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About The Artist

Sean Cham is an artist and researcher based between London and Singapore. In his artistic practice, he works at the intersections of photography, performance, and installation. His interdisciplinary and critical practice is concerned with histories and built environments; particularly considering ideas around authorship, contestation, gaps, migration, and memories. Cham’s works were exhibited in Ethiopia, Germany, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, and Sweden. His works had been commissioned by M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, The Future of Our Pasts Festival, and NUS Centre For the Arts.


Tanglin Halt, Yesteryears | 2014
By Sean Cham
Digital Print on Ilford Smooth Cotton Rag | Edition 3| 45cm x 30cm
Unframed


Yesteryears captured 50 abandoned and forgotten places in Singapore through a series of in situ self-portraits. The buildings photographed were in different states of ruination. These buildings represent the modern ruins of post-independence Singapore, an era that lives not only with progress but also the fleeting ruins left in its wake. In a city that is ever modernizing and growing, there is barely any room for the ruin. Buildings that are deemed obsolete will be torn down to make way for something bigger and better. But in the face of the storm called progress, as German philosopher Walter Benjamin expounded in 'Thesis on the Philosophy of History', it is important to retain our historical consciousness.

Yesteryears does this not through monuments, or officially sanctioned heritage spaces, but through the more minor, often forgotten ruins created by an ever-changing Singapore. The series was taken when Singapore celebrated 50 years of independence, and there was an increasing wave of nostalgia across the nation.




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