As a reader of ten languages, extensively trained in the Classics and Humanities, I have spent years tuning my ears and eyes to the patterns and rhythms of stories from around the world. As a published writer, essayist and storyteller, I have experienced the thrills of building new worlds from the mud of language. Storytellers are community builders, masters of human emotion who reveal the key moral dilemmas and shared values of their time. Through the power of empathy, stories change our sense of what is possible, making new forms of collective action possible, new forms of belonging, new types of experiences. More importantly, storytellers are the makers of history, the guardians of legacy, the bards whose myths will resonate long into the future: in the words of Hölderlin, what shall remain is the work of poets – ‘was bleibet aber, stiften die Dichter’
I have spoken publicly in various international forums on global collaboration & the rise of China, language & innovation, and storytelling & fiction. I am keenly aware of the role that a public speaker can play in framing questions and settings agendas. As such, I cultivate the potential of stories to engage audiences beyond the purely cognitive level, and harness the power of emotion, intuition and embodied experience to trigger transformative insights. A full list of my talks is available here.
I publish essays and reflective pieces both on this blog, and as a guest writer in various forums. A particular interest of mine is conducting systematic moral reflections on inherited ethical frameworks – from Christianity, Confucianism and other traditions – that form the building blocks of our capacity to act.
Fiction & film
I have been actively producing fiction for over twenty years, as a tool to better understand emotional journeys, conflicting value systems, and changing patterns of human relationships. I published a novel and short stories in Paris, I co-directed According to the head, a mini-doc based on human-centred storytelling capturing daily life in Phnom Penh, and directed an award-winning short film, Honeypot, that received over 4 million views on Youtube. Some of my stories are available through this link.
I have lived, studied and worked in 12 countries and four continents, and documented my experience through various travel blogs. My three main projects are Les Portes de l’Orient (2008) documenting my 3-month overland migration journey from Paris to Singapore, The Fake China (2011) exploring Tianjin as a meeting ground of Europe and China, and Australian Aesthetics (2012) offering a migrant’s perspective on Australian urban landscapes.