Associate Artist Programme
(2022/23 Cycle)

OH! Open House is Singapore's leading art institution that develops curatorial programmes on site-specificity centred around the neighbourhood - people, places, stories - as the unit of exhibition and representation.

A group of artists selected by our Advisory Committee will take part in our inaugural Associate Artist Programme (AAP) over a one-year period (1 Sep 2022 to 31 Aug 2023). The programme immerses artists within the next art walk neighbourhood, Kampong Gelam and connects artists to local communities, businesses and historical places.

This programme serves as an alternative model and offers neighbourhood immersion, curatorial support, peer-to-peer dialogues and engagements with communities. It does not expect any exhibitional outcome beyond a public-facing work-in-progress presentations or sharing sessions.   

Associate Artist Programme (2022/23 Cycle)


Ruangsak Anuwatwimon (b.1975, Bangkok, Thailand)

Ruangsak Anuwatwimon investigates the relationship between mankind and the natural world. His multidisciplinary practice – which melds arcane lore, natural history, anthropology, environmental science and conservation biology to create material-based meditations on ecosystems upended by human extractivism — explores social, cultural, environmental and moral grounds of human societies. In his recent works, he's focusing his practice on the idea of spirituality and superstitions as a set of rules and governing power.

He has taken up residencies in different countries in Europe and Asia to research on the cultural and natural ecology of each place, collecting specimens for his projects. He has exhibited his works locally and internationally, recently at the 11th Taipei Biennial (2018) and the Singapore Biennale (2019).

For this residency, he will look into the origins of the well-loved medicinal product, Tiger Balm — the gelam tree.

Ruangsak Anuwatwimon is a multidisciplinary artist whose work investigates the relationship between mankind and nature. Across large-scale installations like Anthropocene (2018) and Reincarnations (2019), Ruangsak uses found objects from the original sites to reconstruct polluted soil layers or felled trees, directly commenting on human disruption of natural environments and presenting environmental issues like soil pollution and deforestation.

Ruangsak’s research during the Associate Artist Programme looks at the complex interactions between man and nature in Kampong Gelam, exploring in particular the relationship between the Gelam tree, Tiger Balm, and the weretiger. For Ruangsak, the mythological weretiger is a symbol of mankind, representing how the strong prey on the weak, and how humans similarly exploit the environment for their interests. As for the Gelam tree, which produces the cajuput oil in Tiger Balm, his interest in it stems from his childhood memories of his parents’ pharmacy suffused with the Balm’s characteristic medicinal smell. 

During his research, Ruangsak investigated each subject further, probed the links between them, and documented his findings through a series of sketches, book references, and plant specimens. Building on his discoveries, Ruangsak aims to create a large-scale installation consisting of Gelam trees extending from four weretiger heads. Like many of his other works, the sculptures will be made from materials related to Kampong Gelam, such as wood, tin (metal used for silverware), ceramics (made of broken tableware collected from the neighbourhood, representing food culture), and paper mache (a tribute to Kampong Gelam's publishing industry). Additionally, he is inspired by Thai comic books that record myths and folklore. Similarly, he plans to create a manga that tells the stories of the displacement of the Kampong Gelam community from a ground-up perspective. Together, the installation and manga remind us of the people who used to live in Kampong Gelam and the complex ways their livelihoods intersected with the natural environment.

Associate Artist Programme
OH Open House Ltd
92C Syed Alwi Road
Level 4
Singapore 207668
︎ @ohopenhouse
︎ @ohopenhouse