For me, questioning faith is like questioning an artwork. You wouldn’t know whether it a good art or bad art. Being born as a muslim in a non-conservative family, I started to feel that I was not faithful enough since I went to school having Islamic environment. Especially after I came to Singapore and made friends with Indonesian muslims whom are more conservative than my friends beforehand, although we all could see that Singaporean muslims are pretty liberal. I became more unsettle when I found out some Islamic knowledge I never knew before, one of them was about the relationship between man and woman which then became my background story for this project.
At the beginning of this project, I felt very lost. I neither knew how to start nor found any artist whom I could relate to. The first thing came to my mind was: Should I stop here and change the topic? Why do I bother to make this project anyway? However, I felt kind of ‘urgency’ to make this project happened since I always felt somewhat empty and unsatisfied. I was confused on how much I wanted to ‘reveal’ about myself since I wasn’t confident enough to reveal much to the public.
How people see me as muslim is from my appearance, my attire. I decided to include the photo I actually shouldn’t show to anybody else to this final series because I still feel unsettle with the hijab I decided to put on. During my first semester in Singapore, I wasn’t wearing it yet. Due to some incidents (I was chased by some Indian workers because they think I’m Indian woman), I decided to wear hijab for safety since people might think of me as Malay woman. Though I still don’t wear it when I go around my hall (e.g. to toilet or pantry), while I am supposed to wear it anytime I have chance to meet guys.
Along the way, I’d been thinking a lot and sometimes felt that this project is too much for me. I sometimes felt I didn’t want to continue, yet I decided to go for it since I might feel unsatisfied for the rest of my life if I didn’t push myself.
Until one day, I found out something important, that Islam is a preventive religion. God is The One that creates the universe, and He is The One who knows best for His creation. That’s why He makes a lot of restrictions since He knows what may happen if we cross the ‘line’. I once felt rather angry to myself for why I couldn’t think of it from God’s point of view. Then I realised that I have to be grateful and accept everything for my own sake.