Shooshie Sulaiman


Kancil Mengadap Beringin, 2019–2022

Kancil Mengadap Beringin (The Mousedeer Comes Before the Banyan Tree) is a living installation made of a living banyan tree surrounded by 99 mousedeer cement sculptures and two wooden components. The Sang Kancil is the name given to a mousedeer featured in various Malay fables from the region. Often depicted as a creature capable of outwitting his fellow animal peers, the mousedeer is seen as a symbol of intelligence. In this installation, Shooshie Sulaiman imagines Sang Kancil’s encounter with the pohon beringin, or banyan tree. Also known as the tree of life, the banyan tree occupies an important position in Malay cosmology, marking the threshold between the spiritual world and the human world. In bringing together the dexterous mousedeer and the banyan tree , this installation commemorates Malay cosmology and intellect.

Shooshie Sulaiman
(b. 1973) is recognised as one of the most important contemporary artists of Southeast Asia. Of Malay and Chinese descent, Sulaiman has developed a practice that is informed by the history of Southeast Asia, the culture of her homeland of Malaysia, as well as her personal memories and her own identity. An almost mystical air permeates Sulaiman’s oeuvre, which includes works produced through diverse approaches such as drawing, collage, installation and performance that at times appropriate natural elements from trees, soil and water that are native to the land. Through them, her works inform viewers of the complex and inextricably connected relationship between human beings, nature and art.


Educational Resource | Artist Folio


  • Kancil Mengadap Beringin. 2019–2022. Cement and wooden sculptures on banyan tree. Dimensions variable.

Shooshie Sulaiman’s Programmes & Events

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Natasha on the Islands
Natasha on the Islands
  • Zarina Muhammad
  • Shooshie Sulaiman
  • Åsa Sonjasdotter and Daniela Zambrano Almidón

Embark on an unforgettable journey on Lazarus and St. John's Island and enjoy a day of free programmes inspired by Singapore Biennale 2022, named Natasha. Whether you're looking to pick up some survival skills, explore the rich history and beauty of nature, be mesmerized by a soul-stirring gamelan performance, or find out more about the Biennale's captivating artworks, there is something for everyone.

To ensure a smooth experience, please read thru the programme guide and safety advisory here.

Programme Highlights

Download full morning programme schedule here

Download full evening programme schedule here

  • [ARTIST INSIGHTS] Zarina Muhammad | 12PM–12.30PM | St. John's Island
    Join artist Zarina Muhammad as she talks about her artistic practice and delves deeper into the making of her work, Moving Earth, Crossing Water, Eating Soil (2022).
  • [TALK] Jiak Kentang by The Slow Press | 4PM–4.30PM & 5.30PM–6PM | Seringat Jetty
    Explore the history of the potato in Southeast Asian cooking with The Slow Press! While rice is seen as the main carbohydrate that is consumed in Southeast Asia, the potato also plays a huge role in the region’s cuisines—it is in curries, begedil and Vietnamese beef stew—despite having made its way into our region’s culinary culture through colonisation.
  • [SOAPBOX] Singapore Biennale Highlights at Lazarus Island | 4.30PM–5.30PM | Lazarus Island
    Visit the stops on our Art Trail where SAM staff will share about their favourite respective Singapore Biennale 2022 artworks on the islands.
  • [STORY TELLING] A Reading of Kancil Mengadap Beringin by Shooshie Sulaiman | 5PM–5.45PM | Lazarus Island Beach
    Kancil Mengadap Beringin (The Mousedeer Comes Before the Banyan Tree) is an artwork installation by artist Shooshie Sulaiman, which consists of a banyan tree surrounded by 99 kancil (or mousedeer) cement sculptures and two wooden components.
    The artwork is accompanied by a book of the same name, which tells the tale of Sang Kancil’s latest adventure, where he acts as a mediator between animals and the universe, with a banyan tree acting as a spiritual transmitter.
  • [PERFORMANCE] Singa Nglaras Gamelan Ensemble with Angger Widhi Asmara and Dona Dhian Ginanjar | 6PM–7PM | St. John's Island
    Let the Singa Nglaras Gamelan Ensemble, alongside collaborators Angger Widhi Asmara and Dona Dhian Ginanjar take you on a musical adventure inspired by Zarina Muhammad’s artwork Moving Earth, Crossing Water, Eating Soil.

St. John’s Island and Lazarus Island Sat, 25 Feb 2023 - 10:00 am
Of trees and tales: a conversation with Shooshie Sulaiman
Of trees and tales: a conversation with Shooshie Sulaiman
  • Shooshie Sulaiman

In Malay cosmology, the pohon beringin (tree of life) or banyan tree is considered to be a portal between terrestrial and cosmic forces. Through its crown of leaves, it distills a spiritual essence from the sun’s nourishing rays whilst also deeply rooted to the earth, connecting it to the kefahaman khatulistiwa, or lore of the equator.

Shooshie Sulaiman’s Kancil Mengadap Beringin (2019-2022) is a site-specific sculptural installation with a banyan tree that takes root on Lazarus island. The installation is accompanied by a children’s storybook by the artist that will be introduced during the programme, along with other tales of the artwork and of our entwinement with nature and beyond.

Venue: Tanjong Pagar Distripark, 39 Keppel Road, Level 3

SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark Sun, 15 Jan 2023 - 03:00 pm