How She Loves is a series of collaborative portraits featuring queer female couples in Singapore. Given a variety of wedding props, such as bowties, flowers, and veils, representing tropes of matrimony and the gender roles society has constructed, the couples were asked to use items that they felt best represented them. Projected onto the backdrop are pictures of their parents’ wedding portraits, a visual reminder of the heteronormative histories that have shaped many LGBTQ people’s lives and a juxtaposition to the future they hope to create. All made within a studio space, the portraits consider the performativity that queer couples adopt as a result of societal norms and codes. The series looks at the way queer women love, and the world they wish to reside in.

Homosexual relations remain illegal in Singapore due to a colonial-era penal code, 377(a), which dictates that a man cannot have sex with another man. Women are not mentioned in the legislation. Couples who identify as non-heterosexual do not possess any legal or administrative rights in Singapore, affecting issues such as marriage, their ability obtain public housing, and hospital visitations.

This series was first initiated through a residency at the Exactly Foundation in 2018. 

How to View

During the day, the installment can be viewed on monitors inside the ICP Museum and during evening hours, images are literally “projected” onto the windows of the ICP Museum; they can be viewed from the sidewalk outside the Museum and are most visible after sunset. Learn more about Projected.

About the Artist

Charmaine Poh (b.1990) is a Chinese-Singaporean artist and documentarian. Her work concerns memory, gender, youth, and solitude. Specifically, she is interested in the performance of self and the multiple layers of identity we build. She often works with the form of narrative portraiture. Focused on issues in Asia, her work has been recognized internationally. She has showcased her work through platforms such as M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, The Taipei Arts Festival, Photoville, and the New York Times. She graduated from Tufts University with a BA in international relations and is currently pursuing an MA in visual and media anthropology at the Freie Universitat Berlin.


Image: © Charmaine Poh