are you ready this is going to be long! 準備好了嗎這很長喔!

in september later this year i will be attending a two year (4 semesters) Masters in Fine Arts with Tainan National University of the Arts (TNNUA) specialising in Plastic Arts (or just fine arts)! i also was recently given the Taiwan Ministry of Education Scholarship to partially fund this programme. this means i will be going to taiwan in august (less than a month!) if all goes well! i am intending to fly to taiwan in the beginning of august, then serve the 14-day quarantine, catch-up with a few friends and my mummy in taichung, then go down to tainan in september for when my programme starts (in mid september). this is something i had looked forward to since being in taiwan last year and im very excited to move on to this new pasture: new environment (in a hilly region far away from the city!), new living habits, new friends, new work, new form of communication (taught fully in chinese!!), etc.

photograph i took a year ago of a view of the lake at the back of the TNNUA campus

i remember when i came back to singapore in august almost a full year ago now i had always anticipated it to be temporary and was frankly not looking forward to this period because of the stresses finding a place to stay, work to do, money to sustain myself, etc but it turned out much more rewarding than i thought. i have always had issues with digital media and much prefer the present in front of me but i have realised my intentional isolation from the larger society and community around although therapeutic for me has kept me somewhat distant and difficult to reach. and perhaps it is the thought that i will have to yet again temporarily "leave" the connections i have made here that has spurred me into making effort to try to keep or prolong these relationships. within the limited constraints of time and capacity (as much as i would like to i cannot spend, always, 24 hours with the many people i love endlessly and at the same time), i have so decided to create this platform as fundamentally a space to attempt that longevity of relationship in a (hopefully i think) not too tiring or aggressive manner.

i had also been thinking about my difficult relationship (most of us, really) with resources and specifically money. while on the one hand i feel that money is evil and makes relationships unnecessarily awkward and it fuels the greed of capitalism and it maintains this false sense of scarcity in our economy, etc, i recognise that whilst i am still living in this existence i necessarily have to interact with it and i guess i should make some peace with it. i also dislike the pervading sense of shame i feel (many of us, too, i think) when lacking money or when asking for money, especially because we dont want money to own us (or to own money). but to deny it is a part of our living would be denial. so im trying to think of it as another branch of resources we have or can have in order to live an ethical meaningful life, like having a friend to listen to us when we are feeling down, or having a family member prepare a meal for you, or having access to a nice walk in the park outdoors... all this is to say also that i started this because i realised i needed help with my finances and i thought that there already exists many people around me who want to help if i only ask! i should make it clear though that there is NO OBLIGATION and our relationship will not change whether you offer anything here.

for those of you interested, i thought i should also explain briefly why i want to this Buy Me a Coffee (BMC) site instead of Patreon or other fundraising sites, which my hours of research and imagination has led me to. i was sold because of these things:
1. unpretentious, simple, intuitive UI (for creators and supporters)
2. seemingly ethical approach to business (for creators first)
3. you dont need an account to support me
4. but you can make an account for a monthly subscription to receive updates about my life
as much as i could i wanted to reduce the energy and effort it would take for you to reach and support me. unfortunately (or fortunately!) without social media i had to turn to such a site that could function as a funding page but also an updates page. but after all this long-windedness i should really get into the nitty-gritty money stuff. so, then, to it:

the scholarship i got will generously afford for more than half of my school fees, but i will have to raise money for the other part on my own. i also have to pay for my own accommodation in the school. then, due to the covid thing i will also have to pay for a 14-day quarantine on my own when i fly over to taiwan. below is the full amount i will need to raise to cover all of these expenses.

per semester, the school fees for TNNUA are 70660 TWD. the scholarship pays for 40000 TWD per semester. accommodation costs ~ 10000 TWD per semester. so the final amount per semester i have to fork out is:
70660 TWD - 40000 TWD (scholarship) + 10000 TWD (accommodation)
= 40660 TWD
= $SGD 2033

then, multiplied by 4 semesters (2 years):
40660 TWD * 4 (semesters)
= 162640 TWD
= $SGD 8132

on top of this i have to prepare for a one off 14-day quarantine in a government approved facility that will cost 28000 TWD (2000 TWD * 14 days)
= $SGD 1400

total:
$SGD 8132 + $SGD 1400 = $SGD 9500

thus in total i have to raise about $SGD 9500 (which is about $USD 7030 < this is important because this site sadly does not support SGD or TWD currencies), hopefully by when august ends, or that is also when i will have to make payment for my first semester of school. i am aware it is not a small amount but i wanted to be transparent on the get-go. maybe if i dont reach the goal this time around, i could reach it over a longer period of time. maybe you can help me :-)

for those of you who love a quick clear list, or whom i have lost because of the chunky text passages, below is a breakdown of the many things i hope to explore and achieve over time with this. i made this to:
1. keep connected with those who care about me and who i care about over time and distance (+accountability)
2. continue doing the difficult personal work of stewardship over the resources surrounding my living (financial, emotional, intellectual, relationships, etc)
3. deal with the pride/shame associated with asking for support, specifically financial support
4. i hope to raise about $SGD 9500 (or $USD 7030 or 190000 TWD) by august's end

one last thing. i have decided quite early on that i wanted anybody to be able to access this and all its updates with or without any donation or membership. the only small perk that members will get is being able to poll every month on something that will affect my work. i have many fun ideas for this like choosing a particular colour theme for a collage or deciding where i should make my next video, etc. of course, members will also get notifications about any new posts. hopefully with this structure there is an accountability to me making work every month and also presenting my work to those who care.

