Bite the tongue

Bite the tongue is an online programme investigating notions of language and translation (or absence thereof) in the context of Southeast Asia. Fostering interdisciplinary modes of inquiry, it dives into the fields of filmmaking, anthropology, critical theory, literature, artistic research, archival methodologies and visual cultures. All content will be accessible for free on from January 22, 2021, for the duration of a year.

The title, Bite the tongue, is borrowed from Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee. In the context of her writing, the phrase is a meditation (and lamentation) on the pain of speech. The phrase alludes to a severance of mother language, diasporic alienation and swallowing of verbal trauma. When we bite the tongue, are we able to sidestep the limitations of speech? Could we, bypass definition and absolution, laying bare space ready for transmission without destination?

With new and existing works, the research proposes a reflection on counter-languages; untranslatability; resuscitating dialects; social accents; film as an oral archive; listening as a methodology; embodied transmissions. It is a call to return back to what came before the globalised Anglo tongue.

Bite the tongue evolves from Nameless. echoes, spectres, hisses (June 22—July 20), an online screening programme of films, commissioned text and field recordings reflecting on the relationships between sound and place in the context of Southeast Asia. The last screening concluded with  having-seen-snake by Sriwhana Spong, a reflection on the act of naming and the act of pulling the other into culture. Bite the tongue takes this reflection on the prelinguistic as a point of departure, travelling towards the multi-versed.


XING is a research and curatorial platform centered on the poetics and politics of Southeast and East Asian art practices. Assuming form of a shapeshifter, it morphs between localities and temporalities; with(in)flux. A domain of not-yet possibilities, the platform attempts to dismantle matrices concerned with the region from non-dominant perspectives.

XING was founded by Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee and is now co-run with Jade Barget. Past projects include Nameless. echoes, spectres, hisses; Ultraviole(t)nce; Sayang.

Jade Barget & Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee

Jade Barget is a curator and cultural worker based between London and Paris with an interest in moving image and performance cultures. Her research centers on the force and limit of images, embodied spectatorship and affect.
In 2020, Jade curated programmes for XING and Nottingham Contemporary and worked on commissioning new works by Adam Christensen, Eva Gold, Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi and Aaron Ratajczyk.

Jade has written for a number of publications including AQNB, diaCRITICS Los Angeles Review of Books, THE SEEN and Untitled-Folder. She graduated from the Curating Contemporary Art department at the Royal College of Art, London with distinctions and was laureate of the 2020 Young Curator bursary from the Bureau des Arts Plastiques of the Institut Français and the French Ministry of Culture.

Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee is an artist and cultural researcher. Her practice is guided by the iterations of slow violence and the dynamic between the ‘near’ and ‘elsewhere’. In attempting to disarm instruments of knowledge production, her practice shies away from reduction and completion. Steering away from essentialisms, she is interested in once-forgotten micro and muted narratives. By revisioning fractured traditions, she engages with visual and textual interventions to navigate the nuances of perception and retention.
She is an Associate Lecturer at the School of Fine Art & Photography, University for the Creative Arts in Rochester (UK). She has been the recipient of grants from the National Arts Council (Singapore).


National Arts Council

Bite the tongue is generously supported by Singapore’s National Arts Council under the Digital Presentation Grant. The National Arts Council champions the arts in Singapore. By nurturing creative excellence and supporting broad audience engagement, their diverse and distinctive arts inspire its people, connect communities and profile Singapore internationally. NAC aims to preserve Singapore’s rich, cultural traditions as they cultivate accomplished artists and vibrant companies for the future.

Singapore Art Week 2021

Singapore Art Week (SAW), the pinnacle of Singapore’s visual arts scene, returns in its 9th edition from 22 to 30 January 2021. Singapore’s signature visual arts season will celebrate the coming together of our vibrant artist community in unprecedented times as we simultaneously navigate new modes of artmaking, presentation and look forward to new possibilities for the future. Keeping to the theme of “Art Takes Over”, SAW 2021 will present over 100 arts events across both physical and digital spaces, featuring new works, transnational collaborations and virtual art experiences. Offering a diverse range of works from our arts and cultural institutions, private galleries, nonprofit arts organisations, independent artists and curators, audiences can enjoy SAW 2021 through physical presentations complemented by digital programmes accessible from the comfort of their homes.


SUQEBAN is the practice of Nolwenn Le Flanchec and Hana Sato. Together they offer a variety of services for both startups and large brands, including—but not limited to—creative strategy, brand strategy & positioning, art direction, photography, web & graphic design.