In 2012, a Gallup Poll found that Singaporeans were the least emotional people in the world. In response to the survey conducted by Gallup which polled Singaporeans on whether they experienced five positive or five negative emotions the previous day, only 36% of Singaporeans responded “Yes” to the questions, which was the lowest in the world.
While emotions are universal, the experience of emotions is culturally diverse and differs between countries. Is the experience of living in Singapore really emotionless and unfeeling? I for one, certainly do not observe that Singaporeans lack emotions. What do people feel in Singapore and how can such emotions be expressed?
Amidst Singapore’s demographic landscape which faces issues such as the effects of globalisation diluting a sense of indigenous culture and increasing numbers of non-residents contributing to the population, this project has the following aims. Firstly, it aims to create a set of animated emojis as a tool for strengthening the national identity of Singapore through the sharing of emotions amongst people living in Singapore. The medium of animated emojis is chosen because it transcends differences in language and has wide accessibility in Singapore.
Secondly, the project seeks to foster a better understanding of Singaporean emotions through the creation of an accompanying application prototype which contains a dictionary that associates the emojis to their meanings and provides examples for possible uses in digital dialogues. It is hoped that through the use of these animated emojis in conversations, there will be a curiosity about the cultural meanings of the animated emojis and a better understanding of emotions which the user is trying to express.
Last but not least, the project seeks to see Singapore represented in the world of emojis, with the relevance of the project based on cultural expressions and sociocultural behaviors that are typical of Singaporeans.