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The Hakka Cemtery Tour

Art Walk 3 of 3 for OH! Holland Village (2017)

More than just our traditions, artworks revealed patterns, repetitions, order in this self-guided, meditative tour.


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n. 330 - twenty constructs on a plane [contaminate/debris/fluid/irregular] (2016)


Exploring the notions of form and formlessness, tactility and repetition, the artist treated stacks of circular paper with different forms of calcium carbonate – marble, eggshells, chalk. The repetition and systematic process here parallelled ordered rituals audiences might experience in everyday life.
Artist:
Grace Tan
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you pick what i left behind (2017)


The fragrance of talcum power lingered, recalling domesticity, childhood and the body. The theme of loss and waiting, particularly waiting for someone who will neever return, was highlighted. The artwork and the Hakka Cemetery, which was visible from the kitchen window, reminded audiences of their own mortality.
Artist:
Ezzam Rahman
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Echo (2017)


The physical erasure of all motifs on the porcelain objects mirrored the erasure of the artist’s own personal Hakka Chinese heritage. Within the larger context of Singapore, this erasure also mirrored the disappearance of important cultural sites, as heritage battles pragmatism in our urban city. How will our rituals survive?
Artist:
Joel Chin
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Ultima Thule: Here Be Dragons (Variation) (2017)


Inspired by migration and nomadism, this sound piece layered voices and audio samples that explored how nomads relate to their constantly changing environment.

Audiences were blindfolded as they listened to the disorientating audio and led by volunteers to the middle of the silent, serene Hakka Cemetery.
Artist:  
Lynn Lu
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Don’t ask me where I came from (2017)


Stone and clay sculptures were scattered in a field within the cemetery. Loops and circular forms hinted at a sense of completion but with a large gap – much like the undefined and fragmented histoy of the Hakka people.
Artist:
Ivan David Ng
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THE MORAL HAZARDS OF GROWING NUTMEG IN A FARAWAY LAND

This was the first of 4 tours for OH! Emerald Hill (2018). Immersive and sensorial, this tour told the story of colonial nutmeg mania in Singapore.  


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Nutmeg Dream (2018)


This work took viewers back to Orchard Road in the 19th century during the height of ‘nutmeg mania’. The area was filled with nutmeg plantations - every colonial settler wanted to get rich. Through found objects, sculptures, and bags of nutmeg, the artist’s transformed a shophouse into a spice warehouse where the past and present collided.  
Artists:
Nabilah Nordin
Nick Modrzewski


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Your Touch Turns to Gold (2018)


This foot represented Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. He was Commissioner of The Great Exhibition of 1851, which showcased the wonders of the industrial age – including products from the colonies – at the Crystal Palace in London.

When touched, the work turned to gold. This transformation reflected the exploitative relationship between Britain and its colonies - spices, raw materials and objects taken from the East became sources of great wealth for the West.
Artist:
Anthony Chin

Mark

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White Rubber (2018)


This work presented a selection of objects related to plantation life in Singapore. Visiting rubber plantations was once a highlight of the Singapore itinerary and images of rubber tappers were novelty souvenirs. Rare artefacts presented here included a British tourist’s souvenir from a rubber plantation and a coconut pearl harvested from one of many coconut pearl plantations in Singapore during the 1920s.
Artist:
Robert Zhao Renhui

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Arcane Root (2018)


Nutmeg Mania ended in tragedy and loss. The overproduction of nutmeg resulted in sacks of wasted nutmeg for buyers. In Singapore, a nutmeg canker wiped out all the trees by 1850. Planters discovered much later that it was not a disease but a local beetle that destroyed their plantations. These were reimagined by the artists who presented them upturned and filled with soil and flowers that decayed slowly over the course of the exhibition. Victorian children haunted darkened spaces like ghosts from the past.
Artists:
Allison M. Low
Ho Wai Kit


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