01 August 2007

My kissing project, part 3

48 hours before the photo exhibition is scheduled to start, the Media Development Authority finally responds - by banning it. Come anyway. Full essay.


Anonymous said...

i applaud your courage to break boundaries and go against the mainstream, differing yourself with the average apathetic singaporean. please dont be disheartened as we all know that more and more people are getting aware of this rude awakening that the current climate of this country is not really as pretty as promised. you have my best regards and support.


wing said...

You said...

I asked for a reason. She said, "please hold on" and passed me to Amy Tsang, the Deputy Director of Media Content. Tsang then said the exhibition licence was denied because my photographs would "promote a homosexual lifestyle" – her words.

Alex..first of all, I want to thank you for your unceasing work. It is not just exhibitions that are curtailed by this "homosexual lifestyle promotion" rule. In recent years, we are seeing more gay movies screened in Singapore. Is Singapore really opening up? If you observe carefully, only movies with angst-ridden gay characters are shown. Formula 17, the gay Taiwanese movie, is still banned. Why is this so? The movie is gay and unapologetically happy, utopian in a certain way (notice: no female characters)...the kind of gay lifestyle MDA doesnt want to promote.

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

wing -

Yes, even as we speak, there is a TV series "Brothers and Sisters" on Channel 5 Mondays. One of the brothers in this family drama is gay (I think the character's name is Ken Walker). All the subplots relating to him and his sexuality are being censored out and so this character only appears when he is interacting with other brothers and sisters as a kind of cardboard figure.

Other characters can be neurotic, married, unmarried, going in and out of (hetero)relationships, and let all hang out for Singaporean audiences, but not the gay one.

Anonymous said...

YB, is there a way you can exhibit the pictures elsewhere? Perhaps its a bit too much work to exhibit your work in another country (because the one you live in censors pretty much everything undesirable to them). It is almost like we should have a space/gallery elsewhere for singaporeans who dont make the cut to showcase their work.

GoodLuck said...

This is disappointing. Another attempt by civil servants to deny of the existence of GLBTs. What a strange rationale too! Personally I'm not a GLBT, and I would NOT change into one by viewing photos of GLBTs who kiss OR attending any of Indignation's events. I believe it would be similar for other non-GLBTs, so where is the "promotion" effect?

The immediate loss is the opportunity for the general public to be faced with and acknowledge the existence of GLBTs in Singapore. Afterall if, as the policy makers claim, the reason to have backward laws is due to the ignorance of the general public, what better way than to educate the public through such events.

Thank you, Alex, for trying nevertheless.

Victor said...

Dear Alex,

My sympathies. I can only imagine your frustration. Boos to the callousness and ineptitude of the MDA.

Robert L said...

Dear YB, I'm so sorry to see this happening.

If the authorities are deliberately delaying a reply till the last minute, it will create a situation where an applicant submits a false date and secretly plans a real date for the event. So if the permit is rejected, there is still time to cancel the event with a minimum of losses.

If the permit is granted, the applicant can still change to the real, planned date - I don't suppose the permit will be withdrawn if the date is changed.

And if such a ridiculous situation becomes entrenched in Singapore, someone can put up an entry in Wikipedia to describe how things are done in uniquely Singapore.

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

Anonymous 1 August 13:55 -
Just come to one of the 9 talks I am holding. These talks are mentioned in the essay. I will show a sample of the pictures on powepoint.

Anonymous said...

unlike gambling, homosexuality has not found any large scale
business development opportunities

once such opportunities are identified, I am sure there can
be changes


Teck Soon said...


Are you basically saying that Singaporeans are so callous and materialistic that a "large scale business opportunity" must be identified before gays aren't threatened with prison?

If that's what you mean, then I basically agree with you.

Teck Soon

Anonymous said...

not all people have the chance make decisions, so I cant say about them


Anonymous said...


I salute you for your never ending spirit to fight for our very basic human right, that is, the right to express ourselves freely.

It's really ridiculous that these primitive people at MDA still adopt such narrow mindsets when they should be at the forefront of the latest media trends. Shouldn't these "Self-appointed Guardians of a Healthy Lifestyle for Singaporeans" ban all Internet access since all sorts of materials that promote a homosexual lifestyle can readily be accessible from the Internet.

Are they morons or what ? Very ironical indeed.