2019/ March—Covered Causeway, Passport@ OH! OpenHouse.
Lived in a HDB room with a white-collar migrant worker and performed with this new PR from Malaysia over 5 weekends in various Void Decks and covered walkways in Woodlands Singapore. The artist addresses the process of renouncing one's passport with participants of performance. Commisioned by OH!OpenHOuse,
More photos available at OH! OpenHouse:
Han Chung is a new permanent residence in Singapore. For two weekends, I stayed with him at his one room rental in Woodland to experience what being a new immigrant in SG is like. He does not cook, and has become a star -blogger of every meal he eat outside. He also confide how he misses the covered walkways when he visits his parents in Penang. The convenience of shade from sun and rain that line every HDB block to the hawker stalls and MRT. I wonder if all the covered walkways in SG joined end to end would circle the planet.
What interests me is the I hour commune between his place of work and the rented room. And a room within a room his landlord has created in the apartment. I have brought back pieces of Refuse Bins sculptures that I would placed all over these two small rooms, and personall mementoes that connect a cage to the notion of home. Regrettably the landlord threaten to evict HanChung on the night before our opening, so this interior aspect of the performance was not applicable.
Han Chung was particularly fond of one of the Raffles object I crowded his room with. Ampun Lampun, the paper mâché sculpture hangs over his double decker bed, trembling amber lights like a hovering soul of a man having left his body.
The performance was thus restricted to the outdoor between the MRT station and the Void Deck beneath his apartment. A large covered basketball court size common space was too closed to the MRT for funeral or wedding, and two movable rails were placed inside to prevent skateboarding or playing on it. It became a make believe custom office as participants arrived on the MRT, herding them through various invisible checkpoint with interrogation of of their loyalty to the country they are leaving. the audience are then categorically divided and walked along the covered walkways to the void deck: disloyal citizens walk with umbrellas outside the covered walkways. At the Void Deck we played games of dyads in a forum about the new immigrants' delimma of leaving one home for another.
In the last 7 years I have travelled to the US almost twice a year to dissolve a long-distant-relationship and empty out my belongings in a house I have accumulated over 2 decades. A month before this performance, my ex-spouse passed away suddenly, so the long slow walk between the MRT and the void deck was as a funeral march for a lover overseas.