Saturday, December 30, 2006

Best in Singapore and JB (and some say the subcontinent of India)

I'm in Bangkok right now, but I got an SMS from Jason Wee this morning. It was about our book, SQ21: Singapore Queers in the 21st Century.

"We're the ST best non-fiction book of the yr! We beat out cholera, 9-11, big macs and the entire subcontinent of india."

Woohoo! Many thanks to whoever at the Straits Times did the picking. If someone's got a transcript of the article, please do send me a copy! Won't be back till next Wednesday. :) Btw, if you're having trouble finding a copy, I believe they're still out in force at Kinokuniya, though Borders has been bled more or less dry by Christmas sales.

Now, let me just home and scan in that article...

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Merry Christmas and Dong Zhi Kuai Le! Before I start making preparations for my trip, I'm gonna mention my next "last boy" promotion and reading will be 2-3pm, Saturday January 20th, at Kinokuniya, Takashimaya.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006


Life! says that if I'm gonna continue as a theatre reviewer for them, I'll have to stop writing commentaries for Today. Despite the differing subject matters (I've written exclusively on individual theatre pieces for Life! and on visual arts festivals for Today), it's just not SPH policy to have freelancers write for competitors. Tch.


Terry and Don, two of my bestest JC friends, have invited me to go with them to Thailand! I'll be there from the night of Wed 27 Dec to Wed 3 Jan. It's my first time in Bangkok as an adult. I have been told it's inspiring.

My friends will be flying back on Jan 1, but I couldn't get an AirAsia flight back any earlier; shoulda taken the bus and train; I mean, two days alone in Bangkok, what am I gonna do????? ;)

Seriously though, I could do with advice. E.g. I wanna write a Fridae article while I'm there but I don't speak Thai... how to be edgy news reporter like dat?

Oh yeah - here's an article I wrote for ST that ran in Life!, Tuesday 19 December, 2006, p7. Not the greatest article in the world, and it required some amendments from Deputy Editor Tan Hsueh Yun. But for the record, here it is.

Will be on hiatus for a while... getting out of town. See above. ;D

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Georgette - the Musical!

Well, today's my third and possibly final review in front of the Singapore Musical Theatre Society (MTS) for my new musical about the life of Singapore pioneer artist Georgette Chen (her self-portrait's on the side).

The score's written by the very talented (and alarmingly young) composer Clement Yang, who's leaving the pharmaceuticals business to become a full-time guitarist. The review is sung by a bunch of volunteers, including myself (we're very very low on penises among the volunteer cast).

The musical's being incubated as part of Five-Foot Broadway, an initiative of MTS to develop new musical writing talents. If all goes well, we could have a show at the Esplanade during the next Arts Fest.

(God knows I've chosen a thoroughly commercial topic. I'll do my transgender bisexual Cyrano de Bergerac operetta when I've got more of a name for myself. Yes Rizal, go ahead and call me a sellout.)

Update: My god. Island-wide flooding caused immense logistical problems. I ended up having to read for about 3 different roles myself. The critics who did make it gave way too much musical feedback for me to relay to the composer. I burnt out at the end. Generally positive feedback on the text, though.

Friday, December 15, 2006

TODAY, Thursday December 14, 2006, p10

Here's my latest commentary in Today newspaper. I took on the National Museum this time - sigh, I really do like what they're doing, and I didn't give it such an inflammatory title myself (I called it "Payback at the Museum", like some John Woo movie). But I have to admit, this current headline makes you jump a little more.

If I hadn't had to edit for space, I'd have mentioned that Museum Director Lee Chor Lin has demonstrated support for the arts consistently in the past - she commissioned Royston to film "The Old Man and the River", for example.

In fact, the Museum is publishing a response tomorrow. Probably putting forward the statement that they have to present as objective a view of history as possible, etc, etc. They have their point. Akan Datang!!!

P.S. Of course this ends any chance I have of staging "David Marshall: The Klezmer Musical Extravaganza!" within their premises. (Sob).

