Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/222045
Title: AUGMENTED TRANSGRESSION : UNVEILING THE INCONSISTENCY OF THE BORDER SPACES BETWEEN SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA
Authors: LIM CHU HWAI
Keywords: Architecture
Design Track
Tsuto Sakamoto
2011/2012 DT
Issue Date: 5-Jan-2012
Citation: LIM CHU HWAI (2012-01-05). AUGMENTED TRANSGRESSION : UNVEILING THE INCONSISTENCY OF THE BORDER SPACES BETWEEN SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: When a divisive line is drawn on the territorial map, this action of separating spatializes into a real space, of which we call the border space. This action, very often, produces an empty landscape, seemingly void of any organic life and entity1. While many of these borderlines cut through the deserted places between the nations, the border space between Singapore and Malaysia, however, is an intriguing one; with it formed between two immediate cities of respective nation. Singapore, to the south of the borderline, is the most densely populated island nation with critical land shortage; while Johor Bahru, the second most densely populated and congested city of Malaysia, is located to the north of this borderline. Located between two cities with critical population and land size, this border space between Singapore and Malaysia is surprisingly, sterile and empty. A border is an ideological socio-cultural construct by which communities/nations define and defend the notion of their territory. The notion of border in the past is closely built upon sovereignty and identity of a territory or a kingdom. It emphasizes on the difference of selfness and otherness – a threshold, a clear cut, an active agent. In contemporary understanding, the border space between nations is often a blurred but controversial one. The border, as a space, possesses a spatial characteristics in which power can be exercised, conflict addressed and social control exerted. Its physical entity should not be seen purely as a space that is strictly monitored, guarded or armed due to its territorial sovereignty but a pertinent space closely related to the construction of identity of societies, economies and cultures of the nation. This dissertation seeks to recast the border space between Singapore and Malaysia as a landscape constructed upon transgressive practices and images from across the border. This border space could be seen both as a heterotopia – a space that is ‘out of place’ from its surrounding environments; at the same time, a space that is founded on and closely tied to the societies on its both sides. These duo-characteristics of this border space are often contradictory and contesting, which result in the transformation of the spatial configuration and phenomenon of this border space – temporal and transient. The discussion will dwell into identifying the unique spatial configuration of this border space in relations to its contexts, proposing that the ‘emptiness’ and transient nature of this border space is due to excessiveness and overabundance of events and contestation, rather than it being void of images and entities.Several border studies will be conducted, unveiling the underlying images and events that these border spaces are founded on, illustrating the spatial, social and ideological relationship between these border landscapes and its surrounding contexts2 – mainly the states and the societies on both sides. The ambiguous ownership of the Malaysian owned railway land in Singapore is investigated, revealing this border space as appropriated and contested through the transgressive and appropriated landscapes along this stretch of borderland. The sterility and emptiness of the Straits of Johor is explored, uncovering the silent contestation and the assertion of state powers onto this border space that render it controversial and seemingly void of life. The spatial configuration of the Causeway is mapped, plotting the temporal and transient authorship of this dominant space that is constructed upon state power and protocol. Finally, the immediate fragile landscape of ‘otherness’ and ‘marginalization’ across the border is traced when this space is transformed by and reconfigured for across the border, constructing the overlapping landscapes.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/222045
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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