Shawn Chua Ming Ren
"Performance Art Can Be Useful" responds to the often cited indictment that art, and especially performance art, is useless. In exploring how to finally become useful, I will be turning myself into various types of furniture for people to interact and engage with, and to use.
Shawn's works often linger uncertainly in the uncanny, engaging conceptual evocations of puppetry, and exploring the abominable loves of person-thing relations, whether in plant personhoods, cyborg romances or in the kneading of a dough-body. In his performance practice, he hopes to disrupt the imagination of a hermetically autonomous self to allow for the unrecognizable otherness of things and also of persons, so that emergent forms of vitality might transpire. Shawn is the co-founder of Thing-Spaces, a series of experimental salons that have been held in New York, Sao Paulo and Singapore, and his works have been presented by the World Policy Institute and the Queens Botanical Garden, Falchi, and Panoply Performance Laboratory in New York, USA, and most recently by the AMORPH!14 International Performance Art Festival in Helsinki, Finland. He is a recipient of the National Arts Council Scholarship from Singapore and he holds a MA in Performance Studies from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Waseda University in Tokyo.