NTU CCA Singapore, Block 37 & 38 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore
Thursday, 16 February – Sunday, 19 February 2023
From 12.00 pm– 7.00pm
Free admission to all exhibitions
Five (5) exhibitions spread over four spaces at Gillman Barracks, deal with topics related to food waste management, urbanisation through the lens of food, lifestyle aspirations of a rising middle class, and how regenerative to solidarity agrarian practices can move us towards more local and regional food systems.
HOO FAN CHON
Venue: NTU CCA Singapore, Block 38 Malan Road, #01-06, Singapore 109441
This Exhibition was part of SEA AiR Studio Residencies for Southeast Asia Artists in the European Union Cycle 1, a programme funded by the European Union. Despite Hoo Fan Chon’s hope that the residency at Helsinki International Artist Programme would provide some respite from his obsession with fish-based iconography and symbolism, upon arriving in Helsinki the artist found himself immediately drawn to the salmon pink colour that commonly adorns buildings in Finland. This chromatic cue ignited his interest in issues of taste, class aesthetics, and fish culture triggering an erratic investigation about the cosmetic processing of farmed salmon, the environmental plight of this fish, and the social status of its consumption as a signifier of class and wealth. Inspired by amateur tutorials commonly found on YouTube, the video How to turn your siakap into salmon illustrates DIY techniques to colour fish. While the pink pigmentation of wild salmons is due to a natural diet made of krill and shrimp, the flesh of farmed salmon is off-white. In order to achieve the vibrant hue that makes salmon appealing to consumers, farmed salmons are regularly fed synthetic carotenoids, the health implications of which are still under scrutiny. In Southeast Asia, salmon is a luxury good and its consumption bespeaks the Western lifestyle aspirations of a rising global middle class.
The ironic speculation on how to “domesticate” a foreign species continues in I have never seen a swimming salmon in my life. Accompanied by a voiceover by Sir David Attenborough borrowed from an advocacy campaign to protect salmon, the installation features 3D animations of salmon cuts—fillet, loin and streak—swimming inside a fish tank, a staple fixture in Chinese seafood restaurants. The artist’s familiar-yet-distant relation to salmon culminates with Finnish landscape painting series, an installation featuring 13 paintings hung on a salmon pink wall. In this series, the artist introduced the motif of the proverbial “carp leaping over the dragon’s gate” and auspicious Chinese blessings into existing Finnish landscape paintings purchased in thrift shops around Helsinki. Both salmon and carps are known for their strength and jumping ability; in Chinese culture, the iconography of the leaping carp symbolises courage and perseverance leading to wealth and prestige.
HELLO! I AM A BLACK SOLDIER FLY AND I AM TRANSFORMING THE GLOBAL FOOD SYSTEM
Primary Contributor: NIRALY MANGAL
Other Contributors: ADRIAN FUHRMANN, VARTIKA GOENKA , HENG CHIN WEE, SHAK THEESHWARI SILVARAJU, CHLOE TAN, TAN YONG JEN, YANYUN YAN, ZHANG QIHUI
Venue: NTU CCA Singapore, Block 37 Malan Road, #01-03, Singapore 109452
The small island state of Singapore imports 90% of food from overseas and uses less than 1% of its land for agricultural use. Developing approaches to an alternative food system based on insects, seaweed, microalgae or cultured meat can contribute to securing a resilient food future for Singapore and contribute to its “30 by 30” policy. But how do we create a circular food system in our cities? Food waste management holds the key to closing the loop. This exhibition demonstrates a nature-based solution for urban food waste management using the black soldier fly, the superfly that is transforming the global food system. It showcases how black soldier fly facilities convert local food waste into high-quality animal feed and fertilizers, which can then be used by other forms of urban agriculture, such as vertical or indoor farming and aquaponics. On display is your food’s journey from consumption to waste processing, showing how the black soldier flies upcycle it into by-products that carry valuable nutrients back into the food chain. This process not only helps to use land efficiently but also to synergise the built environment of Singapore with the social benefits of urban agriculture.
This research is a collaboration between researchers from the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore-ETH Centre and ETH Zurich. This research is supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore under its Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) programme.
