22, Fashion Student and Actor

I am a Chinese Indonesian born in Singapore. My mom is full Indonesian. It was her parents that moved to Singapore from Indonesia when they were kids. My dad is half Indonesian, half Singaporean, but he's been living in Singapore his whole life.

What is your relationship with the Singaporean identity?

Honestly, I feel outcasted at times. I don't really feel like I resonate with Singapore much, or Singaporeans mostly. Because of how I speak—I don't really speak Singlish—so Singaporeans are quite quick to put me aside.

When do you feel most at home?

When I used to live in a dorm with a whole bunch of international kids. I clicked very well with them. I guess they never really felt like they could relate to Singaporeans as well, so that's how we all kind of bonded.

"At the same time, it can also be hard to connect with my Indonesian side. There was an Indonesian group in my dorm who I tried to relate to because I'm also partly Indonesian. But I also felt like an outlier because I don't really speak Indonesian."

Tell us about your chosen objects

My Batik shirt is from my grandma who is full Indonesian. She's very attached to her identity as an Indonesian person. She did get me this but me, I don't really have that. I don't really relate to Indonesian culture as much, but when I was trying to find myself and trying to relate to whatever I could, it was nice to wear this because I felt like I wanted to be included. But now not so much.

I would say my bag is more me because I kind of put it together by myself. I just got this black box bag from Zara and I just accessorised it. I put a metal spike that I thought was very cool. And then now there's this new addition of an Oni mask over, which I would say represents me quite well.

When I was trying to learn to identify myself through how I style, I always immediately went to my blood heritage as Chinese or Chinese Indonesian, so I went one way or the other. I tried to really like clothes like that at the time, but now I've learned that I don't really identify much with that traditional stuff. I'm more of like, my own thing. I've not really paid much attention to them anymore, but I still do think it's pretty cool —just not for me anymore.

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

I'd say Japanese style has had a very big influence on me. I used to watch anime as a kid and I was always fascinated by how those characters were styled, how they were drawn, and the stuff that you wear on top of that.There was also the whole K-wave that happened. For me, it was G-Dragon. I thought he was like one of the coolest people in the world. He always looked like an anime character to me, like a main character type. I guess that's how the Japanese influence sort of like came onto me and left a very large impact on how I identify myself. I guess here in Singapore, you don’t see this type of style very often, so it was that edginess of the Harajuku style and all that got my attention and became how I started to style myself.