When was the first time you saw the sun? Not its winding tendrils, or its luminous glow, or even its radiant essence shining down upon your skin. Not its glare, or its intensity, or its resplendent effulgence—but it.
“The woman in the picture is not just different from what I remember of her, or want to remember: she is a ghost, like the ghosts I would see on strips of negatives as a girl. In daylight I would hold them up to my eye, trying to guess who they were, and when I grew bored of this, I would fashion these haunted ribbons into bracelets round my wrist.”
As a toddler, I devoured reruns of Rocky and Bullwinkle, and even in the 1970s still occasionally saw the civil defense film Duck and Cover. It was an everyday occurrence to see the yellow and black signs marking the way to the nearest fallout shelter in schools, post offices, and stores. There was no escaping the Cold War’s shadow.
“I really want the resources and the money that’s coming into the city to reach the bus, but I hope that gentrification never reaches the bus because there’s just so much culture and originality there.”
“Several friends and journalists have noted the absence of text in Singapore. I have the most immense respect for the authority of words; that’s why I’ve not allowed any into the book.”