26.7.15

I flunked the written

Between trains, Dhoby Ghaut #MRT #station, North-East Line platform. #nofilter #Singapore #subway #staircase #underground #commuting #weekend

The past six months haven't been very productive for me in terms of fiction writing, but there are three non-fiction pieces I've written that I'm pretty pleased with.

It started in March when Juria Toramae asked if I would write a short foreword for the catalogue for her art exhibition, "Points of Departure" at the National Library. The foreword's not available online, but you can borrow the catalogue from the library.

After that, my friend Ernest Goh was staging a solo art photography exhibition, "Breakfast at 8 Jungle at 9" at Objectifs – Centre for Photography and Filmmaking, and he asked if I would write some kind of introduction or commentary on his work. The result: I wrote an essay [PDF] about the three photography series he presented at the show, in which I managed to weave in a couple of my own recent obsessions with ancient humans and the Holocene, alongside a reading of Ernest's work.

That was in May. In June I whipped out another piece for the upcoming TwentyFifteen.sg photography exhibition at the Esplanade. I've been the project's resident text editor since it started in August 2013, working with an excellent (all-volunteer) team, and it was nice to kick back (metaphorically speaking) and reflect on the project as a whole. The exhibition opens only on 6 August, but my essay "Points of View" is already online.

Justin Zhuang's essay for the same exhibition, "Picturing Home, Wherever We May Be", is also online and it is just beautiful. So read that, even if you don't read mine.

I must thank Juria, Ernest, and my old friends Tay Kay Chin and Darren Soh of TwentyFifteen.sg for having faith in me and letting me build words around their images and artworks. I don't think I could've dived into this mode of writing and found my groove so quickly without their encouragement and openness in discussing their work with me.

I'm planning to switch gears back to fiction writing for the rest of the year, but there's one more exhibition essay I'm stewing on. Also, watching 7 Letters at the newly-restored Capitol Theatre on Friday night got my brain humming about some things.

And hey, it looks like #sgelection is on the cards.

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