Date: 21 January 2020
Address: Art Science Musuem

Discover the possible futures of Singapore 200 years from now through a series of immersive installations, meditative spaces, films, paintings and sculptures.

Inspired by the work of Singaporean writer and poet Alvin Pang, 2219: Futures Imagined marks this year’s Singapore Bicentennial by looking two centuries into the future.

While we cannot be entirely sure what is to come, each section of this exhibition hinges on the scientific certainty that changes in our climate will require us all to adapt. This massive global transformation will act as a backdrop, upon which Singapore’s daily life, communities, cultures and traditions will evolve and change.

Neither a utopian or dystopian view of the distant future and resisting the clichés of science fiction, this exhibition focuses on small, human-scale acts of innovation and contemplation. The exhibition intends for visitors to reflect on what kind of future they want for Singapore, and what actions they may be prepared to take in order to bring that future into being. 

Artists featured in this exhibition are as follows:

Alvin Pang (Singapore), John Akomfrah (UK), Sarah Choo Jing (Singapore), Johann Fauzi (Singapore), Hafiz Ozman (Singapore), Superflux (UK), WOHA Architects (Singapore), Debbie Ding (Singapore), Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore) Finbarr Fallon (Singapore), Donna Ong (Singapore), Lisa Park (USA/Korea), Fyerool Darma (Singapore), Gordon Cheung (UK), Rimini Protokoll (Germany), Bao Songyu (Singapore), Shan Hur (Korea), Larry Achiampong (UK), Zarina Muhammad (Singapore), Amanda Heng (Singapore), Yanyun Chen (Singapore), Priyageetha Dia (Singapore), Adeline Kueh (Singapore), Joshua Ip (Singapore), Clara Chow (Singapore), Rachel Heng (Singapore), Judith Huang (Singapore), Pomeroy Studio (Singapore) and Tristan Jakob-Hoff (New Zealand/UK).

Extract from Art Science Museum

Exhibition

Exhibition entrance
Light installation at the start
Purple by John Akomfrah
6-channel HD colour video installation with 15.1 surround sound, 62 min looped
The work addresses climate change, human communities and the wilderness. Purple is the colour of mourning in Ghana. The use of the colour in this installation prompts somber reflection on a dying planet.
Nowhere Near by Sarah Choo Jing
Single-channel video installation, 19 min 42 sec looped

As cities became hyper-connected and globalised, their cultural markers and individuality gradually diminished. This work illustrates how people became increasingly estranged from a sense of shared cultural identity in these dense homogeneous zones. 

Collection of artwork by Johann M Fauzi

The artworks depict key moments in Singapore’s history. His work also investigates colonisation in Southeast Asia, the historical framing of nature and his identity as a Malay person in Singapore. 

The Penghulu (Village Chief)
Modified bicycle

The Penghuluis a 2.5 metre tall bike. It is a playful, artistic intervention, but now, in light of the rising sea levels of the mid-21st century, could be seen as a utilitarian and functional object. It may serve as a practical use from transportation in time of flooding. 

Mitigation of Shock (Singapore Edition) by Superflux (UK/India)
Installation

An installation that allows visitors to experience the lived consequences of global warming. The mid-21st century apartment shows how our lives might have to change as a result of climate crisis. The home is a space for domestic food production. A living space alive with multi-species inhabitants, surviving and thriving together in an indoor microcosm. 

Recipes for cockroaches
Is this the future of food source?
Footwear
Rationing resources
Schedule
Rising waters in the streets
Plant nursery
Crops
Growing lettuce
Living room
The Strange Times by WOHA Architects
Newspaper

The newspaper presents a detailed urban planning proposal which aimed to make Singapore safer from rising sea levels, whilst shrinking the ecological footprint of the country to the size of the island. 

Singapore map in 2050
The Library of Pulau Saigon by Debbie Ding

Minor objects were reproduced using deep learning, shape, recognition, 3D shape interpolation and generative CAD modelling. The objects she created show how ordinary, disposable and non-precious refuse sometimes reveals the deepest insights into how domestic lives are lived. 

Recreated artefacts
Tree trunk with part of a wire fence in it
Everyday items
Photographs
Underworld
The Forest Speaks Back (II) by Donna Ong
Green glass vessels, wood platters and steel supports, LED lights

Constructed from approximately 5000 green glass bottles, it depicts a forest that no longer exists. 

Blooming by Lisa Park
interactive installation, sensors, video, sound

The installation responds to physical ad aural contact between 2 to 4 participants. When participants stand on the sensors in bare feet, the tree flourishes, it also releases petals when participants hold hands or embrace. 

Tree in full bloom
Changing colours from interactions
The Library of Necessary Books

These books have been deposited by members of the community, past and present. The donations represent the most precious archive within the Library of Necessary Books, sacrificed by readers for the education, survival and guidance of future library users. 

Little People, Big Dreams
win >< win by Rimini Protokoll Interactive installation with live jellyfish and sound

This is a participatory theatre piece that speculates on the animal species most likely to thrive in an oceanic world transformed by climate change. It attempts to warn us of a future where humans are no longer the dominant species. 

Robotic sea creatures
Seahorses?
Interactive theatre
Live jellyfishes
Ball in the Pillar by Shan Hur
Site-specific installation, basket ball

The installation presents a farmiliar object partially concealed within architecture. The embedded objects appear strange and out of place now, but uncovering of them, by hacking away walls and pillars of the building, the artist suggests that the architecture literally, and metaphorically, holds history. 

Movable shrines by Zarina Muhammad

The series of portable shrines can be moved over time as a consequence of sea level rises. This work imagines how cultural traditions that are currently tied to place and space, will be maintained in an uncertain future. 

Installation of the shrines
Artefacts placed on the ground
More artefacts
qi (wife)
From the series Stories of a woman and her dowry
Installation, chairs, lamp, silk, text

This novelistic work explores the deep and meaningful relationships that often exist between a grandmother, her daughter and granddaughter, as well as the expectations and tensions that accompany such close relationships. 

Another Woman No. 2 by Amanda Heng
Photographic print

The artist hopes to address the social responsibility that artists often feel to include, involve and embrace those who are not ‘insiders’. By including her in the work, this was one way to literally engage her mother with, and connect her to, the artist’s work. The image is a reminder that a simple gesture, like a hug, can be a political act. 

Instructions to make a paper bead
Completed beads linked up
Visitors making their own beads
Beads made with different materials

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