(Re)Claim Singapore!

Chuan Khoo and Vanessa Yeo

October 2013

Of People, Progress, Technology and Heart
Mixed media

Can today’s digital media and technology really provide an alternative to the fast disappearing physical manifestations of our origins and history? 

During the debates on the loss of Singapore’s Bidadari and Bukit Brown cemeteries, KTM railway, the Capitol Building, the Cathay – among many other local non-gazetted monuments – the solution of digitising images of these locations as an online repository was brought up as a way of preserving Singapore’s history.

Some spoke against this approach. Supporters were viewed as real estate opportunists who would gladly welcome the wrecking ball of potential profit and relentless progress.

In the media, Singaporeans lament our lack of culture, while letting it lie crippled in the shallow, comfortable waters of carefully manufactured fiction and commercially-driven agendas.

If the Raffles Hotel was not gazetted as a national monument in 1987, what would have become of it, and more importantly, can digital media work as a manifestation and memory for future generations to look back on?

Chuan Khoo is a multi-disciplinary digital media artist, interaction designer and educator. His passion and expertise converges in the inter-disciplinary media landscape, where the dynamic possibilities of digital media culture gives him inspiration and satisfaction.

Chuan manipulates electronic contraptions and machine intelligence to investigate flawed logic of everyday assumptions. Using a combination of digital media, microcontrollers, hacked appliances and traditional media, his art elicits a mechanical, even robotic aesthetic, while intentionally inhabiting human traits of individualism, emotion and social interaction, questioning the darker side of technology.

Vanessa Yeo is a graphic designer specializing in Interaction, she has a keen interest in people, environments, and the way they engage with others and the things and spaces around them. She has a passion for photography, both as art and as a means of constant documentation.

Interaction design fosters the ability to evoke emotion in people and the creativity it stimulates in a world of ever-changing technological platforms. Her projects revolve around what already exists within the human sphere, around human identity and ubiquitous objects. Exploring beauty in the everyday, interaction design can help people to appreciate and understand the world around them.

Supported by the National Arts Council and Raffles Hotel