During this CAT analysis of an advert about the Singapore Kindess Movement, the question provided was to answer how “written text and visual image work together to create meaning in the advert”
As indicated by the feedback from my assessment it is clear that I put more of a focus on the visual aspect of the advert rather than the focus on the text displayed. This caused my argument to have some areas that required more consideration as they would need to include more points in order to effectively answer the question. For example one of the feedback suggestions given was to explore the lexical choices of what was connoted within the text. This should have been explained more clearly and connected to the visual aspect of the advert. Using declarative statements as indicated within the texts was also something that could have been done. Commenting on the dialect and lexical choices by including the words used such as ‘kiasu’ and ‘selfish’ would have been something to elevate the answer.
Another feedback was to not juxtapose reputation and reality. Also to mention cultural identity as a collective.
Rumors of war by Kehinde Wiley is a monument that embodies what it means to be black in America, portraying this community in a powerful light through a method of which they are often underrepresented. He modernizes and portrays a strong message to all Americans that unity is required in order to create an “equal America”.
It is no secret that the black community in America are often stereotyped and have received more violence as a result of their differences. Wiley’s work is monumental in helping to provide a pathway to equality and removing this power injustice that exists within America as he creates the statute of the young man on the horse, a direct appropriation of traditional statues placed all over America, and the world representing “strong” leaders. His work is helping to shift this power dynamic and is a visual representation of how everyone in America should be portrayed. His use of the galloping horse helps to connect this statue to traditional ones that have been conveyed as powerful representations.
This work that Wiley is doing shows the pathway America is taking to break away from this traditionally white past, bringing into account people of color who are underrepresented within society. A perspective is formed that shows how everyone has power and nobody is different within American society as that is one of the ideals listed within their constitution. His work is also a reference to the past, canonical representations of what it means to be an American. Traditional, confederate leaders in America have often been glorified through their portrayal on horseback and Wiley is able to successfully connect his piece to the past while also breaking free and challenging traditional perspectives on art. The use of a black figure as a representation for the future of race and equality in America is one that breaks the norms but is a step in the right direction.
Personally I believe that I have two identities for myself. One is my Singaporean identity, a more westernized and modernized version of myself which I use on a daily basis. The other is a more Indian identity that I use when visiting family in India, a more traditionalist and classic version of myself. My mother tongue is Malayalam, a language from Southern India and it is the language that all my family speal from my grandparents to my parents to my cousins, all except for me and my brother.
In Singapore, I live in a multicultural society where speaking English is most common, hence I have no need to use any other languages here because I have no reason to. But traveling to see my family in India I am often faced with a challenge. Although English is spoken in India, my family lives in a very modest and quiet town and many of the people get along by speaking the native language Malayalam. However, whenever my family and I travel to India I can not help but feel like a foreigner in a place that I have visited every single year of my life because of the language barrier I am faced with. English is my first language and my parents also speak English fluently, without any accent, however, their parents chose to bring them up in a Malayalam household despite not living in India and they possess the necessary language skills to get around without feeling out of place. I have lived in Singapore for all my life and growing up in a society here is what influenced my parents to speak English with us at home. Although my parents can speak 3-4 languages conversationally they most often speak in English but occasionally speak in Malayalam to me as well. This has taught me to understand the language but I have never been comfortable enough to speak it. This impacts my individual identity because it influences how I behave and how I speak when I talk with family members, especially those in their 80’s. Them being extremely traditional, have an expectation that I understand Malayalam and often try to converse with me and the best I can do is smile and nod despite understanding their sentence perfectly clearly. I also believe that having this kind of language barrier has a cultural significance as well, living in a Singaporean system I believe that knowing and understanfing Malayalam yields no benefits for myself, however, I understand that the culture I experience in India is completely different to the one here and that is often intimidating to me.
Despite my parents and my regret about not learning the language I still do believe that it has had an impact on me because I have been able to understand my identity clearer and I have also understood the culture that I have grown up in clearer.
Do you need to be happy?
I believe that this kind of question can not be answered so easily. Happiness is something that varies from person to person and is influenced by many different factors. Many people may believe that as you work and earn money in life, you will become happy. Others may believe that happiness is not about earning money, but rather about enjoying life to the fullest extent. There are also those who may not believe that happiness is an important aspect of life and it is rather a temporary emotion rather than a state of wellbeing. Personally, I think that being happy is an extremely important quality that has a great influence on life.
To me, being happy comes from the enjoyment of life and not necessarily from materialistic objects such as money. I believe that happiness is a temporary emotion and is not necessarily as important as being happy. I believe these two things to be different. Happiness is the emotion that I feel when I have fun with my friends or family at a certain time or the feeling that I get after a sports game. This is a temporary emotion, however. To actually be happy in life, I believe that more is required and I believe the biggest factor that influences whether or not someone is truly happy is their mental health. Many people who may be depressed are the opposite of happy and their goal is to be happy because being happy gives you a purpose in life and also makes you feel fulfilled. To me being in a constant state of happiness means that I have a good social life with both my friends and my family, I’m doing well in school and I’m doing well in general.
So, to answer your question, I believe that people do need to be happy in life because it provides a new perspective on things and is also something that everyone can work towards. I believe that I am happy in my life and that is why I enjoy it and feel like I have a purpose. Thinking about the future I believe that as I begin a career I will also be happy, doing something I enjoy so that I can experience that feeling of purpose and lead a good life.