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This Saturday, spend your evening with us as we’ll be presenting Reclaim Land at Really AR? 5. We are honoured to be invited by re:act to share the platform at the rooftop of Illuma with speakers such as architect William Lim. This session of Really AR? 5 is organised together with the exhibition Uniquely Singapore – Distinctively London: a GENERICITY project as part of ArchiFest 2010. The opening reception of this exhibition is happening an hour before the talk, so if you’re keen to attend, please RSVP at [email protected].

Really AR? 5
Saturday, 9 October 2010
7 pm
Illuma, 201 Victoria Street, S(188067)

…This is home truly
where I know I must be
where my dreams wait for me
where that river always flows…
Kit Chan, Home

PHOTO: SUBSTATION

The Singapore river may feature prominently in the nation’s history and our daily lives, but will you be able to sketch out its shape? This was the struggle that led artist Debbie Ding to embark on \\: The Singapore River As A Pscyhogeographical Faultline, a month-long exhibition that is running at The Substation till 26 September 2010.

More than just the place to party in town or once the heart of Singapore’s economy, Debbie’s project looks at the river as a psychogeographical faultline, a site where our personal memories interact, merging and coming apart with time. She attempts to bring these out with two interactive installations in the exhibition.

PHOTO: FLICKR, KEVIN LIM

Just as cartographers often leave an imaginary element on the maps they draw so that they will be able to identify its as theirs, Debbie has created a board game around this idea. People who come to the exhibition are invited to leave a recollection of the area around the Singapore river on cards and mark them on top of a 1.5 metre x 3.75 metre hand drawn map of the area. This could be a personal memory or entirely fictional, and it is left to others to assess whether they believe it or not by pasting stickers on your card. Since the exhibition started, Debbie has also begun documenting the recollections left on this website.

PHOTO: FLICKR, KEVIN LIM

Debbie, who is also an interactive designer, has also created a map installation. Unfortunately, it was not working when I visited. I was told that it is a map of the Singapore river that changes shape according to how you move some circular pieces over it. I’ll definitely go back to see it again. If you’re interested in the mechanics and how it was created, see Debbie’s site. She is quite a geek.

PHOTO: FLICKR, DEBBIE DING

Finally, the catalogue for this exhibition is a little flipbook that contains Debbie’s illustrations of how the Singapore River has changed over the years and her impression of its future. Inside this limited edition catalogue designed by Asylum is also Debbie’s write-up on the project. You will also find an essay by Tania De Rozario that succintly explores the place of the Singapore River in our art scene and the significance of Debbie’s work.

URA is conducting a public consultation on how land will be used in Singapore in the next 40 to 50 years. You can let them know what you think in a 10-minute online survey where you get to tell them what you’ll love to have in the space around you and how they are faring in the moment. We think it’s a good opportunity to “reclaim” back your land, so have your say!

Posted on: 16 June, 2009 | 2 Comments | Tagged as: ,

“It is pure intention: If there is chaos, it is authored chaos; if it is ugly, it is designed ugliness; if it is absurd, it is willed absurdity.”

This was how architect Rem Koolhaas described Singapore in his book S, M, L, XL (1997), a city that was completely regulated and planned by the state. While we have taken a more optimistic reading of this city in Reclaim Land, we like to encourage you to attend his free public lecture, “OMA*AMO; What Architecture Can Do”, at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy this Friday. Details are as such:

19 June 2009, Friday
5:45 – 7:00 PM
Auditorium, Level 3
Block B, Faculty of Law, NUS Bukit Timah Campus
469G Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259772
Do indicate your interest at [email protected]

Speaking about optimism, here is party you should check out. Party of Tomorrow is the final-year project exhibition of the first batch of visual communication graduates from  NTU’s School of Art, Design & Media and two of them in particular present intriguing re-imaginations of living in a city

Concrete Euphoria by Mintio looks at the city through the lens of a large-format camera with multiple exposures while Stockpiles in Singapore by Chan Poh Ling recreates scenic landscapes in urban Singapore through photographs of the very raw materials used to built it.

The exhibition is on at 2902 Gallery @ Old School and will last till 21 June 2009.

Posted on: 17 April, 2009 | No Comments | Tagged as: ,

Our videos on Reclaim Land will be screening as part of Filament 2009: A Site For Home at the Singapore Art Museum. We will be screening on the 28th April at this annual showcase of final-year projects from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information.

This year’s theme, which came about in retrospect, is the idea of home as many of the documentaries and dramas touched on the family and Singapore.

So do come down and show your support and join us for two nights at home!

Posted on: 01 April, 2009 | No Comments | Tagged as: ,

constructed

“What happened to old Singapore?” travel writer David Lamb once asked Tommy Koh, chairman of the National Heritage Board.

The professor, aged 72, replied, “We destroyed a lot of it. You have to remember that in the 1960s, we were a very poor country.”

That conversation took place in an interview two years ago for an article in the Smithsonian magazine, and Lamb might be a little too late for this, but a small museum here is now trying to revive old Singapore – if not in its physical sense, then at least through memory. 

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