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sacrificial protection – with Chok Si Xuan & Victoria Hertel
2nd iteration: 1 April – 12 May 2024
Residency at 136 GOETHE LAB, Goethe-Institut Singapore
1st iteration: 24 August – 20 October 2023
DECK, 120A Prinsep Street

sacrificial protection brings together artists Chok Si Xuan and Victoria Hertel in a new artistic collaboration that probes the relationship between constructed and natural processes through the lens of tropical technology.

Tropical environments pose unique challenges for technology, where high temperatures, humidity and rainfall increase the rate of weathering and corrosion of urban infrastructures. In such climates, time is accelerated for these materials as metal rusts, rain seeps through concrete, and objects are reclaimed by the environment.

sacrificial protection takes its name from a corrosion protection method where a more active metal prevents a primary metal from rusting. Evoking on one hand the material harshness of oxidised metal, sacrificial protection also speaks to a softer practice of care and mutual co-constitution with our environment, where the bodily comes into contact with the elemental. Re-imagining an approach to tropical technology that does not resist climatic factors, we consider how humidity, moisture, sunlight, and corrosion can be integrated into the artwork itself.

Uniting both artists’ approaches is a dedicated interest in techno-organic interfaces of being. In Victoria Hertel’s interactive installations, she creates material encounters and sensory systems to capture traces of the formless – be it presence through sound, evaporating water paths, or the scents of one’s skin. Chok Si Xuan similarly engages with corporeal entanglements through kinetic sculptures and installations which consider the materiality and affect of technology.

sacrificial protection is a product of an extended engagement with mutual ways of thinking and making. Responding to each other’s practices as well as the environmental conditions of the site, the artists aim to prompt different attentions to urban weathering, tropical technology, and the effects of time on material transformations.

[1 - S Space - Light], 2023
Repurposed welded steel rebars, zinc-coated steel mesh, steel wires, light sensors, solar panels, vibration motors, waterproof junction boxes, sunlight, vinegar, oxygen, time
[2 - M Space - Rain]
Repurposed welded steel rebars, discarded borosilicate glass funnels, clamps, water-resistant nylon cloth, water atomisers, solar panels, waterproof junction boxes, rainwater, sunlight, water vapour
[3 - L Space - Heat]
Corrugated zinc-coated steel sheets, repurposed welded steel rebars, stones, ESP32 microcontrollers, digital temperature sensors, step-down converters, repurposed solar powered DC motors, solar panels, waterproof junction boxes, steel rods, plastic strikers, sunlight, heat, wind, acoustic waves
[* - XS Space - R&D]
Hand-blown glass vessel from crushed solar panel glass, electroplated copper

26 August 2023   |   Artist Sharing & Walkthrough: Chok Si Xuan & Victoria Hertel with Seet Yun Teng
9 September 2023   |   Conversation: Annabelle Tan (architectural designer) & Woong Soak Teng (photographer & artist) with Victoria Hertel & Chok Si Xuan
13 October 2023   |   Closing Performance "response: decay" with Josh Tirados Suarez

Exhibition Essay

DESIGNER   |   Edna Sun
PHOTOGRAPHER   |   Khoo Guo Jie

SPECIALTHANKS TO   |   Sean Gwee, Edwin Chok, John Tung, Tay Ining

and the team from DECK   |   Gwen Lee, Jay Lau, Isaiah Cheng, Lim Su Fang, Dawn Yeong

SUPPORTED BY   |   National Arts Council Tote Board Arts Fund

VENUE SUPPORTER   |   DECK Photography Art Centre

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