Visual Arts

The Word for World is Forest: Khairulddin Wahab

Organised by: Cuturi Gallery
  • Date:
    21 Aug - 12 Sep 2021
  • Time:
    Tue - Sat: 12:00pm - 7:00pm
    Sun: 12:00pm - 6:00pm
  • Venue:
    Cuturi Gallery
    Cuturi GalleryCuturi Gallery
  • Language:


The Word for World is Forest is the first solo exhibition of Singapore-born artist Khairulddin Wahab (b.1990). Curated by Syed Muhd Hafiz, the exhibition will be held at Cuturi Gallery from 21 August to 12 September 2021. The exhibition will showcase new paintings produced over the past 2 years as Khairulddin continues his momentum after winning the top prize in the 2018 UOB Painting of the Year (Singapore) competition.

Graduating with a First-Class Honours Degree in Fine Arts from LASALLE College of the Arts in 2014, Khairulddin was also awarded the Winston Oh Travel Research Award in the same year. Since then, he has participated in various group exhibitions, both in Singapore and around the region including his selection as one of the international artists for the prestigious Biennale Jogja in 2019, the 5th edition of the Equator Series.

Inspired by the 1972 novel of the same title by American science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin, The Word for World is Forest is a continuation of Khairulddin's investigations into our fraught relationship with the natural environment, a hot-button issue that has gained attention amongst the younger generation of activists and politicians in recent years.

However, rather than issuing a clarion call, Khairulddin's paintings invites us on a journey into the heart of our relationship with nature - traversing the histories of colonialism, capitalist economies and ultimately, the systems of knowledge that have framed our understanding of the natural environment.

Mining images from the archives and deploying them with his signature painterly aesthetics, The Word for World is Forest offers visitors a fresh perspective of our natural environment, while at the same time, reminding us of our collective responsibilities.

Alongside the artworks, there will be an exhibition publication featuring essays from the curator and Tony O'Dempsey, an environmental consultant involved in field work and analysis in support of Environmental Impact Studies in Singapore. Supported by the National Arts Council, part of the research for this new series of works is funded by the Goethe-Institut Singapore (AUSSICHT Support Fund).

The Word for World is Forest will be on view at Cuturi Gallery from 12 August to 21 September 2021. Opening Day on 12th August from 12 to 7 pm. Admission is free.

The Word for World is Forest: Khairulddin Wahab