Syaheedah Iskandar

Syaheedah Iskandar works with vernacular ideas of seeing, thinking, and being. Drawing from Southeast Asia’s visual culture(s), her interest considers entanglements between the unseen, the hypervisual, and their translations from material to new media practices. Recent projects include Between the Living and the Archive (2021), State of Motion: [Alternate/Opt] Realities (2021), and An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season (2020). Syaheedah was the recipient of the IMPART Awards 2020 (Singapore) in recognition of her curatorial practice. She holds an MA in History of Art and Archaeology from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

In the Malay-Indonesian language, tanah air, defined as “homeland”, comprises two words with individual meanings, tanah as soil, air as water. With this residency, I am looking at how we read our relationships to the land, the sea, and the nonhuman while drawing connections from my place in Southeast Asia. In thinking about non-hegemonic knowledge systems, my work with vernacular visuality explores ways of mediating the unseen with the hypervisual, inducing intersections of listening through seeing. Continuing that trajectory, how have these narratives, etymologies, stories or oral traditions – that often bind us collectively – shaped our being?

Syaheedah Iskandar’s residency is realised in context of HICP – Helsinki International Curatorial Programme, a collaboration between Frame Contemporary Art Finland and HIAP.