Exactly Foundation – 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.

How She Loves is an attempt at uncovering the layers of the queer self, and the negotiation between reality and the imagination.

The keynote essay, Being and Relating – Reflections on the Photographs by Charmaine Poh, is written by Vivienne Wee, a feminist activist, anthropologist and public intellectual who works in Singapore and Indonesia. A founding member of the 34-year-old Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE which champions women’s rights in Singapore), she is currently AWARE’s Senior Advisor and leads on evidence-based advocacy for accountability of decision-makers. She is also a Director at Ethnographica and an Associate Lecturer at the Singapore University of Social Science. She is also active in the Jakarta-based Institute for Women’s empowerment. Vivienne obtained her PhD in Anthropology from the Australian National University, MSocSc in Sociology from the National University of Singapore, and Bachelor’s degrees in Music and Anthropology from the University of Minnesota.

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 Exactly Foundation

Exactly Foundation is a not-for-profit, trademarked registered label established by Li Li Chung to commission photographers to create works that stimulate discussion of social concerns in Singapore. Its goal is to produce new knowledge by having viewers engage with the photographs and share them with friends and family over a 2-3 month period.

1 in stock

SKU: 1197 Category: Tags: , ,


BY Charmaine Poh and the Exactly Foundation
YEAR 2019
DETAILS Paperback, sale-stitched, 2 sections bound by belly band, 76pp
21cm x 29.7cm

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