Syahrul Anuar

Now Is When?

2020
2-Channel Video
15:24 Minutes

Now Is When? investigates into the metaphorical and materiality of granite which is imbued with histories and narratives — of the factual and fictional and of the past and present.

Granite has served as foundational building blocks for our nation-building — excavated locally and becoming a crucial resource for public housing alongside protecting our coastlines from erosion. Land scarcity, usage and raw materials remains as a key concern in our state policies and agendas.

Granite is also imbued with history. Granite as a material is used by geologists to understand our ecological history. Granite is also a recurring metaphor within Malay folklore — from presenting it as a punishment for being unfilial to being a mystical element for displaying strength and power.

The work weaves multiple disparate narratives — visual investigations at former granite quarries, breakwaters at East Coast Park, Malay folklore titled Si Tanggang and poetic pantuns alluding to the Nusantara (Malay World). Now Is When? thus manifests as a visual survey into local folklore, histories, state narratives and state ideologies; how they are created, controlled and perpetuated.

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