Set in an urban space, A Familiar Forest by environmental artist Zen Teh is an immersive art installation that replicates the ambience of an unspoilt forest. Taking inspiration from scientific research that has established a close correlation between human wellness and our proximity with nature, this multi-sensory installation with its interdisciplinary blend of art and science is a continued response to humanity’s desire for restoration and reconciliation with the natural world. Through her art, which consists of 34 multi-layered images of Singapore’s parks and nature reserves, ambient light, sounds and an aromatic scent, Zen reimagines the tranquillity of a forest at night and recreates a meditative journey off-site. The scientific research and healing scent component is by Dr Ching Jianhong, Assistant Professor and Director of the Metabolomics Research facility at Duke-NUS Medical School.
A complement to the concept of hygge [hoo-gah], a Danish word meaning ‘a mood of cosiness and comfortable conviviality with a feeling of wellness and contentment’, this inaugural exhibition is curated by NTU Art & Heritage Museum to celebrate the opening of Hygge, a new space at NTU’s Lee Wee Nam Library. Deliberately located in a secluded quiet zone, Hygge is a new initiative of NTU Library, which aims to provide an enclave for reflection, contemplation, and mental relaxation.
Zen Teh, A Familiar Forest. Image courtesy of the artist.