5th Passage: In Search of Lost Time


    September 23, 2021 – October 24, 2021

    Gajah Gallery

    “5th Passage is room for all artists in all fields – actors, musicians, painters, poets, sculptors – a lodge for Giants in the Making and those who dare to dream.”

    Declaration at the launch of 5th Passage, 1991

    Gajah Gallery is proud to present 5th Passage: In Search of Lost Time, an exhibitionary survey of one of the seminal art initiatives in Singapore’s history. In 1991, 5th Passage opened at Parkway Parade, a suburban shopping centre in the east of Singapore. Co-founded by Suzann Victor, Han Ling, and Susie Lingham, the initiative was intended to be a haven for a multi-disciplinary range of art forms encompassing visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, music, fashion, and design. In addition, 5th Passage also organised a range of talks and forums, alongside art outreach programmes for children as well. Inaugurated with the express intention of providing “Access to the Arts”, 5th Passage situated itself within the “ready-made public” of civic centres, consequently implanting itself within a social memory. While a substantial number of exhibitions, events, and programmes were realised under the auspices of the initiative between its 6 years of operation from 1991 to 1996, explications of the initiative have generally remained peripheral to examinations of singular events occurring during this time period, and thereby defining the initiative on those terms.

    In the absence of a thorough historicization of 5th Passage and its wide-ranging activities, the exhibition looks to memories of its existence to reconstitute a basis for establishing its significance within the wider arc of the country’s arts and cultural development. Yet, memory is a fickle thing, and the remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were. Bringing together artists who had presented works under its auspices, this exhibition revives within the wider public consciousness the plethora of activities that articulated the initiative’s ideals and aspirations, while intimating the passage of time that has since elapsed.

    5th Passage In Search Of Lost Time is curated by John Tung, and will be held at Gajah Gallery Singapore, from 23 September to 17 October. Accompanying the exhibition will be a series of online dialogues with the curator and artists, hosted by the gallery.


    Chu Chu Yuan (Participating Artist, Artists’ General Assembly, 1993; Surrogate Desires, 1994; Personae I, 1994)
    Eve Tan (Participating Artist, Artists’ General Assembly, 1993; Personae I, 1994)
    Jason Lim (Participating Artist, Artists’ General Assembly, 1993)
    John Clang (Participating Artist, Critical Framework, 1993)
    Kai Lam (Participating Artist, Artists’ General Assembly, 1993)
    Ray Langenbach (Participating Artist, Artists’ General Assembly, 1993; Surrogate Desires, 1994)
    Siew Kee Liong (Participating Artist, Body Fields, 1993; Objects and Remembrances, 1993; A Dialogue with Memory, 1993; Surrogate Desires, 1994)
    Susie Wong (Participating Artist – H.O.P.E. (Heal Our Planet Earth), 1992; Personae, 1994; XX Personae II, 1996)
    Susie Lingham (Co-Founder Director, 5th Passage)
    Suzann Victor (Co-Founder & Artistic Director, 5th Passage)

    In Conversation: Suzann Victor and John Tung

    SGT: 24 September 2021 | 3:00 – 4:30 PM

    While an exhibition often begets the anticipation of artist talks and interviews, in an unexpected reversal of roles, the artist becomes the interviewer, and the curator becomes the interviewed. For this interview, acclaimed multi-disciplinary artist and Founding Artistic Director of 5th Passage, Suzann Victor, examines John Tung, curator of 5th Passage: In Search of Lost Time, on the impulses, impetus, and conceptual underpinnings surrounding the development of the exhibition. The conversation that ensues locates the exhibition as a site for re-surfacing memories of the art initiative and articulates the basis for its historical instatement.

    Archiving Performance and Performance Archives in Art
    with Jason Lim, Kai Lam, and Ray Langenbach

    SGT: 25 September 2021 | 3:00 – 4:00 PM

    The ephemerality of performance art poses numerous challenges to its re-presentation in the absence of the performing artist. While documentation in the form of photography and videography allows for the preservation of this artform to a larger extent, it remains impossible for these archived representations to fully capture the nuance of the medium. As performance art and its representations progressively become integrated into numerous public and private art collections around the world, Kai Lam, Ray Langenbach, and Jason Lim provide insights into the circumstances surrounding this artform, the utilisation of archival materials in artmaking, as well as the presentation of archival documentation as art. 

    Click here to register now.


    G.A.T.E. [门]


    Photographic Print on Chromaluxe Metal, 116 X 174 cm, Edition of 3 and 2 Artist Proofs