Interrogative Pattern - Text(ile) Weave

The Lab – NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, 4 Dec 2015 – 20 March 2016




Image: This grid drawing  is a spatial abstract / adaptation of an unfolded Samsui woman headgear. The red lines indicate the folds. Photo: Magdalena Magiera

Photos: Lee Chang Ming, Magdalena Magiera, Regina (Maria) Möller






Interrogative Pattern – Text(ile) Weave explores the relation between labour, identity construction and cultural assimilations in an emerging global sameness through the case study of the Samsui women iconic headdress.


The Samsui women – also known as hong tou jin, Mandarin for “red headscarf” are a group of female Chinese immigrants who came to Singapore between the 1920s and the 1940s in search for work. Most of them found work in the construction industry. The Samsui female labourers were recognized by their red headgear, black tunic and pants, which they wore for work every day. Their hard labour contributed to Singapore’s development.


A work-in progress, Interrogative Pattern – Text(ile) Weave unfolded in various stages and formats mirroring in its development the complex stories embedded in textile productions. Between December 4th 2015 and March 20, 2016 stages of this project were accessible and visible to the public at The Lab – NTU Centre for Contemporary Art in Singapore


The images above picture for example the transformation of the Lab into a spatial “Samsui Women Headgear” and some images show stages of projects* that took place in The Lab informing about textile production, for example:


"Material Encounter", a workshop with Dinu Bodiciu and Regina (Maria) Möller

"Multi-layered Garments", a workshop with Galina Mihaleva and Regina (Maria) Möller

"Social Memory Making and the Samsui Women", a talk by Prof. Kelvin E. Low

amongst others





Ute Meta Bauer, Anca Rujoiu (ed.). Place.Labour.Capital. The Making of an Institution, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, book, January 2018






Founding Director NTU CCA Singapore: Ute Meta Bauer

With thanks to: Dinu Bodiciu, Amanda Heng, Koh Nguang How, Nia Filiam & Agus Ismoyo, Kelvin E. Low, Magdalena Magiera, Galina Mihaleva, Kelly Reedy, Anca Rujoiu,

and the team of NTU CCA


This project was partly supported by OCA – Office for Contemporary Art, Norway





of the Project "Interrogative Pattern – Text(ile) Weave"






© Regina Maria Möller, VG Bild-Kunst Bonn