Acclimate, Assimilate

2021

Site-specific installation - Gillman Barracks forest

Sugar | Lecture readings

Sugar case: 34cm x 26cm x 30cm | Bound book: 21cm x 29.7cm x 1.5cm

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In a geographical subversion of Imperial botanical tradition, the work features a sugar Wardian case that houses readings on Western critical theories collected from my years studying abroad. Like exotic plants in a greenhouse, they sat enclosed and displaced, out of context, and unintroduced to the larger environment.

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The Wardian case demarcates an enclave and a sort of climatic isolation. This work examines the visual poetics of encountering and navigating through global ideas from a local perspective.  As a consumer of these essays, absorbing these foreign concepts marked the beginning of a precarious process to negotiate what is read with what is known, and ultimately, with the identity of the self.

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Unlike the imperviousness of glass, the walls encasing these lecture readings are unstable. Made of sugar, they react to heat, humidity, weather, and biodiversity. As the structure melts away, Western Philosophies of Nature finally comes into contact with the tropical reality, perhaps in the form of rain-soaked pages and collected leaves. The papers are then left to decay and get absorbed by the earth.

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Day 1

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Day 1

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Day 81

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Day 1

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