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Patches: A Thinner Shade of Green These two related exhibition installations were commissioned by the Chengdu Biennale and Singapore Hub-to-Hub Exhibition. The projects question both cities' statuses as "Green Cities", in order to uncover the policies and forces driving how cities brand themselves within a global network. Chengdu’s adoption of the Garden City faces the same problems as the importation of the movement to other large-scale metropolitan areas such as Singapore, where the concepts engendered by the movement have become metaphorical and largely visual. These “greening movements” can thus be seen to reduce the ideas of the Garden City to a mere veneer applied to the urban fabric, the pursuit of the image of green being an end unto itself. While the proliferation of greenwashed renderings and buildings has contributed to the collective imagination of a “green city”, there is an urgent need to address the very thinness of these operations. The provision of green spaces has been largely turned over to private developers to become internalized, hidden behind fences or towers, and so-called “green” buildings often pay lip-service to environmental concerns. This project will thus unpack the term “green”, and act as a machine to demystify the act of greenwashing. In Singapore, the installation was placed at Cathay Open Plaza outside the Cathay shopping mall in Singapore. Offering a physical, visual and aural experience, Patches encouraged reflection on the “thickness and thinness of our landscape” with a peeling buttressed tunnel, painted plastic food containers (representing “instant greening”), videos of nature (viewed through pinholes), and an ambient soundscape of music and other sounds. The main link between this installation and its particular site is its use of items of consumption.

Patches: A Thinner Shade of Green

Chengdu, Singapore


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Patches: A Thinner Shade of Green, at the Singapore Hub-to-Hub Exhibition was done in collaboration with artists Jian-Jun Zhang, Barbara Edelstein and muscian B6.

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