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Twinkling Fortress

Visual Art

Twinkling Fortress Poster, a person wearing a head dress made of random household objects

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.


Khairullah Rahim


Khairullah Rahim (b. 1987, Singapore) is a multimedia artist working across art objects, assemblage, photography and video. Through critical thinking centred around the politics of demeanour and the intersections between conspicuity, legibility and safety, his research and practice brings to light the veiled narratives and lived experiences of those whose identities may not align with social norms.​

Khairullah has presented his works in exhibitions internationally as well as actively participated in artist residency programs, namely Salzburger Kunstverein, KulturKontakt, Salzburg, Austria (2018); Hubei Institute of Fine Arts, Hubei, China (2018); Facebook, Singapore (2017); Taipei Artist Village, Taiwan (2017); and YOUKOBO Art Residency Programme, Tokyo, Japan (2013). In 2019, he participated in the 6th edition of Singapore Biennale titled Every Step in the Right Direction, curated by Patrick Flores. He was the winner of the 2017 IMPART Awards under the Visual Art category and his works are in the collection of Singapore Art Museum and SUNPRIDE Foundation.

Currently, he is a part-time lecturer at LASALLE College of the Arts and an MFA Visual Arts candidate at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, New Jersey. He is exclusively represented by Yavuz Gallery (Singapore/Sydney).


Lunar Lucah