Project Plug: A Day with Her by Zann Lim

Zann Lim is recent BA (Hons) Graphic communication from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts with a taste for pattern design. The freelance illustrator just unveiled her first lifestyle product on HAYSTAKT; a limited edition set of pillow covers, illustrated by herself, digitally printed and hand-sewn by a seamstress to uphold the quality of the product.

To find out more about the project, visit Zann’s HAYSTAKT page.

Spotted! Elly Liyana Ruslan

Animals, mystical landscapes and dreamy faces take you straight into the emotionally charged world of Bangkok-based illustrator Elly Liyana Ruslan. “My work is filled with various thoughts and dreams in fragmented pieces that portray different chapters of my life. The satisfaction I get from creating art is knowing that a part of me exists in the work. And if you look at them close enough, you’ll find my story …”

Spotted! Phyllicia Wang

I came across Phyllicia Wang‘s work on the ipa website and I was immediately drawn to her FUSE series, an exploration on the notion of fear where Phyllicia uses photography as a mirror, an introspective narrative …

About the series: “The level of the mind’s manipulative capability is almost boundless, which could adversely affect a person’s ability to function. Sometimes fear can make you feel you are connected to reality only by a thin thread. Once the barrier (to sustain sanity) has been broken, the space of reality and the mental start to merge into one. The photographic inner contained spaces serve to reflect the psychological state of mind, judgement and behavior when the human mind does not have the ability to differentiate physical rational space and disorientated psychological space. A visual representation of an idiom, “calm before the storm”, a period of peace before disturbance or crisis, an unnatural or false calm before a storm. Here, the idea of space is being fetishized, functioning as a doorway to an alternate dimension. Works of metaphorical romanticism – the portrayed contained spaces ultimately would then serve as an equivalent of the artist’s perceived psychological activities in the human brain when in fear – trying to photograph the outside which is equivalent to the inside.”

Phyllicia picked up photography at age 17, influenced by commercial photography and photojournalism. Fast forward 2012, she points her lens at contemporary modern landscapes.”My new work is a mix of photography and a certain level of digital manipulation. I am working around the idea of equivalence in photography, a term coined by Alfred Stieglitz whose works move beyond transcription without abandoning verisimilitude. That is my final aspiration.”

Phyllicia will be exhibiting four works from the FUSE series at ARTrium@MCI from November 20 through November 25 together with 47 other artist from Southeast Asia. Check it out!

We Were Always Eating Expired Things by Cheryl Julia Lee + Giveaway!

Last month, BooksActually x Math Paper Press introduced us to the work of two young poets, Cheryl Julie Lee and Michelle Tan. On the occasion of their book launch, BooksActually’s Marketing whiz, Angelin Chua, quizzed the young authors on our behalf.

Here is Angelin in conversation with Cheryl Julie Lee, author of ‘We Were Always Eating Expired Things‘. Cheryl is a postgraduate at Trinity College Dublin and a member of the Burn After Reading (Singapore) collective. Her work has appeared in QLRS, The Adroit Journal, and Prick of the Spindle among others.

If you have to choose a country that you think represents your character, what would it be?
Singapore. I am all about efficiency and paperwork. Also food; 90% of my thoughts revolve around food.

Is there one person that you look up to and aspire to become?
I don’t know about ‘aspiring to become’ because for me, just ‘being’ is tough enough but there are a ton of people whom I want to have long conversations with, who I’d go to for advice if I could: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Pooja Nansi, Steve Carrell, Jessica Bellamy, Lorelai Gilmore. Basically anyone who lives his/her life with grace and a sense of humor.

What are your hopes for your first collection of poetry?
I’d be happy if the collection – to borrow my friend’s words – made someone somewhere feel something.

In less than 100 words, tell us what this collection of poetry is about.
We Were Always Eating Expired Things is about human connection, the way I see it anyway. Our inherent desire to establish intimacy and our inevitable failure to do so. But also, I hope, a celebration of our persistence in trying anyway.

