Intersection is a project that has been three years in the making. Often, ideas are birthed from an offhanded remark in the heady rush after a successful show or exhibition. But it takes a certain doggedness to nurture that idea, coax it to life and rally the relevant forces to keep it blooming until it finds its perfect space to breathe and bloom. This exhibition and book was the result of never letting go of that idea. Nicola and I had this grand plan to create an artistic map of three neighbourhoods in Singapore, London and Yangon. The ensuing poems are artwork would resonate across themes common to all three cities. And through this process of intersecting various threads, we would hopefully find some nexus of meaning.
As a result, we’ve created 24 poems and 33 artworks. The exhibition opens on 10 January at Intersections Gallery, 34 Kandahar Street, and runs from 11 January – 12 February and 22 February- 5 March 2017.
There will be an artist talk on 17 January and I will be running a photowriting/walking workshop at the gallery on 11 February.
The book is a 60-page, limited edition risograph print of images from Nicola’s art together with my poems. Here’s what the cover looks like!
Here’s a sneak peek of one of the poems, accompanied by Nicola’s art.
We used to play at founding Singapore;
someone had to be the Temenggong, ceding
everything he could see, never pushing back.
The rest of us were British, asking obvious
questions about the trees; why gelam
bark was used for sails, why frangipani trees
always grew in the cemeteries. Not once did
we think these roads and schools and
rules encircled the kampung. We believed
in the glittering crown of the colony, so we
banished rogue tigers across the water,
stooped to serve an empire of khaki and tea.