19, Fashion Student

I'm a Singaporean-born Chinese and my religious background is Buddhist. My family is full Chinese as well, and I’m currently living with my grandparents.

What is your relationship with the Singaporean identity?

I would say I resonate with the Singapore identity. What I resonate with the most would be Singlish, which is basically an informal way of speaking here. We use rough translations of different languages like Malay, Tamil and Chinese, to communicate with one another. I think this way of communicating is really efficient because Singlish just helps us cut to the chase and get to the point which is a reflection of what Singaporeans are like and how they like things to be — efficient and quick.

Tell us about your chosen objects

I chose the cheongsam because it represents my Chinese culture and heritage. Since young, I've been dressed up in cheongsams by my parents so it’s naturally what I would choose to represent myself and my culture. But the cheongsam I'm wearing is different from the traditional cheongsam. The typical cheongsam will usually be more form-fitting, slightly longer and it will have two slits at the side. The one I'm wearing is slightly shorter, A-line and flatter.

The pattern on this dress is also more of a modern version of the Cheongsam, which has just flowers and no Phoenixes on them. It's not embroidered, but it's brighter and more colourful. The flowers are also more graphic and illustrative.

"In Chinese culture and tradition, the Phoenix would represent wealth and prosperity. A lot of royals had it on their clothing as well. The one I'm wearing is a contemporary take."

Are there any external influences that have shaped your cultural identity?

Growing up with social media, the media that I consume is really Western-centric. It kind of made me go through an identity crisis, probably when I was 10, all the way till I was 13. I thought that my culture was not really interesting because of the Western media that I constantly absorbed. But when I was 14 or 15, that's when I started to develop an interest for my culture and wanted to explore more of that — to connect deeper with my roots.