History lies hidden beneath our feet – though we cannot see it, the psychogeography of this city shapes us and our stories.
What if the Padang was still a beach?
An urban beach resurfaces along colonial Singapore’s old coastline of 1843.
By unearthing a historical fragment of Singapore’s mutable shoreline, the installation explores the embedded psychogeographies of Singapore’s land reclamation since its colonial founding.
Psychogeography is a theme in art and urbanism that explores how people’s behaviour and emotions are affected by the urban environment. As you tread on this sliver of beach, retrace the footsteps of dwellers 179 years ago, and consider what has since changed.
What layers of history reside here?
The odd fragment of the shoreline far displaced from Singapore’s current land boundary elicits questions of how and why this urban district has evolved. In this charged site of the Padang, the installation subtly recalls the nation’s pre-founding ruggedness, colonial milieu, and post-independence development.
The anti-monument of a patch of beach reinvokes centuries’ past of activity and spectacle. Between fishing shore, colonial dealings and metropolitan bustle, the Padang has been a quiet and restless witness to Singapore’s changes.