ISEA2008 Juried Exhibition

So Close the Desert Isle

Jason Wee (Singapore)
Collaborating with: Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing & Processing (CRISP)

Deserted islands have long fuelled our imaginations with the romantic promise of idyllic isolation, although in reality their discovery often leads to territorial disputes and conflicts between states. For this artwork, Jason Wee has chosen one such space, a ‘white rock’ located off the southwestern tip of the Malayan Peninsula. Contested by both Singapore and Malaysia, it is known by two names, Pedra Branca (for Singapore) and Pulau Batu Puteh (for Malaysia). The artist booked time on a satellite, and had it flown over the contested territory. The satellite is capable of identifying ships by their wake. He then chartered a boat to enter the contested waters, thus crossing paths with the satellite. The satellite capture is shown in the gallery, while the island and its surrounding waters is re-mapped in the form of a 3D CG model so that virtual images are placed alongside the real ones. This artwork is a critical exploration of borders and territories, both actual and imagined.

Jason Wee (Singapore/USA) is an artist, photographer and writer, he is Adjunct Faculty at the International Center of Photography, New York, and editor of Softblow.com.

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