Balik Rumah: Let's Head Home , 2015, Japanese woodblock and screenprint, 90cm x 180cm

Balik Rumah: Let's Head Home, 2015, Japanese woodblock and screenprint, 90cm x 180cm

Peranakan tiles and the bright colours of Nyonya Ware are strong references in this large collage that incorporates almost 600 individual hand-made prints. The prints feature the four official languages of Singapore and motifs taken from popular Victorian era tiles found on Peranakan homes in the region. Nyonya Ware are colourful ceramics used for special occasions in Peranakan homes.

This work touches on the identity and roots of Peranakans, and raises the question of belonging and the notion of ‘home. The term itself, ‘Balik Rumah’, references the language of Malay - once a common tongue among the people of Singapore, it appears that the local lingua franca is dwindling in the face of an increasingly Mandarin dominated society.

The fading and resurgence of languages, historic places and memories - many places in Singapore no longer exist as they once were. Following the move from of most citizens from rural kampung villages to high-density housing developments, and for modern nomads, expats and migrants...where is 'home'?