We Are Farmers is a visual exploration of the history of farming in Singapore, using my family as a personal case. My family, farmers for several generations, have experienced many upheavals in our farming practice.
My great-grandfather started a coconut plantation in Yio Chu Kang in the 60s, with his 7 sons working alongside with him. When that area was slated for redevelopment in late 70s, they moved and started a pig farm in Punggol. I grew up there, where roughly 100 of my extended family lived and worked together. In the 80s, when the Singapore government phased out pig farming, my eldest uncle decided to venture into hydroponics farming.
Currently, 3 generations of my family continue to work on our hydroponics farm in Khatib. The project will examine the past and present memories through my family’s archival photos, which dates back to the 60s, and also new works created by me.
These visual evidences will be curated, contexturalized and finally presented in the form of compelling narratives. In addition to a print exhibition, there will be a greenhouse installation, where audience can witness the daily life on a farm through my photos, in the environment of a live, self-contained hydroponics growing system.
The objective of my project is to translate my personal experience into a collective one, and create a meaningful social community through our shared past. I choose stories as the expression for my project because I feel that narratives provide us with one of our most viable forms of identity- individually and as a community. By giving context and transforming random events in my personal family history into narratives/stories, I make them memorable and in the process, gain control of my memories – memories that the audience will be able to relate to.
Ore Huiying is a documentary photographer from Singapore. Her practice revolves around storytelling. Working mostly on personal projects and editorial assignments, Ore’s works have been published in Le Monde newspaper, Courrier International, British Journal of Photography, Ojo de Pez magazine and BBC, amongst others. Since 2008, Ore’s photographic works have been exhibited in photo festivals, museums and galleries regionally and internationally (Singapore Arts House, Dali International Photo Festival, Gallery Lichtblick Cologne, HOST Gallery London, and more).
Exhibition: We Are Farmers
Dates: 10 – 23 December 2014 and 2 – 12 January 2015
Hours: Mon – Fri 11am – 7pm, Sat 12pm – 6pm, free admission
Artist Talk: Saturday, 13 December 2014, 4.30pm – 6pm
Venue: Objectifs Gallery, 56A Arab Street