More than [show] business: Post-PopUp at CCA

What we aimed to develop in Singapore was “Kitchen dialogues” on the pretext of developing a research in elaborating of certain dishes on which it could be observed the process of crafting Singaporean identity and culture. We find interesting to see how former Prime Ministers of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong, have stated that Singapore does not fit the traditional description of a nation, calling it a society-in-transition, pointing out the fact that Singaporeans do not all speak the same language, share the same religion, nor have the same customs.

Unlike in many other countries, among Singaporeans, the languages, religions and cultures are not delineated according to skin colour or ancestry. Each Singaporean’s behaviours and attitudes would therefore be influenced by, among many other things, his or her home language and his religion. Racial and religious harmony is regarded by the government as a crucial part of Singapore’s success, and played a part in building a Singaporean identity. The variety of food representing different ethnicities is seen by the government as a symbol of its multiculturalism. In popular culture, food items belong to a particular ethnicity, with Chinese, Malay, and Indian food clearly defined. However, the diversity of cuisine has been increased further by the “hybridisation” of different styles (e.g., the Peranakan style, a mix of Chinese and Malay cuisine).

Base on this we have created a temporary food lab at Latent Space @ Har par villa with help of Benjamin Ho, where have conduct a research to create new national dishes tackling hybridizations in the kitchen based on reflection on the above mentioned. As outcome of the research lab to taste the final products we have created 2 events. In the first one on 24th of july we have visited Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre to bring back the donated food in form of new experimental dish and we had great interaction with the local community. In the second one we have been invited to present the project as part of Post-PopUp, events at Center for conetemporary art in Singapore on 26th July.

image credits: Koh Nguang How & Benjamin Ho

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