Programmes Professional Workshops

Masterclass: The New Forest (Robert Zhao)

The New Forest marks the beginning of The Institute of Critical Zoologists (ICZ) and SIPF’s 5 years collaboration. At the end of 5 years, the works of participants will culminate into an exhibition or a book.

In this edition, The New Forest masterclass will place over a three-day workshop. Artists will gather to embark on long-term projects documenting nature in urban cities. These projects will focus on discovering narratives of human and non-human species in our daily environments, especially in unconventional places beyond parks, nature reserves or the zoo.

With the ongoing climate crisis, we must relook humankind’s relationship with nature. Some of the issues that will come under questions are the separation between culture and nature, as well as the privileging of humans over non-human species. Robert Zhao (founder of the ICZ) will guide participants to develop a personal project and vision. The resultant body of work will rethink and reconsider ecology and its possibilities.

The projects will be in (but not limited to) lens-based media. The New Forest will have a dedicated page on the SIPF website. This page will hold an archive of all proceedings and works from this masterclass.

This masterclass is suitable for individuals looking to embark on a long-term project. It is also suitable for those interested in nature and its entanglements with history and science.


This workshop is limited to 12 participants.
Participants are required to present a valid ID card.


  • Workshop participants should be able to show a good level of photographic aptitude and a desire to learn.
  • Candidates will be expected to develop a positive attitude towards critical self-reflection, discussion and constructive critique.
  • Participants should prepare their portfolio presentations and artistic discourse ahead of the workshop.

Important Information for 7th SIPF 2020 Masterclass


The Institute of Critical Zoologists was founded by multidisciplinary artist Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore).

Persistently twisting reality and fiction, Zhao’s artistic practice addresses the relationship between humans and nature challenging accepted parameters of objectivity and scientific modes of classifications. Over the years, Zhao has appropriated codes and conventions of documentary photography and museum display to compose compelling narratives that problematise the notion of truth.

His work has been exhibited in numerous international exhibitions including Singapore Biennale (2019); Fast Forward Festival Athens (2018); Asia Pacific Triennial (2018); 2nd Yinchuan Biennale (2018); Taipei Biennale (2017); Jakarta Biennale (2017); 7th Moscow Biennale (2017) and 20th Sydney Biennale (2016). He received the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award in 2010 and was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award for Emerging Asian Artists 2017. For more of his exhibitions, installations and artist books, please visit

Event Information

Event Start
05 Dec 2020

Event End
12 Dec 2020

Opening Hours

5 December 2020, 9am – 6pm
9 December 2020, 9am – 6pm
12 December 2020, 9am – 6pm

Entry Fee
$500/ pax