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BOXES beyond borders

Constraints Faced by Contemporary Women

Prisca Ko
Singapore 2001

This work seeks to explore and express the constraints faced by contemporary women who live in public housing apartments–also known as Housing Development Board (HDB) flats–in Singapore. About 86% of Singaporeans are housed in these HDB flats. Like the vast majority, I too live in a HDB flat and one of the personal constraints that I face is the lack of physical space. This inspires me to conceptualize the given wooden box as a block of HDB flats with many dwellers within. Each of the niches in the box represents a female dweller. The different constraints faced, ranging from physical, emotional, mental, and social to religious realms, are reflected in the interior decoration of the units and the contents of the ampoules. Women from different phases in life–teenagers, singles, married with and without children, and retirees–are invited to participate in a survey, and their views are expressed collaboratively in this box.

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