Fragment Of A Shoreline

10 Jan - 3 Feb 2022
The Padang, Singapore

Architectural urban intervention
Steel, plywood, sand, lights, speakers, amps, and website

Commissioned by National Gallery Singapore for Light to Night 2022
In collaboration with Spatial Anatomy and OFTRT

An urban beach resurfaces along Singapore’s old coastline of 1843.

By unearthing a historical fragment of Singapore’s mutable shoreline, the installation explores the embedded psychogeographies of Singapore’s land reclamation and urban development since its colonial founding.

The odd fragment of the shoreline far displaced from Singapore’s current land boundary elicits questions of how this urban district of Singapore has evolved and why. In this charged site of the Padang, the installation subtly recalls the nation’s pre-founding mythoses, colonial milieu, and post-independence development.

Rewinding 178 years of historical activity, the installation is an intervention of a pristine fragment of the past and invites viewers to contemplate the pliability of our urban ground.

Embedded within the installation are 10 stories, projects in their own right, that together continue the conversation on Singapore’s layered land.
The piece revealed the ever changing temporality of our land and the spectacles of the Padang. For a moment in time we created a heterotopia, and an unexpected encounter. The spectacle is now over, and the ever changing Padang reverts to the original state. The act of removal is also part of the work, a self referential act; as an anti-monument to the grand edifices of the area. The shadow of the piece exists as an incidental land art until the grass recovers.

The sand component of the work, with its narratives about land reclamation would be sprinkled on the Singapore Cricket Club’s Padang. The piece would live on as a symbolic, nearly invisible stratum of history on the Padang; while the questions evoked outlives the piece.

Commissioner:                                           National Gallery Singapore
Collaborators:                                             Spatial Anatomy (Calvin Chua, Aurelia Chan) 
Sound Artist:                                               OFTRT 
Fabricator and builder:                              Furnisteel
Lighting Designer:                                     Inhabit Singapore  (
Emanuela Stucchi)
Lighting Contractor and Programmer:     Technolite
Sand:                                                           Agri Supplies
Landscape Contractor:                              Khai Zen Landscaping