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The Institute of Critical Zoologists: Final Report of the Christmas Island Expert Working Group
Robert Zhao Renhui, Fig 105. A frigate bird using an abandoned pool in a deserted casino to drink freshwater, 2013, photograph. Courtesy the artist.
Exhibition
The Institute of Critical Zoologists: Final Report of the Christmas Island Expert Working Group
03 Mar 2018 - 29 Apr 2018
Since the establishment of the first human settlements in the late 19th century, the ecosystem of Christmas Island—a small volcanic outcrop in the Indian Ocean which was transferred from Singapore to Australia in 1958—underwent dramatic changes. Along with human settlers, several non-indigenous species alighted on the island disrupting the endemic biodiversity that had thrived undisturbed thanks to geographical remoteness and almost no human interference. The accidental introduction of invasive species severely impacted a fragile ecosystem, imperilling the island’s wildlife and causing the extinction of a number of native species. As a result, extreme biocontrol strategies are currently being undertaken in an attempt to restore the island’s biodiversity.

In the past two years, The Institute of Critical Zoologists has been researching the escalating chain of events brought about by the human presence on Christmas Island gathering a varied collection of research materials that merge factual and fictional elements. By surveying the impact of human beings on an endemic habitat, Final Report of the Christmas Island Expert Working Group maps outlines of invasion and retreat, it investigates dynamics of connectedness and isolation triggering reflections on states of vulnerability and conditions of survival in the age of globalisation.

Curated by Anna Lovecchio, Curator, Residencies



BIOGRAPHY
The Institute of Critical Zoologists was founded by multidisciplinary artist Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore). Persistently twisting reality and fiction, Zhao’s artistic practice addresses the relationship between humans and nature challenging accepted parameters of objectivity and scientific modes of classifications. Over the years, Zhao has appropriated codes and conventions of documentary photography and museum display to compose compelling narratives that problematise the notion of truth. His work has been exhibited in numerous international exhibitions including Jakarta Biennale (2017); 7th Moscow Biennale (2017); and 20th Sydney Biennale (2016). He received the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award in 2010 and was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award for Emerging Asian Artists 2017. He is Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore until March 2018.
NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore)
Exhibitions: Block 43 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109443. Research Centre and Office: Block 6 Lock Road, #01-09/10, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108934

Exhibition Hours
Tue - Sun: 12.00 - 7.00pm
Fri: 12.00 - 9.00pm
Mon: Closed
Open on Public Holidays
Free Admission

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