I make autobiographical work that represents myself — a transgender Singaporean-American artist — and provide a unique and fresh way of experiencing the world. I want my audience to enter a world of hybrid possibilities of seeing and being that are beyond dualistic binaries.
I emphasize hybridity and fusion in my work, which I use to share my personal history of being the product of two racial minorities in Singapore: Portuguese-Eurasian and Indian. I believe that sharing my cultural history and practices can help others with similarly hybrid or minoritized experiences feel seen and heard.
I identify as queer, transgender, non-binary, Singaporean, American, Eurasian, Indian along with other descriptors. While these identities do not define me entirely, they do dictate a large part of my experience of the world. I am interested in taking this approach further by exploring what it feels like to feel aware of the expansiveness of being despite being limited by labels.
I find that many conversations around identity in mainstream American culture tend to treat identities as discrete and fixed, and are produced from a single vantage point. However, this is an exciting cultural moment, for these conversations are happening on a wider scale than ever before, with reverberations across the globe. Minoritized voices like my own are crucial during this moment in history. My work constitutes a lively dialogue which can foster empathy and critical thinking in individuals and groups on an international scale.
As someone whose existence is minoritized, I know there are others like me who need to feel seen and heard in order to experience healing, growth and protection of ourselves and our communities. I have experienced firsthand the power of expressing oneself in the arts and letters to alleviate oppression by helping both audiences and artists actualize their power.
Featured Image: Axel Eden, Nic, 2021. Digital photograph. Model: Nic Masangkay. Courtesy of the artist.