For over a year, Robert Zhao Renhui ventured into the forested areas surrounding Gillman Barracks to observe and study its significance. Taking its title from the former name of the area, Queen’s Own Hill and its Environs comprises a cabinet of curiosities with more than 100 components featuring videos, photography and found objects. Collectively, they chronicle the history of the land as well as its changing function as plantation, military barracks and illegal immigrant squat, before finally being reclaimed by nature and becoming the secondary forest it is today. A series of artist-led tours into this forest will also be held in conjunction with the exhibition.
Robert Zhao Renhui (b. 1982, Singapore) is a multi-disciplinary artist who blends reality and fiction in his works. Strongly informed by his observations and ongoing research into the natural world, Zhao adopts a practice that investigates and unravels the intertwining relationship between humans and their habitats. His work has been exhibited at numerous solo and group presentations in Singapore, London, Shanghai and more, including the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Brisbane, 2018) and JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017. Zhao was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award 2017. He lives and works in Singapore.