About The Artist

Singapore-based visual and performance artist ila (b. 1985) incorporates objects, moving images and live performance into intimate works. Through weaving imagined narratives into existing realities, she seeks to create alternative nodes of experience and entry points into the peripheries of the unspoken, the tacit and the silenced. Using her body as a space of tension, negotiation and confrontation, her works generate discussion about gender, history and identity in relation to pressing contemporary issues. Her work has been shown at DECK; National Gallery Singapore; Substation; NTU Centre for Contemporary Art; National Design Centre ; Coda Culture; ArtScience Museum.


"Turun is a rumination of a past that haunts and a future that erases."

About The Artwork


Single-channel colour video with sound

Merging factual accounts into fictional narratives, Turun is a rumination of a past that haunts and a future that erases, looking at our fractured relationship with the environment through the lens of displacement, embodied knowledge and loss. The work is based on a fictional oral history interview with an individual, named Madam Salmah, about her late husband's role in seeking permission from the spirit of the sea, and her life after his tragic death with her daughter. It is based off an actual interview in the National Archives regarding rituals surrounding the sea, as well as A. Samad Said’s play, T. Pinkie's Floor, about the lives of the cabaret world at the cusp of independence. Turun, ila observes, “touches on the importance of respecting the environments we inhabit, as well as hyper-production, urbanisation and capitalism. It talks about notions of semangat (essence) of the land and sea and how we have forgotten our symbiotic relationship with nature. By looking to a speculative past of what has been lost, Turun is about finding other pathways in which we can move towards the future.”

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