Tan Dee May

Dee May is the founder of Plates, a biannual print publication that uses food as a conversation starter for meatier issues.

Dee May recently launched her third issue, Plates, Vol.3: Water, supported by the INXO Arts Fund Foundation. During her three-month residency at Rimbun Dahan from October to December 2020, she will be working on the foundations of Plates’ upcoming issues (Vol.4 and Vol.5) as well as experimenting with potential side dish projects.

Having transitioned from a pre-Covid workflow—which often included working remotely from various locations, be it on the floor of a longhouse or transcribing in a garden while feeding the mosquitos—to a stay-at-home vacuum, she hopes her time at Rimbun Dahan’s kebun will revive that inertia that has jump-started many of her past stories, inspired by spontaneous conversations and interactions with space, nature and everyday ingredients.

About Plates

Plates is not just another cookbook nor is it a glossy food magazine. There are no celebrity chefs, CEO interviews or restaurant reviews. Instead, Plates seeks out the hidden figures and underreported human stories in everyday ingredients. In the current local and global climate, where animosity towards “the other” continues to grow, she believes in the power of food to transcend socially constructed barriers. Her hyperlocal and globally relevant stories speak to niche audiences in various pockets around the world—from Boston to São Paulo, Milan to Singapore, Langkawi to Christchurch.

About Dee May

Dee May is a recipient of multiple awards, including the international Chevening Award (2016); the national INXO Arts Fund Award (2019); the international Can Serrat Writers Residency (Montserrat, Spain, 2020/2021); and The Ideas Festival documentary award (Brisbane, Australia, 2011). She has previously been invited to speak at the Singapore Writers Festival (2019); AMAR Conference (Windsor Castle, UK, 2017); Runway 2.0 Asia Pacific supported by BMW (Kuala Lumpur, 2015). Her next speaking engagement will be at the upcoming Umbra Institute Biennale Food Studies Conference (Perugia, Italy) where she will present her paper on microaggressions in food writing.

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