Debbie Ding

Show RCA work

Major project:

The Library of Pulau Saigon

In 1988, a rescue dig was conducted at the site of Pulau Saigon, a former island in the Singapore River. The list of artefacts recovered from this post-eighteenth century archaeological site include mundane, mass-produced, everyday objects – speculated to have been litter from locals and passers by.

An 'un-forgetting' machine has been devised to reproduce these minor objects. Parametric models are generated using deep learning, shape recognition, 3D shape interpolation, and generative CAD modelling.

The machine performs the creative and cognitive role of cultural craftsmanship on our behalf, producing a library of mutating cultural objects, exploring potentially infinite sets of variations within a fixed set of rules.


  • Debbie Ding (born 1984) is a Singaporean visual artist and writer based in London. She facilitates the Singapore Psychogeographical Society, which explores alternative archives of urban experience through public exchanges, thought experiments and documentation of ludic adventures. As a writer and designer of fictions, she is also interested in developing prototypes for philosophical machines or objects which translate theory or phenomena into language or other experiential forms.

  • Previous degrees

  • BA (Hons) English Literature, National University of Singapore, 2007
  • Exhibitions

  • The Library of Pulau Saigon, NUS Museum, Singapore, 2015; A Survey of the Singapore Psychogeographical Society, Galerie Steph, Singapore, 2013; The Singapore River as a Psychogeographical Faultline, The Substation, Singapore, 2010
  • Funding

  • National Arts Council Singapore Overseas Scholarship (Visual Arts)
  • Sponsors

  • National Arts Council Singapore; NUS Museum
Royal College of Art Royal College
of Art Graduate

25 June –
5 July 2015

Royal College
of Art Graduate