Question & Answer
What was the thinking behind your artwork?
Tourism and immigration plays a big part in Singapore's economy, with the uneasy tension between the need to welcome expatriates and tourists, while at the same time balancing the constant fear of foreigners and the different cultural values, skills and perspectives they bring with them. The "merging" of East and West is a complicated process of different cultures co-existing within the same spaces, with each reliant on each other.
If a friend had 24hrs to spend in your city, how should he spend it?
He should have breakfast at a wet market, take a walk through the Orchard Road stretch, visit the small shops at Toa Payoh Central, drive around the further reaches of Singapore including Tuas and Jurong West, eat seafood at East Coast, go clubbing at Zouk.
What does your city mean to you?
The city of Singapore is a paradox, a city that is confused about what direction it wants to go so tries to be everything all at once, a city that is still discovering how to be proud of itself, a city that is slightly fearful and desperate to survive, while at the same time filled with an incredible goodness within its people.
What influence does your heritage have on your work?
My work is an exploration of the facets of Singaporean cultural identity through a presentation of communities within the country. Most of the inspiration comes from the little quirks within Singapore life that I notice while living in the country.
Why did you choose to use the particular medium?
Photography was the most accessible medium available to convey my viewpoints regarding the world, as it captures instantly recognizable images of reality as most people see around them. From there, I am able to construct scenes involving characters and environments which people can link back to their own personal experiences..
How could you improve the art scene in your city?
By encouraging the relaxing of censorship rules, of disassociating the creative process from the concerns of economics, by encouraging the making of arts for art's sake instead of having to provide any justification for producing art, and by encouraging the networking and interdisciplinary exchange of ideas between practitioners of the various fields of the arts, such as what FARM.SG does.
Which city would you most like to visit and why?
Barcelona, which I visited before, is the most forward looking city I've come across, and I want to go there again. There is a great optimism in the air about its future, there is a strong sense of youth everywhere, and the people there are proud of their cultural roots.