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Khairuddin Hori appointed curatorial director for Chan Hampe Galleries

Singapore — Following his stint as deputy director of Artistic Programmes at Palais de Tokyo, Paris where he served from 2014 to April this year, Khairuddin Hori joins Chan Hampe Galleries as its new curatorial director. In an exclusive with TODAY, the Galleries announced that Hori will be taking over current director Benjamin Hampe as the latter will be moving to Jakarta in October 2016 where he will be associate director at Ciputra Artpreneur, which comprises a 1,200-seat theatre, museum, and exhibition hall.

Khairuddin Hori appointed curatorial director for Chan Hampe Galleries

Khairuddin Hori at Palais de Tokyo. Photo: Palais de Tokyo

Singapore — Following his stint as deputy director of Artistic Programmes at Palais de Tokyo, Paris where he served from 2014 to April this year, Khairuddin Hori joins Chan Hampe Galleries as its new curatorial director. In an exclusive with TODAY, the Galleries announced that Hori will be taking over current director Benjamin Hampe as the latter will be moving to Jakarta in October 2016 where he will be associate director at Ciputra Artpreneur, which comprises a 1,200-seat theatre, museum, and exhibition hall.

Chan Hampe Galleries was founded in 2010 by Angeline Chan and Benjamin Hampe at Raffles Hotel Arcade to cultivate and promote the contemporary visual arts of Singapore. A second space, Shophouse 5, was launched last year to provide an alternative platform for emerging artists, curatorial projects, and not-for-profit programmes. The gallery prides itself on staying relevant in Singapore’s arts scene with tongue-in-cheek exhibitions such as the recent Monkey Business, which features ink paintings by local artists Justin Loke and Samuel Chen.

“Having a curator like Khai, with his vast experience working with artists and institutions in Asia and Europe, is an exciting new phase for the gallery to be entering into,” said the gallery’s co-founder Angeline Chan.

A graduate of both Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore, Hori is best known for his multi-disciplinary and unconventional approach to curating, supported by his experience in theatre and as an artist. In 1997, he took on the position of associate director at Teater Ekamatra, a Malay-language theatre company for which he led large-scale outdoor performances in Singapore. He was also an active participant of Thailand’s Asiatopia International Performance Art Festival from 2005 to 2008, and was an associate artist at The Substation in Singapore.

“I believe that my background and experience as an artist, my work in theatre, museums and Palais de Tokyo in Paris, an international and highly experimental art centre, will sculpt the gallery’s forthcoming curatorial vision,” Hori, 42, shared.

“In the future, Chan Hampe Galleries’ programmes could include artist residencies, artist and curatorial mentorships, the creation of unique art exhibitions and festivals such as Monumenta in Paris and Dismaland Bemusement Park by Banksy. This would complement the scholarship focus of museums and other publicly funded programmes, adding value to social and economic patronage as well as dialogues between artists and the public,” he elaborated on his vision for the gallery.

Hori joined Palais de Tokyo in Paris after briefly leading the curatorial development department at National Heritage Board, Singapore. Formerly a senior curator at the Singapore Art Museum specialising in contemporary South-east Asian art, Hori’s portfolios included the inventory of the national collection and acquisitions for South-east Asian contemporary art with a focus on Singapore, Malaysia and mainland South-east Asia.

When asked about making the jump from working at a cultural institution to a commercial gallery, where he will start next month, Hori responded saying: “Chan Hampe Galleries exists within an interdependent landscape of museums, art centres, artist initiatives and private patronage, as such, I do not see my appointment as an abandonment of explorations and collaborations with artists and institutions. Instead, it is a precious opportunity for me to discover and engage art and artists through platforms in ways I have never had the liberty to do so before.”

With his new role, Hori hopes to see some relational change between art galleries and public institutions. He added: “Art galleries such as Chan Hampe could be perfect partners in artistic and curatorial development, but are unfortunately often seen as conflicting and profiteering entities and, hence, kept at an arm’s length. Meanwhile, public institutions seem to have been extremely open in their support of other commercial entities such as art fairs, auction houses, private companies and foreign initiated entities such as the now-defunct Pinacotheque de Paris, and in the curating and programming of events such as Night Festival, i Light Marina Bay, and Children’s Season.”

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