The Most Mild Mannered Men, 2016
Plaster, marble, appropriated replica bust and plinths
180 × 55 × 55 cm (each)
Collection of the Artist
Singapore Biennale 2016 commission
Driven by his concern about a growing historical amnesia, Fyerool Darma departs from his characteristic painting practice to present sculptures of two key figures in Singapore history: an appropriated bust of Sir Stamford Raffles by Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey, and a bustless pedestal inscribed with the name, birth and death dates of Sultan Hussein Mua’zzam Shah. Both Raffles and Sultan Hussein played pivotal roles in the signing of two treaties that resulted in the founding of modern Singapore, and this artwork seeks to uncover the relationships between them. The way these men are represented is symbolic of the partisanship between major and minor narratives in historical discourse, reiterating the sentiment that history is often written by the dominant, while the dominated are relegated to minor roles.