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20 April 2022 – Rooting for Change: Artistic Responses to Climate Change and Sustainability at National Museum Singapore

We recently paid a visit to National Museum Singapore to catch Rooting for Change: Artistic Responses to Climate Change and Sustainability. It’s a showcase of three multimedia artworks selected from an Open Call earlier in the year and is supported by the Maybank Foundation. 

You can find Rooting for Change showcase past the main entrance. The three works are shown on an LED wall opposite The Salon.

Artist Robert Zhao, illustrator Ong Wei Ting, and multidisciplinary arts trio Dassad have created works that reference the National Collection to respond to climate change and sustainability. 

DASSAD’s Indefinite Waters features old technology objects from the National Collection, like old Nokia phones, TVs and Gameboys, by a shore. Rushing tides flow inside and over these objects to symbolise how our sea levels have been rising, despite our advancements in technology. 

Robert Zhao’s Second Chance looks at Singapore’s secondary forests, which were planted in response to the deforestation that took place during the colonial era, alongside photographs from old plantations in Singapore. These photographs are layered on top of footage of secondary forests, highlighting how history and nature are intertwined in Singapore. 

The work highlights the positive impacts our secondary forests have on the local ecosystem, while also touching on the poignant idea that most secondary forests are seen are temporary swathes of land awaiting urban development. We thought this a particularly powerful work, seeing changes in our natural landscape are inevitable. 

Using an endearing comic style, Ong Wei Ting’s animation Choosing Today for our Tomorrows highlights the actions we can take to reduce waste and lead sustainable lives. We appreciated how the work broke down complex topics like unsustainable farming and excess waste, and we’re sure younger audiences will be able to take valuable lessons away from the work too. 


Rooting for Change: Artistic Responses to Climate Change and Sustainability runs at National Museum Singapore until  31 July 2022. Click here to learn more.

Following this first open call, a second Open Call centred on the theme of Intangible Cultural Heritage will run until 18 May 2022. Click here to learn more.