The Orchid Folios

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Orchids as living history, challenging colonial narratives.

The Orchid Folios is a thought-provoking hybrid book that blends poetry, documentary, and fiction to explore the orchid as a symbol of Singapore's post-colonial hybridity. It unearths the history of the orchid and questions the narratives that have shaped Singapore's national consciousness. With snippets of verse, essay questions on colonialism, and advertisements for orchid-inspired products, this book challenges readers to imagine a decolonized Singapore and rethink the way history is written. It's a must-read for anyone interested in Singapore's history, identity, and culture.

The Orchid Folios

by
Regular price $13.29
Unit price
per
ISBN: 9789811442940

Description

“When you take an orchid out of its pot, you must first loosen the roots’ hold on the soil. Late last evening as I unravelled the braids of the shattered phalaenopsis, I saw how the ends were white and shrivelled from neglect. You have to do it gently—it’s like combing hair. I remember Mum’s fingers running through mine, and mine through hers, until the final months when all of it started to fall.”
A pot shatters. An arrangement falls apart. A florist finds herself amidst the scattered leaves of history. This book is a hybrid—part-poetry collection, part-documentary novella—and is narrated in part by a fictional florist mourning her late mother, who taught her everything she knew about orchids. The Orchid Folios reimagines the orchid as a living, breathing document of history: a history that enmeshes the personal, colonial, linguistic and biotechnological with the Vanda Miss Joaquim, the symbol of Singapore’s postcolonial hybridity. While the orchid has shaped the fantastical narratives that govern our multi-racial "city in a garden", it continues to shape-shift and bloom on its own terms, challenging us to imagine a decolonised Singapore. This is the organism at the heart of The Orchid Folios—by turns stark and unruly, documenting and challenging the narratives that are the roots of our national consciousness. Interwoven with the narrative are snippets of verse, essay questions on colonialism and even advertisements for orchid-inspired products, all of which question the ways in which Singapore’s national narrative was trimmed and arranged into what it is today.


Author: Mok Zining
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 144
Publisher: Ethos Books
Publication Date: 2020
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Orchids as living history, challenging colonial narratives.

The Orchid Folios is a thought-provoking hybrid book that blends poetry, documentary, and fiction to explore the orchid as a symbol of Singapore's post-colonial hybridity. It unearths the history of the orchid and questions the narratives that have shaped Singapore's national consciousness. With snippets of verse, essay questions on colonialism, and advertisements for orchid-inspired products, this book challenges readers to imagine a decolonized Singapore and rethink the way history is written. It's a must-read for anyone interested in Singapore's history, identity, and culture.