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Neglected Topographies
And Cosmologies of Care

Zihao Wong

Solo Exhibition

11 - 19 May 2024, 11am to 7pm

Topos/graphia is the art of drawing and writing (graphia, or making graphic) a place (topos) into being. This archaic meaning of the “topographical” brings us back to past peripatetic ways of coming to know a place: ways that understand space as temporal, volatile, fleeting and fluid, and told and mapped through mental images and storytelling. The “topographical” hints at neglected knowledge pathways and almost-forgotten liminal places existing outside of modern cartographic mediums that try to visually pinpoint whole moving and living worlds into static Cartesian space.
Ephemeral, ghostly, and fragile—the shapeshifting intertidal zone comes to mind as a neglected topography, evading capture in the known world of maps. In the rising and falling of the tides, land disappears into the sea, and at other times the water parts to reveal hidden tidal ecologies and magical places that invoke stories of ghost islands, mirror beaches, and reef monsters. Salvaging the coastline for these fragments, might we return an imagination of the archipelagic, and its vanishing cosmologies? How might neglect be undone, by making visible new cosmologies of care?

About the Artist(s)

Zi Hao Wong, is an artist, designer, and educator, operating from Singapore-based art+design agency Superlative Futures. His practice-led research probes neglect in the interstitial (but also creatively fertile) margins of landscape and architecture, art and design, asking how critical care might look like for these places when neglect is speculatively undone.
The collection shown in this exhibition extends from Zi Hao’s design-led doctoral research, which was started in 2019, undertaken at the National University of Singapore. The thesis Reassembling the Intertidal explores how design might be reinvented as a critical practice of care for Singapore’s at-risk coastal landscapes. In 2023 he received his Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture. An earlier iteration of the research collection entitled Embodied Cartographies: Drawing Encounters of an Ephemeral Landscape was shown at the NUS Museum’s prep-room exhibition Intimate Landscapes in 2022.

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