We are a country in the grip of nostalgia. Before the present slips away, we already anticipate loss. Everything is a future past. Is nostalgia a form of critique, resistance, or capitulation in the land of SG50?
The programme dissects this nostalgic nation; from playgrounds and kuehs, to vanishing architecture and hawkers; through omnipresent symbols and the impetus to romanticise. We take a stroll down memory lane and into the future, to figure out what was lost, what we’re losing, and what we’re only afraid to lose—and why.
Featuring a nostalgic playground with a contemporary twist, designed by Joshua Comaroff & Lekker Architects, with collaborator Leow Si Min, and suitable for kiddos, selfie-spot-hunters (millennials), and young-at-heart parents, aged 6 and up.
Visual artist Mrydette responds to the playground with an installation interwoven with loaned and pre-owned chou chou, mementos, and personal objects—each imbued with a story. The work serves as a reminder that nostalgia, while often seen through a romanticised lens, is also a site of refuge and safety.
For more information on our extensively various programmes, please visit citieschange.sg/The-Vanishing.
The Vanishing, Or Time Goes Away is the final chapter of The Substation’s 2018/19 programme Cities change. People die. Everything you know goes away. Looking at local heritage and how its discourses shape the city through conservation and nostalgia, the programme is part of a three-year curatorial direction examining the city.