Acrylic on Canvas, 2021
… Singlish, is an English-based creole language spoken in Singapore…. The vocabulary of Singlish consists of words originating from English, Malay, Cantonese, Japanese, Hokkien, Teochew, and Tamil.Wikipedia
‘Interment’ explores the fate of some Malay words upon insertion into Singlish, from the perspective of a Malay language speaker. The impetus for this work was my own jarring experience; the striking realisation that a Singlish word an acquaintance had used was actually a word of Malay origin with a vitiated spelling. Then, I encountered more words that friends had thought were originally from Hokkien or other languages were, in fact, Malay in origin.
Language has always shifted and morphed according to its users, (the insertion of Singlish words into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016.) But how do we negotiate what feels like on one hand, inclusion, but on the other, an erasure?
Aini Azidah is currently an Art teacher in Jurong Pioneer Junior College and has been teaching since 2012. Her practice is multidisciplinary, dabbling in performance, fabric arts, printmaking and other media. Of interest to her are contradictions seen in everyday life as words and images jostle with each other for dominance. This will be Aini’s third time participating in STAR’s aedge art teachers’ exhibition. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London with a BA(Hons) in Fine Art and Art History in 2011.