Data Mining Jurong
As you descend an endless tunnel, fragments of Jurong reveal themselves in the layers of rock strata, jogging collective memories embedded deep within your mind. Everyday sounds echo off old film projectors, abandoned train tracks and fishing rods which jut out of rough tunnel walls, forming an uncanny museum of Jurong...
Jurong has been an integral part of Singapore’s economic history since the 1960s. The neighbourhood was first developed as an industrial estate, and has since grown into a vibrant hub of industry, commerce and residential units. Today, Jurong looks set to reinvent itself once more through the masterplan for the Jurong Lake District.
In Data Mining Jurong, Debbie Ding sketches out an alternate reality where Jurong’s past encounters its present, to reflect on what Jurong is, was, and might become. It is presented as the inaugural cycle for the Singapore Art Museum’s Art in the Commons: Data Visualising Jurong, a series of community-based, participatory art programmes to uncover community interests within the Jurong district.
“Data Mining Jurong” takes the viewer in a slow descent down a mysterious, infinitely deep cavernous mine shaft. Objects are embedded in the rock strata - representing the embedded objects that make up Jurong.
The work explores an alternate reality in which during tunnelling works for the upcoming Jurong Region Line, Jurong was discovered to be located on top of a significant discovery of oil. The government decides on compulsory purchase of the buildings in the area and residents are relocated so that Jurong can be mined.
On the site where flats once stood, at the shaft of the deepest darkest mine, a viewing gallery has been constructed. People who once lived in those houses come back to peer down the mine shaft. The former residents of Jurong examine the objects and wonder, what is Jurong?...