Ute Meta Bauer

Curator shaping the art discourse in Singapore and Southeast Asia

As institutions around the world look to integrate talks programmes, residencies and long-term research initiatives into their exhibition programmes, the German curator can claim to have been ahead of the curve. As founding director of the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), her approach to connecting artists and curators from Southeast Asia with their global peers was exemplified by Arus Balik – From below the wind to above the wind and back again, an ‘exhibition project’ that sprang from a conversation between curator Philippe Pirotte and Jakarta-based artist Ade Darmawan, and ended in a sprawling group show. Her interest in ecological themes, archival practices and collaborative models was, meanwhile, reflected in an exhibition of the late Jef Geys’s work. It was no surprise then that Bauer was among the ‘search committee’ that in February announced the appointment of Indonesian collective ruangrupa as curator of the next Documenta.