Talk/Workshop, Festival

Critical Conversations 3: Illuminating the Poetics of Space - Light as Meaning-Making

Organised by: NUS Centre For the Arts
  • Date:
    16 Mar 2022
  • Time:
  • Venue:
    NUS University Cultural Centre Atrium
    NUS University Cultural Centre AtriumNUS University Cultural Centre Atrium
  • Admission:
    Free admission (with pre-registration)


How do we look at and encounter spaces – in particular, public art and landscapes?

What is often latent to such sites are a complex constellation of meaning, space, and material coming together in dialogue with each other to create experience. This conversation examines the interactions between natural and urban spaces through artistic interventions, as well as embodied cartographies that construct intimate representations of environments. Here, navigating such spaces while making meaning of the world around us is not contingent entirely on language and texts, but on the ways that our embodied responses in relation to such public structures refract, expand, or diminish our connections with nature. By being obstructions or conduits of light, the panel discussion locates how such public sites determine the presence and movement of organic bodies, emotional responses, socio-political contexts, and uses.

Speakers: Dr May Ee Wong and Wong Zi Hao

Dr May Ee Wong
May Ee Wong is an interdisciplinary researcher and writer whose research interests include critical conceptions of the urban and built environment, contemporary architectural and design history from the 1960s, feminist Science, Technology and Society (STS) studies, and contemporary media theory and culture. She received her PhD in Cultural Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory from the University of California at Davis and has contributed to Architecture_MPS, Cultural Politics, as well as Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary.

Wong Zi Hao
Wong Zi Hao is a PhD candidate at the National University of Singapore's Department of Architecture, having received the NUS Research Scholarship (2019–2023). The work shown at the year-long exhibition Intimate Landscapes (2022) at the NUS Museum is part of his ongoing doctoral research. Undertaken as a research by design, the project explores modes of embodied cartography to rethink the politics of representing 'wetness' at an intertidal landscape in Singapore. By drawing, making, and writing, the research probes what is incompatible and excessive to representational conventions and knowledge boundaries. Through this, he hopes to articulate what an architecture of care for a landscape-at-risk might entail. Recently he was invited to explore aspects of his doctoral research as artist-in-residence at the Centre of Quantum Technologies, NUS. Previously, he has worked as an architectural educator, and is co-founder of Singapore-based architecture and design practice Studio Super Safari.

Critical Conversations 3: Illuminating the Poetics of Space - Light as Meaning-Making