Life Lessons

Featuring

Charlene
Production Assistant

I started ice skating at 14, and it was a daily grind.
5AM training at JCube, followed by school, and training again after school. On weekends it’d be 5AM at JCube and 9AM at Kallang. But those were the best times of my life—I met my best-est friend and the best people there. There were always people to look up to and everyone was always helping each other, whether or not they would compete head to head in the same event in the end. That type of sportsmanship was admirable and it was something that the newer skaters would follow too.

One of your recent projects is a photographic exploration of psoriasis and fashion. What do you hope to convey to people?
For now, I feel that psoriasis is a very closed-door disease. People with psoriasis know about it and people who don’t, probably have not heard about it. I feel that the only way to get rid of the stigma is to talk about it with strangers. When people with psoriasis go out, they experience things like people not wanting to shake their hands or, for scalp psoriasis, they shed and they can look like they have dandruff, especially when they wear dark coloured clothing. It affects them, sometimes to the extent of them not wanting to leave their homes. These things happen because people don’t know about the disease.

I have psoriasis and it’s something I personally went through.
There was once I went downstairs, from my house, to collect a parcel. I wore shorts and I wasn’t insecure about it at all, but an old lady walked past, took two steps back, and asked me in Chinese if I was getting abused at home. At that point of time, I thought, “I’m not sick and these are not bruises.” But I wore pants for the next two years.

Best decision ever made:
To start my own studio, although it was pushed by my parents who wanted me to do something entrepreneurial. I didn’t really want to be a landlord but I learnt a lot from it, as it was a one man show. I met a lot of people and I got to see them do shoots and was exposed to a lot of creatives. I didn’t continue it as I felt that although I learnt a lot on my own, it was time to learn from a mentor. That’s why I’m currently working at a production house.

If a theme song played every time you entered a room, what would it be?
The theme song from Phineas & Ferb—“There’s a 104 days of summer vacation…”

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