Ms Natalie Lie Kim Ai

Graduate Fellow Tembusu College National University of Singapore

Natalie is a 2nd year Master’s student at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in the Department of Japanese Studies. She is particularly interested in exploring queer histories and hopes to deepen her knowledge whilst giving voice to these stories through her research. Her master’s project brings together her two passions of pop culture and queer history, examining the evolution of queer Japanese cinema in the post-war period.


A curious spirit, Natalie loves meeting new people and exploring new interests whenever the opportunity presents itself. She loves immersing herself in a good film or album and loves binge-watching her favourite shows (AHS and Derry Girls!) in her free time. Recommendations for new films/music are always welcome! She is also a noob at skateboarding but is trying her best to learn some new tricks soon. Fair warning: she isn’t very good… but hit her up if you ever want a buddy to cruise around or practice with! :^)


Natalie is excited to be returning to Tembusu and is thrilled to be a part of Shan as a Graduate Fellow. Her nocturnal sleep schedule usually means you’ll find her up at ungodly hours reading or writing, but her room is always open to anyone who needs a listening ear or just wants to chill and talk about nothing in particular. If you see her looking a little blur, she’s probably just immersed in her thoughts or slightly sleep-deprived; don’t hesitate to break her out of her reverie to say hi or chat!

The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.