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Rooting for Change: Artistic Responses to Climate Change and Sustainability

20 Apr 2022 - 31 Jul 2022
LED Wall,
opposite The Salon
Daily 10am – 7pm
Free Admission
Climate change is a global issue that has serious implications for our present and future. While the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and other national initiatives outline Singapore’s efforts at creating a sustainable city, how has climate change been considered on a regional level within a Southeast Asian context? How does it affect Singapore and our neighbours?
The National Museum of Singapore together with Maybank Foundation is pleased to showcase three multimedia artworks that were created as an artistic response to these questions. The artists have drawn inspiration from the museum’s collection to create fresh connections between environmental issues that concern our present and allow us to imagine what our future might look like.

Selected from an Open Call that was held between April to May 2021, Indefinite Waters (DASSAD), Second Chance (Robert Zhao) and Choosing Today for our Tomorrows (Ong Wei Ting) offer a mix of artistic styles, originality and innovativeness in their quest to engage audiences on the issues of climate change and sustainability.

Behind-the-scenes With The Artists

As you immerse yourself in the audio-visual experience of these creative works, we invite you to reflect on your personal relationship with the environment and to envision the role you can play in building a sustainable future. Addressing climate change is a collective effort, and it begins with us.

Second Open Call: Intangible Cultural Heritage

This two-part Open Call commissioning series series serves to showcase creative and contemporary responses to the National Museum’s collection, making it more accessible to the public while engaging them on contemporary issues. The second open call will be held from 19 April till 18 May 2022. Come explore your creativity and get inspired by the National Museum's collection!

Click below for more information on criteria and how to submit for the second open call.



Indefinite Waters X DASSAD

Featuring telecommunication and technological devices inspired by Singapore’s National Collection, Indefinite Waters collapses the past, present and future onto a dystopian landscape of consumer products. It is an experimental video reflecting on the paradoxical relationship that humans have with the urgency of our climate futures.

The futility of measuring an ever-changing shoreline in a world threatened by rising sea levels parallels the unceasing human need to define and quantise an immeasurable and inevitable change in our daily lives.

About the Artists
DASSAD is a multidisciplinary arts trio comprising of Soak, Adar and Dave. Primarily image-makers, they aim to utilise the process of art making as the vehicle for inculcating praxis.
Robert Zhao2

Second Chance X Robert Zhao

An overlooked feature of Singapore's landscape, secondary forests are forests that have sprung up over previously developed plots of land. They make up the bulk of Singapore's spontaneous vegetation, which covers more than half of its existing greenery. However, they are often undervalued ecologically, despite research on new ways in which secondary forests can help with climate change and biodiversity loss.

A poetic meditation on the historical and environmental richness of these forests, Second Chance (2022) features footage of secondary forests (on sites of abandoned plantations and kampongs) as well as wildlife captured by motion-sensitive cameras placed in these areas.

In a time of climate exigencies, the work is a clarion call to greater conservation of these flourishing parcels of land, from which we can derive models of resilience, compromise and co-existence with other species.

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 the human relationship with nature. 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 the 12 th Benesse Art Prize in 2019.

Choosing Today for our Tomorrows X Ong Wei Ting

Climate change and sustainability are two key issues that today’s generation is grappling with. While it does feel overwhelming at times, we should take heart that every decision we make, no matter how small, will make a difference for our environment. We can learn from our past, but it is our choices today that will impact our future.

The animation you see is inspired by cartoons from the 1990’s that used transitions between illustrations, known as “picture-mation”, which is different from frame-by-frame animation. This style is itself inspired by audiobooks. To differentiate the themes in this animation, the artist took a leaf from the art style of risograph printed storybooks she read as a child, in which the artwork is in hues of the same colour. The soundtrack was written by Kevin MacLeod from and

Let’s try our best to build a better future together!

About the Artist
Ong Wei Ting is the illustrator and creator of Ong Lai Art in 2019. She finds joy in turning people’s ideas, memories and stories into art. Her art style is simple and cute, and usually takes the form of digital art or ink and watercolour.

Yes, she likes to draw.

Family Time

Visit our permanent galleries with your little ones and play spot-the-artefact! Our colourful Early Learning Resources introduce pre-schoolers to our artefacts according to the themes of Numbers, Colours, and ABCs. Available at $8 per set from the Museum Label shop. For more children's activity booklets, click here.

Museum guide

Download our museum guide (English, Chinese, Bahasa Melayu, Tamil) to find out about the many treasures in our various galleries. In this guide, you will also find the floor plan for easier navigation. Enjoy your visit!

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