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Bēhance

Singapore, Michigan

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  • Singapore, Michigan

    Near the mouth of the Kalamazoo River in a densely forested area, Singapore was founded in 1836 with the intention of becoming a port city on par with Chicago. As a lumber industry was birthed and developed over the next four decades, the destruction along the shores of Lake Michigan in October of 1871 became a turning point in the fate of Singapore. 

    For three days in early October of 1871, fire eradicated over three square miles of Chicago; the predominantly wooden architecture lending itself to the widespread damage. Less commonly known are the three other major fires occurring on the same days which destroyed large portions of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, and both Manistee and Holland, Michigan. In total, thousands were killed, miles of city and thousands of miles of forests were leveled by the same fire that took Chicago. 

    Singapore and the natural resources harbored by their lumber industry were quick to act, assisting several different communities with materials for rebuilding. As an oversight of limitation, Singapore's supply was exhausted less than a few years later. With the key industry having run out of fuel, the town was almost completely abandoned. Because the forests around Singapore were cleared, winds from the lake began to push the sand dunes on the shores back into the town, covering it completely less than five years after the last person left.  Nothing remains visible of the town today.
  • A compilation of footage gathered while creating Singapore, Michigan.


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  • Surface was built on top of the panel. Attention to keeping ridges and other textures natural to the brush were considered.
  • Shortly before a final sketch was implemented.
  • Color was added in blossoming formations on isolated portions of the panel, and then chained together by a sequence of color shifts that considered the underlying layers of grid and markmaking. 
  • full piece

    36x48"