Update: Ooh, here's Dr Lee's reply:

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Sweet! They're finally featuring my site on! Which means it's a perfect opportunity to advertise my next gig.

I'm promoting my poetry book last boy at Earshot Cafe at the Arts House next Thursday evening. It's a special combination of the Poetry Slams and the Writers Connect events organised by Chris Mooney-Singh.

If you can't turn up, well, you can go for my National Book Development Council event that I've choped in May, or you can buy the book from Kino, Borders, Earshot, Books Actually or directly by mail from Firstfruits publications - this works internationally.

Anyway, in case you're still up for my slam performance, it'll be on

Thursday December 14th
between 7 to 9pm.
Earshot Cafe
Arts House

Is Zelo a Hero?

Urg. That was the headline given to my review of Agni Kootthu's O$P$ in yesterday's Life! I'm getting paid for it (thanks for the lobang Xinyi!), so I can't complain, but I figure I might as well post the review as I originally wrote it - without the introduction cut out.

(In case it wasn't apparent in the review, I thought Max Ling from certain angles was pretty hot. Or maybe I just wanna fuck a samseng)

Cruel joy

Agni Kootthu
Guinness Theatre
Ng Yi-Sheng

This is a dangerous play to watch. I came to O$P$ (OweMoneyPayMoney) expecting a documentary of social victimhood in the world of illegal money-lending. What I encountered was something greater; a powerful tale of a tragic hero, all the more empathetic for his psychotic cruelty.

In this one-man show, actor Max Ling tells the story of Zelo, a debt collector famed among loan sharks for his creative viciousness in exacting punishment on debtors. Yet he has a crisis of his own: his ex-wife refuses to let him visit their retarded daughter.

Zelo comes across as an overgrown schoolboy, by turns charming, threatening and pathetic, especially pitiful when offering toys to his unresponsive child. But one discovers one feels closest to the protagonist at moments of extreme violence - on smashing his father-in-law's corridor plants, or beating up a handphone user in a cinema. Zelo reminds us that there's a madman in all of us, capable of havoc.

Playwright-director Elangovan is renowned for his investigations into the world of the underclasses, such as Buang Suay, about an Indian prostitute. It's unusual for him to structure a play around a perpetrator rather than a victim of violence, but he does this with flair, working with Ling to develop a believable portrait of a Chinese samseng, scripted in English, Mandarin, Hokkien and Cantonese.

Ling's skills in physical theatre yield an excellent performance, featuring distinctive swaggers, operatic stances and martial arts. His elastic face and acrobatic athleticism allow him to switch characters in an instant, playing both the furious debt collector and the fearful debtor cowering beneath.

Yet sadly, he conveys little variation in voices, thus confusing several characters in one's mind. And while initially gripping, Elangovan's scenes eventually become formulaic, almost inevitably ending with Zelo's brutal outbursts. Thankfully, the play climaxed before this cycle became wearisome.

In terms of stagecraft, Agni Kootthu triumphs through cunning use of a spartan selection of props. In the final scene, mere smears of ultraviolet paint and two flashlights enable Ling to transform into a luminous skeleton, bones daubed on his body, plucking circles of light from the air to feed his hungry mouth.

In a time of sophisticated theatre, the pared-down, minimalist violence of O$P$ delivers a jolt of raw, cathartic energy to the jaded viewer. One can't help but love Zelo - as an outlaw, he wreaks chaos not for just the moneylender, but on our behalf.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Fifth Column

Actually, this is my first column with Today newspaper. I just felt a vague sense of betrayal at times, criticising my own friends, who really did work pretty hard on getting info out (the Exhibition Site Officers were quite well-informed, the signboards were often helpful, us tour guides were around,they had walk-the-talk for some events, etc).

Anyway, this was printed in Today Newspaper on Wed, Nov 21, 2006, p44. Substation Artistic Director Lee Weng Choy had the following to say about it:

1) a number of factual errors in your piece, including the
designation of Low Kee Hong as Artistic Director -- he's General
Manager; Fumio Nanjo is the AD.

