Border Tours

Border Tours
Border Tours by Rajinder Singh for Tulca Festival of Arts 2020 curated by Sarah Browne Photo by Ros Kavanagh
Border Tours is a floor map installation and an audio tour of a Direct Provision Room ( immigration detention centre in Ireland).

Rajinder Singh
Dublin, Ireland
Team members
Rajinder Singh
Field of work
Architecture, Design, Urban planning, Visual Art, Research
Project category
Project submitted

Rajinder Singh is an Irish movement artist and a choreographer who explores the human body as an interface between space, object and movement, and prepares the ground to orientate the body towards politics, towards its capacity for resistance. Rajinder’s paintings and installations as well as photography, video and performance work explore ideas around the vulnerable body and its pain, interrogating the economies of power that deny it space and shape. Often focused on the power of ritual action in the construction of the social body, his practice explores the ways the human body unfolds around various topographic and symbolic borders.

Rajinder graduated with a PhD in Engineering (UK) in 1993 and a Master's in Fine Arts (Singapore) in 2010. In May 2023 in finished his most recent project as a lead artist at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) for Alien Embodiments, a body based, movement oriented out-reach programme with Alice Feldman in response to the exhibition The Otolith Group, Xenogenesis at IMMA Ireland. He was part of Tulca2020 as well as Tulca 2019 and is the recipient of several awards for his sculptures and movement based work. He was recently shortlisted for both the prestigious Golden Fleece Award and EVA International Biennale. He was part of the year long exhibition ‘Narrow Gate’ at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) Rajinder Is a recipient of substantial bursaries for his body based movement oriented work from the Arts Council of ireland. He has been commissioned for new work by various museums and art festivals in Ireland, Singapore and Malaysia. Rajinder teaches as a guest artist/choreographer at the Irish World Academy, Maynooth University, University College Dublin. His work is part of the national arts collections in both IMMA The Glucksman Museum and the Arts Council of Ireland. Rajinder is the founder of the contemporary art review magazine Drenched Reviews (

When you step into 'Border Tours', you step into unauthorised access of one of Ireland’s open prisons - you step into a small room in a Direct Provision Center ( migrant detention open prisons in Ireland) somewhere in or around Galway. Listen to the audio instructions. Follow the footsteps. Here you share space with other bodies - invisible bodies that live there in claustrophobic and limited quarters with all their belongings. With and through your body, as agent and instrument, I want to engage with your embodied understanding of spatial in/justice. I hope to stage, choreograph and inspire your performative engagement with the lives that asylum seekers are forced to live.

'Border Tours' is a detailed floor map of a room in a DP centre somewhere in and around Galway. It took almost a year to piece together the intricate details of the room for a family of 5. The installation is accompanied by a 12 minute audio tour that takes you through an embodied experience of a cramped living space and the daily trials of a family living in the Direct Provision system. ( You see a participant taking the tour in the photograph).

For 'Border Tours' I worked closely with the MASI and Abolish DP Campaigns for what seemed like years, piecing together the details of a room in a DP centre. With their guidance I had access to their substantial archive of images, videos and firsthand accounts of the spaces I was concerned with. All the 'gazillion' details of my installation had to be carefully constructed to protect their sources. The DP system, being a semi-secret series of 'black/grey' sites does not allow access or look favourably on any of its residents granting access to the system.

The installation is printed on adhesive floor vinyl. The audio is a high quality mp3 to be triggered once someone starts a tour.