Video by Charmaine Poh

YOUNG BODY responds to discourse surrounding the patriarchal gaze and the female body using found footage of my preteen body as a tween TV actor, as well as the process of Internet avatar creation as freedom-making.
As a young person, my body was consumed and dissected by an anonymous public on Internet forums. Ill-prepared for the language of desire and misogyny, I grew to detest my body until far into adulthood.

In this exercise, I re-examine this footage, reciting an article of legal advice pertaining to Singapore’s Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) , as a narrative arc of restitution. I continue re-writing the body through documenting the process of creating a digital avatar through a freely available website , questioning the options that we possess in determining ownership of our online selves, and if this offers any possibility for freedom.

I wish to thank Nirmala Seshadri for her invitation to respond to her oeuvre. Throughout her career, Nirmala has continuously chosen the harder path of challenging societal norms, often at the risk of her practice. For her vulnerability, steadfastness, and generosity, I have nothing but respect.

© 2021 Charmaine Poh All Rights Reserved