Speaker: Prof. Weihsin GUI (Associate Professor of English, University of California-Riverside, USA)
Date: 22 April 2022 (Friday)
Time: 11:00am – 12:30pm
Zoom Link: https://eduhk.zoom.us/j/93297637413
Zoom Meeting ID: 932 9763 7413
Talk title: Everyday Life and Affordances in Koh Hong Teng’s Singaporean Comics
My talk examines the comics of Singaporean illustrator and artist Koh Hong Teng, who stands out in the Singaporean comics scene due to his meticulous attention to visual and physical details and his depictions of everyday lives of ordinary Singaporeans. I focus on a few of Koh’s shorter, anthologized comics as well as two of his longer collaborative works, Gone Case (2010) and Ten Sticks One Rice (2012). While none of Koh’s comics are explicitly engaged in socio-political critique, this does not mean that his comics shy away from commentary about such issues in contemporary Singapore. Drawing on Caroline Levine’s discussion of affordances in Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network (2017), I show how Koh’s comics create visual and narrative affordances for readers to think and raise questions about social life and power structures through his quotidian representations of common Singaporeans.
Weihsin Gui is Associate Professor of English and Director of Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California-Riverside. He is the author of National Consciousness and Literary Cosmopolitics (2013) and the editor of Common Lines and City Spaces (2014), an essay collection on Singaporean poet Arthur Yap. He also co-edited a 2016 journal special issue of Interventions about Singapore and neoliberalism (2016) and another 2020 special issue of Antipodes on literary and cultural connections between Southeast Asia and Australia-New Zealand. He has published several essays is various academic journals, among them an essay on “Contemporary Literature From Singapore” that appeared in the online Oxford Research Encyclopedia for Literature (2017), and a chapter on “Narrating the Global South East Asian Diaspora” that was published in Volume 10 of the Oxford History of the Novel in English (2019).