UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Name of Author: 
Nazrul Rashidi bin Mohd
National Institute of Education
Year of completion: 
Country of Research Data: 

An Academic Exercise submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for Bachelor of Arts (Hons)


In Singapore, artistic works, be it poetry, fiction, plays or even cultural critique, are generally wary of infringing demarcations hinted by the state with regards to political and socio-cultural sensitivities. Hence, art is confined in the aesthetic realm - even as it attempts to engage society and the state, it tends to mask the issues in metaphors and images. However, two artists, Alfian Bin Sa'at and Chris Ho, are exceptionally vocal in articulating social concerns through their works. Both strive to deconstruct Singapore's homogenised economic identity through their works - by engaging in social critique and providing a voice for the repressed. This study seeks to explore the resistance of homogeneity in Alfian's and Ho's artistic works and concludes that even in their readiness to engage society and the state through art, the state may not be ready to include the reality of diverse voices represented in their works. Although this seems to be the likely conclusion, it is important to record and examine the struggles with homogeneity that are depicted in their works. This is so because the resistance encountered in the present day might culminate into a significant change in the future. The process of resistance is a valuable area of study in order to understand the evolution of Singapore's socio-political climate. This study serves as a documentation of such process of resistance.

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