feb 17 - apr 10 2022
The Javan Mynah Society (2022)
Robert Zhao Renhui
Sundown at Orchard Road in Singapore is marked by a massive flurry of mynahs coming to roost. Over the years, business-owners have taken measures — including deploying a hawk to prey on the birds — against the mynah population, mostly in vain. In the 1980s, a group of local nature lovers formed the Singapore Javan Mynah Society, hoping to turn the roosting event into a tourist attraction. The society led tours out to Orchard Road to witness the roosting, which they marketed as “a spectacular natural phenomenon in the heart of the city”.
They also sold merchandise such T-shirts, toys and postcards.
The Javan Mynah Society would be offering visitors a group photo opportunity with the famous Orchard Road Mynas.
Sustainability note: Large scale vinyl stickers are not reusable.
About the Artist:
Robert Zhao Renhui (b. 1983, Singapore) is a multi-disciplinary artist and the founder of the Institute of Critical Zoologists. His artistic practice addresses humanity’s relationship with nature, and is characterised by a longstanding interest in investigating sites defined by the conflation of wilderness and urbanisation. Arising from a research-oriented process, his artistic output spans and blurs the boundaries between the mediums of photography, video, mixed-media installations, and publications. In doing so, he realises stories and narratives that re-focus attention on the planet’s ecological imbalance in palpable ways.
Zhao received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Photography from Camberwell College of Arts and London College of Communication respectively. His work has been exhibited in international group shows such as Busan Biennale 2020; Singapore Biennale 2019; Asia Pacific Triennial, Queensland, Australia, 2018; Jiwa: Jakarta Biennale, Indonesia, 2017; 7th Moscow Biennale, Russia, 2017; 20th Sydney Biennale, Australia 2016; Les Recontres d’Arles, France, 2015. Amongst his more recent solo exhibitions in Singapore are The Nature Museum, commissioned by Singapore International Festival of Art (SIFA) and The Bizarre Honour, realized for OH! Open House, both in 2017. Zhao has undertaken residencies at the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France, and Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, United States, and the Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan. He was awarded the Young Artist Award by the National Arts Council in 2010 and was a finalist of Hugo Boss Asia Art Award 2017, and a finalist of the Benesse Prize 2019.
He lives and works in Singapore.