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ROBERT ZHAO RENHUI 赵仁辉
b. 1983, works and lives in Singapore

ROBERT ZHAO RENHUI 赵仁辉
2014
Canvas light box
140(H)*210(W)cm
Edition of 2 + 1AP
ZRH_9846

This rubber tree in front of the Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang is the only surviving tree of an abandoned old rubber plantation dating to the 1900s. Madam Aminah, who works in the mosque, lived in a nearby Malay kampung in the 1950s and remembered playing hide-and-seek among the plantation with her friends.

The area’s history is closely tied to the Malay community. Early records show that the land was once a Muslim cemetery that was cleared to make way for rubber plantations in the early 1900s. By the 1940s, the rubber plantations were cleared to make way for a village to accommodate the workers at the nearby Sembawang naval base shipyard.

Today, this rubber tree is still standing after multiple failed attempts at cutting it down. While some people have come to pray to it, Madam Aminah says, “To me, it’s just a majestic tree guarding the mosque.”



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