Live lecture performance of
The Economy Enters the People
by Ho Rui An
The Economy Enters the People (2021–2022) is a lecture performance by artist Ho Rui An that expands on his ongoing body of research focused on the emergence of capitalist modernity in East and Southeast Asia. It examines the relationship between China and Singapore against the backdrop of China’s postsocialist turn towards the market economy. Since the late 1970s, the Chinese government has dispatched thousands of officials to Singapore to study its economic and social policies. In a time when "the economy" had replaced class struggle as the primary subject of governance, the city-state of Singapore was crucial in reshaping the political imagination of an entire generation of Chinese leadership, especially when it came to resolving the intractable problem of corruption. By retracing this history of encounters between the two countries, the work provides a basis for understanding the present-day crisis of late capitalism, with corruption having returned as a subject of political discourse following the 2008 global financial crisis and China’s economic rise.
The Economy Enters the People is co-commissioned by the Asia Culture Center (Gwangju) and the Singapore Art Museum (SAM). It exists as both a lecture performance and an installation. This presentation of the lecture performance is co-organised with T:>Works, where the artist is a PerForm 2021/2022 fellow. Its installation is presented in SAM’s exhibition Lonely Vectors, held at Tanjong Pagar Distripark.
About the artist
Ho Rui An is an artist and writer working in the intersections of contemporary art, cinema, performance and theory. Working primarily across the mediums of lecture, essay and film, he probes into the ways by which images are produced, circulate and disappear within contexts of globalism and governance. He has presented projects at the Bangkok Art Biennale; Asian Art Biennial; Gwangju Biennale; Jakarta Biennale; Sharjah Biennial; KochiMuziris Biennale; Kunsthalle Wien; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore; and Para Site, Hong Kong. In 2019, he was awarded the International Film Critics’ (FIPRESCI) Prize at the International 28 Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany. In 2018, he was a fellow of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program. He lives and works in Singapore.
Hero Banner: Ho Rui An, The Economy Enters the People (2021–2022), performance at BANGKOK CITYCITY GALLERY, 16–17 December 2021. Photographer Kritsuwat Prayotpiboonphonimage; Image courtesy of Bangkok CityCity Gallery and the artist