Examining Singapore women's private lives, and queer female relationships

Presented by Exactly Foundation
Lower Gallery, Objectifs

11 to 21 Jul 2019
Tues to Sat, 12pm to 7pm / Sun, 12pm to 4pm
Admission is free

Opening Reception and Book Launches: Wed 10 Jul, 7pm
Artist Talks: RSVP at http://exactlyjuly.peatix.com
– Mindy Tan: Sun 14 Jul, 2pm to 3pm
– Charmaine Poh: Sat 20 Jul, 2pm to 3pm 

About The Hour Before She Sleeps
By Mindy Tan
As the day unwinds and her make-up is removed, she is not superwoman at this point. In The Hour Before She Sleeps, Mindy Tan documents four women of Singapore’s third wave in their private lives, drawing from the intimacy of the last hours of the day. Entering this space is a search for the visual identity of a Singapore woman, a space that digs beneath the Singaporean methodology of surveys, statistics and charts, to access behind the door, the real, and the ordinary, for an alternative understanding. As policies and opportunities surrounding each generation of women change, drawing further departure from “the woman my mother was”, what roles should a woman in her 30s / 40s play? How does tradition affect her modernity? How is the Singapore woman unique from the rest of the world?

About How She Loves
By Charmaine Poh
How She Loves looks at the performativity of love and self through a series of portraits featuring female couples coming from a diverse range of backgrounds and presentations.

Participants are invited to a studio, where they are asked to engage with wedding backdrops, props and costumes: matrimonial tropes that have been an unmarked part of mainstream society. Projected onto the background are their parents’ wedding portraits, a pictorial representation of the heteronormative histories that have come before them, as well as the bearing of family on the manifestation of their queer lives. Drawing from ethnographic methods and theatre directing exercises, the process-driven work produces collaborative portraits that emphasise the participants’ chosen modes of self-representation. How She Loves is an attempt at uncovering the layers of the queer self, and the negotiation between reality and the imagination.

Two books documenting their residencies will also be launched at the exhibition opening. 


About Mindy Tan 
Mindy Tan is a Singapore-based documentary photographer who  captures people in their everyday lives. She began her career in 2004 as a newspaper journalist after graduating with double degrees in theatre, sociology and graphic design. At The New Paper, she covered breaking news, migrant labour and youth community issues. She also wrote a nightlife and soccer column. After Mindy won the Society of Publishers Asia Award for Excellence in Human Rights Reporting in 2007, she turned professional as a documentary photographer. While photographing countless events, publishing and staging her exhibits internationally, Mindy is also a Fujifilm Global Ambassador under the X-Photographer’s scheme.

About Charmaine Poh
Charmaine Poh is a Chinese-Singaporean artist, photographer, and writer based between Singapore and Berlin. Her practice combines photography with text, archival material, installation, and new media, focusing on issues of memory, gender, youth, and solitude in the Asian context. Often working with the form of narrative portraiture, she considers the performance of self and the layers of identity we build. She works with communities in a collaborative process that holds space for introspection, intimacy, and sharing. She is interested in the stories that make us who we are. Her work has been exhibited widely in Singapore and internationally. She graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in International Relations, and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Visual and Media Anthropology at the Freie Universität Berlin.

About the Exactly Foundation
Exactly Foundation is a not-for-profit, trademarked registered label established by Li Li Chung. Photographers are commissioned to create photography to stimulate discussion of social concerns in Singapore. The Exactly Foundation’s goal is to produce new knowledge amongst viewers by engaging with and sharing the photographs with family and friends over a three-month period.


Header image: (L) from The Hour Before She Sleeps by Mindy Tan and (R) from How She Loves by Charmaine Poh