Here are a few more banyan tree drawings using charcoal:
“banyan tree study 4” (charcoal on paper, digitally inverted)
– copyright of BZTM
“banyan tree study 13” (charcoal on paper, digitally inverted)
– copyright of BZTM
My research for this project consists of two main strands: 1) Self-directed soundwalks around different parts of Singapore in order to both observe and record the soundscape, and 2) Gathering feedback from local people about their experiences of Singapore’s sound environment, both online (in the form of a survey) and face-to-face. Below you will find documentation of my soundwalks (with sound clips and photos), as well as some written reflections about them.
This is the text that will be included in the poster / flyer for my installation:
This immersive audio-visual installation explores the significance of sacred sounds in the context of Singapore’s contemporary soundscape. Drawing influence from acoustic ecology and psychogeography, Zai Tang’s work highlights how listening plays a crucial role in the way we perceive the urban environment.
Tang embarked on journeys around Singapore to study the soundscape, as well as getting feedback from local people to discover the places in which sacred sounds reside today. Enroute he collected and recorded the material used in the final work.
The work invites the audience on a journey through Singapore’s collective aural experience, revealing different interpretations of what we consider to be the sacred elements of our sonic environment. A space is created for these sounds to exist in, away from the hustle and bustle of urbanism.
This is the text that will be on the wall next to the installation:
The artist welcomes you to
The Sanctum of Sacred Sounds.
Hear, you will encounter
an array of sonorous forms
said to be sacred in Singapore.
The real Sanctum exists
somewhere off these shores.
Hidden, beneath the waves,
below the threshold of
this island’s aural consciousness.
The artist remakes this Sanctum
for sacred sounds to be;
broken free, like your ears,
I’m currently finalising my approach to the space, solidifying my concept and finishing off my audio-visual composition.
The tunnel will be transformed into a sanctum for Singapore’s sacred sounds and music, a place where these sounds can exist unrestrained from the impact of urbanism. The Sanctum itself exists somewhere off the shores of Singapore, beneath the waves, below the threshold of Singapore’s aural consciousness…
A framed ear placed at either end of the tunnel (one left ear, one right ear), introduces The Sanctum to those that wish to enter. The glass which covers the framed ear is smashed and sand trickles out of it, leading us into the space…
Within the central part of The Sanctum there stands three banyan trees, acting as both the home and protector of the sacred sounds…
“banyan tree study 14″ (charcoal on paper, digitally inverted)
– copyright of BZTM
Within The Sanctum time itself is skewed; an hour in our world becomes a minute in that of The Sanctum, allowing the listener to experience a day’s cycle in what we perceive as a shorter amount of time…
A few days ago I visited Singapore’s last remaining kampong (traditional village). Experiencing this place felt like a rare glimpse at Singapore’s past, and indeed my own, as I used to live in a kampong when I was a child. The following sound excerpt is comprised of several recordings of the kampong layered together:
It saddens me to know that this place is destined for redevelopment by the government, in fact it has already started. I wish that this kampong could be conserved for future generations as part of their cultural and historical heritage; this place functions not only as a window to an old way of life, but also provides a unique aural experience of a lived environment in-tune with nature – truly a rarity in Singapore, and indeed most cities.
For more information on Kampong Lorong Buangkok:
My long search for flexible, reflective material is finally over! I will be using metalized plastic film, which I acquired from Singtai (Singapore), to wrap around the pillars. Since it’s light weight, affixing it to the pillar is not a problem. As you can see below (in the first image), when doubled up it can act like a mirror.
When used as a single layer the film it still retains some of it’s reflective quality (e.g. you can see your self in it), but it’s also is slightly transparent. This means any images I project will still be visible on the surface underneath it (in this test I used thin white paper beneath the film). As you can see below it creates interesting, organic light refractions. I will utilize this within my final approach to the space by hanging thin white paper along the length of the Tunnel to capture these ethereal forms.
With the start of the exhibition looming, I still have a lot to do (as usual!), but am confident it will all work out as planned. I will make updates to the blog whenever possible, but it’ll probably be less frequent than previous weeks. Once the shows up and running I intend to keep blogging, so stay tuned!