Ode To The Unknown
The installation was commissioned by and is in the collection of the Indian Heritage Center, Singapore. The inspiration for this installation comes from the often overlooked rubber tapping cup in the museums collection.
In colonial 1900's Singapore's rich clay soil facilitated the production of ceramic cups to collect the latex from the plantations in the region.
Madhvi's studio is located at the home of the last remaining dragon kiln in Singapore where these cups were originally produced. She has reinterpreted the cup, by making 1008 polychromed ones in the similar, laborious and repetitive rhythm as her predecessors.
In the midst of the cups, small family size archival photographs shine the spotlight on the Indian plantation labourers. Thus paying
homage to the unknown maker and user of the rubber tapping cup.
The humble cup also alludes to the inadvertant cross-cultural dialogue between the Chinese and Indian indentured workers, speaking of colonialism, labour movement and labour politics.
Image credit:Indian Heritage Centre Resource Library