Nurul Huda

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The Sufi and the Bearded Man, 2011

photography, Dimensions Variable, Duration Variable


"The Sufi and the Bearded Man" tells the story of a 'keramat' ('shrine' in Malay) of a female saint, Siti Maryam. Located along the Kallang River, Singapore, it was home to its caretaker, Pak Ali, also known as Wak Ali Janggut ('bearded man' in Malay), as well as the community who would often gather to offer prayers to her. Chanced upon by Teren Sevea, a historian, it was discovered that the shrine was to be exhumed and demolished to make way for development. As an attempt to save and salvage the site, memory, and stories of the shrine, the space, people, and its objects were photographed and upon its demolition in April 2010, memorialized as an exhibition at the NUS Museum, Singapore.

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