by LIN Derong
Land is a precious yet unremarkable commodity. Shifting away from sand’s instrumentalist narrative, this thesis reinvigorates sand as a distinctly tactile and extraordinary material/matter/form using narrative, allegorical structures and landscapes. Located beside three sand stockpiles in Singapore are three sand-inspired commentaries manifested as hyper-productive leisure infrastructure to recast sand’s muted politics. The precarity of the Dunes – a series of leaking sand walls and funnels housing a shooting range adjacent to an existing army range. The hedonistic landscape of the Archipelago - parked next to a marina with luxury yachts, working barges are unmoored and transformed by night into party venues floating around the island. And the artifice of the Beach – an elevated world-class beachscape combining every conceivable beach facility furnished with sanitised sand for frolicking without risk. Each intervention juxtaposes commonplace perceptions of sand against its brute economics as raw material for land reclamation and building.
Super Dunes - Shooting Range
Operating at the heart of Seletar military zone, Super Dunes is MINDEF’s second open range and in adjacent, opens up public access to two ranges for shooting sports enthusiasts. It is like no other. Doubling as a new leisure landscape in Singapore, Super Dunes is simultaneously a protective barrier and a robust all-around protective backstop system made from medium-coarse compact sand – reinforced to ensure your ultimate safety even during bombshell detonation. Be it competitive training or plinking, immerse in the desert-like landscape and test your marksmanship with a wide array of weapons. A compulsory one-day course will be provided on the safety rules of the range, weapon handling knowledge, and basic shooting techniques. Please note that underground paintball is only available from May to November and the range is closed for annual maintenance every December. So hurry! Sign up now!
Super Archipelago - Barge Cruise
The sand is half-emptied, the lights are low, and the sails are up to the full mast. It is happening again! Join us on the Super Archipelago to have a clubbing experience like no other. Secluded offshore from Pulau Punggol Timor, enormous piles of sand reveal a new island paradise on a series of sand barges. Muse yourself to a theatrical ensemble of dance floors, bars, casinos and nudist beaches as you explore the various islands and amenities on board. Party through the night with world-class DJs on the floating beaches and take on massive sandhills if you dare. From 9 pm to 6 am, Super Archipelago embarks on an odyssey around the island of Singapore as you sip on Champagne and experience the immersive sunrise over the horizon towards the end. Limited time, by invitation only.
Super Beach - Infinity Sand-pool
Nestle within the Tampines Heartlands, Super Beach brings you the combination of the best beaches around the world right at your doorstep – without travelling to the ends of Singapore. It is like no other. Gazing over the glistening Bedok Reservoir, Tampines Quarry, with a 360o infinity edge, you will find another spectacular getaway spot in Singapore. Stretch out to sunbathe on a luxurious elevated deck or scrunch your toes in the softness of the fine-grained, sparkling sand specially sanitised for your hygiene. Escape into a trove of activities on this permanent urban beach for you and your family as blazes of parasols, domes of air-conditioned sand-pits, the largest sand slide on the equator, crèches for your children, and beach volleyball courts line up the paradise.
Insert A [ Scrambling Sands ] [ Short Film ]
Scrambling Sands presents the state's sand in a series of single-channel video that documents these stockpile sites in Singapore: Seletar Link, Pulau Punggol Timor, and Tampines Avenue 10. As the camera fixes its gaze on the sand dunes, these observational shots aim at capturing the fleeting atmospheric qualities and the traces of microscopic movements within the inert and static sand dunes that sit austerely against a still and sunless sky. The physical space becomes an object of study and visual documentation in slow-motion frames and still images – a few tipper trucks drive past while a series of movements unfolds at a languid pace with the passing wind. One sequence beside airspace, one by the coast, and one by a highway; these series of footages give hints but does not reveal state sand's provenance.
Servant Sands is a set of printed text and drawings that depict sand use in our everyday lives in an A to Z glossary structure, while Situating Sands zooms out into an international scale to trace the provenance and brutal economics of state's sand in a large format map-fold brochure.
These three inserts document and juxtapose overlapping time-lapse motions and the spatial atmosphere of the two contrasting sand landscapes in two different medium. As the surreal stockpiles are set against sand's frolic and idiosyncratic nature, they draw attention to the ongoing spatial separation between sand as a subjective matter in the everyday domestic and sand as an objective state's narrative manifested into surreal sand dunes.
Aedas Medal & Prize in Architectural Design Thesis