In this livestreamed talk, Artist-in-Residence Marvin Tang traces the historical evolution of the Wardian case to unearth wider social, economic, and environmental implications of global plant migration. The Wardian case—a wooden case with glass panels developed in the mid-1800s that marked a revolution in long-distance plant transportation—evolved from the backyard experiment of an amateur naturalist into the backbone of botanical garden collections, plantation economies, eco-piracy, and labour migration in Southeast Asia. Shuttling between glazed plant enclosures and the glazed case of his own computer, Marvin will delve into an exploratory journey through his artistic practice, photographic observations, and ongoing archival research traversing manmade boundaries between indoor and outdoor and speculating on how attempts to contain and control plants shape Singapore’s contemporary relationship to nature.
This talk will be livestreamed on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ntu.ccasingapore/.
Marvin Tang (b. 1989, Singapore) harnesses photography, moving image, and object-based installations to visualise social phenomena that simmer under, beyond, and in spite of government infrastructures and systems of control. His works often undermine the conventional representations of nature and question the linearity of historical narratives. Recent solo exhibitions include Print Room: In Every Change of Season, DECK, Singapore (2019) and The Mountain Survey, Alliance Française de Singapour (2018). His work has been presented internationally at the Thessaloniki PhotoBiennale, Greece; GETXOPHOTO International Image Festival, Spain; and Nooderlicht International Photofestival, Groningen, Netherlands (all 2018).
Image: Marvin Tang, Temperate House, 2014, archival inkjet print. Courtesy the artist.