Juliana Yasin



Juliana Yasin (b. 1970,1 Singapore–d. 27 August 2014, Singapore) was a multidisciplinary artist whose mediums of choice include painting, installation, video and performance art.2 Her works deal with themes such as movement, identity, displacement, freedom and socio-political concerns. She often worked with collaborators and in collectives.3

Education, career and background
Juliana studied at the Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore from 1989 to 1990, before pursuing art studies in Western Australia in 1993. She graduated with a diploma in fine art from the Claremont Art School (Perth, Australia) in 1994, and proceeded to obtain a bachelor's degree in visual arts from Curtin University of Technology (Perth, Australia) in 1996.

A practising artist, Juliana was an active member of the Artists’ Village, a contemporary art group, and Plastique Kinetic Worms (PKW) from 1990 onwards, where she also curated works at its gallery. Juliana also taught at Kolej Bandar Utama in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Between 2004 and 2006, she was a researcher at the Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong.

Juliana was born to a Chinese mother who converted to Islam in order to marry her Malay-Muslim father.6 Describing her parents as conservative, Juliana told The Straits Times in 1992, “I have to lock myself in my bedroom to paint my nude self-portraits".7

Exhibitions
Juliana exhibited her works in more than 60 exhibitions in both locally and internationally,  including countries such as Australia, Germany, Ireland and Poland.8 Her first solo exhibition, “Collaborations”, was held at PKW in 1999 and featured more than 35 images of her face, which had been altered by fellow artists.9


Other major exhibitions and festivals she participated in include The Worms Festival I and II in Singapore10 (1999, 2000), Kampung 2000 (2001), the Gwangju Biennale (2002), and the Bangkok Performance Art Festival (2000, 2002).11 In 2003,12 Juliana was the only female artist invited to showcase her works at the Berita Harian exhibition that explored notions of Malay identity in Singapore.13

In 2005, Juliana participated in a group exhibition titled “Situation”, along with other artists from Berlin, Singapore and Sydney at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Artists Karee Dahl and Colin Reaney frequently collaborated with Juliana and their joint exhibitions include “The Housework Project” at the Alliance Francaise Singapore, the CP Open Biennale in Jakarta in 2003, “Artists Investigating Monuments” (2004/2005) and “Traffic Space” (2001) in Hong Kong.14

In late 2007, Juliana presented her works at an exhibition at PKW titled “Kites, Veils and Boarding Passes”.15 The show was a milestone in her career, as it highlighted her growth as a practising artist from 1991. Despite having been diagnosed with cervical cancer two months before the exhibition and undergoing chemotherapy daily at the time, Juliana managed to complete the work for the exhibition. Curated by her friend Dahl, the exhibition spanned three rooms and featured the use of veils, cloaks and masks.16 

A travelling project, Fusion Strength, was exhibited at various galleries and festivals such as PKW in Singapore (2001), Benda Art Space in Indonesia (2003) and 24HR Art in Australia (2005). Fusion Strength is a collaborative effort between Juliana and various local and international artists.17 

Art and Islam
Juliana’s works also reflect themes related to art and Islam. She used to wear a headscarf as a teenager, then removed it during her university years in Australia. She had also performed pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina.18 In addition to explorations of Muslim identity, her works analyse gender identity in contemporary settings.19 

In a performance art piece titled The Veil, Juliana dressed entirely in black with her face hidden behind masks traditionally used to mark a woman’s chastity and her status as her husband’s property in some parts of Saudi Arabia.20 In her hands, she held a placard that read: “The Subjugation of Women is a Worn-Out Habit in Saudi Arabia”.21 

The Veil was performed in Singapore, Thailand and Germany, but garnered the most controversy in Singapore. The Malay-language newspaper, Berita Harian, criticised the work’s stance on Islam and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) lodged a complaint with the producers. Juliana responded to the attention by explaining her desire to question the narrow definition of Muslim female identity.22

Jatiwangi Art Factory
In 2008, Juliana and fellow artist Heru Hikayat curated the Jatiwangi Art Festival (JAF ’08). JAF ’08 was a community-art event that involved local and foreign artists living with host villagers from Jatisura, West Java, Indonesia. The event became a biannual art festival that aimed to raise awareness of art as well as social issues faced by the community. Since then, Juliana made Jatiwangi her second home.23 


Death
Juliana passed away on 27 August 2014 after a long battle with cervical cancer.24

Selected exhibitions and performances 
1999:
 “Collaborations”, Plastique Kinetic Worms, Singapore.25

