Vocationem Universalem / Universal Call / 2013-14

Single screen video work, comprising animated 3D model (assemblage of ‘enlightenment museums) and cannibalized speeches, reports, and articulations made between 1874 and 1977 by the following individuals:  D. H. Hodgson, Ivor H. N. Evans, James Collins, H. N. Ridley, Roland Braddell, Governor Fredrick Weld, Archdeacon Hose, R. Hanitsch, E. J. H. Corner, Eric R. Alfred, J. C. Moulton, Constance Sheares, Cecil Boden Kloss, Dr. G.D. Haviland and T.S.Raffles.

 

Later still a Museum or Museums are formed, with scientific men attached who, assisted at least by the Government, are able to devote their time to collecting and preserving specimens, as well as recording observations and data, and storing the specimens in the Museums for reference, and publishing the information obtained in reports or publication. [1]

 

The Central hall now holds the statue of the founder, which was brought to the Museum for safety.  Behind it is a case showing some of his letters and early history.  On the walls are paintings of the early settlements. Immediately on the left of the entrance is the sole fragment of the great stone with indecipherable inscription, which stood at the mouth of the River when the founder first landed.[2]

 

[Additionally, we have as yet] no satisfactory method devised by which the specimens can be preserved for any length of time with fidelity… The deteriorating influences of the tropical [hot] and extremely moist climate is such that collections of butterflies and moths exposed to the light rapidly lose their colour and it is therefore important to arrange that specimens that have not been subjected to these influences…

 

[1] H.N. Ridley, ‘The Scientific Exploration of the Peninsula:  An Address at the General Meeting of February 27th, 1917’, JSBRAS 75 (1917)

[2] E.J.H. Corner, The Marquis: A Tale of Syonan-to (Singapore: Heinemann Asia, 1981)