Cleon Peterson's  Land of Shadows  at Lock Route at Gillman Barracks, 2017.

Cleon Peterson's Land of Shadows at Lock Route at Gillman Barracks, 2017.


DISINI is a curated festival consisting of a series of events, art exhibitions, engagements with unconventional ideas, recollections and sharing of history and heritage. Spurred by its locale, DISINI is also a ground-up initiative that borrows its name from the Malay adverb ‘di sini’, meaning ‘over here’. It invites artists, culture makers and the public to activate thoughts embedded by landscapes surrounding Gillman Barracks, its precinct of residence.

The Gillman area has been occupied in as far back as 1349 as noted by Wang Dayuan, a Chinese trader who penned personal encounters with communities living near Longyamen, otherwise known as Dragon Tooth Strait, between Sentosa island and Labrador Point, just a stone’s throw from Gillman Barracks. Today, this historical landscape includes iconic sites such as Haw Par Villa, Pasir Panjang Terminal, the shrine of Raden Mas Ayu, Bukit Chandu, the Carmelite monastery and Labrador Park. These landmarks sit within a 4-km radius surrounding Gillman Barracks. These sites string the curatorial premise for DISINI, conjuring catchwords such as ‘divinity’, ‘trade’, ‘war’, ‘myth’, ‘monument’, ‘sanctuary’, ‘flora’, ‘occupation’ and ‘hero’, presenting potent ideas that pleads to be excavated and engaged. 

Despite its military past, Gillman Barracks have also seen itself as location for public gatherings and now is a hub for contemporary art. With DISINI, the site presents possibilities for meaningful meetings, discourses and a juncture to consolidate the collective spirit. 



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