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Ways to Tie Trees

Woong Soak Teng

Curator:Gwen Lee

Photographer:Woong Soak Teng



Between August and December 2015, Woong Soak Teng explored the man-made garden city of Singapore and made portraits of its staked trees. As in many cities around the world, here trees are uprooted and relocated to conform to a controlled cityscape determined by urban planning. As part of an attempt to construct productive and aesthetic living environments for ourselves, nature has long since been subjected to manipulation at the mercy of human hands.

Featuring a diversity of (sometimes unorthodox) approaches to the art of tree-tying, this book presents an intimate encounter with the trees and their much-overlooked supporting structures, which have become an integral element of the human habitat. Teng’s consistent, frontal approach and detailed captions based on the trees’ locations lend her works a topographical quality which complements the almost abstract elegance of her subjects.

"Tree staking is ubiquitous yet largely unnoticed. Just like our innate human instinct to control."

Woong Soak Teng


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