The Land Archive: Singapore 1925 – 2025
Photographs: Robert Zhao Renhui
Pictures: black and white illustrations
This book chronicles the significant changes in Singapore’s natural and urban landscape that have
occurred over a 100-year period. The 15 images in this volume have been carefully selected by
researchers from The Land Archive to capture the changing face of this tropical island-state. They
touch on issues of land reclamation, national boundaries, ecological changes, pollution,
conservation and the ever-evolving skyline.
The pictures capture an ongoing dialogue between the city’s man-made infrastructure and its
natural spaces and creatures. While Singapore architecture is documented in aerial views of the
country’s tallest buildings, and its ubiquitous public housing, there are also photographs the
island’s wildlife. These include fauna in Marine Parade, native animals in the wildlife reserves,
which houses one of the biggest collection of animals in captivity, and the last few wild animals.
The Land Archive manages an extensive archive of documents from private memoirs, historical
maps and photographs to oral history interviews and audio-visual materials, some of which date
back to the early 19th century.
The Land Archive: Singapore 1925 – 2025 / Robert Zhao
Singaporean visual artist Robert Zhao Renhui (b. 1983) works chiefly with photography but often adopts a multi-disciplinary approach, presenting images together with documents and objects. Renhui’s work include textual and media analysis, video and photography projects. Recent exhibitions include the Sydney Biennale 2016, Arles Discovery Award 2015, ‘A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World’, Centre of Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2015); ‘The Nature Collector’, ShanghART, Shanghai (2015); ‘Flies Prefer Yellow’, Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco (2014); and ‘A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World’, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan (2014), Singapore Biennale 2013, Centre of Contemporary Photography (Melbourne) and Photoquai 2013. His work has also been awarded The Deutsche Bank Award in Photography (2011) by the University of the Arts London, The United Overseas Bank Painting of the Year Award (2009) Singapore. In 2010, he was awarded The Young Artist Award by the Singapore National Arts Council. His work has also been featured prominently in Artforum International, ArtAsiaPacific, European Photography, Pipeline, Archivo, Fotografia and Punctum.