Esplanade Presents


In Conversation: Urban Living & Secondary Forests

Robert Zhao Renhui and Yong Ding Li (Singapore)

2 Sep 2023, Sat, 6.15pm


(Intermission: None)

Studio 219 (Esplanade Mall, #02-19)

Free, by registration 

Registration will begin on 18 Aug 2023, Fri, 9am. 

Robert Zhao Renhui (Left) and Yong Ding Li (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.

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.

Date & Time

2 Sep 2023, Sat


Studio 219 (Esplanade Mall, #02-19)

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