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Robert Zhao Renhui: Current Exhibits in Singapore

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Robert Zhao Renhui: Current Exhibits in Singapore
"Bodi Tree, Sungei Road" (2015) by Robert Zhao Renhui (Image Courtesy of the National Museum of Singapore, National Heritage Board)

Followers of the Singaporean art scene would have heard that Robert Zhao Renhui is one of the finalist artists for the third edition of the biannual HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Award for Emerging Asian Artists. Organized by HUGO BOSS and the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, HUGO BOSS ASIA ART 2017 announced its sole Singaporean finalist in June, among three other Chinese finalist artists Li Ming, Tao Hui and Yu Ji. The winner of the Award will be announced in November.

Through his main medium of photography, Robert Zhao brings new perspectives in the study of nature and its relationship with our human lives. In his quasi-documentary style, the artist builds narratives within his images that touch on themes of history, memory – and ultimately, consider and question our connection to our natural environments.

To commemorate Robert Zhao’s nomination at HUGO BOSS ASIA ART 2017, here’s a roundup of the artist’s work currently exhibiting on home turf of Singapore!

"Durian Tree, Bukit Panjang" (2015) by Robert Zhao Renhui
Image courtesy of the National Museum of Singapore, National Heritage Board

 

‘Singapore, Very Old Tree’, National Museum of Singapore

The long-running exhibition ‘Singapore, Very Old Tree’ at the National Museum of Singapore shows a total of 17 images of large old trees around Singapore. The photographs cover a range of trees by the roadside, in residential areas, within nature areas and in Singapore’s famous Botanic Gardens.

Robert Zhao was first inspired by one of the oldest postcards kept in the National Archives of Singapore, dated all the way back to the year 1904, that showed an image of an unspecified tree. In his rendition of the idea, Robert Zhao took to photographing a variety of trees and recording the human stories that are tied to them.

"Monkey God Tree, Jurong West" (2015) by Robert Zhao Renhui
Image courtesy of the National Museum of Singapore, National Heritage Board

In the Garden City where the abundance of trees is a common sight, this introspective exhibition of photographs encourages viewers to slow down and consider how these trees make up more than just the landscape. The accompanying story displayed alongside each photograph reflects how these trees have become a part of people’s lives and offers different perspectives of looking at Singapore’s history.

"A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World" (2013) by Robert Zhao Renhui
Image courtesy of Robert Zhao Renhui

 

A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World, part of ‘HUMAN+’ at the ArtScience Museum

See this photograph of a genetically modified insect at ArtScience Museum’s ‘HUMAN+’ exhibition that tests the limits of what it means to be human. In a hypothetical – or impending – future that embraces artificial intelligence, genetic engineering and human-looking robots, A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World fits right in with its documentation of altered natural forms.

The photograph is only one of a series of other images that make up an encyclopedia of genetically modified animals and plants published by the fictitious Institute of Critical Zoologists, that also acts as the artist’s persona. The series highlights these animals and plants that are often overlooked in our common understanding of such life forms. What appears to be natural is actually man-made through human intervention.

‘HUMAN+’ is now showing till 15 October 2017.

"A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World, Children’s Edition" (2017) by Robert Zhao Renhui
Image courtesy of Ellice Wu

 

A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World, Children’s Edition, part of National Gallery Singapore’s Children’s Biennale

For a milder approach to the topic for children, head to National Gallery Singapore to see A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World, Children’s Edition as part of the Gallery’s Children’s Biennale.

Make a fun day out with children and introduce them to the world of art, while learning something new about the unnatural animals and plants around us. Children can also engage in fun activities by creating their own drawings of their observations and putting them up on the Wall of Curiosity!

National Gallery Singapore's Children’s Biennale is now showing till 8 October 2017.

 

See more of Robert Zhao’s work on the Artling here.


Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.



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