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Thinking and Talking about Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia

The working processes of artists: Sonia Kwek

“Probably your body is the one space you can be the most autonomous still”, says artist and performer Sonia Kwek. In this video, the artist talks about the politics of using the female body in her works, and how this relates to the experiences of marginalised communities. She also shares about her recent work Red Thread, with artist ila, in which audiences were invited to photograph parts of their “nude” bodies as part of a participatory art experience.

This video is directed and conceptualised by LASALLE students Jyothsna Akilan and Shalyn Lim, who say that they were drawn to Sonia because of her focus on body politics and feminist ideas.

“Her honesty as an artist aiming to break taboos about the female body and make art more inclusive also resonated strongly with us,” say the pair. “‘Why do I have to say this as a woman artist? It is just me as an artist.’ This quote particularly struck us. It made us understand that she doesn’t want to be a voice for feminism only because she is a woman.”

The interview can be found below, as well as on YouTube.

Between February to April 2021, BA in Arts Management students from LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, embarked on an artist documentation project as part of their module History & Contextual Studies. The first-year students were tasked with interviewing an artist to better understand an aspect of their practice, and to produce the result of the interview in the form of a video. The students were given creative freedom in how they executed the brief and shot and edited their videos. Five of the best videos are shown in partnership with ArtsEquator.


This interview with Sonia is part of a series of video projects in 2021 by BA Arts Management students of LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. For past videos in this series, click here.

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