SOTA: School of the Arts Singapore

Mirror of Water by Ms Zen Teh

Published on Jul 30, 2019

It all began with an encounter with oil-like residue in a canal in Singapore. This simple observation inspired Visual Arts faculty member Ms Zen Teh's latest body of work, Mirror of Water!

Though initially captivated by the beauty of light reflecting off the surface of the water, Ms Teh realised that this was a hint of possible water pollution. This occurrence triggered her investigation into the presence of oil-like residue in Singapore’s water bodies and the impact this has on the environment. Through her research, Ms Teh uncovered the downstream effect of water pollution on the health of mangrove forests and coastal ecosystems in Singapore.

Mirror of Water is composed of a series of photographic sculptures hovering on the surface of a water body, and a single-channel video of oil deposits swirling in the water. The installation creates an otherworldly experience, a place of limbo where time appears to stand still. The abstract, surreal beauty of the imagery belies the reality of the far-reaching consequences water pollution has on native ecology, and the gravity of the situation at hand.

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Opening of Mirror of Water by Ms Zen Teh (second from left)

A glimpse of Mirror of Water
A glimpse of Mirror of Water

Mirror of Water is part of Esplanade Presents: Visuals Art - Mediated Realities series. Her works were exhibited at Jendela (Visual Arts Space) from 19 April to 30 June 2019.