Past & Present Lives of ______________

Past & Present Lives of _______ sees Norah Lea, self-portrait artist, recreating visions of her own past lives. These visions are imagined through re-locating women of the Nusantara/Malay archipelago that may have been forgotten but still resonant within recesses of collective memory.

Mediating the past through both video and performances via her transgender body, she positions herself within history that is “tersirat”, or hidden in plain sight.

To Mother

To Mother hopes to expound on the different expectations of parent-child relationship that may not necessarily coincide with reality. It hopes to delve into the grief and loneliness one encounters when their preconceived perception of any of these two labels clashed.

The series explores the several misconceived notions that motherhood may bring about; for it is the same type of motherhood that refuses to detach itself from the force fed idealism and punishes the parent when they go against the rigid and unforgiving system. Who can determine whether one is a good mother or otherwise? When a mother strays from being that perfect epitome of a caretaker, do we condemn them despite their tries?

To Mother also expounds on the transnatal and generational traumas that are passed down to the child, an intangible but significant consequences. As the collateral damage, who does the child then blame?

To Mother is a project that reveals the unwarranted pain that a child has inherited. Despite that, it celebrates the struggles and effort as a parent that tries to strive for the better. It brings forth the grief of wanting to be but not being able to be. To Mother is a project about healing; an effort to rewrite the emotional memory from a painful past full with ideals and expectations that were not met.

If tomorrow does not come, it would be alright. Things would be the way they were meant to be.

Quiet Pain: 38 // 42 explores the subject of passive suicide ideation, a state which occurs when a person is not actively seeking for ways to die, but expresses detachment from life, and experiences the desire for death to come quickly and naturally.

The photographs are part of an ongoing work that have been taken over a period of two months, whereby the photographer continually documents things, places and times in everyday life when she feels trapped between and belonging neither to the land of the living or the dead.

Jangka

Jangka explores the artist’s experience growing up in Singapore as a person of mixed ethnicities, and his experience navigating the expectations that come with each of his ethnic roots. An autoethnographic exploration, the project follows images that allude to moments in the artist’s life when he has felt that he has not lived up to the expectations of who he is expected to be as a Malay-Chinese Muslim person in Singapore, and confronts his repressed guilt towards these expectations.

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