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FORESTIC AFFAIRS
and
OTHER FOREST FANTASIES

In 2019, I had the privilege of being an artist in residence at L'Observatoire in Singapore.

Nestled in the historic site of Turf Club on Turf Club Road, L'Observatoire is surrounded by lush secondary forests, old colonial buildings, a former racecourse, and quaint 'English countryside' paddocks. This unique setting is part of the Blue House Community, which includes a Montessori preschool, various artist studios, and a café.

 

During my one-month residency, I transformed the studio into "The Faculty of Forest Fantasies and Other Forestic Affairs". Each day, I embarked on small expeditions into the nearby forested areas, viewing them as unknown and wild lands—‘a landscape of possibilities’ ripe for wonder, imagination, and engagement.

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Behind the scenes at the "Faculty of Forest Fantasies and Other Forestic Affairs", I curated and created a diverse range of materials. These included a logbook, playful mappings, peculiar landscape poetry, and an assortment of whimsical items such as magic/talking/walking/selfie sticks, forest fashion pieces, and a picnic blanket designated as a temporary territory. These items were essential for addressing various forestic affairs and added a touch of quirkiness to my explorations.

 

The culmination of these activities resulted in a variety of creative outputs, including events, walks, exhibitions, and open studio sessions. One of the highlights was taking different groups on 'forest visits', encouraging them to reimagine what it means to "go to the forest." Through these engagements, participants were invited to see the forest as a space of endless possibilities and to reconnect with their sense of wonder and imagination.

Acknowledging that I am a newcomer and not indigenous to the specific area, I embraced the wisdom of a Danish proverb as I began my residency: "stick a finger in the soil." This phrase emphasizes the importance of getting a feel for the place and situation before taking any action, especially when entering unfamiliar or unknown land.

This approach guided my explorations and interactions throughout my time at L'Observatoire, allowing me to connect deeply with the unique environment and community around me.

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