The Tiger Balm Garden in Singapore contains concrete dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese folklore. Privately built in the 1930s by the Burmese-Chinese brothers behind the medicated ointment Tiger Balm, and publicly owned from the 1980s, the park has been renovated several times since conception to portray different representations of Chinese culture. These renovations often altered the intended meaning behind the dioramas, and the park itself.
In An Image of a Tiger, Jessica Bradford’s cropped and fragmented representations of the park’s dioramas and landscape disrupt intended narratives. The work calls into question how tradition and culture are transmitted, mutated or lost across time and geographic borders. Born in Singapore and having visited this park as a child, Bradford draws on the site to explore her ambivalent connection to Singaporean-Chinese culture and examines broader narratives of collective memory and national identity.