Bukit Orang Salah

2013, Video Installation
Format: High Definition Video (4:3)
Length: 20 minutes on loop
Audio: Stereo with 3 external audio stations

At various points in its history, tiny St. John's Island, south of Singapore, was where Singapore's colonial founder Sir Stamford Raffles docked his ship upon arrival, a quarantine centre for immigrants and pilgrims returning from Mecca, a penal colony for political detainees and secret society leaders, and a sleepy holiday resort. Unlike neighbouring islands, however, St. John's was never fully developed. It occupies an in-between space, the vestiges of its history scattered around the land: out-of-bound markers and fences, deserted paths and dilapidated housing. Its indeterminacy stands in sharp contrast to Singapore, where land use is meticulously planned to fulfil economic and social functions. In this film, St. John's Island - otherwise known as 'Bukit Orang Salah' (approximately, 'Hill of Wrong People' or 'Hill of Misfits'), a nickname coined by the people who were quarantined there -- becomes a site of and for reflection, prompting questions about our history, heritage and identity.

  • "As You Were" have its North American Premiere in March at CAAMfest, San Francisco.