This Chinese idiom is about a fool who tried to hide his silver/gold but ended up making it more conspicuous by putting a sign above the burial spot. This is simple story about the common irony we often encounter: where one ends up turning things or situations all the more obvious by trying too hard to make it oblivious, for instance, the drunk who says ‘I’m not drunk!.’

The artwork consist of a sign, that reads 此地无藏金 with English translation, ‘No gold buried here’, in yellow gold light or neon light (either planted in the sand or hanging from one the coconut trees). The sign would be pointing to a particular spot or area on the beach. A shovel, or several digging tools, painted gold will be placed alongside the ‘burial spot’ to encourage the viewers to dig for ‘gold coins’ buried underneath. But it is only for the participants to find out for themselves if the organizers, sponsors and artists are playing the fool by burying ‘gold coins’ there; or if they have been fooled to believe there were gold coins beneath because they follow the logic of the statement ‘There’s no gold’ too rigidly and blindly.

Apart from, attempting to be preachy by using idiom like school teachers, and demonstrating the inherent logical complexity in a simple Chinese idiom, the project is also keeping to the tradition of Sentosa – which, to us, is an island that induces people to do foolish things, behaving like idiots. A fitting example could be taken from World War II history: Fort Siloso, where the British army defending Singapore with their waning sea power from the Japanese forces tragically pointed all their big guns in the wrong direction!

Lights Installation | Dimensions variable

In conjunction with Art on Sands, ZoukOut 2008

Collection: Singapore Art Museum