Mirror of Water
This body of work started with Zen Teh’s encounter with oil-like residue in a canal in Singapore. Teh was taken in by the sublime beauty of light reflecting off the surface of the water. While this phenomenon was visually captivating; to her, it was far from innocuous and hinted at the possibility of water pollution. This occurrence triggered her investigation into the presence of oil-like residue in Singapore’s water bodies and the impact this has on the environment. Through her research, Teh uncovered the downstream effect of water pollution on the health of mangrove forests and coastal ecosystems in Singapore.
Mirror of Water is composed of a series of photographic sculptures hovering on the surface of a water body, and a single-channel video of oil deposits swirling in the water. The installation creates an otherworldly experience, a place of limbo where time appears to stand still. The abstract, surreal beauty of the imagery belies the reality of the far-reaching consequences water pollution has on native ecology, and the gravity of the situation at hand.