Graphite, charcoal, white coal, white chalk on toned paper
Dimensions: 42.5cm(H) x 61.5cm(W) x 6.0cm(D) / 16.7"(H) x 24.2"(W) x 2.4"(D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
The Drift Project 1 & 2 started in 2016, and encompasses a scientific and artistic exploration of driftwood and teak, an entity once harvested and exported to Singapore. In this series, I juxtapose the driftwood with orchids to express our mortality and desire to hold on to things that are ephemeral and transitory.
A chance encounter with a piece of driftwood resulted in an intense artistic exploration for me. I investigated the possible origins of the driftwood and speculated how that it would have journeyed to Singapore. This fascination led me to search for the type and species of the tree that the driftwood once belonged to. With the help of the Forest Institute of Malaysia, the piece of driftwood was identified to be from teak plantations in Indonesia.
Teak is a durable and resilient tropical wood, highly valued as a trading and construction commodity in Southeast Asia. It is also used in furniture and carvings, which become family heirlooms and handed down from generation to generation. In many ways, the characteristics of teak, its durability and resilience, are also the attributes of our forefathers. They came as immigrants, and their circumstances moulded them into enduring and strong characters. The driftwood symbolises the identity of our current generation, which is the legacy that we have inherited from our forefathers.
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