top of page

it's not that I forgot rather I chose not to mention

all the lines flow out

We know that Singapore is in a climatic state of constant change, even if we would rather not acknowledge it, this is the tropical condition. Many have cited it, decried it as a state of lethargy, leisure, tranquillity, surrealism, decadence. But there is a flipside: the tropical is a state of flux and extremes. It demands renewal and replacement, erasure as a simultaneous resistance to and acceptance of the forces that create it.

This drive towards sterilisation breeds “ghosts” – everything suggestive of other histories. A formidable presence rears up here, it rushes out of control, and it dissipates. It cannot be forgotten but must not be mentioned.

SEA STATE is an index of this extreme oscillation, its apparitions and disappearances, its constant over-writing. Singapore, with its impressive urban edifice, strives to deepen this imagination of the entropic forces that compel and overwhelm it. It reclaims and recreates - this is the paramount expression of its will.

This is not to suggest that something is lost, misplaced, and then taken back. On the contrary, nothing ever was lost. This is simply to serve notice of the manifest human drive to construction: that human agency harbours the power to conquer its environment, to dominate it entirely, if only for a moment.

SEA STATE thus goes beyond a meditation on the Self and the Other, into a living enactment of the interplay that constitutes the Self.

First exhibited:
all the lines flow out - Singapore Biennale 2011
it's not that i forgot rather i chose not to mention - Manifesta7, 2008

bottom of page