Singapore’s First Burlesque Artist: Sukki Singapora | ZULA Features | EP 8

Hi, I’m Sukki Singapora. I’m Singapore’s first burlesque artist. I actually got into burlesque when I was studying IT in the UK. And I heard about burlesque, and it was everything that I wanted to do to express myself. And in 2013, I quit my day job and became a full-time burlesque artist. So there are a lot of misconceptions about burlesque. But burlesque, I would say, is an art form. It’s dance-based and it usually, but not always, includes elements of striptease. But it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s all about playing with it, making fun of, poking fun of modern culture. I really love it when people say, what’s the difference between burlesque and stripping? Because the differences are so huge. For starters, the audiences are completely different. Up to 80% of my audiences are women. There’s no nudity so it’s all about the tease and none of the reveal. So it’s sensual, not sexual. So the biggest challenge for me, in terms of my career in burlesque- has to be fighting for the right to perform burlesque in Singapore. Campaigning for the right for women to express themselves, and do burlesque here in Singapore was an extremely difficult process. It was emotionally difficult because I was going against what is accepted culturally, what is accepted artistically. The moment I did that first ever public show, was one of the most emotional moments of my life. Truly, it was because it’s where I’m from, it’s my family, my roots, there’s so much. It was just that moment of, finally, everything that I’ve done has hopefully made it worth it. Every single costume I wear on stage, and indeed some of my red carpet outfits are all designed by myself. From conception to creation, every single swarovski crystal and bead, even embellishment that you see on stage, I will handweave into each garment. As women, we’re so often subject to gender inequality, and I think it’s really important to challenge that, and push those boundaries, and also feel comfortable with their sexuality and sensuality. It makes me phenomenally proud, not only to stand tall as a woman, but as a Singaporean woman.


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