Empire is an ongoing spiritual crisis

It is the long road to 2019, the year where Singapore commemorates its colonial past like a benevolent inheritance. This is a series of ruminations on empire, which is after all an ongoing spiritual crisis disguised as an economic miracle. 1. I think of all the languages I love. Cantonese is the sound of my … Continue reading Empire is an ongoing spiritual crisis


I want to catalogue it all

1. ... the way my neck stretches up to reach the mouth of this skyscraper boy with the floppy hair, wonky smile, and concerned-looking Polish eyes. It’s the first time I’ve had to climb for a kiss. How simple the prelude had been, some small talk about art and moving to Athens like all the … Continue reading I want to catalogue it all


What am I supposed to make of these ghostly winter dreams of woodfires and hotpots, when I've grown up in the tropics? My ancestors seem to haunt me through a thick fog of forgetting. They will themselves past my incomprehension, nattering away in languages that are barely intelligible, like childhood memories, but I tell them … Continue reading Hotpot


I've now been in London for a month, which calls for a sort of 满月(full month) moment of reflection. 1. First off, 满月is exactly the sort of sudden over-demonstrative Chineseness that has lately possessed me. I am working through it with some amusement, to see how far it can go. It started with me very … Continue reading 满月

Some Observations from my first two weeks in Albion:

1. I saw two statues at the Great Court of the British Museum. The plaque on the plinth described them as Guardian statues, from China, from several centuries ago. They were installed, marginally, at some corner of this indoor courtyard, a space so massive it dwarves you. It is architecture that evokes divinity, or, at … Continue reading Some Observations from my first two weeks in Albion:

North Wales

I'm presently somewhere in North Wales, a little way from a stunning view of mountains across the Irish Sea. For the past few days I've been at Ty Newyyd, which is the national writing centre of Wales, and former residence of David Lloyd George (also nearby is a bucolic river, overlooked by a very Elven … Continue reading North Wales