After receiving a message from a friend of mine who’s also based in North America and also an artist, I’ve realized that there seems to be elements of a shared experience to being a Singaporean living overseas engaged in creative work. So, naturally, I decided it would be awesome to make a zine project out of this!
I’ve been living in New York City for almost three years now and have had to make so many difficult adjustments. Spending your entire life being raised in a corporate state where you lack the basic rights to freedom of expression and assembly and then suddenly gaining these rights almost overnight is kind of a trip. For me, my entire worldview and self-perception have changed. It’s been a very difficult but mind-expanding couple of years.
I’ve wanted to share some of my experiences because, when I lived in Singapore, I didn’t have any friends who’d done anything similar and who talked about how they changed. I feel like collecting these stories might be an excellent resource for those still living in Singapore and who might want to leave as well as those who’ve already made the move but feel alone in societies where most people have never really had to live without the right to free expression. This zine also might be interesting to others who aren’t specifically Singaporean, but who’ve had to navigate similar issues.
I’m particularly interested in focussing on Singapore-born and raised people who’ve moved to Western democracies: How has your creative practice changed? How did your worldview change? How do you see yourself now? What kind of personal work are you engaged in to change old habits and coping mechanisms that worked well in Singaporean society but not anymore?
Please send contributions (words and/or images) or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. (And you can view my other zines here.)