Imagine this, one day you walked into a mirror and realized that you had just walked into a parallel universe. What kind of person do you think you will be in that parallel universe, and what would you do with that identity?
I’d be a banker and the worst sort around. I wish I could say I donate half of my ginormous salary to charities but I’d probably just eat a lot of expensive steak and chocolates, and then pay people to massage the fat off me.

Our buddies at BooksActually are giving away 2 copies of Cheryl Julie Lee’s book each topped up with a copy of Cyril’s Wong “Unmarked Treasure“. Want a set? Email with “I’m a BooksActually spoiled brat!” in the subject line. The first 2 readers to comply with these instructions, can pick up their bundle from the BooksActually shop (No. 9 Yong Siak Street, Tiong Bahru). The contest is open to Singapore based readers only! Contest is closed. More luck next time!

Exhib! Singled Out

(from the press release)

From tomorrow till 6th January 2015, tcc – The Connoisseur Concerto presents ‘Singled Out’ – an art exhibition conceptualised by creative agency fFurious, and developed in collaboration with events organisation, and Thunder Rock School.

This exhibition will see 50 local designers and artists transforming vinyl records into pieces of artwork that will be on display at tcc ‘The Gallery’ at 51 Circular Road. The artworks will be up for auction where all proceeds will be managed by Thunder Rock School, who will be setting up a music education outreach program specifically catered to financially disadvantaged children.

With its aim to harness the power of music to impact the lives of disadvantaged youths through the funding of their music education, the project has invited 50 local artists to revisit their own personal soundtrack and to pick out a song that has made a positive impact in their lives. The selected piece may range from a track that has inspired their personal or career triumphs, to a song that may have comforted them through tough times.

The artists were challenged to turn the vinyl records and sleeves provided into pieces of artwork. They were free to imagine the many possibilities, from painting the vinyls to creating a sculpture made entirely out of the records. The artworks will then be on display within the relaxing and cosy atmosphere of tcc’s two-storey boutique caffè for patrons to visit and bid on the artworks for charity if they so please.

The project also serves to reunite the forgotten ties between music and design. The music of today tends to ignore the visual aesthetic, and through ‘Singled Out’ the designers and artists hope to promote the visual aspect of music, giving the vinyl record a new lease of life.

An online auction will be conducted on  with each unique piece put on a starting bid of 200SGD. All proceeds from the artworks will go to funding the musical journey of financially disadvantaged youths. Thunder Rock School will be coming on board to craft a subsidised and specialised music education program through the provision of mentorship to those who are interested in learning music.

Spotted! Lesley Tang

Creepy black and white illustrations roam unrestrained around the portfolio of Lesley Tang, a year three Visual Communications major at NTU’s School of Art, Design and Media with a penchant for the weird and whimsical.

“One of my friends told me that some of my work gives him “confusing feelings”, which is the effect I hope to make with everything I do. Creating that tension between something disturbing and familiar is what intrigues me the most. My illustration style is heavily influenced by blackwork tattoos and Surrealism, and I’m a big fan of Ilya Brezinski and René Magritte. I enjoy drawing in black and white because I’m interested in shadows and contrast. For me, black and white illustration has a special character all to itself, and I’m looking forward to continuing to explore that.”

Spotted! Charmaine Poh

We came across the work of Charmaine Poh at the NOISE TAP exhib; we loved it and today we want to share with you Learning to Leave, a project exploring the ideas of homecoming, reconciliation, and the ceaseless speeding towards adulthood.

“Until the age of eight, I lived on a quiet street facing nothing but trees. It was in this house that I made mazes out of cardboard boxes, towns out of pebbles, and where I fell off a see-saw, head first, on carpet grass. In returning to my childhood home, I found history and its hazy imprint on my life.”

Charmaine graduated from Tufts University in 2013 with a B.A. in international relations. “I appreciate the refuge of obscurity that photography offers, and I am interested in making work that is introspective and honest.”

Spotted! ZEROPOINTFIVE aka Elvin Ching

Elvin Ching already gave us a generous look at his work with his short stories in the comics anthology Liquid City. Today, the graphic designer turned illustrator cum bargain-basement gymnast entertains us with his vibrant comic book visuals . “Although I love the superhero universe, I also enjoy doing stories (vaguely) about myself and my friends (who are less super and more hero).”


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