Jun 29, 2014

Forget Me Not


"I was born the very year my family moved from a kampung into a HDB flat. Unlike my 6 older siblings, I do not have fond memories of growing up with chickens and pigs wandering about, or that secret thrill of eating fruits stolen from a neighbour’s tree. In fact, when briefed about the exhibition, I drew a blank for the first few seconds – “Local fruits? Do we grow fruits in Singapore?”

"In the same way, it is both funny and sad that if we ask kids today where does beef or rice come from, the immediate answer would probably be: “supermarket”. If the question was asked about a fruit like the pineapple (a fruit once widely cultivated as a cash crop and canned in Singapore), would the answer also be “supermarket”, the same answer if the question was about strawberries?"

Forget me not/ 勿忘果 presents 3 cutting or chopping boards bearing semblances of the Singapore flag – but with its emblems replaced by that of tropical fruits, bananas, durians, mangosteens and pineapples. These re-imagined flags are engraved on one side of the cutting boards. The engravings are permanent marks, yet shallow and somewhat hidden on the underside of the cutting board. They are emblematic of a vague and oft-forgotten part of our environment and past, but they also express a hope that we will not forget the origin of things – that Singapore once had our very own fruit plantations; and fruits are grown on trees and from the earth, not supermarkets.

*This work was created for the "Makanlah Buah-buahan Tempatan - Singapura' exhibition" at the U Factory, Gillman Barracks (17-22 Jan 2014), curated by Roots. 

Forget Me Not/I features the banana and pineapple / L35cm, W25cm, D2.5cm /S$ 300
Forget Me Not/II features the banana and durian / L32cm, W22cm, D2.5cm /S$ 280
Forget Me Not/III features the banana and mangosteen / L25cm, W15cm, D2.5cm /S$ 200