62 I don't know how your being a guide makes you a work of art (at
least it's not clear in the way you describe your role as a guide).
And your contention that the biennale was loved by all international
experts sounds as reliable as Donald Rumsfeld's claim that Iraq had
WMD ... (or it seems to didn't meet and talk to the people that I did).


So, in Weng Choy's eyes, I'm Rumsfeld. Quel horreur.

Here's the original text, btw, which includes the snide comment at the IMF Conference.

The Biennale Talk
s Back

An insider's review by Ng Yi-Sheng

For two and a half months, I was an artwork with the Singapore Biennale.

I'm not kidding. I was part of a project by the artist Luchezar Boyadjiev, who trained us volunteers as tour guides, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the art world. I got to talk about Rizman Putra's changing hairstyles and Santiago Cucullu's habit of stealing aeroplane blankets - little details that helped guests get inside the strange, brilliant minds of artists.

Now the whole shebang's over, and it's safe to say it was a critical success: I had the chance to meet jet-setting critics who'd been to every biennale from Marrakesh to Manhattan, and they were usually impressed by the art (regardless of their views of our IMF conference). It's partly thanks to the risks the curators took in displaying daring works on religion and politics - a big step forward for censor-happy Singapore.

So hooray, we won over the experts. But what about everyone else?

As a guide, I don't think we communicated enough. I met plenty of people on my tours who'd never been to a gallery before. Without guides, they were pretty lost; they said the signboards (put up late) and guidebooks ($10) didn't always give clear introductions to the work. If explanations were available, they were willing to listen; to appreciate the ideas behind the crazy displays.

Artistic director Low Kee Hong has said the next Biennale will focus on education. But communication isn't just his problem. Media coverage of the Biennale events was often heartbreakingly superficial.

Yes, some good articles were published about the opening and featured local artists. But no-one tried to interview foreign artists after they'd left Singapore - an easy matter in this age of e-mail and IDD. Instead, generous proportions of adspace and airtime were wasted on dumbing down the show - one paper kept issuing ah beng impressions of the artworks that told readers, "You won't understand this, but come anyway!"

Contemporary art is a joke, but it's the kind of joke that gets better when explained. My real ah beng friends laughed when I told them why the Orchard Road trees were covered with polka-dots: the clinically insane artist Yayoi Kusama hallucinates these patterns, but instead of taking medication, she makes art, so the world can see the polka-dotted walls of her mind.

The Biennale team's more experienced now, but they've a monster reputation to live up to, and without the buzz of S2006, the next event might not get as big a budget. So don't hold your breath for two years - try visiting the other contemporary art spaces in Singapore. Our cutting-edge artists are working smaller shows at the Substation, 72-13 and the Little India Arts Belt, with events publicised on lesser-known portals like the excellent

Ultimately, the Biennale's just part of a wider arts community that doesn't have as much funding, but still tries to speak to the general public. Congrats to my friends at the Biennale, and thanks for the T-shirt. Sure, I'll miss being a work of art, but it also means I get to be human again. Eventually, everyone has to leave the museum.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

last boy @ BooksActually

I'll be doing a promotional reading at the cool new(ish) independent bookstore, BooksActually!

Thursday, 16 November
125A Telok Ayer Street
(2nd floor)
Singapore 068594

Tel: 6221 1170

They're a cool new independent bookstore within walking distance of Raffles Place. Here's a shot from when I was attending a dramatised reading of an Eleanor Wong play.

Posted by Picasa

Seeya there! I'll be baking cookies.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006


A wearable art intervention performed Friday, 10 November at Encounters 34: Beginning Belief, LaSalle-SIA School of the Arts.

Materials: Singapore Biennale badges (X 92), Singapore Biennale tote bag, black tights, blazer and marker pen inscriptions of local contemporary artists not included in the Biennale.

