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The Artistic Warrior: Meet Colin Goh

By: Kimberly Charles

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Google Images: Colin Goh

A Singaporean filmmaker, writer, and cartoonist, Colin Goh is unstoppable. With two award-winning feature films, a play produced in London, critically acclaimed graphic novels, and educational iPad apps, Goh has proven that anything is possible.

Since the age of 17, Goh had been working as a professional cartoonist in Singapore and had had his work appear in many newspapers. Goh’s comic strip The Concrete Jungle appeared in the Singaporean tabloid The New Paper, and garnered a fan base.

Eventually, Goh went on to study law at the University of London, and then returned home to work for a major Singaporean law firm in shipping and international trade litigation, not before, however, producing his first play The Body Politic at the Royal Court Theatre in London. From Singapore, he moved with his family to New York City. He then got his Master’s in Law from Columbia University where he was awarded the Harlan Fiske Stone scholar.

Colin Goh and Woo Yen Yen Photo

Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo (Wife)

After he passed the State of New York bar exam, Goh decided to go another route. With his wife Yen Yen Woo, an associate professor of education, he created TalkingCock.com, a satirical website that poked fun at Singaporean culture and current events. Unexpectedly, his website became a success. It received millions of page views, thousands of subscribers, and was recognized in Time Magazine, Wired, The Economist, BBC. It was even debated in Singapore’s parliament. To follow up on the success, they created their first film Talking Cock.

Their second film Singapore Dreaming won them kudos. The creative duo won the Montblanc award for the best new screenwriter at the 54th San Sebastian International Film Festival. Singapore Dreaming also won Best Asian Film Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

When their daughter came along, the couple decided to channel their creative energies in a different direction. To entertain their daughter, other children, and childlike adults, they produced Dim Sum Warriors, a graphic novel and bilingual iPad app series about Kung Fu-fighting dumplings. A musical adaptation is now in the works.

Colin and Yen Yen artworkOn June 16th at 7:30 pm at the National Opera Centre, Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo will be featured artists at the Benefit for the 2nd Singapore Literature Festival in NYC. They have donated for the art auction a work titled Exercise Free Speech; Keep Talking Cock, a nostalgic commemorative piece based on their very first joint project, the satirical website TalkingCock.com. The 11” x 14” x 0.75″ print (on museum-quality canvas mounted on wood frame) is made from an idea by Yen Yen Woo and Colin Goh, and hand illustrated, with digital color and FX, by Colin Goh.