What Goes On In The Minds Of The People Behind Highnunchicken?


You’ve probably seen their illustrations on Facebook – they provide a refreshing take on current events and phrases that are all too common. Yet, who are the minds behind Highnunchicken?

It’s no secret that the four behind the illustrations are @thisisjz, @jollymcwank, @mossewu and @puntat_thoughts.

We gained an insight to the group through an email interview with Ken, who states that there wasn’t any particular incident the group together.

“We just happened to be huge fans of The New Yorker cartoons and we thought, “Why not do Singapore-centric cartoons for the heck of it?”

The four of them started illustrating at one point or another because “it’s kinda fun, to be able to create your own world and all that — we all just kinda like playing God.”

Noticing A Pattern

By now, most of their fans would have realised that “Highnunchicken” is a play of words on one of our favourite local dishes.

To this, Ken says, “we just wanted to make an incredibly silly pun out of a supposedly iconic Singaporean dish because… why not?”

At this point, I’m starting to see a pattern. Rather than a planned effort, everything about the group is spontaneous.

There’s no fixed schedule when it comes to illustrating or scheduling of posts. Perhaps the best way to describe their thought process would be – as Ken said – “Why not?”

Out of all the illustrations that they’ve done, Ken says that there isn’t anything in particular that makes one stand out amongst the rest.

“We’re often asked to explain a cartoon but explaining a joke kinda kills it so we avoid doing that. If you get it you get it, if you don’t you don’t.”

He adds, “we’re not really funny at the end of the day, just a bunch of self-conceited folks soaking up that social media dopamine rush.”

Not That Easy

While the group seems easy-going, there are difficulties that they face as well. Ken admits that balancing work with life, their own personal projects, and Highnunchicken is tough.

“But then again work-life balance is a Singaporean problem across the board so I guess we can’t complain. Replying emails is also really tough (hah).”

Ken then shares one of their most recent incidents.

“We’ve recently got one of our cartoons taken down so that was pretty cool. It’s not quite a good or bad thing, it’s just something that happens. It’s pretty interesting to see what people can stomach.”

“For some, any mention of death or suicide is a definite no-no. The way we see it, making light of such situations strips the power and stigma from it. Sometimes the only thing you can do in a shitty situation is laugh (shoutout to NS for teaching us that).”

As expected, there are no concrete future plans for Highnunchicken at the moment.

“Perhaps some merchandise or an exhibition down the road because why not, right?”