Wisdom from the Ancient Centres of International Trade Regions of SE Asia
Media OutReach – 31 July 2023 – The Singapore Night Festival 2023(“SNF 2023”) will be held from 18 August to 26 August 2023. This year’s theme, “Singapore, the Great Port City”, celebrates the city-state’s evolution from a humble port town to a dynamic metropolis.
The Oval Partnership (“The Oval” or “the Team”), renowned for its commitment to heritage preservation and sustainability, will contribute to SNF 2023 with an exhibition from 18 August to 1 October 2023 in Fort Canning Centre,
Kampong Port Cities of the Pre-colonial Era (“the Exhibition”). The Exhibition is part of its Lost Cities series that explores pre-colonial urbanism in Asia from the sustainability perspective. The Oval is a Patron of the SNF 2023.
The Kampong Port Cities of the Pre-colonial Era Exhibition is a journey into the Kampong Cities in 14th-century Southeast Asia, where knowledge was a key source of wealth, and trees commanded higher value than real estate properties. For centuries, it was the bustling marketplace of east-west trade. Visitors to the Exhibition will be guided by the visionary female Kampong chief, Ms. Esah, on an enthralling adventure, to an ancient society that today still delivers meaningful lessons on how to move forward in the light of climate change, gender equality, and knowledge-based economy. It is a testament to the resilience of the Kampong spirit, a valuable heritage in modern-day Singapore.
At the Exhibition, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich culture of Kampong. The pavilion features mesh walls inspired by the intricately woven bamboo walls of traditional kampong houses. Visitors can weave fabric trims into the tapestry walls at the pavilion, contributing to its evolving design.
The Exhibition is constructed of materials that minimise carbon footprint. The team focuses on local sourcing of reused materials such as salvaged timber. It also collaborates with a diverse group of organisations and individuals in Singapore who share their commitment in sustainability and heritage preservation. Partners in the Exhibition include universities, SMEs, non-profit associations, and individuals in the local communities.
The Exhibition comprises a collaboration between several talented artists. Two of them, Gilles Massot and Marc Nair, are from
Intersection Art Gallery.
Gilles Massot, a multidisciplinary artist and academic, explores the theory of photography and its relation to time and space. Based on the idea of “the space between things”, he aims to link up and decipher the narratives between disciplines, people, occurrences, and various world sections.
Marc Nair, a poet and multidisciplinary artist, brought out many group and solo photography exhibitions, multiple spoken word performances, and six poetry collections through his collaboration with many graphic or visual artists and photographers. His latest collection,
The Earth in Our Bones, reflects his deep connection to nature.
Zen Teh, an artist and educator, is interested in the interdisciplinary studies of nature and human behaviour and has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions, including at the National Museum of Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum (“SAM”).
Kampong Port Cities of the Pre-colonial Era Exhibition will take place at
Fort Canning Centre, Singapore. Please visit its homepage for more details:
Acknowledgements to the following organisations:
The Oval Partnership
Singapore Night Festival
National Parks Singapore
National Heritage Board
Roger & Sons (The Local Tree Project)
Singapore Management University (SMU)
Intersections Art Gallery
Singapore Institution of Technology
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