12 to 19 March 2023



SUBTERRANEAN TRAILS is an audio walk through parts of Tanjong Pagar that invites listeners into a multi-sensorial form of engaging with the urban landscape. The “subterranean” here refers to spirit paths, spectral lines, and under-worldly resonances, rather than a literal “underground” journey. This work engages with the spectral traces of old trees, leveled hills, inter-species tragedies, and the migrant history of the area, and invites participants into various gestures of thanksgiving, remembrance, devotion, and ritual buang suay. 

SUBTERRANEAN TRAILS is a prayer, spell, archive, and space-making intervention by Zarina Muhammad, Zachary Chan, and Joel Tan. It is part of an ongoing work that traces the restless topographies of lands scarred by imperial projects past and present. 

The artists practise a way of knowing beneath the ordinary and apparent, seeking out flows, whispers, communities, and intelligences that have been ignored, erased, and left behind in the wake of violent infrastructures.

This work necessitates a love beyond the immediate and temporal. It is a love that reaches across history. It is constantly enveloped by the non-human. It is a continuous collaboration with the spectral. It is a prayer for repair. It is a diverse and multiple, shape-shifting habitation. It is a wish that all who enter this space offer and receive love in equal measure.

Public Days

12 March 3 to 5pm: Panggung Dua x SUBTERRANEAN TRAILS Party
3pm: Panggung Dua live showcase and sharing
5pm: snacks

13 to 19 March: Self-guided SUBTERRANEAN TRAILS audio walk (starting point and map from 136 GOETHE LAB)


Joel Tan is a Singaporean writer, performer, and playwright based between London and Singapore. His work straddles theatre, film, and audio and examines the ways in which politics distort the personal and spiritual, exploring subjects ranging from colonial history, nature, queer experience, and contemporary Singapore life.

Zachary Chan is a graphic designer, composer, sound designer and gamelan musician. His musical roots are based in central Javanese gamelan music and he has written music and designed sound for experimental films, plays, video games, storytelling and art installations.

Zarina Muhammad is an artist, educator and researcher whose practice is deeply entwined with a critical re-examination of oral histories, ethnographic literature and other historiographic accounts about Southeast Asia. Working at the intersections of performance, installation, text, ritual, sound and moving image, she is interested in the broader contexts of myth-making, haunted historiographies and role of the artist as “cultural ventriloquist” who lends polyphonic voices to data-driven systems and shapeshifting worlds.

The Space

136 GOETHE LAB is a new project space at the Goethe-Institut Singapore. Housed in the former library and reading room, the space is intended as a response to the need for physical spaces for the arts, and an ongoing conversation with the public and arts community in Singapore

SUBTERRANEAN TRAILS is an extension of an earlier project with Joel Tan, Zachary Chan, and Zarina Muhammad titled RESTLESS TOPOGRAPHIES at 136 GOETHE LAB from 8 November 2021 to 23 January 2022, as part of the open call Project Work (PW), which invited applicants to activate the space with a group proposal.


You may also visit the playlist here.