` jang dak yun escaped from the second sino-japanese war in 1937, first to hong kong and later to singapore. she was accompanied by her aunt and brother, the latter of whom died at sea. she worked as a hairdresser at one point and briefly ran a stall selling duck rice. upon meeting some of its members who frequented her stall, she joined the kwong wah dramatic troupe. starting as a costume assistant and then as a performer, her distinct voice was quickly noticed and word of her spread across the region. she eventually set up her own opera troupe, touring to malaysia, indonesia and vietnam. she retired from the stage shortly after performing in guangzhou, her place of birth.` egan chan (born liam egan) was an irish brother from the de la salle brothers. she received her scholasticate from de la salle college in 1875 and was sent to singapore to teach at saint joseph’s institution. she was later posted to st xavier's training college in penang in 1884. in 1888, she was appointed the vice-principal of st john's institution in kuala lumpur and in 1890, was promoted to principal. in an effort to grow closer to the local population, egan became a malaysian citizen in 1930. ` zeng de yuan is a businessman and retired politican who served as parliamentary secretary for culture and education from 1977-81. born in ipoh to a large hakka family, he moved to singapore to work in the trade unions. he oversaw nationwide strategies of language planning, with the view that "most singaporeans are not linguists with a gift for languages. they know first-hand how difficult it is to master multiple languages." he notes, "we encourage young singaporeans to learn about their communities' history, culture, heritage and language, but we have to recognise that for chinese singaporeans the future is in english and mandarin."
in the english language, ‘loss’ is understood as a noun. in singapore, english is installed as the language of administration. I was schooled in it from as early as I can remember. when I was six, I heard my classmates say that they ‘loss’ their eraser, or their money, or their homework. in the english language, this would be inaccurate because my classmate would have had to pronounce the ‘t’ at the end of ‘lost’ in order for it to operate correctly as the verb of ‘loss’ - a noun which refers to the act of losing. ‘lost’ is the past tense of the verb ‘lose’ which means ‘unable to find’ or ‘cease to retain’. walao, I loss my eraser again leh you got take? / something was filtering into the light falling and rising at the same time. we were holding hands, the small gate swinging shut behind me with a familiar awkward backward flick of my left wrist, my body bracing itself for the little metallic crash. I had not eaten breakfast yet. 12 passes, and we walk around the curb, lingering just long enough under that little tree - which had not grown an inch since as long as I can remember, always providing just enough shade for two people - for me to pull the fabric of my shirt down, sweaty, clingy. cling. cling. cling. I waited under this tree for many years, several months in total maybe just waiting under this tree. there is some distance. you are telling me something you had just told me earlier today, something you read in a newspaper article about the heat, about lightning and clouds and how I have to take shelter when I see flashes of fire, about height, about being somewhere unfamiliar and alone. / soil was moving into water into foam past light into space into shadow. it finally started to rain. there was always something else to be said about it. how rotten the air was, how dark the nights were, how many times they found themselves lost and without food. eventually though, all of them made it out alive to tell the story didn’t they. listening to them made me suspicious. even though - or especially because - they talk so much about it, I don’t think they ever really found a way in. / I am lying here listening to the sound of sliding sand, of glass on rock, the coordinates of the map shifting. everything is electric blue and deep below there is something turning around, slowly. her grandaunt was a scribe and that was how she learnt to write. she watched her. and now I am watching her, a pool of thick dark leaf soup draining away, a single thought melting through the surface. I pluck the pale brown tails of these tiny vegetables, tossing them into a bin already overflowing with overripe sun. these tiny vegetables. I walk down a dim aisle stacked on either side with bags full of dark soup, all heaving and sagging silently over one another.
` jee chan is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is characterized by the performance of sited histories, making visible (for an instant, live, now) that which is always already there. intersecting hybrid forms of performance, installation, video and text, their work is imbued with a consciousness of the body as an intimate thing. their practice-as-research methodology navigates the political dimensions of place, language and memory, often as a means to disrupt hegemonic cultural narratives and activate queer ways of seeing. they hold a ba in contemporary performance practice from the royal conservatoire of scotland. born 1994, they are based between singapore and berlin.