This Is Not A Mask

Updated: Nov 18, 2020



Earlier this year, the second edition of our Art Encounters travelling residency featuring local artist Rizman Putra at the Malay Heritage Centre (MHC) was unfortunately cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rizman’s installation, playfully titled From Gelam to Glam, was envisioned as a black-light drawing installation that paid homage to the historic roots of Kampong Glam and its vibrant contemporary life.


Over two weeks in February, in full view of the public, Rizman worked with a new medium of UV paint to create drawings all over the containers, from ceiling to walls and floors. The parallel striations in the illustrations were inspired by distinct peeling bark of the Gelam tree (paperbark tree), which gave Kampong Glam its name. Rizman also artfully concealed artefacts from the MHC’s then exhibition, Seekor Singa, Seorang Putera dan Sebingkai Cermin: Reflecting and Refracting Singapura, which explored Singapore’s maritime significance in the 15th to 19th century. The result was an intricate, immersive installation that began to glow as night fell, delighting kids and adults alike. The installation was intended to stay open to the public until June, but had to close unexpectedly in early April due to the pandemic.