Unstate #05-behind the scenes

Unstate #05 series(2021) is an installation of various components that respond to the national library site and is inspired by writer, Christine Tee memoir titled: My convent at Victoria Street.

#05-01 SubTitles
#05-02 Mindmap 06
#05-03 Mixed Sound recording
#05-04 Mixed Sound recording

#05-05 A 10 Minute Audio interview with Christine 

In her writings, I find interesting elements, these mainly are:

  1. Chijmes being a conserved building, conservation as a topic of interest in my art practice through various different types of presentations.
  2. Nature elements that are present in her writings
  3. The form or structure of her writings(the way she choose to organised her medium school experiences).
  4. Language, Christine reads 金庸, an author’s martial arts novels which I also read as well. Some commonality between us.
Drawing of the Structure of Christine’s chapter titles

I created the above drawings intrigue by Christine’s writing structure. Her form of organising her experiences according to these texts which are contrasting in its basic meaning.  we could read in her essay, her use of this method of contrasting/opposing elements which she distributed and build her essay. I think there is a slight critical consciousness in her attempt to examine and reconcile the opposites through this autobiography. And that the nature environment has enabled her to find the link to her medium school years.

The centre line (acting as a spine) is the ‘Dissection of Harmony’ in mind map #06.

“Entering Chijmes, I am once again in my navy-blue pleated pinafore over a collared white blouse. Once again, I am ready to embrace all the contrasts of my past within the four grey walls. By doing so, I am again reflective of how such contrasts must have, over a single decade of my earlier life, fundamentally moulded me to become who I am today, both in spirit and mind”

The quote above reveals a theatrical side of her as representing herself to the readers. The making of the modernity of Singapore is visible through her text in which a character is squeeze out of her with the embodiment of language(such as interchange of Mandarin and English) through discipline and pragmaticism.

From the video below, you can see the mind map #06, a sculptural relief of a space, an empty space form by two L-shapes. This is representative of the four grey walls in the quote above.

Video of #05-02 Mindmap 06
#05-01 SubTitles

Title: #05-01 SubTitles
The table below are the list of text actively engaged with the natural and the social. Its purpose is to create possibilities for subtitles.

Break with tradition
Complexity of struggle is real
Convergence  of story lines
Cosy stones
Divergence of story lines
Dissolving the borders
Entanglement with time
Enrich the narrative
Forest as a library of knowledge
Gestures of kindness
Heal the gap
Long blossoming thoughts
Imaginations and empathy
Movement of patience
Patterns of contrast
Self-interrogation(monologue with the self)
Sense of becoming
Scraps of memories
Social landscape
Soften the edges
Speaking to the world

Title: #05-05 A 10 Minute Audio interview with Christine Tee

Christine memoir was about her medium school experiences and its relation to the past. As her medium school experience was strongly anchor on the theme of education. Presently her passion is being a nature guide volunteer with the Nparks at the Singapore Botanic Garden.

I wanted to focus the interview on the education aspect and its development mirroring the memoir chapter of ‘Nature and nurture’ which the scenes are taking place in the medium school Convent’s garden.

Hence I crafted the questions to illuminate her passion, intuitiveness and growth development through having experiences by being with nature environment. Below are the questions.

  • Can you share with us what are some of the activities you do as a nature guide and as a nature educator sort of relationship to your audiences, what do you hope they will bring home with your knowledge?
  • Can you share with us the part your life where the natural environment has been significant to you during your school days.
  • In your writings, you use the term, 相思豆 in hanyu pinyin to enrich the narrative of cultural significance of the saga seed in our everyday life. Can you share with us the games you play using seeds in the school garden?
  • You contrast nature with nature in your writing and this chapter was also the part where you describe vividly about interactions with trees, leaves, flowers, insects and fellow school mates. Can you share your insights on this nature and nature aspect in this chapter.
  • I get a sense groundedness through the writing. There is this flow of movement in spaces.  Would you feel that you are able to share some of the more sensory aspect you feel nature has enable us to be more aware of our own state of mind and body.

A sketch of layout plan
View of art work