Pursuing A Purpose Beyond Self

Pazaar- a monthly public showcase, the platform explores the intersection of the skill sets required for the future of work, self discovery on top of relevance to the community. A constant exploration to make visible the work of our youths as they journey through changes in their life. In this piece, listen into their pursuits and spot something in common between the two of them.


We've come to know you guys as the open mic performers at the recent PARking day at Yuhua. But who exactly is Yi Hong and Madeline?

YH: This is a bit hard to answer because I'm many things? Hahaha. 
I mean people are all a composite of different stuff and all those stuff are in process. For example, I can't really say I'm a singer because I'm more in the process of becoming one. So I don't really know what I definitively am now other than a job-seeking graduate with many hobbies which I have aspirations to take further. I guess I'm an explorer for the time being?

M: I'm a percussionist and an asalato lover. When I was young, I was inspired to learn drums when I saw my church drummer playing the drums. Then, before I knew it, the young me explored making rhythms using spoons and chopsticks. As my passion deepened for percussion, I joined the Yuhua Concert Band where I fell even deeper into the world of percussion and witnessed the change music brought to my life.

What are your deepest desires?

YH: I think my deepest desire at the moment is to be able to share my joy with others. Like if I enjoy something, I'll like if others join me too or if I'm able to inspire them in some way to do what brings them joy too. There was once I shared some of my favourite music that I use to cope in difficult times with a close friend of mine and she enjoyed it too. I also made flaky curry puffs and mooncakes and shared them with friends. The most recent one was when friends were willing to join me for a mid autumn lantern-making session that my friend (Wynona) and I thought of holding. (Alas, we tried but couldn’t get the lanterns to not burn....)

Another desire is to have a stronger sense of purpose, because I think I don't truly believe I have one or know it yet. Sometimes i would draw inspiration from the characters i watch on shows, like Batman in Nolan's trilogy, Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown. Actually, I think i drew most inspiration from Mariah Carey since she's my idol but it's not so much a self-aware sense of purpose. I feel that she is drawn to or called to create music. Also Kim Sohyang, a Korean singer, she is more self-aware about this. For example, she doesn't sign any record deals, she chooses her appearances and usually does charity shows, she is entirely self-taught but has achieved an incredible level of mastery. I guess I see purpose as more of a dedication to a vision.

M: My deepest desire is to use the love of music and percussion instruments to connect people of all walks of life together. I believe that music can bring out people's confidence and create a platform for new conversations and relationships!

Since the theme of PARKing Day at Yuhua was on Liminal Space. What’s your definition of liminal space? 

YH: Largely anxiety and uncertainty- This is from observing my friends who aren't coping well after they've left school, or are struggling in a liminal space in their search for themselves. When Googling about liminal spaces the idea of anxiety and discomfort is also often brought up.

M: A space of change and exploring of one’s boundaries. A space that is safe, yet has abundant opportunities for newbies to take their stage to showcase their ideas.

How are you dealing with being in liminal space now? Do you feel like you have to fill the space up?

YH: I think a liminal space isn't completely empty. I think as with all spaces, we can choose to fill or remove things from it as we wish, but liminal spaces have the most freedom to fill and remove (maybe other than retirement?). I do feel like I have to fill the space up because I like to be doing something and I think it's a waste to not use this space now that I've realised is so free.

What would you like to see more of and less of in the world moving forth?

YH: Wah is this related to the idea of liminal spaces? I don't know if I'm answering the question right haha. I want to see a world that is more compassionate in general. If people are more understanding of where others are and their struggles and can empathise, I think there will be a lot less judgment and conflicts between groups, even between family and friends. I would like less expectations on individuals. I'm just thinking very broadly about how individuals are expected to do so much in their personal lives to project a certain image, and also required to do a lot of other stuff which they don't have the power to such as saving the environment.

M: I would like to see more acceptance of differences, unity, and community spirit. I hope that there will be more safe spaces for the the young and old to gather and communicate. I’d also like for people who thinks the same to come join me, you can find me @asalatosg .

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