Reprised Saturday 11 November at the official closing party for the Biennale. Amanda Heng said she liked it. :) Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 05, 2006

We Live in a Strange World

My sort-of-mentee, Amos Toh, has done an interview with me on We Live in a Strange World, his newsblog devoted to interviewing people in the arts community the author likes, e.g. me and Brian Gothong Tan. And I quote:

we live in a strange world lets artists have their say through conversations with the editor, strangemessages. Each feature will also gather links to resources, critical commentary and other features on the artist. One of his or her works will also be featured on strangework.

This space also hopes to give a voice to the people who provide valuable support to these artists; for who is to say that publishers, translators and curators aren’t artists in their own right, tirelessly honing their craft and the process of art like writers, filmmakers, and playwrights do?

He's also got a penchant for publishing lesser-known works of the artists at Strange Work, as well as featuring odd photographs of us on his page:

;-P The interview itself is at the following:

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Garden Re-lived! Readings for The Substation

Wednesday, 8 November 2006 The Substation Garden/Timbre 7.30 – 9.30pm $25 inclusive of one drink

Some of Singapore's most accomplished poets and musicians are getting together in support of The Substation, at a venue that has long been dear to the hearts of the Singapore arts community: The Substation Garden.

The Garden Re-lived promises to be a potent evening of poetry, music and magic under the trees. It features Robert Yeo, Yong Shu Hoong, Koh Tsin Yen, Dr Leong Liew Geok, Paul Tan, Cyril Wong, Teng Qian Xi and Ng Yi-Sheng.

Now also known as the place where Timbre music bistro bar is located, The Substation Garden is a magical haven in the centre of the city. Since The Substation first opened its doors in September 1990, the Garden has been the site of memorable ­­-- even legendary ­– arts events, many of them 'firsts' in Singapore. There were the Round-the-Clock gigs by local rock bands, storytelling under the bodhi tree, the Word of Mouth poetry readings, flea markets, plays, and special events like Kuo Pao Kun's Tree Celebration of 1991, one of the
earliest multi-disciplinary arts events in Singapore which included installation art, plays, and readings around the theme of nature.

The Garden Re-lived will recall these special moments in The Substation's history, while looking forward to the future and celebrating Singapore artists' spirit of generosity. The poets and musicians are giving their time and talent pro bono, in support of The Substation. True to the spirit of the Garden, a place which has weathered many changes yet carries a timeless quality,
The Garden Re-lived is a reminder that there are larger things than our individual day-to-day concerns.

And that's not all: The Garden Re-lived will kick off a new series of performances and readings in The Substation Garden, running through 2007. The series will include a new reading/performance inspired by the 'relay reading' of the Jean Giono novella The Man Who Planted Trees, read by Kuo Pao Kun and other performers/dramatists during the 1991 Tree Celebration.

The series is presented by The Substation, produced by Richard Chua (Artistic Director, Little Red Shop, a new local theatre company) and directed by Jonathan Lim (creator of the Chestnuts comedy show and Associate Artistic Director of Wild Rice).

With support from: Timbre, Gatecrash, zeropointfive, Little Red Shop and Crashout.

Event Details:

Title: The Garden Re-lived! Readings for The
Date: 8 November 2006
Venue: The Substation Garden/Timbre
Time: 7.30 – 9.30pm

Tickets: $25/ $18 inclusive of one drink, from
Gatecrash (excludes ticketing charge).
or The Substation Box Office, 45 Armenian Street, tel:
6337 7800 (opens 12 – 8.30pm, Mon-Fri).
Enquiries: 6337 7535 or 6337 7800


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Blox Populi

Shazam! Breathe Poetry has featured my poem "kami/kaze" on their poetry-sharing livejournal. They even took the trouble to do all the capitalisation and alignment properly (which is a bitch in html). You have to be flattered when one is talked about by people you don't know - especially when they've got no career incentive to be investigating local poetry.

