Arianna Mercado
curator, writer

From Primate to Primate: Three Images of the Orangutan
October 10 - 25, 2022
Singapore Art Museum

From Primate to Primate: Three Images of the Orangutan is the culmination of my three month long Curatorial and Research residency at the Singapore Art Museum. This project is an analysis of three reflections of the great ape from the late 2000s onwards: a print by Bornean collective Pangrok Sulap (2014), a series of YouTube videos of Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation Jungle School (2018-present), and Singapore Zoo’s own iconic celebrity Ah Meng (1964-2008). From Primate to Primate is an essay-in-progress and evolving research project detailing my research and exploration into the orangutan as a symbol, icon, and catalyst, constellating their relationship to food security, knowledge production, labor, and liberation.

For SAM Residency’s showcase and open studios, I established my own souvenir shop of limited-edition prints, stickers, and tote bags. This shop specifically builds on her explorations into Ah Meng and her granddaughter, Ishta, playing with the routines of branding, visual identities, and ascribed values. 

For more information on the residency process and its residents: @pepetasha