BURNING WALLS FOR PAPER SPIRITS
In an era of Marie Kondo and de-cluttering, the objects that we live with are the precious few that spark joy. Burning Walls for Paper Spirits is a collection about how everyday objects become invested with soul, and how we have in turn become thing-like amidst the mechanics of everyday living. While androids dream about electric sheep, we are electric sheep dreaming life into androids. We are trees who know ourselves only as paper, folded and burned. With whimsical meditations on why walls are like skin and why the rain in Singapore is capitalist, Ann Ang’s debut collection refreshes the edges of sentience dulled by an age of hot takes and commodification.
About the Illustrations
“The core of the collection, as I understand it, shares an empathy with the design tool of trace paper: to go over something over and over again, running new lines through an image, leaving ghostly semblances behind. With trace it is all in an iterative practice to learn something tacit, to get at something new that was there all along. In a similar fashion, in almost a reverse movement, perhaps with Burning Walls for Paper Spirits we are picking at the layers behind the objects, not in an aim of deconstructing but in an aspiration to see the wireframe together with the motif – to find that a constructed image in our practice (whether we understand it, claim it, or not) has depth.
The series of greyscale illustrations combine trace overlays, delicate pencil, rough line, and photographic drawings in an attempt to capture the layers and nuances of each poem and its practice. Fragmented references to images that are vernacular and contextual but shedding the ‘iconising’ of local motifs... in a way like the poems – there is more to see and imagine the more you read it.” – Chelsea Sia
About the Author
Ann Ang is a published writer of poetry and fiction and her work has appeared in the Quarterly Literary Review of Singapore, California Quarterly and the Jakarta Post. She is best-known as the author of Bang My Car (Math Paper Press, 2012), a Singlish-English collection of short stories. A co-editor of the literary anthologies Poetry Moves (2020) and Food Republic (2020), Ann is also the coordinating editor of PR&TA (Practice, Research & Tangential Activities), a new peer-reviewed journal of creative theory and practice in Southeast Asia.