Plus I'm on the same page as Gwendolyn Brooks, William Carlos Williams and Margaret Atwood. Not bad company, huh? :-D.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Thanks again to everyone who made it to my book launch! We had about 30 people, a good vibe in spite of the noisy SJI reunion outside, and an extremely surreal impromptu interview with Angeline Yap with each of us acting as the other person:

Ms Yap: So tell me, Ms Yap, what do you remember about my days as a JC schoolboy, working you half to death with three poems a week?

Me: Why Mr Ng, I remember feeling very pressured, what with my job at Allen and Gledhill and being a mother of three children and all...

(I guess you had to be there. Images forthcoming.)

Anyway, I'm going to be next reading this coming Thursday at subTEXT, the monthly literary reading in the National Library basement.

Featured are (from left to right) the musician Yee Chang Kang, poet Kristina Tom, poet-cum-organiser Yong Shu Hoong, poet Yeow Kai Chai and myself. I'll be reading some new stuff and old stuff.

Once again, that's

Thursday Nov 2, 7:00pm
Multipurpose room
Central Lending Library (basement)
Victoria Street

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Book launch@SAM

If you missed my first book launch (which was a blast), do try and make it for my second launch, with the poet Angeline Yap as guest-of-honour.

Friday 27 October 2006
7:00pm (again, schmoozing starts at 6:30pm)
Singapore Art Museum
The Cube

71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189555

Seeya there,


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Coverage at

I've got a review and profile by Kerbing Lee at It's not a fantastic review, but at least that means I know it's fair. It dwells a lot on how difficult the poetry can be sometimes, and it goes further -

"Sometimes, the work speaks more about the writer than the writer would care to admit about himself. Ng spoke about a sense of playfulness and affirmation in his poetry. What one finds in the work is instead a profound sense of unspeakable loneliness and isolation. Last Boy seems to exist in its own universe – in a galaxy far away. The language is fluid and spectacular, but its centre of gravity exists in an alternate dimension. There is a mature mind that seems to indulge behind a façade of unfounded youthfulness."

Am slightly depressed now. Will post some photos of the launch to cheer myself up.

Me being hyper.

The audience trickling in.

The books, together with a sunflower from my sort-of-mentee Amos. :)

One of the videos Brian Gothong Tan did.

Me adjusting the audio for the projector.

The audience being appreciative.

And buka-ing our puasa.

There's more pics of me and Brian's video work at my personal blog. Hope people come to the next reading!
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Saturday, October 21, 2006

raunch launch

The "last boy" launch at Tanglin Camp was fantastic. Many, many thanks to all the people who spent hours trying to find the location (by car, taxi, shuttle bus and just WALKING the extremely long distance through the jungle).

I'm going to upload more pictures soon, but for now I'll just let slip that during the Q&A sessions with Alfian and the audience, my responses became progressively more sexually perverse and gossipy. Among the topics broached were my growing fascination with cunnilingus and exhibitionism. Brian's extremely artistic videos didn't make things easy, either.

Images forthcoming!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Today newspaper, Thursday Oct 12th, 2006, p44
I'm tickled by their choice of photograph. That's me, alright.

On the other hand, they're using the wrong tense for the writing of "251"... I'm still in the process of writing. Just got "Pornomancer" in the mail! It's the first (and only) porn movie Annabel Chong directed herself.

Thanks to David Chew for calling me.

Friday, October 06, 2006

last boy: poetry book launch

UPDATE!!! The launch at Tanglin Camp requires an RSVP. It's cos it has to be a private event in a public space... people are afraid I'm gonna be controversial, sigh...

I'm having two launches for last boy, my first collection of poetry.

Friday 20 October 2006
7:00pm (schmoozing starts at 6:30pm)
Tanglin Camp (Singapore Biennale exhibition site)
Canteen area (Federico Herrera's Hamacario).
73 Loewen Road, Singapore 248843
RSVP required - e-mail Yi-Sheng here.
Guest of Honour: Alfian Sa'at

If you're coming by taxi, tell the driver it's the old CMPB. If coming by public transport, I'd recommend you take the free shuttle service from City Hall or the old National Library, details here.

