A Rubber Tree Reflection

A rubber tree does not have a reflection, unless there is a mirror right in front of it. I have to say that I am really glad that it is all over. There was a point of time where my group mates and I have trouble deciding what area to focus on during our final assignment. We know that we are doing on the topic of Singapore Botanic Gardens, but the possibilities are endless! From looking at sculptures in the gardens to Heritage Tree, we just couldn’t choose one.

The reason why our team decides to do on Singapore Botanic Gardens because I was the one suggested it to my team mates because I feel the topic was different than the rest. The other topic involved some kind of artwork or objects but I thought we can do something different than just choosing artworks in a specific style and era. I admit that it was hard to choose the core for the assignment but after some weeks of discussion, we thought of using the Rubber Tree as the main highlight. After a generic read on Rubber Tree, there was a lot of insights that we learned and from there, we brainstorm on how we can approach this topic.

I was actually thinking backwards in a sense that I am planning the layout of the exhibition first before deciding what kind of information should we exhibit in the gallery.  Below in one of our group meeting, I drew some models and sketches to visualise how to approach this topic. You can see on the Right, we have different options to give our project a title. There is also a sketch on the layout of our exhibition in a circular layout that mimic a tree trunk. I also feel that sketching out ideas is much more inspirational in our thinking and brainstorming.



In selecting objects for our exhibit, we used normal daily items that is available easily. Showing object chronologically also help visitors to learn in an orderly manner. We also have minimalism on mind on how to showcase our objects as well.

Initially, I wanted to include an interactive timeline through projection mapping and photographs but there was a lack of time on my side. If possible, I would project it onto the pedestal itself maybe from the top or at the side.


Our team also wanted to create an experiential space for the final exhibit as the assignment did not restrict us to just build a model. 

Our wall text explained the whole journey of the rubber tree in a very concise summary. That was important because we wanted them to know what happened through out the years in Singapore and then walk down the exhibition to learn more about each object. Some wall text in museum were too abstract and we tried to avoid that with simple basic storytelling.


Getting the pedestal was not hard as I have planned this a week before the day we need to exhibit them. I picture each pedestal as a different section of our exhibition floor plan. It was also good that the day before was the end of the semester show and there are students showing their works on a pedestal. So before the end of the day, I took 4 pedestal with me and used it the next day for the exhibition.






This module is really interesting because we learnt through each other’s presentations in class. Moreover, the freedom to choose our own focus on what to present, it allow us to open our mind and be critical as well in our options. It make me realise that human being can never be in one place, the need to explore unknown and new territories is rooted deep in us. It is all about reactions. How the east and west react on each other’s influences really is the talking point in this module. Colonialism is not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes, that’s all they need to prosper and oh yeah, lose their soul in the process.

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