21 Creatives for #SGABF2018 — Jacqueline Goh
SGABF: You just released The Fingersmith Letterpress’s first zine, Sexidents, on your website. Share with us a little about this zine and how you conceived the idea of Sexidents.
Jacqueline Goh (JG): I guess you can say that I pursue these different ideas because I like doing things that I personally like, not things that you will typically see out there. I see people doing so much, but I want to create quality works and something that says “me”.
The illustrator, Ann Gee asked me to contribute to her sex zine, so I started drawing two and thought it was quite fun. After some research, I decided that I can contribute a lot more and that it deserves a book of its own. For me even though Sexidents is about sex, it doesn’t have to be dirty. It still has my sense of humour. I think a lot of sex zines out there are provocative, but Sexidents is not like that.
SGABF: Letterpress printing is a centuries-old form of printmaking that is hard to master. What is it about the art of letterpress that you love?
JG: It's the whole process of getting your hands dirty, feeling the papers and smelling ink that still gets me every time. Also, just the way the ink rests in the paper and the tactility of the final print just feels different for me as compared to a flat digital print.
Letterpress printing taught me to be more patient (although I still get distracted by squirrels now and then) and to trust and appreciate the process.
SGABF: What is your personal take on the arts and culture in Singapore?
JG: I’ve never really positioned myself as a Singaporean artist. That’s why I always try to get out [of Singapore]. I see artists overseas producing works that are commercial or provocative not because they have to be, but because that’s what they believe in. That’s what I feel Singapore’s art lacks, I guess partly because we’re afraid of censorship. But then if you fuck care, then fuck care lah!
SGABF: How much has your travels contributed to your art in terms of style, inspiration and aesthetic?
JG: When I travel, I just want to absorb. When I stopped taking digital photographs, I realised that I can really look at things and translate it into drawings and remember the details better.
I think the more you travel, the more you open your eyes. I still remember when I first came to Singapore at 10 years old, everything was so new and cool. But I no longer feel that way about Singapore, which is sad; I’m just in my comfort zone. I like not being in my comfort zone, and not knowing what my next move is.
SGABF: As a concluding question, in terms of shifting the social standing of the arts in Singapore, what do you think the Singapore Art Book Fair is and what should it aim to achieve?
JG: I don’t think there is a hard and fast rule because different countries have the capacity to do different things. I like that Singapore is a blend of Asian and Western cultures. Even in my artworks, I try to blend Asian and Western humour. For instance, if I paint a lady, she will be wearing a cheongsam. I feel like if an art book fair can offer that kind of mix, it will be good.
I always feel that the Singapore Art Book Fair introduces people to different thinking and new things. We are so used to seeing the same things over and over again, but when you visit the fair, you get exposed to things that can shift your thinking. You know how when you look at new things, a seed is planted and it makes you want to explore? When you bring in new things and ideas, it gets people out of their routine. It‘s good to get people out of their routines and ignite something new. Honestly, I also feel that Singapore Art Book Fair is different from other art book fairs because it’s small, and so it should be very curated and in turn be more tasteful.
Jacqueline Goh (Jackie) is a print operator and illustrator at The Fingersmith Letterpress. Besides the love of being covered in ink, she enjoys tinkering with her analogue cameras and dabbles in occasional woodwork. She is usually found buried in her sketchbook doodling not so serious things and journaling inspirations from around the world.