Replica of household shelter: plaster on cement-fibre board, plywood, steel, ceiling light fixture
240 × 290 × 170 cm
Collection of the Artist
Singapore Biennale 2016 commission
Ding examines the world she lives in through personal adventures, research, art, documentation and activism. In this work, she presents a life-size freestanding replica of a household bomb shelter, a room introduced by Singapore’s Housing and Development Board (HDB) in 1997 that must be maintained as such for emergencies. In peacetime Singapore, however, residents find the bomb shelter to be a liability rather than an asset; the shelter seems to wait in vain to fulfill its design function, as it gets inevitably, variously repurposed. In bringing this room out of its lived context of an HDB flat into a gallery setting, Ding positions this architectural fragment as a structure complete in its own right. It is as if the appendix of a body (the household) has been extracted to be scrutinised and reimagined.
*National Museum Singapore admission charges applies for Debbie Ding's Shelter. Please enquire at the Visitor Services Counter for more information.