Pragmatic Prayers for the Kala at the Threshold


Singapore Art Museum

Singapore Art Museum
Singapore, Singapore

'Pragmatic Prayers for the Kala at the Threshold' by
Zarina Muhammad takes the 'penunggu' or ‘guardian
at the gate’ as its departure point and charts out a
space that traverses beyond the physical.
The installation is laid out as three distinct divisions
that serve as the hills, land and sea of Bukit Larangan,
Bras Basah, as well as Kallang and the coastal areas
of Singapore, respectively. Within each designation
are a selection of material objects and modes of
presentation that reflect and respond to the history,
culture and memories of the zones they are housed
in. These objects act as coordinates in which to map
the histories and paths that the spirits of these
realms may have resided and roamed in.
Historic and mythic, Pragmatic Prayers for the Kala at
the Threshold aims to, in the artist’s words, “disrupt
and irrupt time and move beyond the single narrative
of place”.


  • Title: Pragmatic Prayers for the Kala at the Threshold
  • Creator: Zarina Muhammad
  • Date Created: 2018
  • Physical Dimensions: Variable
  • Rights: Collection of the Artist, Singapore Art Museum commission
  • Medium: Bamboo, sandalwood, clay, stone, turmeric powder, sandalwood powder, saffron, nine grains and spices, rose water, incense, glass jars and paper

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