Worlding the Singapore Story: Sonny Liew's The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye

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Sonny Liew's The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye has been read as an allegory of the nation, a hymn to comics, or a satire on the Singapore Story. In this article it is suggested that by presenting one excerpt after another of the unfinished comics of the fictional comic artist Charlie Chan, Liew's mock documentary comic assembles various birthing moments of both a nation and art itself, suggesting that in the act of creation the artist is moved by forces that go beyond the logic of either the nation or the market. The issue at work in Liew's assemblage of "Chan's" artwork is that of the art of comics, especially the ability of comics to make and form the world differently by activating the expansive potentiality of the medium. The birth of art, shown in Liew's novel as an analogy of the birth of the nation, describes a mutating process that assembles various moments of birthing, with each moment unleashing a flood of sensations in the artist. It is when this force is translated into artwork that art itself becomes a force of worlding. Art then is politics and assumes a force with the potential to effect change.
Translated title of the contribution圖像看護回憶錄與漫畫之情感修辭:查斯特的《我們不能談些更愉快的話題嗎?》
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-157
Number of pages23
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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