Catherine is currently working in the clinical research sector and enjoys her job. Her other full-time job is working her passion in her arts and cultural pursuit under her creative practice,CatherineErica. She uses her art as a living response and defies anyone who tries to compartmentalize her.
As a self-taught artist who seeks and experiments art forms across genres and situations, she sees arts as a form of storytelling, as much as life itself.
Her art philosophy is based on two simple principles; Storytelling of stories from Asia through arts & culture and Advocate for the marginalized among us. Check out her blog here. RAP talked to her to find out more about her works in the recent show, Emin Says ….
Question(Q): Tell us more about your new works for Emin says… show.
Catherine Cheok(Cat): This is a working series where I explore the theme of self-identity and feministic elements. In fact, I have already set my mind to work on this series prior this exhibition so I would say that this is long overdue. This isjust the beginning and I’m glad this exhibition comes along at the right time as it motivates me to work harder at this series! Tying in with the text also provides me another perspective of working this series. All in all, I think it’s coming along nicely.
Q: You have been working creatively on visuals and texts, care to share someof your other works?
Cat: I first started incorporating text into visuals, or should I say visual with text(?), in the middle of this year where I put up a piece for “Eat With Family”exhibition at The Arts House. Personally, I find it difficult to choose one form of art over the other so why not have the best of both worlds! I’m currently setting myself to work on an adult illustration book which will incorporate writing, illustration and photos. I hope to do a piece of journalistic writing on the local contemporary artists scene with photographs as well. Most of my works, writings and visuals can be found on my blog though these tend to be random pieces.
Q: How do you find LGBT art here in Singapore, and as well around theregion?
Cat: I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge of LGBT art is very limited especially locally and in the region. But I believe we can learn much more aswe look to our western counterparts who have a good head start in this area.
Q: Do you think there’s a need to address LGBT issues through visual art?
Cat: I don’t see it as a need but rather a desire to do so. And I believe it is important to advocate LGBT issues through different art forms such as theatre and even education rather than just visual art. Art can be a powerful communication channel and when a visionary is able to use all aspects of it to its fullest advantage, the message can then be broadcast loud and clear.
Q: Share with us your future artistic plans.
Cat: I am looking forward to 2011 actually. For this year, it’s mainly a time of reflection, questioning and exploration. I was able to consolidate all my thoughts and learnings recently and string these together to chart another stage of growth for my artistic career. It’ll still be more exploration but it’ll be more focused and more in-depth study into a few areas that caught my attention. One of these is the complexity of being a woman, no doubt!
Q: Any last words for the LGBT community?
Cat: I have a great respect for the LGBT community, it has some of the most
talented people around. Even prior to this project, I’ve come to know more about this community and in many ways, the issues faced by this community are universal themes.
Emin Says … run from 2 November to 5 December at tocaMe bar. More on the show here.