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MUR 003 + ROBERT ZHAO / JOHN TUNG + An Attempt at Exhausting a Tree [Mangrove]

An Attempt at Exhausting a Tree [Mangrove] is a project that studies/documents a single individual mangrove tree.

The project takes a turn from macroscopic observation and studies of nature-reclaimed ecologies to microscopic exa-mination of a singular specimen playing a vital function in the networked relationships of organisms dependent on it.


The ambitions of this project is appropriately captured in its title – exhaustive. Yet rather than ascertaining the economic value derived from the complete exploitation of a particular timber resource, the project concerns itself with fully uncovering its ecological value through non- invasive means instead. In this regard, the project that seeks to provide a holistic assessment of the “life of the tree” concerns itself with a comprehensive research and docu-mentation of a smorgasbord of minutiae and is therefore representative of a major research and creative undertaking.

The devotion of time, effort and resources to studying a single tree emphasises the interest in the individual as opposed to the collective species. This choice underscores a hyper- attentive, non-human-centric way of observing nature – rather than classifying individuals into a broad category that flattens differences, it pays close attention to a single specimen. The study of a single tree over a relatively long period of time has also not been attempted before.

With more than ten years of active engagement in various domains of the arts, culture, and creative industry, John Tung brings a wealth of expertise and diverse experience to the table. Throughout his journey, he has seamlessly navigated both creative and administrative realms, immersing himself in curatorial, editorial, and pedagogical pursuits. Collaborating with artists hailing from different corners of the globe, John adeptly negotiates, mediates, and offers profound approaches to address global challenges through the transformative power of arts and cultural practices.

From the Woods LLP | Singapore >


Robert Zhao Renhui, a Singaporean artist of international acclaim, is renowned for his multifaceted and interdisciplinary approach. His artistic practice delves into the diverse ways in which humans observe and perceive animals, exploring the intricate dynamics of the human zoological gaze. With a keen interest in the historical and evolutionary aspects of this gaze, Renhui intertwines it with the progression of society and the influence of media. Furthermore, his work delves into the exploration of various modes of knowledge production within contemporary archives, unraveling new narratives and perspectives.

Robert Zhao Renhui > Singapore >

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