Sound Installation

ZUL: Sonically Exposed, 2014
The Private Museum, Singapore

ARENA V2, 2014

SOUND: Lattitudes and Attitudes
Curated by Bani Haykal and Joleen Loh
Earl Lu Gallery, Singapore.

Silpakorn Art Centre, Bangkok, Thailand

Curated by Feng Boyi
Jinji Lake Art Museum, Suzhou, China

Sonic Encounter, Suzhou, 2013




BREATHE , 2010
Works by Zul Mahmod
Presented by ION ART
Curated by Ms Lindy Poh
ION ART Gallery, Singapore


ARENA 2009
Sound Installation at Substation Gallery, Singapore

Arena 2009

Arena 2009

Presented by Sculpture Square, Singapore
Sculpture Square, Singapore

False Securities, The Docu, 2009
At Home Abroad.
8Q Singapore

Dancing With Frequencies, 2008

Dancing With Frequencies, 2008

Dancing With Frequencies, 2008

Dancing With Frequencies, 2008

Dancing With Frequencies, 2008

Dancing With Frequencies, 2008
Sound Installation
Curated by Isabel Ching, Osage
Osage, Singapore

Sonic Encounter, Moscow. 2008

Sonic Encounter, Moscow. 2008

Sound Installation
Curated by Matin Tranh
Commissioned by The Arthouse Singapore
Spotlight Singapore in Moscow

Sonic Encounter is a presentation of the multitude of sounds that inhabit the spaces of Singapore, from various cultural practices to the different religious ceremonies and bustling living environments. In essence, it expresses the myriad of sounds of everyday life in Singapore that at once distinguishes the unique qualities of each culture and yet demonstrates their coexistence.

30 small speakers housed in suspended white balls occupy a small room mimicking the abundance of different sounds reverberating within the minute space of Singapore. The white balls refer to street lamps, a suggestion of the familiar game of connecting the dots. The balls serve as linking points between the medley of social practices, interlocking a mesh of a united and harmonious nation.

Audiences are invited to travel through the maze of suspended balls as sounds of Singapore engulf their journey.

Sonic Encounter, Hong Kong. 2008

Sonic Encounter, Hong Kong. 2008

Sonic Encounter, Hong Kong. 2008

Sonic Encounter, Hong Kong. 2008

Sonic Encounter, Hong Kong
Sound Installation
Curated by Isabel Ching from Osage
October Contemporaries, Osage, Hong Kong


In The Asylum, 2007

Sound Installation at the Asylum, And Siang Hill, Singapore
The Substation Sept Festival 2007.

Installation consists of 40 aluminum bowl with a vibrator attached to each bowl. It vibrates when it detects human motion. The bowls is filled with different level of water to create resonance and hence giving the space a new aural architecture.

Sonic Dome. An Empire of Thoughts. 2007

Sonic Dome. An Empire of Thoughts. 2007

Sonic Dome. An Empire of Thoughts. 2007

Sonic Dome. An Empire of Thoughts. 2007

52nd Venice Biennale. Singapore Pavillion
Curated by Lindy Poh

Sound Installation with fibre-glass, metal, wood, sound tweeters

About the Work:

Marking the first time that a sound artist is represented at the Singapore Pavilion, Zulkifle Mahmod’s (Zul) sound installation,Sonic Dome – An Empire of Thoughts’ evokes a repertoire of ideas and ideologies relating to the notion of Empire. These include references to the legendary Venetian Empire during the 13th to 17th centuries when it was a thriving mercantile and maritime republic. The Venetian Empire has since been invoked as a complex construct by social and cultural theorists in their study of the myths of Exploration and Discovery, and of Venice’s subsequent re-invention as the City of Dreams and a tourist destination.

It is difficult to ignore the implicit references to more contemporary forms of ‘imperialism’ occurring in present day contexts when examining the artist’s larger body of work. Earlier works have addressed new forms of urban migration and the expanding empires of technology. The artist has challenged the notion of ‘freedoms’ pledged through increasingly ‘borderless’ interactions – preferring to view such freedoms as ‘fictions’ along with the myths of free speech and the free market in light of the corresponding growth of systems of surveillance and control.

One of a fistful of sound artists in Singapore, Zul considers ‘sound or utterance, a political act’ that can empower through its capacity to mobilize the imagination. With influences that span Indonesian folk-rock activist Iwan Falz (1961-) to UK theorist Michael Bull’s writings on aural culture in metropolitan cities, Zul’s works, like the other artists in the Singapore Pavilion, discloses evidence of borrowing and ‘quotations’ from diverse sources.

Zul’s 30-minute sonic composition emitting from a 4 metre dome, begins innocuously and acquires a hypnotic, seductive quality but amplifies and intensifies to a volume that thrusts the listener out of their comfort zone. Zul’s composition features recordings of sounds in Venice and Singapore. These include taped ambient sounds of vaporetto engines and canal-water lapping against jetty platforms, the strains of jazz music from a piazza and a dense archive of sounds taken at different times and locations in Singapore. The artist also taped ‘created’ sounds made from the electrical circuits of over 20 electronic toys retrieved from the Salvation Army and local stores in Singapore. The circuit boards of these toys (including a talking parrot and miniature keyboard set) were dis-assembled, re-wired and reconfigured to manufacture tones totally different from their original sounds.

The Sonic Dome bears the marks of Retro-Futuristic aesthetics, and carries motifs and symbols such as the ubiquitous quatrefoil design found in the façade of the neo-Gothic Palazzo.  It also features the Lion’s head, in its allusion to Singapore (‘Singa’: Lion) as the Lion City as well as to popular references to Venice as the Lion city.


W.O.M.B, 2006

Solo Exhibition
The Substation Gallery, Singapore

W.O.M.B explores the relationship between space and sound. Its aim is to engage the audience in the process of deep listening in a space within a space, where space and sound are created to response to each other. In today’s contemporary world, people are increasingly relying on images created by others to reiterate form and definition thus negating their ability to listen and imagine. Favorite characters and actions have now become visually detailed.

Human’s ability to construct mental images of objects and events not immediately available to the senses is the essence of our collective ability to imagine. Through the use of our imagination we can create an emotionally charged world of remembrances, dreams and fantasies. The sound of nature, for example, may bring a flood of images to the mind.

To help illustrate the extent to which listener could aurally access these memories and feelings, take a moment to imagine how memories would be stored in the mind if they were experienced without vision.

Audience members will be led through a constructed path before reaching the inner sanctum of the space. The experience to be had by the audience is two-fold. Firstly the journey along the path itself, the other is upon reaching the core space.

During this journey, the audience will be taken on a visual “feast”, whilst focusing on the distinctiveness of the space. Different materials and textures will be used to heighten the sensual experience of audience members.

Once in the inner sanctum, audience will be able to meditate through deep listening by the sound created especially for the space. Audience members will feel completely comfortable and relaxed.

When audience members walk out from the constructed space, they will be charmed and bedazzled by the whole experience, an experience that could only be had within the constructed space.

WOMB is a place where the audience members can isolate themselves, to ponder and rediscover more about our existence in this contemporary world we live in, even if it is only for five minutes.

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