News Details | 21-Aug-2009

SURROUNDED – A passionate collaboration of art, nature, and technology

Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media, in collaboration with the Embassy of Mexico and Museum Laboratories Arte Alameda, have launched a new and exciting exhibition that celebrates the spirit of creativity, nature and technology. Surrounded presents cutting-edge site-specific installations by two contemporary Mexican artists who comment poetically on the way we perceive our natural surroundings – High Tide by Ivan Abreu, and Substrate (below Level 0) by Jeronimo Hagerman. The two artists have researched subjects relating to nature and technology for over a decade, and this is the first time that they are presenting their works in Singapore.


High Tide

High Tide is a unique art-piece specifically synchronised with Singapore’s coastal currents. This installation uses buoys previously used in the same sea. The buoys are attached to an electronic system which concurrently tracks the ebb and flow of Singapore’s tides. During the exhibition, the buoys will vary their altitude according to this information and oscillate at a very slow speed (approximately 1 millimetre every 4 seconds). Movement is subtle and perceived visually. The work suggests how man and nature’s forces are inextricably connected.


Substrate (Below Level 0)

Out of a labyrinth of transparent columns filled up with a layer of soil grows climber-plants that will hang from the ceiling. With the audience's point of view located at the level of the soil, this piece dialogues with the School's architecture, especially with the ceiling of plants and the transparent walls.


The art-piece is a mirror reflecting how conscious we are of live substrates, the rich layers of earth below us, and about where we locate our perception of the world as human beings. We exist between layers of air and substrates of soil where a million things happen and tiny organisms thrive, that we are hardly ever conscious about.


The Exhibition

The exhibition comes at an important time when there is greater consciousness of environmental issues among Singaporeans. It is also a platform to encourage today's youth to take greater responsibility about the pressing environmental challenges before us, such as climate change and preserving the Earth’s biodiversity, and how to tackle these challenges collectively.  On this topic, Professor Vibeke Sorensen, the newly appointed Chair of the School said, “These visionary projects bring us into a new kind of dialogue with the exquisite natural environment of Singapore, and in the unique context of our School’s special green building. They not only extend our awareness but inspire new ways of conceiving our individual and collective futures.”


The Mexican artists’ works will be on display at the ADM galleries for a month from today to 18 September 2009. The exhibition is open to the public from 9am to 5.30pm daily, except Sundays and public holidays.


For more information on the artists, please visit and


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