to poverty, hunger, and war. To look forward to simple pleasures in everyday life that will uplift us and bring us some warmth and comfort. German visual artist Gerhard Richter once expressed in 1982, “Art is the highest form of hope”. Almost 40 years later in 2022’s SIPF, we continue to look towards this statement for the strength to forge ahead.



8th SIPF 第8届新加坡国际摄影节

与John Tung共同策展

在同等程度上,摄影媒介一直在与历史抗争,对记忆进行拷问。它还构建了另一种现实,预言了未来,并创造了神奇、荒诞和充满希望的愿景。当人类生活在最不确定的时代,在主权、医疗、环境、社会经济问题和政治等各方面的围困和斗争中,人类已经走到了共同驾驭这个复杂未来的十字路口。我们该如何思考未来的时代?我们需要做什么,以及我们需要成为谁?在即将到来的第八届新加坡国际摄影节(SIPF)上,我们将以 “未知的未来 “为主题探讨这种共同的脆弱性、勇气和韧性。


这种方法是对上一版 “离开和到达 “主题的超越,该主题描绘了人类谱系和起源中的相互联系,以及与散居地、移民和殖民历史有关的身份构建的网络。在确定了过去并为其指明了方向和智慧之后,我们现在开始了新的旅程,在现在的时间里测试床和实践新的人类状况。




Theme Exhibition

Elise Morin [FR]、DISCIPULA [IT]

Curated by He Yining


The current technological machine of information and communication operates at the centre of human subjectivity, not only in the depths of human memory and intelligence but also in human sensibility, feeling and unconscious fantasy. It is precisely where art and technology overlap that a series of critical reflections in the form of visual art emerge. As curators, we hope to capture artists’ current practice in the relevant discursive field and present it to multiple audiences through the exhibition.

French artist Elise Morin’s The Spring Odyssey is a complex work that uses the latest imagery to contemplate ecology, technology and human emotion. In this global body of work that mixes photography, video, painting, and sound, Morin focuses on current research by NASA experts working with biologists to address the issue of radiation resistance that humans face living in space. Molin examines a mangrove forest in Ukraine that has been transformed into an open-air laboratory and explores different artistic dimensions around it. The exhibition will present the artist’s VR work that the artist has seen as “a rite of passage towards a new physical reality mixing science and technology around a powerful invisible phenomenon and to question the fluctuating limits of our intuitions.”

Discipula’s How Things Dream takes a more ambitious approach to predicting and shape the full extent of the building and spread of future technological empires as a way of imagining and exploring the consequences of today’s growing relationship between technology, neoliberalism, and new forms of control. In this work, the artist collective has created a fictional multinational corporation called AURA, which provides essential services in areas such as domotics, healthcare, security, education, and governance through IoT (Internet of Things) applications and the analysis of BIG DATA as a source of information on patterns of human behaviour.

In this exhibition, we try to present the viewer with the two narratives central to Discipula’s project construction. “Aura Solutions” introduces the world of Aura through sub-projects “Communication Services”, while “Morpheus” represents the most controversial and dystopian manifestation of AURA.


法国艺术家伊利斯·莫林(Elise Morin)的作品《春季奥德赛》(The Spring Odyssey)是一场运用最新的图像技术来思辨生态、技术和人类情感的复杂作品。在这组混合了摄影、录像、绘画和声音的全球性作品中,莫林关注当下美国国家航空航天局的专家与生物学家共同进行的研究,即解决人类在太空中生活所要面临的抵抗辐射问题。莫林考察了位于乌克兰,一个被改造成露天实验室的红树林,并围绕它进行了不同艺术层面上的探索,展览将首次完整呈现艺术家为该项目创作的VR与AR作品,前者被艺术家视为“一个通往新物理现实的仪式,围绕强大的无形现象融合神话、科学和技术,并质疑我们直觉的波动极限”。

Discipula的How Things Dream以更具有雄心的方式对未来科技帝国的建立和传播进行了全方面的预言和塑造,以此来想象和探索当下技术、新自由主义和新形式的控制之间不断增长的关联的后果。在这一作品中,艺术家团体创造了一个名为AURA的虚构跨国公司,它通过物联网应用和作为人类行为特征信息来源的大数据分析,在诸如自动化、医疗保健、安全、教育和政府管理领域为使用者提供了核心的服务。在此次展览中,我们试图向观众呈现Discipula建构这一项目的两个个核心的叙事: “Aura Solutions”,通过两个子项目 “通信服务 “和 “Chakras Identity “来介绍AURA的世界;以及 “Morpheus”,代表AURA最具争议性和神秘性的表现形式。


Spring Odyssey by Elise Morin

How Things Dream by DISCIPULA


OPEN CALL Exhibition

Curated by He Yining

11,565 Kilometre Project by Zhang Beichen

Ground Truth, or How to Resurrect a Tree by Sheung Yiu

Ghost Island by Lisandro Suriel

How to Pickle an Adder by Liam Webb

Unperson _ Portraits of North Koreans by Tim Franco

Living Under the Volcanoes by Putu Sayoga

Red Flowers by Shi Chenbai

Photo credit: SIPF


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