Friday 27 October 2006
7:00pm (schmoozing starts at 6:30pm)
Singapore Art Museum
The Cube

71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189555
Guest of Honour: Angeline Yap

Both events will be held during periods when the art galleries grant free entry to visitors.

Oh god, I hope people turn up...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sunday Times, October 1, 2006, Lifestyle 24I owe Kristina Tom a gargantuan favour. Book of the frikkin' month!

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Song of the Wandering Aengus

For some odd (but entirely welcome!) reason, I've been asked by my publisher Enoch to read at the following:

Inaugural English Literature Conference:

Division of English, NTU, Singapore, 28-30 September 2006
18.30 Culture Ireland Evening,
Friday, 29 September, 2006

I know, I'm confused too. I'm often irresponsible, but I'm not Irish. Of course, the main point is that they want a representative of local poetry to perform (although I prefer to think that I'm about as representative of Singapore poetry as Pop Rocks are of carbohydrates).

Will probably be reading my RJC remix, but may insert some cheemer pieces since it's going to be an audience to PhDs (oo-er).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Video killed the poetry star

I had lunch with Brian today at Seah St Deli. Brian Gothong Tan is a contemporary artist, just my age, exhibiting now with the Singapore Biennale. Above are stills from his promotional video for "Mobile", a play by The Necessary Stage that went on in June this year. You can watch the whole trailer here.

This all relevant to the career blog because Brian (who also designed my cover), has agreed to make about 3 short films based on some of my poems - I'm hoping we can use them for the "last boy" launch. Otherwise I'll just thrive on the narcissistic pleasure of having had a piece of me portrayed in an artwork.

Also in the deli was the writer who currently goes by name of Kerbing Lee (due to various reasons, I'm now quite cautious about naming queer people on blogs), who's got a rather good article on two gay Singapore Biennale artists on (formerly I'm covering the same field for Fridae, but fortunately Kerbing interviewed the Singaporeans and I interviewed the Filipinos and the Australian. Since I'm sure it's unprofessional to link to your competitors in an article itself, I'm posting the link here. Click above.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Buy my book!

last boy will be on the shelves of Kinokuniya, Borders, etc. from Monday onwards. It's my first personal poetry collection, dealing mainly with my years of sexual and cultural development in New York. It's $15 + whatever else they slap on it; in any case I get 10% of selling price, so don't feel pressured to bring along your Kino card. ;)

Urgh, seriously, my bank account is trickling down. No-one pays freelancers on time.

Anyway, the launch was great - I got to meet Boey Kim Cheng, I saw my army friend Ng Teng Kuan again, spoke in Mandarin at length with Charis the graphic designer who worked on my cover (and guess what? the cover actually looks good!), and my parents had the good grace not to use their Blackberries during more than half of the readings. :-D Cyril Wong recited his stuff by heart, and Yeow Kai Chai prompted for me when I forgot my lines, and Eleanor Wong indirectly reassured me in her speech that she wasn't mad that I reviewed JBJ and concluded that her act one sucked.

Also saw Qian Xi, Rizal, Heng Siok Tian, Jason Wee, Clarence and a little boy who stabbed me in the neck with a black Pilot pen nib; ouch!!!!.

Very few of my non-writing friends came. I'm gonna wait till my personal launch to make them come... and trust me, it'll be a worthwhile event. :)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saturday, 9 September 2006, Life!
Forgot to upload this before. (From 1 Nov 2006, but adjusting the posting date)

Friday, September 08, 2006

The ugliest promotional jpeg ever.

Seriously. It should be used as an emetic. They even spelt "Firstfruits" wrong. *Retch*.

How the hell can I get this blog to have titles in its entries again???