THE JOURNEY OF FOOD
Primary Contributors: DR YUHAO LU, HELEN LEI FAN
Other Contributors: ZI GUI TOH, MUHAMMAD IS’MAILL BIN AZMAN, KAIYU LU, JASPER PHANG WEE KEAT, ISABELL A MEO LOO YANSHAN
Venue: NTU CCA Singapore, Block 38 Malan Road, #01-05, Singapore 109441
Considering urbanisation through the lens of food is important as cities grow, particularly in Asia, where cities are consuming fertile agricultural land at an unprecedented rate. Simultaneously, the industrialised agricultural practices developed to meet the rising food demands of urbanising populations are degrading and residualising the countryside. Mitigating the impact of climate change on Singapore’s food security requires both short-term tactics and long-term strategies. This includes sustainable and smart production in source countries and locally in Singapore, as well as raising public awareness on food waste. Displayed is the journey of rice—one of Singapore’s staple food sources, from its cultivation, processing, transportation and arrival in Singapore. As an island nation that highly depends on imports, Singapore relies heavily on the global food chain to source even its most basic food ingredients. This interactive exhibition shows, in a playful way, the pressing food-related challenges and hardship of conventional food cultivation.
POTENTIAL AGRITERRITORIES — AGRARIAN QUESTIONS AND AGROECOLOGICAL DESIGN. ARCHITECTURE OF TERRITORY.
MILICA TOPALOVIC, KAROLINE KOSTKA, HANS HORTIG, ALICE CLARKE AND STUDENTS OF ETH EPFL MAS UTD
Venue: NTU CCA Singapore, Block 38 Malan Road, #01-07, Singapore 109441
With nearly half of the total land area on the planet dedicated to agricultural production, the urbanisation and industrialisation of agrarian territories have emerged among the most urgent impacts affecting ecologies and ecosystems around the world. Their effects include increasing dependence on fertilisers, pesticides and fossil fuels; depletion of soil fertility, water and natural resources; consumption of land; forced migration, and other disadvantages for local populations. Through fieldwork in agrarian regions supporting Zurich and Singapore, Potential Agriterritories explores critical questions emerging under 21st-century planetary urbanisation. We asked ourselves, what would be the alternatives to global food regimes that shape regional agricultural landscapes and local food cultures? Can we de-commodify agricultural territories of the Global North, such as those we encounter around Zurich? Can we decolonise plantations of the Global South, such as palm oil plantations surrounding Singapore? Can we re-examine the ways in which plants and animals are used in industrial food systems? How can novel and pioneering practices—from regenerative to solidarity agriculture—move us towards more local and regional food systems? What potential agrarianisms from today, and rural experiences from the past, may help restore relationships of care and reciprocity with soil and biodiversity?
The exhibition showcases parts of an evolving research and design archive created by Architecture of Territory at ETH Zurich. The two large maps explore urbanisation pro-cesses and their effects on emerging agricultural territories and landscapes in the metro-politan regions of Zurich (2023) and the Singapore-Johor-Riau (2015). Placed in dialogue, those maps present foreign and familiar (agricultural) landscapes with the intent to provoke critical reflection on regional, sustainable food production amongst the ongoing agricultural intensification and urbanisation. The video footage shows agricultural prac-tices in Singapore-Johor-Riau and around Zurich, including experimental and pioneering practices of permaculture, solidarity agriculture and biodynamic farming.
SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS WITH MICROALGAE-BASED PROTEINS
DR. IRIS HABERKORN, BYRON PEREZ, HELENA SCHMITT, & CAROLE ZERMATTEN
Venue: NTU CCA Singapore, Block 37 Malan Road, #01-03, Singapore 109452
Despite decent intentions of establishing sustainable food systems to support a stead-ily growing global population, traditional food production systems and their associated value-chains are exceeding our planetary boundaries. Sustaining a growing and increasingly urbanised population will require the development of novel food production and processing concepts that focus on shifting traditional linear production concepts towards circular solutions. Singapore aims to increase its domestic, independent food supply and a population growing under highly urbanised constraints with the “30 by 30” initiative. However, arable land in Singapore is limited and traditional food production and processing methods alone cannot meet this goal. This exhibition highlights how a state-of-the-art urban single-cell protein production platform could support Singapore in reaching it using microalgae, embedded in the context of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals—and explores what microalgae looks like, how it grows and is processed as well as potential taste experiences.