tarek atoui - the ground: from the land to the sea
NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore) is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Southeast Asia by sound artist and composer Tarek Atoui, conceived as a composition that unfolds in space with its unique sound library and instruments. It is the first large-scale exhibition that Atoui has created through interweaving objects, instruments, and recordings, some borrowed from pre-existing projects, others newly collected and produced.
The Ground: From the Land to the Sea comprises two layers of auditory experiences that interact with each other as well as with the spatial and sonic qualities of NTU CCA Singapore’s exhibition hall, merging them into a single composition. Enveloping the main exhibition space are a set of speakers that play the sounds of underwater environments as well as human and industrial activities in the harbours of Athens and Abu Dhabi, recorded for the project I/E (2015– ongoing). Building upon the sound collection, Atoui has, as part of this presentation in Singapore, recorded at local harbours and waterfronts, together with composer and sound artist Éric La Casa.
Most of the instruments shown are part of The Ground project, the result of the artist’s five-year-long investigation of natural cycles in the Pearl River Delta, first presented at Mirrored Gardens, a project space in Guangzhou, China, in 2017. Also presented are instruments created for previous projects, such as The Reverse Collection (2014–16) and WITHIN (2012–13). This ensemble of unusual instruments is enriched with new additions, including a set of porcelain and ceramic discs, on which traditional Arabic rhythms are engraved, and a customised record player that rotates at irregular speeds, never reading a disc the same way twice.