thats all for this initial post really, which has been a lot and i thank you for reading through this but more importantly for having crossed paths with me (or, yet!). if you have any feedback about this and relevant (or not) thoughts, please feel free to reach me! i hope you remain nourished and able for the days to come and for every interaction we (can) have to be fruitful. thank you again! :-)

今年九月我將上國立台南藝術大學造型研究所的碩士班!我還最近收到了台灣教育部的獎學金—這會幫助我付大概一半的學費。如果一切順利的話我打算八月初到台灣讓後14天隔離攘後到台中見見朋友和媽咪讓後在九月抵達台南準備開學。我其實從去年就開始期待這個消息了。我很興奮前往新的旅程:新環境(離市區遠遠的!),新的生活習慣,新朋友,新作品,新的溝通方式(全中文教法!)。

我一年前拍的照片:南藝大校園後面的湖

我記得整整一年前年來到新加坡我已經認為這一段時間只是暫時的而其實沒有很期待那些生活焦慮:找地方住,工作,賺錢,等。但事實上比我想像中的收穫更多。我一向來都有使用數位方式溝通的問題而比較偏向專注在我面前的當下。但我擦覺到當我故意把自己封閉時,雖然對我本身有某些治療,這麼做讓我顯得遙遠和難接觸。可能是因為我再次需要暫時“離開”我才突然想盡力保持關係。以時間和空間的限制(我沒辦法24小時陪伴著我每一位關心的人),我決定為了創造一個試著接觸和互動和保持感情的場地而設立這了個平台。

我也一直在矛盾我本身(我們都吧)對資源(錢財!)複雜的關係。雖然我覺得錢是惡毒的錢把關係弄得尷尬錢加劇了幾本主義的貪心錢讓我們覺得我們好像不知為什麼有些不足,我知道只要我還活著在這世界裡,我還是必須跟錢互動交換,所以我至少要跟錢有個和平的關係吧...我也討厭錢帶給我(們)的羞恥,尤其是當我們需要錢的時候,或想跟別人要錢的時候,但又不想讓錢掌控我們的人生的時候。也不能假裝錢對我們生活的影響不存在—那是妄想。所以我正在調整我對錢的視角,把錢看成我讓我們追求道德有意生活資源的一部分,像有朋友安慰的資源,或有家人為我們煮飯的資源,或能在外散步的資源... 可能最直接的是說我需要幫助而周圍有能幫助我的人,我只需要問!在這階段我想明確表示你不必許以錢財的方式幫助我。給不給我錢不會影響我們的關係。

稍微解釋為什麼我選者這個募資平台:
1. 樸實,簡單的界面(為創作者或支持者)
2. 商業道德(不是為了賺錢,是想幫助創作者)
3. 你不需要有帳號才能支持我
4. 但你有帳號的話可以每個月贊助和收到通知

我希望想支持我的人可以以最容易最簡省力氣的方式。但因為我沒有社交媒體所以才需要用這個網站平台的方式給通知和募資。好啦接下來是金錢會計的東東:

我收到的獎學金將付大約一半的學費而剩下的我需要自己籌。我也需要自己付住宿費。還有我必須去台灣時,因疫情,自費14天隔離設備。以下是我必須付的經費。

每學期,學費 70600 TWD,住宿 10000 TWD。獎學金會付 40000TWD。所以每學期的經費是:
70660 TWD - 40000 TWD (獎學金)+ 10000 TWD(住宿)
= 40660 TWD
= $SGD 2033

讓後,乘以 4個學期 (2年):
40660 TWD * 4(學期)
= 162640 TWD
= $SGD 8132

再加上14天隔離政府設備 280000 TWD (2000 TWD* 14天)
= $SGD 1400

總數:
$SGD 8132 + $SGD 1400 = $SGD 9500

最終我需要籌到 $SGD 9500 (大約 $USD 7030 — USD 因為這平台不支持 SGD或 TWD)。希望能在八月結束前或開學時籌到這筆錢~我知道總數不少但我想一開始就擺明。可能如果這次沒籌到的話也可以在更長久的時間籌到。可能你能幫助我:)

文子很多所以我試著把重點總結成一下。我設立這個平台是為了:
1. 繼續跟我關心的和關心在有距離時我的人保持聯絡
2. 繼續拿捏研究實習怎麼健康的為我生中的資源負責交代(金錢資源,感情資源,知識資源,等)
3. 面對當我本身有需要時不被羞恥的感受阻止向周圍出聲
4. 希望能在八月底籌到 $SGD9500(或 USD 7030 或 190000 TWD)

還有最後一點。我很早就決定了我想讓大家(不用金錢贊助者)都能接觸這裡關於我和我的作品的資料。如果你想每月支持我的話你可以參加投票影響我的作品,比如選拼貼的顏色,或決定我應該在哪裡拍下個影片,等。當然,每月支持者也會收到新的通知。希望這個結構能讓我每個月做作品跟有興趣的人分享!

就這樣啦。感謝你抽出時間讀我的大文章。能個你有緣分是好事!如果你有什麼反饋或(沒)有關的想法都可以聯絡我。希望你能保持健康有能力接觸世界的每一天。也希望我們的每個接觸都有好感。大家加油:)