In which Alfred Russel Wallace encounters an ‘Orang Utan attacked by Dyaks’ (Jacob and Angel).
Wood Print Collage (prints from a teak bed found in Singapore) on paper 185 x 150 cm, From Together Again (Wood:Cut) Part II MAGIC. 2009
Together Again (Wood:Cut) Part II MAGIC 2009 was the second exhibition of an ongoing inquiry into the “secret lives” of rainforest products, explored as material, metaphor, magic, ecological resource and historical agent. The project came about via an attempt to recast the form and content of the mid twentieth century Singapore Modern Woodcut movement in a contemporary context of “cutting of wood” (rainforest destruction). In this exhibition, magic-realist memories inscribed in the grain of a tropical hardwood bed found in Singapore were conjured in still- and animated images made of paper puppets, wood-prints, collage and charcoal. Protagonists included William Farquhar, the first British Resident and Commandant of Singapore, and the nineteenth-century natural historian, Alfred Russell Wallace, as well as wood-print reproductions from The William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings, and renditions of flora and fauna from The Malay Archipelago, the seminal account of Wallace’s journeys through Southeast Asia. All woodprints in this exhibition originated from a teak bed found in Singapore.
THE MIGRANT ECOLOGIES PROJECT embraces concerned explorers, curious collectors, daughters of woodcutters, miners of memories and art by nature. The project evolves through and around past and present movements and migrations of naturecultures in art and life in Southeast Asia. www.migrantecologies.or
Lucy Davis is founder of The Migrant Ecologies Project. She is visual artist, art writer, Assistant Professor at the School of Art Design and Media (ADM), Nanyang Technological University Singapore where she is currently Area Coordinator for Art History. Her art practice and writing and teaching during the last five years has concerned ways in which culture and nature in Southeast Asia are imagined, represented and performed in art, visual culture and everyday life. Recent art exhibitions and collaborations include:
2011 Jalan Jati (Teak Road) Academy of Architecture Paris (Forthcoming Sept-Oct 2011)
Jalan Jati excavates historic and poetic journeys of a teak bed found in Singapore back to the place in the region from which the teak originated—tracing memories of Southeast Asian forest products in time and space. Jalan Jati marks Part III (Material) of the Together Again (Wood:Cut) project.
2011 Pioneer Landscape Development Project, in collaboration with Dr Shawn Lum from the Nature Society of Singapore, and students from the School of Art Design & Media—invited participants in New York Artist Martha Rosler’s Singapore Biennale garden project. The project involved transplanting indigenous pioneer plants (precursors to reforestation) to The Singapore Biennale Kallang site together with a series of construction site billboards, written from the perspective of indigenous flora and fauna. Singapore Biennale March-May 2011
2010 “In Which Alfred Russell Wallace Journeys to the Interior” Singapore Selection (Experimental Animation) see http://migrantecologies.org/gallery_lucy_part2.html
Arts 3331 Arts Chiyoda Tokyo Japan
2010 WORK, (Experimental Animation with live Ants and text written in food) Post Museum Singapore May 2010.
2010 Together Again (Wood:Cut) Part II. (MAGIC). The Substation, Singapore, http://migrantecologies.org/gallery_lucy_part2.html
2009 Together Again (Wood:Cut) Part I. (NATURAL HISTORY). Post Museum Singapore http://migrantecologies.org/gallery_lucy_part1.html
2009 (REMIX 100) 100 Objects to Represent Singapore Art. Singapore Art Show & NUS Museums Singapore
2004 Wirecrossing 24 Hours in Singapore, (Video input on communities of nocturnal stray cat feeders) Jendela Gallery, Esplanade Theatres on The Bay Singapore
2003 The Anty Aesthetic, Installation & Video project on Communities of Live Ants The Necessary Stage Singapore.
As an art writer, Lucy is best known as Founding Editor of FOCAS Forum on Contemporary Art & Society—an independent, 6 volume publication series that engages issues of contemporary art, politics and social change—primarily but not exclusively—in Singapore and Southeast Asia. FOCAS 6 Regional Animalities—Culture, Nature Southeast Asia was launched at DOCUMENTA #12 and was the only Singapore art publication featured during DOCUMENTA# 12 Magazines Project. Alongside FOCAS, Lucy’s writings on art society and nature are published in The DOCUMENTA #12 READER (Taschen); BROADHSEET Art & Culture (Australia), Art Asia Pacific; (Sydney/New York), Inter-Asia Cultural Studies; (Routledge) NU The Nordic Art Review; (Stockholm). Lucy is currently a Southeast Asia Contributor for ANTENNAE, The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture (UK) She has an article forthcoming “In the Company of Trees” in the June 2011 “PLANTS” Volume of ANTENNAE and a chapter forthcoming “Contagion: The Singapore Body Politic the Body of the Cat” in Considering Animals Ashgate UK May 2011.