ASK ME ANYTHING: ABIGAIL HAN

Having completed her Masters in Fine Arts at the California Institute of the Arts, and working at The J. Paul Getty Museum, Abigail has returned to Singapore (thank the heavens!) to join 1880 as our Arts & Events Manager. She shares endearingly about her female inspirations, and her tender love for people, and patties.

What do you regard as your greatest achievement?

Abigail: Mastering my grandmother’s Hainanese recipes, especially her famed Hainanese Chicken Rice.

Who or what would you most like to see at 1880?

A: People who challenge the status quo in good and productive ways and people who walk their talk.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A: The idea of perfection scares me. It is only because of imperfection and brokenness that art is allowed to exist in the cracks. Art is the vessel used to express pain but to also render it powerless. I don’t know if I would wish for perfect happiness in this time and space. But if I had to describe it, it would be a large table with friends and strangers, eating, drinking and bursting out in loud laughter. In short, intentional community.

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?

A: In & Out Burger. (Don’t argue with the woman who’s Singaporean on the outside but Californian on the inside.)

Who are the women you admire?

A: Lucy from the Chronicles of Narnia for her childlike faith and the good questions she asks about life. I believe sometimes we learn the most from fiction and children.
Lilias Trotter, whose paintings changed John Ruskin’s mind about women artists during his time, but left her art practice to serve poor women in Algeria.
Audre Lourde for her seminal writings on feminism.
Emily Jacir for her art practice.
& many more, the list is too long.

How do you think you can impact society in a positive way?

A: I don’t dare take on the monumental task of impacting the whole of society, but I will take it from MJ and begin with the man in the mirror by encouraging daily acts of love and creativity. A kind word, a small gesture, the willingness to give others the benefit of the doubt or simply a genuine smile 🙂

If you were to teach a course at university, what would it be?

A: Let’s put capitalism to death.

A genie will grant you three wishes. What do you wish for?

A: In no particular order:
Time to work on my art
Restoration and restitution for all foster children and the orphaned
More compassion for others in my little heart

What do you value most in a friend?

A: The fearlessness of a heart for others that speaks truth in love. I need friends who care about me enough not to let me do stupid things but fearless enough to stand by me though I might snap at them in stubbornness (I’m known to do that).

What is the quality you like most in a man?

A: Humour, please.

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