Through experimenting with different mediums, “Ugly” has come together as a double-layered book of paper pop-ups and photographs. The upper layer, representing the clean well-curated aesthetics of my hometown Singapore, unfolds beautifully when opening each spread of the book. The lower layer, which can be viewed through the gaps of the pop-ups or by lifting up the upper layer, reveals the lower-income individuals that struggle between paychecks.
How did beauty become ugly, and how did ugly become beautiful?
In this fast-paced society, many people are too occupied to look beyond their living conditions and/or to notice the lower-income individuals that they encounter on a day-to-day basis. Singapore has always branded itself as a prosperous country with a booming economy that can be leveled on an international level. It is also infamous for strict laws to prevent any imperfections on its outer appearance.
By uncovering these individuals living in unseen corners of Singapore, we provide them an outlet to voice out their stories. We aim for the viewers to reflect upon their privileges and evoke empathy towards others beyond their normal social bubble.
Project collaboration with Jessmin Nah.
The case film is produced by Youchen Zhou.