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COLOURS is inspired by Text and Sound

White is uniform.
I have to wear white shirts with shorts and later pants for four years.
That is why I don’t wear white trousers now.
A white shirt is OK.
White is dirty because it is difficult to keep clean.

Yellow is holy.
It is also my childhood as I remember walking on the beach during sunset.
Yellow is Buddhism.

I like Orange.
And Red because monks’ robes have similar colours.
I think that’s why I have so many orange T-Shirts.

Orange is also paddy fields, or close to it.
I want to retire and be a monk who plants rice.

Green is childhood.
I grew up with lots of green in the countryside before the flats were built.

I don’t like grey because it’s the colour of cement that took away my childhood.



This short text was written by Kim Seng in 2008. Ten years later, it was incorporated into My Grandfather’s Road, a theatrical production he wrote and directed. It did not have any title but has been referred to as Colours since 2018.

My Grandfather’s Road is Kim Seng’s ongoing project exploring and telling the same stories in multiple versions (different iterations), languages (English and Cantonese) and forms (book, installation, photo exhibition, performance and music).

COLOURS continues this exploration of multiplicities with the translation of the English version of Colours into different languages. The translated text will be made into audio recordings and videos of readings of the translations in the style of talking heads.

COLOURS is inspired by Film, Images and Zoom

One of Wong Kar Wai’s recurring themes and images in his films was that of people telling personal stories and secrets into spaces like a hole in a temple wall or into a tape recorder. But the audience never gets to hear them and they remain stories and secrets no one else can know or hear.

COLOURS features short videos of places where one feels an affinity with, places and spaces where personal stories could be shared. In the last few years, online meetings, webinars and events on Zoom have replaced physical interactions. These talking heads arranged in a grid format on computer screens during virtual events was one of the inspirations for the look of COLOURS.


The participants in COLOURS all have a Singapore connection: Singaporeans who have relocated overseas and are able to speak the languages of their adopted homes and those born overseas but currently live in Singapore. Two of the original actors of My Grandfather’s Road, Karen Tan and Gary Tang were invited to be part of the project as they were the first to perform the text.

Most of the participants were friends of Kim Seng and Joavien. Some cold emails were also written to Singaporeans based overseas after searching online for personal blogs, websites and news stories. Kim Seng and Joavien met the participants on Zoom across different time zones and continents to discuss the project. These conversations helped to widen the scope of the meaning of home and belonging and they spoke about homelessness, discrimination, forever homes, woke culture, identity, colours, migration, translocality, assimilation and more.

Participants were asked to share their own thoughts on the project in any form and language they wish: writing, video, movement, music, etc.


Cheryl Kara Ang
Titisa Jeamsakul (Ice)
Liu Xiaoyi

Weisi Low
Ming Poon
Clarence Ng
Joavien Ng

Tan Wan Sze
Karen Tan
Gary Tang
Zizi Majid


This website is the first iteration of COLOURS. This online version showcases the collections of the materials and ideas that will be further developed into a physical installation.

The online exhibition is divided into: Sound Room (audio), Talking Heads (video), Secret Places (video) and Exhibition (VR prototype).

The public is also invited to connect with COLOURS. They can share their thoughts about the project, their translations, audio and video recordings. Their materials will be uploaded to this website.

The Team

Neo Kim Seng

Neo Kim Seng is a Singapore-based cross-disciplinary practitioner who has been involved in independent and large-scale projects in various capacities in Singapore and overseas since 1987. He has been focusing on creating his own work in the last decade. He has held solo and group exhibitions of his drawings, photographs and installations. My Grandfather’s Road is his ongoing multidisciplinary project he first embarked on in 2015. He works with history and multiplicities as he is keen to explore how the same story can be re-interpreted in different and alternate ways.

Joavien Ng

Joavien Ng is an independent choreographer who is based in Singapore and Portugal. Her works are largely inspired by her keenness to examine the world and people from multiple perspectives through an experiential framework. She delves deep into human nature and the construction of one’s identity and its accompanying volatility. Diversity in interpretation and perceptions are both important and interesting for her as she questions the norm and the accepted.

Video Editor

Joavien Ng

Sound Designer
(Sound Room & Exhibition)

Evan Tan

Exhibition Designer

mil de J.

3D Modelling & Animation

Gabriel Chan

Music Composer (Secret Places)

Hayashida Ken

Website Designer

Moving Mouse

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