The subjects in the original photograph on the top left are myself, my sister, and my family’s long-term domestic helper, pictured in my home in Singapore sometime in late 1999 or early 2000. My helper had just arrived a year earlier from her kampung in Pematang Siantar, Indonesia, and would go on to work and live with my family for 23 years before being forced by the state to “return” for good.

In the subsequent images, her body is replaced with excerpts of rules & regulations from the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (top right), a Singaporean employment agency (bottom left), and an anonymous Singaporean employer (bottom right)—the three actors with a near total monopoly on a domestic worker’s entry, exit, and movement within the country.