I Walked, And Laid Down On This Warm, Bare Earth
A poetic contemplation of Darwinian thought - how it is often not the strongest species that persist but the ones most responsive to change - this series by artist Lavender Chang embodies her thoughts on migration, adaptation and survival.
Marrying scientific enquiry with artistic approaches, random chance with deliberate construction, she sows seeds found in local marketplaces in the most mundane and inconspicuous public spaces such as parks and along roads. These seeds, originating from diverse countries for the varying multi-cultural population living in Singapore, are essential food sources. Left to natural elements, most of them that endure the odds to germinate eventually started exhibiting physical attributes unique to their environment.
This is an attribute the artist finds not only in human existence - the malleability and mutation of identity in face of challenges - but also within herself, a sojourner from Taiwan. The results of her planting ventures are often photographed with a white tissue paper propped up as a backdrop. Moreover, found commonly in public as litter, the addition of the tissue paper adds new layers to the images, serving both as a 'marker' and also a comparison with the seedlings in terms of disposability and versatility.
Yet, life is transient and unpredictable. Some seedlings ultimately get removed by human interference; others simply disappear after days.
But is death the end of story? If not then where and what exactly is the end? Henceforth, the artist plants a seed of doubt for viewers to mull over.