SONICreflection, 2016

SONICreflection, 2016

Wok lids, tweeters, pencil microphones, computer with software, amplifiers, sound card and aluminium
380 × 673 × 134 cm
Collection of the Artist Zulkifle Mahmod

Singapore Biennale 2016 commission

Singapore in the twenty-first century is a mélange of sights, smells and sounds of various Southeast Asian communities that have taken root here in recent years. The Thai community, for instance, congregates in Golden Mile Complex, while the Burmese diaspora is known to be concentrated in Peninsula Plaza; each ‘sonic territory’, as Zulkifle dubs them, boasts a unique soundscape all its own. SONICreflection is a sound sculpture: recordings from a number of these sonic territories are transmitted from multiple tweeters mounted on a wall lined with wok lids; pencil microphones are used to amplify the resultant cacophony, which assumes the form of layers of everyday, ambient clamour, ranging from snippets of dialogue to incidental noise. In exploring the micro-universes of Singapore’s cultural hodgepodge, Zulkifle’s work foregrounds the otherwise overlooked auditory character of each community and the space it inhabits.

all information taken from SAM website for SG Biennale.

Thoughts: I finally found a local artwork that resonates with what i am thinking! This artist has amazing sound works that is localised in the context of Singapore. A great plus that he mentions Golden Mile as well.

This time, the SG biennale has artworks addressing topics of the environment or question about borders, putting the spotlight on present-day conflicts and conundrums. This will probably provide good information for research.

Architecture and the Architect: Image-making in Singapore


A publication produced by Do Not Design Singapore which acts as a catalogue, sort of a ‘dictionary/vocabulary’ of sorts about the architecture in Singapore. The sections are classified according to their functions/purpose and each title of the section are poetically phrased. Images of the buildings are inserted with interviews by various ‘participants/inhabitants’ for instance the architects who built the buildings such as Tay Kheng Soon (who built the People’s Park Complex) , local photographers and others. 

I like how the contents of the interviews are not restrictive. The author discusses open topics such as the architect’s sentiments towards architecture in Singapore today instead of simply asking them about the old buildings that they built. I like the contrast of someone who built a building for past Singapore commenting on the present day now and how relevant or irrelevant his building is in the present day.I also like the personal sentiments that we get to hear from an architect who is building something for the national landscape. The contents of this book are seemingly very vast and varied. But that’s what i like most about it. Even though the topics are very varied, it gathers to form a loud collective voice that speaks of how Singapore are seen through the architects and the inhabitants as suggested by the title of the book. I aim to reach this sort of ‘collective’ aesthetic.



By Virginia Who and Bell Tan with photographs by Beton Brut and six contributing photographers