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19 AUGUST 2015, WEDNESDAY. 7.30PM-10.30PM.

Living with Myths X discusses our literature and comics. Gwee Li Sui reconsiders the established 'Singapore Story' of the history of Singaporean literature. Sonny Liew traces the journey to his tackling of the history of Singapore in The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye.


Singapore's Literary Myths

Gwee Li Sui

Independent scholar and poet


There is a familiar story in the appreciation of Singaporean literature that sees it develop in tandem with the larger so-called Singapore Story. In that greater story, Singapore grew from a culturally divided and deficient colony into what it is today: a vibrant, independent state where wealth, political stability, and the arts work hand in hand. But to what extend is a history of literature that follows this trajectory, with social identity being a strong focus, fabricated? What are the material elements ignored for such a narrative to hold sway, and what are the possible ideological values in upholding it in the first place? Gwee Li Sui will question a few of the most established notions that frame Singaporean literature in the hope that this frame itself may be brought under scrutiny.


Gwee Li Sui is a poet, a graphic artist, and a literary critic. His works of verse include Who Wants to Buy a Book of Poems? (1998), One Thousand and One Nights (2014), and The Other Merlion and Friends (2015). He wrote Singapore’s first full-length graphic novel in English, Myth of the Stone (1993), which has since been re-released in an expanded twentieth-anniversary edition. A familiar name in Singapore’s literary scene, he has written and lectured on a range of cultural subjects. He edited Sharing Borders: Studies in Contemporary Singaporean-Malaysian Literature II (2009), Telltale: Eleven Stories (2010), and Man/Born/Free: Writings on the Human Spirit from Singapore (2011) and wrote FEAR NO POETRY!: An Essential Guide to Close Reading (2014).




Sonny Liew

Comics artist


An introduction to how I started doing the comics, from early ventures in The New Paperthrough to superhero comics for DC, and the path that led to The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. What makes comics a unique medium, and my own particular leanings in experimenting with form and content. What I hoped to achieve with the AOCCHC, its grappling with the history of Singapore and the nature of storytelling.


Sonny Liew is a Malaysia-born, Singapore-based comics artist whose has worked on titles with Marvel Comics, DC Comics, First Second Books, Image Comics, DC Vertigo and Disney Press. In 2014, he teamed up with writer Gene Luen Yang on the New York Times bestsellerThe Shadow Hero. Liew has received Eisner nominations for his work on WonderlandLiquid City and The Shadow Hero. Other honours include a Xeric grant, the Best Science Fiction Comic Album Award at the Utopiales SF Festival in Nantes, and the Singapore National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award. His latest book is The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, and he is currently working on a new Doctor Fate series for DC Comics.






C.J. Wee Wan-ling






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