We hope you’ve enjoyed our interpretation of the area around the Singapore Art Museum site as seen through various layers of history, local culture and nature.
The Singapore Art Museum at 8Q resides in the former Catholic High School. This site-specific mural draws on imagination and heritage to question the histories surrounding the area, and reflect on the museum’s role as a re-teller of official narratives.
An Unnatural History explores the struggle between man and nature within the heart of Singapore, the world’s greenest city. The mural is complemented by a website, an ever-growing, living archive with contributions from local interest groups and experts. The dialogue between the mural and website serves to expand the exchange of knowledge.
The work is a combination of Darel’s passion for natural history and storytelling, and Xin Li’s interest in heritage and architecture. By capturing Singapore’s cultural and natural history, the work challenges the viewer to consider what heritage means to them and to question the authenticity of the presentation in front of them.
Darel Seow (b. 1989, Singapore) is a visual storyteller who illustrates tales of the natural world with his unique brand of wry wit and whimsy. The illustration graduate from Central Saint Martins believes in using storytelling as a means of engagement to create experiences that simultaneously excite and educate. He has worked with the British Museum (London), National Museum of Singapore, Asian Civilisations Museum (Singapore) and other cultural institutions on projects that encourage learning through the power of imagination and play.
Lee Xin Li
Lee Xin Li (b. 1988, Singapore) is an independent illustrator. Based in Singapore, Lee finds inspiration in the environment he grew up in, drawing on culture, food, architecture and history. An architecture graduate from the National University of Singapore, his love for the comic series The Adventures of Tin Tin by Hergé and Guy Delisle’s travel chronicles motivated him to begin drawing in 2013. His notable works include the Kueh series and Peta Singapura.
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Commissioned by Singapore Art Museum (SAM), An Unnatural History by Darel Seow with Lee Xin Li is on view on the hoarding around the SAM at 8Q building along Queen Street from 18 December 2020 to 6 June 2021.
For more information, visit SAM’s website: An Unnatural History