Firstfruits Book Launch

It's a pure and transparent affair at Singapore Art Museum's Glass
Hall, as Firstfruits Publications launches new titles from a bevy of
authors: Earlier (Eleanor Wong), After the Fire (Boey Kim Cheng),
Pretend I'm not Here (Yeow Kai Chai), Like a Seed with its Singular
Purpose (Cyril Wong), First Meeting of Hands (Paul Tan) and Last Boy
(Ng Yi-Sheng). As a bonus, expect the usual witticism from guest of
honour, Dr K K Seet.

Date: Saturday, September 9
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Venue: Glass Hall, Singapore Art Museum, 71 Bras Basah Road
Admission: Free
For more info: Email

I guess it's no longer a secret... I'm writing a play on the infamous Grace Quek (whom I think is our next greatest woman performance artist after Amanda Heng).


THEATRE company Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble plans to heat up the arts scene next April with a provocative play based on the life of former porn actress Annabel Chong.

The Singaporean, whose real name is Grace Quek, set a record in 1995 by having sex with 251 men in 10 hours. In a reference to this infamous claim to fame, the play will be titled 251.

Director Loretta Tan, however, is quick to stress that 251 will not be 'a sordid expose'.

'I want the play to have a quirky but intellectual sensibility, and it will try to talk about issues like the public complicity in the porn industry, and what the benchmark of a national icon is,' she says.

Tasked with accomplishing this literary feat is writer Ng Yi-Sheng, 25. He took over the project last week from writer and Institute of Policy Studies senior research fellow Tan Tarn How.

Tan could not accommodate the scriptwriting into his schedule, and had also wanted to talk to Quek before starting on the script.

However, Toy Factory has not been able to get in touch with Quek, 34. She is believed to be working as a web designer in Los Angeles. Numerous phone calls and e-mail to her over the past six months have remained unanswered.

The director is hoping that once they e-mail her a copy of the completed script, Quek will be more receptive to their advances.

'I really want to get her blessing for the project,' she says.

· Do you know how Toy Factory can find Annabel Chong? E-mail us at, and we will pass on the message.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hey guys,

Some of you may have read in the papers about a book I wrote called "SQ21: Singapore Queers in the 21st Century", a non-fiction book of 15 gay lesbian and bisexual Singaporeans' coming out stories, published with real names and photographs - the first book to do this in the whole of Asia.

We've secured a time-slot this coming Saturday to promote the book at Borders: Books and Music at Wheelock Place in Orchard Road. We'll be having some readings and a panel. Books sell at $23 and all proceeds go to the Oogachaga Counseling and Support Centre. More info on the book is at

Come down if you'd like to meet some of these people (and grab a copy, if you want - they're flying off the shelves!) The timing we've got right now is:

Saturday, 2 September
2pm (until about 2:45)
Borders, near the DVD area

Ng Yi-Sheng

P.S. May I mention what mixed feelings you get when you write a bestseller and none of the money goes to you? And in fact you have to shell out money to buy your own copies because they were so unprofessional at the book launch that they sold out your comps???

You end up becoming very jealous of yourself. Here's my Sunday Times coverage nonetheless - 20 August, Lifestyle p22.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Book launch: SQ21 - Singapore Queers in the 21st Century!

(by Ng Yi-Sheng - i.e. it's my first book launch!)

What is it like for men and women to grow up here, to come out their families, to find love and work and meaning? What are their stories? For the first time in Singapore, the book "SQ21 - Singapore Queers in the 21st Century" answers these questions.

Fifteen men and women including a mother of two gay sons and a hearing impaired gay man share their stories, and their photos (yes photos - this is a real coming out book), showing their true faces and celebrating their against the odds of living full lives as gays and lesbians in Singapore. Written in a light, readable style, these inspirational stories will touch the hearts of everyone, young and old, single or in love, Singaporean and otherwise.

SQ21 is published by Oogachaga Counseling & Support and will be sold at a discounted price at the launch.

