This piece is inspired by the seemingly blurred out line between religion and conflict. I wanted to show the duality of Muslim clothing article, in this case the most identifiable one, the hijab, chador, prayer veil.
How within a solitary premise for instance, conversations with God, it exhibits purity and devotion. The apparel marks a unity and “oneness” amongst the sisterhood (ummah). However, by this clothing article too, within the premise of secularity, they are easy targets of judgmental platitudes. How classification, identification and collectivism are easily brought forth. The “oneness” is pronounced here too, except by perceptions formed from the opposite spectrum.
The subject is on the bed as the bed holds vast connotations. Bed is often associated with death, frailty, isolation, vulnerability or solace. The bed too, offers another dimension; one that borders on vulgar and delinquent boundaries. I wanted to juxtapose the idea of sanctity and the profane. How we choose to allow preconceived notions dictate our personal judgement. How we choose to taint something venerable to something odious. How we choose to focus on the religious signifier instead of the entity as individuals.
Till we are ready to set aside judgments, these flowers will shy away.
In my introspection of Singapore’s landscape, I decided to work on something pertaining to the en-bloc scheme for HDB flats. It appears to be that in the tussle between manufactured and natural landscape, authentic nature is not the only at the bottom of the totem pole, but also the powerless, amongst us citizens. This vicious phenomenon coerced the movement of not only physical departures but also of nostalgia and historical attachments.
The objective is to convey a sense of lost and displacement. I grew up at this particular site during my childhood. The flawed sketch comes from the recollection of a child’s perspective. It hinges on the idea of ephemerality in our landscape, one that sheds its skin too fast a pace, we can’t afford to hold onto.
Once inhabited by people, now inhabited by mere memories.
Graphic ink on negative. Shanghai 100 / 4 x 5 Film
A diptych to illustrate my sentiments towards the manufactured landscapes of Singapore. The inevitable encroachment of Man into this natural spaces. The intertwining synergy of the manufactured and the authentic, where it all revolves around the progression of Man. I wanted the whole process to be erratic, raw and organic hence the inclusion of the watermarks, literally paving inroads into the negatives.
I feel that it is also important to show this great divide, between the manufactured worlds between the inhabitants of HDB residences and the land of the private properties. There is this placement of gaze; conscious or subconscious in intent, there will always be this looking upon. A boundary or perhaps, a lurch of hope across the concrete window. A distance to delineate, a distance to operate.