British Council Singapore

How are Singaporeans supposed to relate to the Future Memory Pavilion?

The Future Memory Pavilion is constructed using ice and sand, two key materials that have contributed to Singapore’s growth and success.

Both ice and sand were taken from their natural settings and imported to Singapore to modify the landscape and climate. Ice was harvested from lakes in the north east of America and shipped to Singapore and similarly hot colonies across the world in the mid-nineteenth century to be used for refrigeration and cooling. This was soon superseded by manufactured production with the development of ice-making machines and ice factories in the late nineteenth century. Reminders of this legacy remain in Singapore’s urban fabric with a replica of one of the first ice-houses in Clarke Quay and the name ‘ice-bridge’, or colloquially, Keik Seng Gio near a vanished ice factory on the Rochor River.

The sand in the Future Memory Pavilion can be interpreted as having been intercepted in its journey from its natural location, to being used for land reclamation or within building products. Sand is used to make glass, concrete, bricks and mortar, which constitute the palette of Singapore’s built environment.

In combining these two materials, Pernilla Ohrstedt and Asif Khan aim to explore Singapore’s history and ask questions about the future of its development.

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