Date: Wednesday, 23 August 2006
Time: 7:30 pm
Admission: Free
Venue: Mox bar and cafe, 21 Tanjong Pagar Road, #04-21

Sign interpreting available
More info at http:///

Sunday, July 30, 2006

I'm organising a queer poetry reading this Thursday!

Details on the side. :) I'll be reading three of my poems (not the usual gay ones, because I read those at last year. Also reading: Cyril Wong, Alfian Sa'at, Koh Jee Leong, Feng Zengyan, Sha Najak, Ruby Pan, Geraldine Toh, Sabrina Koh, Jabir bin Mohd and Dominic Chua. They'll be reading prose and drama in addition to my stuff. :).

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Whew! I shoulda posted this ages ago, but then for a long time I assumed it was going to be a pretty in-house affair...

Anyway, I get to speak on a panel. Wonder if I can put that on my CV.

Invitation: Young Writers' Forum 2006 by the CAP Alumni: 24th June, 2-4.30pm, NUS UCC

Greetings!The Creative Arts Programme Alumni is pleased to invite you to the Young Writers' Forum 2006, on 24th June 2006 from 2-4.30pm, at the NUS University Cultural Centre's Theatre Green Room ( Panelists include Colin Cheong, Ng Yi-Sheng, Toh Hsien Min and Cyril Wong, with Teng Qian Xi as our moderator.

The Forum is an open event for all students and young adults interested in creative writing in Singapore, and aims to be a nuts-and-bolts roadmap into print for young writers. We'll discuss issues such as how to translate talent and inspiration into a body of work; considerations of audience, tone, and theme; the mechanics of bringing a book to print; the prospects, resources and support (or lack thereof) for writing as a career; and how to be engaged in the Singapore literary community. More broadly, we'll explore and debate the state of the local literary scene, and seek to critique the concept of being a published writer in Singapore.

Authors and arts groups are also welcome to bring their publications and flyers for distribution and sale at a table we'll be setting up at the reception area. Also, after the forum and tea, we'll be having an open-mike session for a bit of literary entertainment, so do bring your poems or your guitar for that matter :)

The Forum builds on the recent Creative Arts Programme Seminar's focus on immersing people in the language and craft of writing. The CAP is a yearly writing camp organized by the MOE and NUS, to inspire and mentor promising young writers from secondary schools and junior colleges. Continuing this effort, the CAP Alumni is an informal network which builds awareness and promotes the engagement of CAPers and others with the literary arts, and the wider creative community -- as active creators, reader-critics and supporters. Through this, we hope to do our part to advance the arts and culture in Singapore and beyond.

If you're interested in attending this event, please email Luke Tay ( by 20th June 2006 to confirm your attendance or call Gail Aw at 96649278 for more details. The event is free of charge though seats are limited.We look forward to meeting you on the 24th!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Phew! Well, from now on, this is going to be the official career-blog of freelance writer and creative textual performer, Ng Yi-Sheng.

Forthcoming poetry readings, launches and plays of mine (and my friends, if I'm feeling charitable :-D) will be uploaded here.

I really should have publicised my reading att he first edition of LITERATI at the lovely little loval bookshop, Books Actually, at 125A Telok Ayer Street at 2pm today (Sun 18th June). Read with the accomplishedly storyteller Akshita Nanda (she's from near Mumbai, where they still actually do that stuff), and the musicians Victor Tang and Feroz of Ecrus Garage, together with a guest appearance from LA based singer/songwriter and avid poet Andrea Hamilton. Andrea's from Kansas, studying in Los Angeles and in Singapore for a couple of weeks to visit her Singaporean collegemate and percussionist friend whose name I've forgotten, but was rather dishy with his Elizabeth Barrett hairdo.

(I covet his cajón. Also known as a drum box and used in flamenco, it's got the virtue of being able to be played extremely casually, with the hands, highly visibly to the audience, with both a tappy-finger sound at the edges and a nice solid boom when smacked in the centre.)

Will update with more discipline in weeks hereafter. And am determined to sound less brainless next time.