While Old Chang Kee may be reluctant to show their love for the LGBTQ community here (despite celebrating Pride Month in the UK), another long-established local brand has stepped up to show their gesture of acceptance.
As part of their 70th-anniversary celebrations, Poh Heng Jewellery launched a commemorative collection entitled “The Journey”, and along with it, a photo campaign called “A Journey of Trust”. Displayed prominently outside a Poh Heng store at Orchard Shopping Centre (it’s the building right next to H&M), the pop-up exhibition features portraits of people from all walks of life with their loved ones — all stunningly shot in black and white by local fashion photographer Lenne Chai. Of course, the people pictured are all wearing Poh Heng trinkets, bracelets and other jewelry.
But what makes the photo campaign worth its weight in gold is the fact that it featured two gay couples. According to Nicholas Deroose — who praised Poh Heng’s campaign on Facebook — the inclusion of fashion duo Kenny Lim and Andrew Loh (of DEPRESSION fame), as well as restaurateurs Dennis Chong and Chong Kok Keong (of CreatureS fame) marks a “significant moment for Singapore”.
“The inclusion of these couples marks a significant moment for Singapore as it is incredibly rare that a multi-generational family-owned local business would have gay couples as part of its public campaign,” Deroose wrote.
“The photos make no effort to hide or distract from their relationships instead stating their full names and relationship status beside the portraits giving us an intimate glimpse into their lives and raising the visibility of gay couples in Singapore.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by hundreds of other Singaporeans, who’ve liked and shared Deroose’s Facebook post. Speaking to Coconuts Singapore, Lenne Chai said that she was “pleasantly surprised” by all the heartwarming reactions and comments her photos have since garnered.
With just a little more than a week to go before the annual gay pride rally Pink Dot on July 21, Poh Heng has not tossed their name into the pool of Singaporean corporate sponsors for the event. It should also go without saying that the brand is in no way obligated to do so, and as seen from the photo exhibition, there are lots of other ways to show their support for the local LGBTQ community.