Twinkling Fortress extends the collaborative work between Khairullah Rahim and Lunar Lucah since they last presented 'Intimate Apparitions (Sightings)' at the 6th Singapore Biennale: Every Step in the Right Direction (2019) where Lunar Lucah was featured with head dresses created by Khairullah Rahim using ubiquitous everyday household objects. Previously, the work highlighted the tension between both formal characteristics of headdresses and their material connotations; how the objects appear bright, embellished, and overly cheerful, seemingly offering the viewer an intimacy by proxy for approach and understanding. The photographs were documented in a bedroom setting.
In this iteration, the implication of home and family as a central point of discussion is further quietened through the absence of site as setting, utilising the bare white wall instead. The viewer is now confronted with a loose string of words drawn over the image; phrases plucked out from several conversational exchanges with members of the family sourced from WhatsApp, appear innocent, arbitrary and enigmatic, but they are in fact encoded. Twinkling Fortress foregrounds a thin slice of the reality for many queer folks here in Singapore, and probably in many other places too, in thinking about the precarious balance between conspicuity and safety. Our awareness of being present and visible has always been a crucial factor in strategising how we navigate our bodies within an undeniably hostile environment, even our homes.