Esplanade Presents


In Conversation: Urban Living & Secondary Forests

Robert Zhao Renhui, Yong Ding Li and Kang Min Ngo (Singapore)

2 Sep 2023, Sat, 6.15pm


(Intermission: None)

Studio 219 (Esplanade Mall, #02-19)

This event is over.

Robert Zhao Renhui (Left), Yong Ding Li (Middle) and Kang Min Ngo (Right)

In this conversation, artist Robert Zhao Renhui and experts in the fields of forest ecology and environmental studies introduce a spectrum of academic views and layperson perspectives on the value of secondary forests and living close to nature, featuring both scientific and philosophical arguments.


Presented in a conversational and accessible manner, the audience will have the opportunity to learn about concepts such as forest succession and natural heritage conservation, as well as be exposed to well-researched opposing viewpoints within the complex land issues that preoccupy land scarce Singapore.


This is a companion programme to Albizia by Robert Zhao, running from 31 Aug – 3 Sep 2023 at the Esplanade Theatre Studio. The Studios companion programmes are an invitation to deepen engagement with the artistic works and the conversations raised in the season.


• Patrons who have registered will have priority entry to the venue.

• Patrons who have registered must arrive 5 mins before the start of the event to guarantee your admission.

• Patrons who have registered but are not at the venue 5 mins before the start will have their seats released to walk-in patrons on a first-come, first-served basis.

• Limited seats are available at the door.

• If you are unable to join us, you may pass the e-ticket to someone else or return your tickets via the link on your SISTIC confirmation email

Admission Age:
6 and above.
Language: English
Things to Note:
Accessibility Advisory: We provide a range of access services and relaxed performances for patrons with access needs. For wheelchair-accessible seats, please call Esplanade Customer Experience at 6828 8377 for assistance. Concessions for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and up to one accompanying companion are available. | View our accessibility guide
Artist Information

Robert Zhao Renhui


Robert Zhao Renhui (b. 1983, Singapore) is a multi-disciplinary artist and the founder of the Institute of Critical Zoologists.   


His artistic practice addresses humanity’s relationship with nature, and is characterised by a longstanding interest in investigating sites defined by the conflation of wilderness and urbanisation.

Yong Ding Li

Yong Ding Li is a conservation biologist with a particular interest in tropical rainforests and migratory birds. He currently coordinates BirdLife International’s work on the conservation of migratory species in Asia. Ding Li obtained his doctorate from the Australian National University where he studied birds and insect communities in woodland and farming landscapes. Ding Li has written several papers and seven books on the biodiversity of Asia and Australia, including the upcoming Field Guide to the Birds of Singapore. He draws and records natural sounds during his free time.

Kang Min Ngo

Kang Min Ngo is currently an environmental consultant at EnviroSolutions & Consulting, a local consultancy with a regional presence. As a forest ecologist, she has conducted research on the trees of Singapore and in the region for over 15 years. In particular, she has done extensive research on the tree ecology of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, using a long-term research site that is now 30 years old.

Date & Time

2 Sep 2023, Sat


Studio 219 (Esplanade Mall, #02-19)

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