2003: “CP Open Biennale”, The National Art Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia.26
2003: The VeilBerita Harian, Singapore.27
2005: “Situation”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia.28
2007: “Kites, Veils and Boarding Passes”, Plastique Kinetic Worms, Singapore.29
2008: Solo exhibition, Jatiwangi Art Factory, Indonesia.30
2010: ‘Future of Imagination 6”, Sculpture Square, Singapore.31



Author

Nurhaizatul Jamila Jamil



References
1. Future of Imagination 6. (n.d). Juliana Yasin. Retrieved 2017, March 24 from http://www.foi.sg/foi6/index.php?/sg-artists/lynn-lu-/2/
2. Martin, M. (2014, August 27). S'pore artist Juliana Yasin succumbs to cancer. Today. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg
3. Future of Imagination 6. (n.d). Juliana Yasin. Retrieved 2017, March 24 from http://www.foi.sg/foi6/index.php?/sg-artists/lynn-lu-/2/
4. Cheong, J. (2007, December 13). Art on Wing’d flightThe Straits Times, p. 95. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Chin, F. (1999, May 19). Defaced for the sake of artThe Straits Times, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Women on the edge. (1992, August 21). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Women on the edge. (1992, August 21). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Ting, L. (2014, March 22). Fighting cancer with art. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Future of Imagination 6. (n.d). Juliana Yasin. Retrieved 2017, March 24 from http://www.foi.sg/foi6/index.php?/sg-artists/lynn-lu-/2/
10. Feast on films, theatre, music, dance. (2000, October 24). The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Juliana Yasin. (n.d). Juliana Yasin. Retrieved 2017, March 24 from http://www.biotechnics.org/2julianayasin.html
12. Cheong, J. (2007, December 13). Art on Wing’d flightThe Straits Times, p. 95. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. Martin, M. (2014, August 27). S'pore artist Juliana Yasin succumbs to cancer. Today. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg
14. Juliana Yasin. (n.d). Juliana Yasin. Retrieved 2017, March 24 from http://www.biotechnics.org/2julianayasin.html
15. Martin, M. (2014, August 27). S'pore artist Juliana Yasin succumbs to cancer. Today. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg
16. Martin, M. (2014, August 27). S'pore artist Juliana Yasin succumbs to cancer. Today. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg
17. Juliana Yasin. (n.d). Juliana Yasin. Retrieved 2017, March 24 from http://www.biotechnics.org/2julianayasin.html
18. Wilkinson, G. (2003, February). Islam in Asia: Muslim Mind, Female Body. TIME. Retrieved 2017, March 24 from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,428173,00.html
19. Martin, M. (2014, August 27). S'pore artist Juliana Yasin succumbs to cancer. Today. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg
20. Martin, M. (2014, August 27). S'pore artist Juliana Yasin succumbs to cancer. Today. Retrieved Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg
21. Wilkinson, G. (2003, February). Islam in Asia: Muslim Mind, Female Body. TIME. Retrieved 2017, March 24 from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,428173,00.html
22. ‘The Veil’ ketengahkan isu pemakaian tudung. (2001, March 17). Berita Harian, p. 19. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
23. Martin, M. (2014, August 27). S'pore artist Juliana Yasin succumbs to cancer. Today. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg
24. Martin, M. (2014, August 27). S'pore artist Juliana Yasin succumbs to cancer. Today. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg
25. Ting, L. (2014, August 28). Late artist stood out for tackling sensitive issues. The Straits Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
26. Juliana Yasin. (n.d). Juliana Yasin. Retrieved 2017, March 24 from http://www.biotechnics.org/2julianayasin.html
27. Cheong, J. (2007, December 13). Art on Wing’d flightThe Straits Times, p. 95. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
28. Juliana Yasin. (n.d). Juliana Yasin. Retrieved 2017, March 24 from http://www.biotechnics.org/2julianayasin.html
29. Cheong, J. (2007, December 13). Art on Wing’d flightThe Straits Times, p. 95. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
30. Martin, M. (2014, August 27). S'pore artist Juliana Yasin succumbs to cancer. Today. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg
31. Future of Imagination 6. (n.d). Juliana Yasin. Retrieved 2017, March 24 from http://www.foi.sg/foi6/index.php?/sg-artists/lynn-lu-/2/; Martin, M. (2014, August 27). S'pore artist Juliana Yasin succumbs to cancer. Today. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg


The information in this article is valid as at 6 November 2014 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Arts>>Painting
Artists--Singapore--Biography
Personalities>>Biographies>>Artists
Arts>>Mixed media art
Arts
Juliana Yasin, 1970-
Personalities
Artists