"When you get closer to the heart, you may find cracks..." | Stories ofWood by The Migrant Ecologies Project

"When you get closer to the heart, you may find cracks...", Gallery Impressions, NUS Museum, 2014

Exhibition period: 13 June - February 2015
Venue: NX Gallery, NUS Museum

NUS Museum presents an exhibition featuring encounters and exchanges between the arts and sciences, between practice and research, between the inquiring subject and the object inquired. An interdisciplinary project, “When you get closer to the heart, you may find cracks...” is a continued inquiry by the Migrant Ecologies Project into the human relationships to trees, forests and forest products in Southeast Asia – explored in terms of materials, metaphors, magic, ecological resources and historical agency. Beginning with an attempt to trace the origins and stories connected to a teak bed found in Singapore, and set against the macro-context of “cutting of wood” (deforestation) today, the project has evolved into an accumulation of the diverse “aborealities” – connections between the peoples, trees and wood – in Southeast Asia.

The exhibition will feature several new woodprint works by artist Lucy Davis alongside works by photographers Shannon Lee Castleman and Kee Ya Ting. Tales from two “Islands after a Timber Boom” form an underlying structure to the exhibition, vacillating between Muna Island, Southeast Sulawesi (where early DNA tests have suggested as the origins of the wood from the teak bed) and Singapore island (where Davis has been researching stories of the local entrepot timber industry in and around the Sungei Kadut Industrial Estate). Fragments of iconic woodblock prints from the NUS Museum’s collection are also reconstructed as animated shadows which weave in and out of the exhibition. A disappearance of forests in the region sees also a similar disappearance of the various stories of wood with their attendant memories and practices. This exhibition is an attempt to re-member and re-animate these tales.

"When you get closer to the heart, you may find cracks..." is a curatorial collaboration between NUS Museum and Jason Wee from Grey Projects.

Gallery Impressions

Please click here to access educational materials developed by the Migrant Ecologies Project.


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