It’s been a couple of tough months for Park Geun-hye’s political career ever since the corruption scandal involving her close confidant Choi Soon-sil has emerged into the public’s eyes. Furious protestors on the streets of Seoul have constantly questioned Park’s administration and request her resignation.
There has often been a mysterious aura over Park Geun-hye, who came from a family where both of her parents were assassinated due to political reasons. Her life seems be vastly shadowed by her father Park Chung-hee, and the tragic childhood. Her tight relationship with Choi soon-sil, the daughter of a shaman-esque cult leader has revealed her dependence of spiritual advice in making presidential decisions, which is something extremely disastrous from a political perspective.
When looking at another example of female Prime Minister in Asia- ex-Prime Minister of Thailand –Yingluck Shinawatra, Park’s current situation looks not that unfamiliar. Yingluck, whose brother Thaksin Shinawatra was once the Thai Prime Minister, stepped down from her PM position after a military coup in 2014, and is now also facing charges over the rice-pledging scheme from Thailand’s Attorney General. Both Park and Yingluck came from families with inherited tradition of being in the centre of their countries’ political scenes, and came into power as the first female Prime Minister of their counties, while they are both currently under close legal scrutiny and criticism by their governments.
The struggles that Yingluck and Park are facing are probably just a moment in their destinies. For them, entering the political stage seem to have been closely tied to their family tradition, from which holds a deep sense of connection to the generations of supporters and also commitment to the country. They dedicate their lives to what they believe, and more importantly to fulfill what the family group have been trying to achieve. And now when they are struggling to continue holding the power, the merciless side behind a political scene has replayed on them, just as how it played out on their family members previously. For Park, the scandal has obviously infuriated the country, she doesn’t have much choice but to leave her fate to the judgement of the country for now. And in Yingluck’s case, she has determined to fight back with the best possible dignity.
“I stand firm to fight my case, I had duties and responsibilities to fight on. All eyes are on me. I assure you, I never thought of fleeing.“–Yingluck Shinawatra
Screenshot from “Are You Normal 你正常嗎” by Ella Chen 陳嘉樺
Official video release date:13 April 2015
Screenshot from “Pendulum” by FKA twigs
Official video release date:15 Jan 2015
“Are You Normal 你正常嗎” is from the first solo album Ella Chen released outside of S.H.E, the popular Taiwanese girls group she belongs to. I just couldn’t help but think that this music clip is a clever adaptation of the whole set-up of FKA twigs‘ “Pendulum” when I saw a picture of Ella having the same kind of “double-bun” hair style and the hanging stripe in the background. The movements she takes in the video seem to further confirm that. And here is another music video in the same album of Ella’s with elements of chains, characters being tied up and scenes of “struggling to be free” , which again remind me of “Pendulum”.
Ella Chen and FKA twigs each has quite distinct target markets and obviously very different things to express in their music videos. However it’s still interesting to see how the relatively artistic set-up in “Pendulum” can be turned into something that fits into Asian pop culture and then go back to the commercial world.
Here are the two videos for those who would like to compare in details.
“Are You Normal 你正常嗎” (from 3’20”)
Images of Mr Lee Kuan Yew‘s beloved wife, Madam Kwa Geok Choo, have shown up very frequently in articles, videos, reports after the passing away of the great man.
Apparently Madam Kwa had been a great partner, adviser and assistant to Mr Lee. As a highly-educated woman, she also led a successful career as a lawyer and made great contributions to Singapore.
In most of the photos of Kwa across all her life span, she wore glasses and smiled elegantly. The black and white photos that were taken while she was at her 20s and 30s are especially impressive. The glasses nicely brought out this woman’s inner sense of intelligence, independence and a little bit of determination, which is a great definition of feminism for smart young woman like her during that era. At a time when educated Asian women like Kwa were still not very common, these glasses are no doubt a symbol of modernity and surpass their actual practical purposes.
Kwa’s glasses reminded me of Coco Chanel‘s little black jacket — probably invented around the same time when these black and white photos of young Kwa were taken. While just like how the little black jacket has been consistently reinvented in the new world of post/neo/hyper modernity, the feminism that was defined by Kwa’s glasses has also rapidly moved to a new and exciting stage.
Here is a fresh example of that:
However I probably wouldn’t remember as clearly about Hillary’s glasses after flicking through any article full of her with glasses.
Back to the topic, this is my favorite photo of Madam Kwa:
— To memorise this amazing woman who had set up a great precedent of woman behind a great man, also to celebrate many other women who are standing or about to stand right in front of every other man.