Sim Chi Yin’s project contests historiographies of the so-called Malayan Emergency (1948-1960), where jungles, plantations and villages became battlegrounds for anti-colonial fighters, and British and Commonwealth troops. For Interventions, shown for the first time, Sim combed the British Imperial War Museum’s archive, photographing prints and negatives to merge verso and recto into one plane. Sim introduces further perspectives of the anti-colonial left with two other series: Remnants features landscapes from the conflict in present-day Malaysia and Thailand that still retain traces of war. Requiem is a video installation where former deportees and exiles living across China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia reclaim memories of their political participation in their own voice, performing revolutionary songs. Sim’s assemblage of suppressed histories, personal narratives, private collections and altered sites form a counter-archive to colonial and postcolonial states’ account of the war.
Exhibition curator : Sam I-Shan.
Prints, mounting and framing by Atelier SHL, Arles.
With support from National Arts Council, Singapore.