The Green Crab: A Diagram of Auspicious Spatial Organization

The Green Crab is a speculative feng shui map of Singapore which provides an alternative guide for navigating the city. Created by artist-duo Zheng Mahler, and in collaboration with Singaporean architectural historian Ian Tan and One Bite Design Studio, the work refutes the critique of Singapore as an inauthentic and artificial built environment. It also explores the intersection between state-led urbanism in East Asia, and the guiding principles of Chinese metaphysics. By looking past the functional modernity of the city-state, the work reveals the hidden qi flows of the “spiritual state” woven into the fabric of Singapore’s master plan for urban development.

The same map is presented across SAM’s Bras Basah Road and Queen Street sites. The former takes the form of an unfolded scroll that traces the terrain of Singapore by way of the coastline, while the latter provides an oblique aerial perspective with annotations. Commissioned as a site-specific installation, The Green Crab serves as an auspicious opening for SAM’s multi-site exhibition Lonely Vectors.

About the Artists
Zheng Mahler is an ongoing collaboration between artist Royce Ng (b. 1983, Australia) and anthropologist Daisy Bisenieks (b. 1983, Australia) which examines global trade, the relational networks connecting nature, technology and human geography and beyond, as well as flows of mutual influence and the environmental architectures produced. The pair use digital media, performance and installation to develop speculative scenarios and immersive encounters that explore the limits and potentials of their respective disciplines. Together, they have exhibited, performed and participated in numerous art spaces, institutions and residencies, working alongside various communities in Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe and the US.

About Lonely Vectors
Lonely Vectors presents a series of artworks and new commissions that draw our attention to the flow of bodies and labour, exclusive zonings, fault lines, choke points, and infrastructural politics that characterise our global economy. The exhibition is presented across multiple venues, including local libraries and public hoardings. The final show will be held at SAM’s current location at Tanjong Pagar Distripark.


Hero image:
The Green Crab: A Diagram of Auspicious Spatial Organization (2021); image courtesy of the Artists.