Human Archive project
Singapore Art Museum
Revealing the inner worlds of people from different walks of life, this series explores the human condition and threads of commonalities despite our differences.
Gold, aluminium, mixed media. Variable dimensions.
Commissioned by Singapore Art Museum, 2017.
Human Archive Project is a series of 8 text-based artworks exhibited as part of the Human Archive Project exhibition at Singapore Art Museum.
Revealing the inner worlds of people from different walks of life, this series explores the human condition and threads of commonalities despite our differences. These 8 sculptures were commissioned by Singapore Art Museum and formed one half of Nicola’s solo show at Singapore Art Museum in late 2017.
Exhibition installation views of 'Human Archive Project'. Photographs courtesy of Singapore Art Museum, 2017.
To make these pieces Nicola ventured into disenfranchised communities to work closely with them, building trust to share their stories in a personal interview. These groups included inmates of Changi Women’s Prison, children managing chronic and terminal illness, families dealing with addiction, and the elderly community. Nicola also included members of the general public by inviting story contributions at www.humanarchiveproject.com (ongoing).
This series of 8 artworks contains stories gathered from 8 individuals in the local community, and these anonymous exposes include the stories of: 1) An inmate at Changi Women’s Prison, 2) A lupus patient, 3) A recovered obesity patient, 4) The wife of an alcoholic, 5) A homeschooling mother, 6) A daughter from a trauma-based family, 7) A migrant worker, 8) a Singaporean taxi driver. To read the stories in full, please visit the Human Archive.
“Throughout my practice I have been fascinated by people’s stories, social memory and oral history. Many individuals and communities in Singapore have added their multilayered human fragments and previously unspoken words to the archive. The Human Archive Project maps different types of human experience via an anonymous online portal as well as more in depth interviews.
When asking people to respond as part of an artwork, there is often a very honest, open, unrestrained sharing. This process can feel like a catharsis, a difficult admission or secret shared.
To understand another person’s existence, their joys, fears and learnings can help foster compassion, kindness and understanding in us all.
From this archive of human voices, I have created one body of works which focuses on confessional voices and unheard stories within the local community. The resulting text artworks are not clearly or immediately readable; as with a human being we need to work hard to read beneath the surface - taking time, patience and understanding to reveal the inner layers.”
Quote from Nicola Anthony, 2017
You can add your story or see the archive online here:
The Human Archive Project is also an ongoing story collecting project.
Partners and supporters
With the kind support of sponsors and partners: