Zai Tang

Sonorous Art & Design




I’ve been interested in capturing my experience of places through sound recording since I first went travelling through South-East Asia in 2003. Field recording has played a prominent role within my creative practise ever since, alongside my interest in Acoustic Ecology, a field of research and practise defined by R M Schaefer as:

…the study of the effects of the acoustic environment or SOUNDSCAPE on the physical responses or behavioural characteristics of creatures living within it. Its particular aim is to draw attention to imbalances which may have unhealthy or inimical effects.

An on-going project I have embarked upon concerns Bukit Brown Cemetery, Singapore. It is a beautiful, old Chinese cemetery that is home to 100,000 graves and a rich variety of wildlife. Unfortunately it is destined to have a 8-lane highway built through part of it.

24-hour soundscape portrait of Bukit Brown Cemetery (Recordings: March – June 2013)

I have started to document and make work about the soundscape of Bukit Brown, and will continue to do so as the highway begins construction. I want to capture how Bukit Brown’s acoustic environment is effected by the introduction of this new, overbearing sound to its soundscape; how will the creatures that use BB as a base adapt to this new element, not just physically, but aurally?

The recent Phantom Road study in the US suggests that indeed drastic changes to a locations soundscape, can effect many aspects of a creatures behaviour within a habitat. If you’re interested to read the original published paper, please visit this website: