Looking back into the past, Marvin Tang investigates the natural history of Singapore with the introduction of rubber seeds and botanical gardens by the British in the 19th century. The harnessing of natural resources from hills are narrated through The Mountain Survey, where remnant granite quarries are now public parks. In ways to tie trees, Woong Soak Teng’s observation of tree-staking reveals the invisible foreign labour behind the different ways of tree-tying, and points out human’s innate instinct to control. Her keen reflection continues with some pictures of representation on how images of nature are used to camouflage hectic urban activities and constant renewals within our surroundings. Similarly, this contemplation on the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature is articulated by Sunik Kim’s Temporary Garden where plants develop alongside built structures. This raises thoughts on the ongoing disruptions and constraints between man and nature, as well as the tenacity of nature under the weight of human actions. The narrative of Garden City continues with Kevin WY Lee’s Suddenly the Grass Became Greener that pays homage, and critical perspective on Singapore’s public image as a Garden City – a vision and strategic national development attributed to the nation’s greatest garden of all – the late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
Garden City is a collaborative project between DECK and ArtSpace LUMOS to present new contemporary voices from Singapore and South Korea.
Curated by Gwen Lee, Director of DECK
Co-presented by DECK and ArtSpace LUMOS
In conjunction with Daegu Photo Biennale