In Nativity Nonyas and Other Uncommon Icons, Desmond Sim seeks to re-appropriate the images that we have, in the past, peered at through with other cultural lenses. He prefers to see them through contemporary, Singaporean and Peranakan lenses. Although the selection of festive paintings are modelled closely after classical Italian paintings, the collection is localised and focuses instead on Nonya ladies, cats and other recognisable icons of the home in Singapore.
æ: ASOL (age, sex, occupation, location)?
Desmond: Male (last I checked), artist and writer, Singapore (but not limited to).
æ: What's your "look"?
Desmond: Dissatisfied. Can never be lean or fit enough. Try to look happy though... doesn't frighten away people so much!
æ: What are you currently occupied with?
Desmond: Ripping out and refurbishing our new/next apartment. It's a hobby with a 10-year cycle...
æ: What inspires you?
Desmond: People with can-do, never-say-die spirit. Nature. Generosity of heart and spirit.
æ: What is your earliest childhood memory?
Desmond: Looking out from my cot, I can see coloured panes on my window... one of those you see on old shop houses. I grew up in one of those.
æ: What is the achievement you are most proud of?
Desmond: That I still have ideals, manners and life goals after two decades of working life.
æ: If you could do it all over again, what would you change?
Desmond: Would have started regular exercise at am earlier age.
æ: How are you misunderstood?
Desmond: People assume I am wealthy - when all I have is taste... and humility. *LOL*
æ: How do you spend your Sundays?
Desmond: House cleaning, laundry (no maid), and catching up with friends. Oh and every now and then painting and playwriting. Once you start on an interesting piece, you don't have weekends...
æ: Tell us one of your fantasies.
Desmond: At the Oscar Awards, receiving one for a script I wrote.
æ: What about yourself would you like to change the most?
Desmond: My ability to rationalise away my need for exercise - even though I actually enjoy it once I get into the gym.
æ: What was the most important thing that happened to you in the last 12 months?
Desmond: Beautiful Boxer (I was co-writer) won a string of awards in Europe at various film festivals.
æ: What do you think is important in a relationship?
Desmond: Commitment, trust and a genuine sense of humour about things.
æ: What turns you on?
Desmond: Thoughtfulness, reliability, a sense of humour, intelligence - in that order.
æ: What's your biggest guilty pleasure?
Desmond: Funny... I never felt guilty about my pleasures. *grin*
æ: What is your vision for the gay community?
Desmond: We learn finally to look outward and reach out to each other - to support each other, and not pull each other down... that we learn how to build our own families.
æ: Tell us about a cause that you support?
Desmond: I help write and raise funds for the National Cancer Centre. I am also passionate about playwriting and hold many courses to help people tell their own stories.
æ: Who would your dream date be if you were straight (if you are gay), or gay (if you are straight) for a day?
Desmond: Hmmm... Had a brain cramp figuring this out - at more than one level. First of all, why would I want to be anything other than who I am. And secondly, I don't dream about dates - I have them, or I don't bother. But if you insist, then it has to be Cher - if only to find out who her plastic surgeon is (for FUTURE reference, of course!).
æ: Tell us something even your mother doesn't know.
Desmond: She doesn't know about my um... inclination for, um... white briefs.
Nativity Nonyas and Other Uncommon Icons
Venue: Utterly Art Exhibition Space, 208 South Bridge Road #02-01
Date/Time: Nov 18 - 28/ Mon-Sat 11.30am - 8pm and Sun: 12pm - 5.30pm
Tel: 65 6226 2605