The natural history of an island



Installation at DECK


















































All images by the ICZ




The Natural History of an Island



In this exhibition, the institute looks at the natural history of Singapore in a 100-year frame, based on its collection of images
of Singapore’s natural landscape from the 1900s. Using a self-made mobile expedition vehicle, the institute explores and maps out ‘natural’ spaces and trees in Singapore, uncovering historical narratives along the way. The project provides an overarching view of Singapore’s relationship with its natural landscape from archival materials to the present day, and observes the various ways where we have altered the landscape based on our needs and desires of nature.



Selection of Images



Circa 1902


The oldest coconut tree in Singapore, 106 years old



wild boar

Circa 1910

boarAdvisory on Wild Boars, 2016



Trying to remember a Tree, 2016.

150cm x 100cm each, diptchy.

Earlier in 2015, a young raintree was removed to make way for construction. On the day it was going down, I thought for a little too long how best to photograph that tree and it was soon on the ground. It wasn't too big and that night, I dragged all the branches I could back to my studio. The next best thing to photograph was it leaves. I spent about a year photographing every single leaf on that tree. 28,017 leaves to be exact. Every dot in the photograph is a 1:1 photograph of the leaves from the tree.


How to measure a tree (12 metres), 2016

2 images spaced 12meters apart. 120x80cm each





“What a shame, they have cut down the forest”

The original forest people of Malaya - ?eyAlor







“A certain officer, to see the forest, he brought all the trees out to the open in the year that all the trees died.” - Wubei Zhi



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The Miraculous


singapore history


singapore history




The tree is a bridge that transverse the 3 worlds, and as long as trees stand, the world will not collapse. - the people who lived amongst the trees



singapore historysingapore history

Copyright 2016, Institute of Critical Zoologists