Behind the lemon-yellow door in Singapore’s Goodman Arts Centre lies an idiosyncratic collection belonging to a 31-year-old artist and self-professed natural-history lover. Whimsical memorabilia fills the laboratory-like space; life-size replicas of a rottweiler, tortoise and stork greet the visitor. Display cases and various microscopes occupy a center table, while alligator skulls rest on a shelf. An adjacent table is covered with old Singapore postcards, loose photo slides and wildlife books. Welcome to the curious world of Robert Zhao Renhui.
Primarily photographic, Zhao’s practice is drawn from observations and research into the natural world. But it is not direct documentation; instead, he constructs and layers the subject with narratives, interweaving the real and the fictional, sowing a seed of doubt in viewers about the objectivity of the image before them.