Ask any Singaporean about our country’s oldest symbolic figures and most would point out the Merlion and Sir Stamford Raffles.
However, unknown to most, there was a history before Raffles’s arrival and the appearance of the strange fishtail-lion creature. In this exhibition, artist Choy Ka Fai investigates the possibility of a buried history before Singapore came to be—a small republic that may had once existed within our island. Along with this exhibition comes an accompanying booklet that contains evidence of a small republic, known as the Lan Fang Republic, that was founded by the Hakka Chinese in West Borneo—sharing the tales of its impact on its neighbouring countries, its strong leaders and how this small empire soon tired and came to an end after grand total of 107 years.
The cover page was designed to be a fold-out, where the front page shows the entirety of Lan Fang’s 107 years of existence through a heavy worded time-line, while the reverse page shows the map of the republic and its citizens’ migration from around the island. The booklet was printed in black and white to suggest that this republic’s existence was not a myth, but the truth and a reality.