Potret Potret is a commission for Chetti Melaka of the Straits. It serves to introduce past and present images of this unique community, pursuing the themes of hybridity and identity. Hand-painted by Nadiah Alsagoff, Potret Potret is a moving effort juxtaposing members of Singapore’s Chetti Melaka community with their ancestors, seen side-by-side for the first time. Potret Potret also echoes the influence of Straits fashion among the Chetti Melaka, as seen in the use of batik fabrics. The subjects are uniquely Chetti Melaka, not falling into any one physical template. Nadiah subtly reveals the diverse influences in their making – Indian, Malay, and Chinese.
Nadiah Alsagoff (b. 1991, United Kingdom) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Singapore. She has graduated with a BA honours degree in Fine Art at LASALLE College of the Arts – Goldsmiths, University of London.
She is interested in the relationship between the body, the self and its position the everyday world and with other beings. Her work looks at themes of identity and existence, how people are born into a world of predetermined circumstance, and how identities are contextualised beings, tied to the world by their bodies.
Her love for plants and nature sometimes surface in her work. Formally trained as a painter, she also explores these themes through the use of the body in video and performance.