The Colony (2017 – ongoing) is the title of Marvin Tang’s long-term research project which examines the impact of botanical institutions on the movement of seeds, plants, and people in the colonial era. For the next iteration of the project, the artist intends to focus on the history and evolution of the Wardian case, a glass container for growing and transporting flora devised by British physician Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward in 1833. The direct precursor of the modern terrarium, this transportable receptacle proved instrumental in allowing the circulation of plants across the globe in the 19th century. Here, it is framed as a point of departure to excavate the social, economic, and environmental implications of planetary plant movements and the displacement of labour forces required to sustain booming plantation economies. During the residency, the studio will be used to conduct durational experiments with natural substances and photographic materials and try out different modes of display.
1 April – 29 September 2020
Residency Item Type Metadata
The artist intends to focus on the history and evolution of the Wardian case, a glass container for growing and transporting flora devised by British physician Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward in 1833.
“Marvin Tang,” NTU CCA Singapore Digital Archive, accessed October 1, 2022, https://ntuccasingapore.omeka.net/items/show/1322.
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Artist Talk by Marvin Tang (Singapore), Artist-in-Residence
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