The Singapore LGBT encyclopaedia Wiki

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Marylyn Tan first made a name for herself in the Singaporean spoken word scene of the early 2010s, enthralling audiences with work that was unapologetically queer and feminist, playfully taboo-breaking and hysterically funny. She was featured at events as diverse as the Singapore Writers Festival, the Singapore Biennale’s “Mass Hysteria”, SPEAK and IndigNation’s ContraDiction readings.

“Gaze Back” was her first solo collection of poems, published in 2018. It included pieces like “Cursing the Fig Tree” and “Sexts from the Universe”, inspired by occult principles, her Catholic heritage, computer programming, critical theory and kink—some even incorporating photography and iconography as multimedia artworks. Her ultimate aim is to present “re-imaginings of the feminine ideal”, countering the male gaze. The book has won both national and international acclaim: she was a finalist in the Lambda Literary Awards 2019 (Lesbian Poetry), and is currently shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize 2020 in the English Poetry Category.

Tan is the founder of DIS/CONTENT (@hellodiscontent) a collective that aims to foster multidisciplinary art-making informed by a spirit of collaboration and play, pleasure, risk-taking and inclusivity in all senses, including means of access, culture/ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality.

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This article was written by Roy Tan.

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