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The work takes the form of ‘debate’ as central to the discussions around Halimah’s relevance in a national institution currently engaged in postcolonial reframing of modernism. The work is sited in a former colonial law court, in a country where open debate and freedom of speech is highly monitored. The video brings together the displaced deconstructed loom, a performer of ‘Malay’ dance, and a group of young Chinese female debaters who deliberate on the legacy of the Empire Exhibition, the position of craft, the validity of archival returns and the notion of representation.


Apa Jika, The Mis-Placed Comma is commissioned by The National Gallery Singapore. 

Directed, produced, written and edited by Erika Tan



Dancer: Som Said

Debaters: Meiyi Chan, Geetha Creffield, Loh An Lin, Sara Ng, Annabel Tan, Abigail Wong

Loom Handlers: Noor Azlan Bin Misnan, Hossain Shuggal, Alam Gir

Loom: Orphaned Cham Loom

Extras: Various installation and curatorial staff, National Gallery Singapore & PICO.



Female voice: Som Said

Traditional rhythmic drums: Aryanto Ahmad, Sri Warisan

Music: ‘Asak-Ansua’, composed by Syahrial Tando



Assistant Producer: Lor Huiyun

Director of Photography: Jolinna Ang

Camera Operators: Jolinna Ang, Lor Huiyun, Gui Shan Shan, Faith Lim Hwee Yee

Dolly Grip: Gui Shan Shan

Grip: Faith Lim Hwee Yee

Make-up: Chang Ching Yee


Costume production: Michelline Tham

3D Modeling Team: WY-TO

3D Model Animator: Erika Tan

Post Production Assistant: Chiara Bagtas


With thanks to Charmaine Toh, Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, Low Sze Wee, Eugene Tan and their colleagues from National Gallery Singapore, PICO and their technical installation staff, Yann Follain and Vedika Saxena from WY-TO for their help and support on the 3D modeling, Som Said and Sri Warisan for the introduction to Malay Dance history, David Henkel at Asian Civilizations Museum, Ute Meta Bauer, Vera May and Shona Findlay and the staff at NTU CCA who facilitated earlier renditions of this research, and Annie Kwan who supported the first trial debate in London. Also to Heidi Tan and Anthony Lam for their continued support. 

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