All images by the ICZ and TLA (The Land Archive, Singapore)




Singapore, Very Old Tree Box Set





Singapore, Very Old Tree 2020, 2nd Edition


Singapore is often known as a Garden City, but this is an impersonal image of anonymous trees and gardeners. Our project aims to boil this generic image down to specifics by exploring the concrete, personal connections that Singaporeans have made with trees. After all, what is loving nature without loving the individual plant?

Through our interviews, we found that people relate to plants in touching and occasionally surprising ways. For example, a group of Buddhists have been circling a rubber tree for an hour a day, for the past few years, as a form of walking meditation and to absorb the tree’s “energy”. A mangosteen tree has been sheltering a man for 20 years, since he saved it from the bulldozers. Another woman cries when her trees don’t fruit.

Besides featuring in individual stories, trees are living, breathing markers of history. The trees in our collection are of different ages. Some are old native species from pre-colonial times, when Singapore was mostly a freshwater swamp forest; others are younger trees that their owners planted from seeds.

The images on show are influenced by vintage hand-tinted Singapore postcards. In fact, Singapore, very old tree is named after the title of one of the oldest postcards in the National Archive, a 1904 picture of an unspecified tree.


Inside the box, you get a booklet containing the stories of the 30 trees in the project, 30 postcards of the trees, a map of trees of interest in Singapore and poster of one of the trees.


Designed by gideon-jamie in Singapore
Published in 2020 by Robert Zhao Renhui
Edition of 1000

Booklet:10.6cm x 15.6cm x 0.5cm (Thick), 76 pages, soft cover, 30 images, 2C (black and silver) offset lithography on kraft paper
Postcards: 30 pieces, 10.6cm x 15.6cm each, Maple Stucco 320gsm with spot UV

Map: 7.7cm x 15.6cm (folded), 59.4cm x 15.6cm (opened)

Poster: 10.6cm x 15cm (folded), 60cm x 42cm (opened), 2C (black and silver) offset lithography on kraft paper

ISBN: 978-981-14-4946-8


Purchase book here via Paypal

Shipping to Singapore

Shipping to Asia

Shipping to Rest of the World

Note: The box which houses the contents will be the same packaging used for shipping. There will be no added packaging. The box set was designed to be shipped, reducing the need for more packaging during transit.


Purchase book here via DBSPayLah for Singapore customers only.

For delivery to Singapore, please make a payment of $45 with "Singapore, very old tree" as a message along with your delivery name and address.


For more information of the box set, click here.

More information on the project, click here.



Singapore, very old tree box set, contents overview, 2nd Edition.









Detail of Map


Detail of Poster


Singapore, Very Old Tree at the National Museum of Singapore

Singapore, Very Old Tree box set, 2nd Edition

Singapore, Very Old Tree facebook












Copyright 2020, Institute of Critical Zoologists and The Land Archive