Semangat,, 2024

Jalan Kubor

As the last green lung of Kampong Gelam and a sacred Muslim burial site, Jalan Kubor Cemetery is seen by many as a site to be conserved. However, slated for residential redevelopment since 1998, it faces an uncertain fate.

Against this backdrop of looming change, multidisciplinary artist, nor, invites us to embody the spirit (or semangat) of the site by engaging our senses in a participatory performance. As part of the performance, participants carry out a series of choreographed gestures while seated around a tree. They are also invited to consider the future of Kampong Gelam through a reading of an excerpt from the artist’s speculative piece, The Epic of Tan-gelam.

Semangat, is informed by a constellation of encounters with both the space and people nearby. It incorporates Faizah Jamal’s practice of breathwork, and Mdm Lim’s wa ko kueh moulds left behind by her late husband. That the protagonist of nor’s story shares a name with a princess buried in the cemetery speaks of coincidence both profound and profane.

The semangat of a space is not easily defined. nor’s intent is for us to turn inwards to find our own experience and essence of Kampong Gelam.


nor (b.1993, Singapore) situates belonging and community within speculative timelines. Their works span the disciplines of photography, film, video, performance, text, and spoken word poetry to engage with ideas of belonging and identity through frameworks of gender performance, ethnographic portraits, and transnational histories.

They presented a solo exhibition In Love at Coda Culture (2018, Singapore), and have shown at group exhibitions including An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season at the National Gallery Singapore (2020-2021) and Archipelago: Paradise Revisit at Three Shadows Gallery in Xiamen, China (2023 - 2024). nor was part of OH! Open House’s inaugural Associate Artist Programme 2022/23 cycle (September 2022 to October 2023).


Site-specific participatory performance with mats, postcards, wa ko kueh

OH Open House Ltd
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