This blog post is part of the Random Sampling Singapore project. The Project aims to sample 100 places on the island of Singapore over a one year (+) period in order to gain an unbiased and holistic view of the city state.

Lost Soles of Singapore

by Albrecht Gumlich

Representatives of trading nations have passed through and settled on the shores of the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsula over the past many centuries adding colourful bits and pieces of cultures to the gem of preexisting inhabitants – not to be forgotten. Today’s Singapore appears to be a wonderfully shiny mosaic of diverse cultures and people representing the modern nation as a whole.

You find / what I found: Bits of Soles have been lost and found in the streets and pathways criss-crossing our Little Red Dot. These organically shaped fragments “stand” alone – stand for a fascinating nation in rapid motion, for speed and agility of its current inhabitants – some raising a humble question: At an ever-increasing velocity, is there no danger in losing yourself?

Interact, if you would:

Choose your preferred colour / background / tray / surface.

Pick some bits & pieces of Soles from the pile for you to work with.

One by one, place the Soles on top of your chosen surface: clustered or scattered, “communicating” or “ignoring each other” – observing the effect of each added piece in relation to the overall impression: Move slow; Observe well; “Read” your work as it evolves. Give a title to your final set(-up). Pause for a second, considering well if you want to remember your creation in your mind or rather on your phone.

Note: Each Sole has been carefully scrubbed and sanitized for your protection!

Medium: Interactive installation

Material: Plastics, various; Rubber; Metal, Wood products; Paint

Dimensions: variable

Further considerations related to Lost Soles

Questions you can ask yourself while going through the process of creation:

Does the colour or appearance of the background matter?

How important is the contrast between background and your scattered bits & pieces of Soles?

Can you tell a/the story you associate with your placement/combination/creation?

How about associating a character/personality to the respective bits & pieces of Soles? 

Do you think they can “communicate” with each other. with you – the creator, with me – the observer?

Do you have a favorite shape / a preferred colour?

Would you prefer to have a frame, or is it enough for the coloured flat surface to define the workspace?

Is there a “too much”? Try filling the surface with bits, then reducing the visual load by taking out one by one piece until you reach a “well-balanced” amount.

Is there a difference giving your work a title before beginning vs at the end?

Questions for advanced artistic creators or art-educators:

Can something as ordinary as Soles serve to shape something esthetic? And what is the meaning of “esthetics” to you?

Are 2 dimensions (like, prints, paintings, photography) easier to deal with than 3 dimensions (sculpture, installation), or even involving the 4th dimension (time-based media)?

Scramble your selected bits on the surface and take another hit, observing your choice of placement with particular attention to the following factors:





Check out these influential Artists, 

having dealt with “placement” of colourful blotches:

Jean Arp

Alexander Calder

Joan Miró

Tell us your thoughts and inspirations, if you would: What other questions might be relevant? Send an email to:  agumlich4hk@gmail.com – Subject line mentioning “Lost Soles”