Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Performative Journey

This is a blog about "Pilgrims' Process. A Performative Journey Over Land And Sea: Beyond The German Girl's Shrine" by Ella Magee. The event takes place on Thursday 7th September 2006, 5.45pm sharp.

Arrive early or you will miss the boat at Changi Point Ferry Terminal. The event will take place at the German Girl Shrine at dusk. The last return boat leaves at 9.30pm. Appropriate clothing, footwear and insect repellent recommended.

Event flyer:

Monday, August 28, 2006

Pulau Ubin: An Island Getaway

The Pulau Ubin brochure says:

A trip to Ubin is a throwback to Singapore in the 1960s. The island is home to Singapore's last villages or "kampongs" - there are still about a hundred villagers living here. In contrast to the modern and efficient public utilities on mainland Singapore, Ubin residents rely on wells for water and noisy diesel generators for electricity. Some villagers depend on traditional farming and fishing for subsistence, while others tend to their provision stores and eateries. At the main village, near the jetty, some houses have been converted to bicycle rental shops to support a quiet tourist trade.

Focus Ubin has lots more information.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The German Girl Shrine

"The Nadu Guniang shrine on Pulau Ubin is a striking example of the inclusivity of Chinese worship. It is dedicated to the ghost of a German girl. 'Nadu' is the Chinese approximation of 'datuk' and 'guniang' means 'maiden'. Together they suggest a maiden who has 'holy' qualities like a datuk.
This yellow hut under an assam tree enshrines the remains of a German girl who fell off a steep cliff into a quarry while fleeing from the British who had come to take over her father's coffee plantation. Her body was found the next day by plantation labourers, swarming with ants, and was hurriedly buried on the spot.
The Ubin villagers reported seeing her ghost repeatedly after this, so they gave her a proper burial. In 1974, she was exhumed and stored in an urn in a nearby Chinese shrine. The remains were later stolen, it seems - but an urn remains and the girl's shrine has become a popular pilgrimage, especially for gamblers."

From Jonathan Lim, Between Gods and Ghosts, Cavendish International, 2005.

The German Girl Shrine Continued

The Artist's Response To The Visual Enquiry

A Reaction To The Invitation To "Pilgrims' Process"

Robert Guth's reaction to the invite

This statue was meant to end up in the Hindu temple in Flory but because it was broken they don't want it. In India they would throw it in the Ganges or a nearby river to return to the earth. Here the community decided that they probably should not throw it in the lake or the Cotter river so they were going to throw it in or dam - From there I'm guessing that dad negotiated that we would just take care of it. The preamble is that five years ago my father wanted to set up the "Australian Kwan yin Temple". When we bought the farm I claimed a shed as my studio and darkroom, I never really got around to fitting it out so naturedly dad was eyeing off my shed as his venue. We cut the deal with that if he could get a 4 foot high statue (temple quality) of a deity (any deity) he could have the space. So now he has manifested the statue but the shed burnt down in the 2003 fires.

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