Project Plug: From Another Time / 從新時光

1300-1600s: A Tiger Heading to a Rock Show by Speak Cryptic 
“For the artwork, I really wanted to convey an instance… the instance when Sang Nila Utama and his men caught sight of the creature from a distance, thinking it was a lion, when it actual fact, lions couldn’t have existed in this part of the world at that time. So what did he really see? Some say that it was a tiger. I’m going to say it was a tiger heading to a rock show.” 

1819 – 1860s: Farquhar’s Neverland by MessyMsxi 
“I was fascinated by William Farquhar’s interest in Natural History and his efforts in collecting all kinds of animals, to name a few, he collected various kind of monkeys, leopards, porcupine, many different kind of birds and a tiger in his Government House. It may sound bizarre but I was reminded of Michael Jackson; how he too kept a personal zoo in his home Neverland.”

1860s – 1930s: Portrait of a City by Sokkuan Tye 
“With some basic knowledge about this era, I did a lot of image research and I found myself very intrigued by old vintage portraits. Nowadays, we seldom take formal portraits of ourselves as digital photography has become so common and easy. Contemporary photos are usually random and impromptu. However, taking a photo then was an important event, and both photographer and sitter took it seriously. I also realised that people in the olden days had their photos taken only with their family or people from the same class or status. For example, you seldom see masters having their portraits taken with their servants. The classification is very clear. (Maybe it’s true to some extent even today…?) So I had the idea of putting people from different classes into one big group photo. People from all classes, high and low, jammed right next to each other despite the distances between their respective classes.”

1930s-1950s: Peace Machine by Mindflyer 
“For this period, I was most drawn towards the events of World War II. Even though there was a lot of suffering and hardship during the Japanese occupation, especially among the common people, there was a strong sense of optimism and resilience among them. I really admire their fighting spirit, their will to live, braving the storms of history. Their spirit lives on, and in making the best of whatever situation, we will also have a bright future ahead!”

1950s-1966: First Parade by Drewscape 
“I was drawn towards Singapore’s first parade after her independence. In fact, I was especially intrigued by how simple the first parade was. No fireworks, no parachutists, and those Dennis F12 fire engines looked pretty cool. For the artwork, I attempted to capture Singapore’s very first National Day Parade in the design… I imagined drinking from it and turning it around in my hand on a lazy day. I would then notice that all the characters were are all different but they were moving together in the same direction. If I dug more into the design, I would find that the characters appeared in that order (from top down) in the actual parade on 9 August 1966.”

ampulets and Democratic Society blow our tiny little minds again as they delve deep into Singapore’s history with the help of five terrific illustrators. Each illustrator was asked to respond to a specific period in Singapore’s history, to re-visit or re-imagine the people, places, events or objects that define that period.

(From the press release)

“Living in Singapore my whole life, I have always been told that nothing ever happens here. Maybe Singapore can really seem too orderly, clean, boring – a city that only pushed forward. So when I was asked to develop this project as an exploration of something “Singaporean”, I realised that to understand who we are today and what is it we are pushing forward so hard for, perhaps we should start from the beginning. We had to return to this island’s history. When I was student, Singapore history to me was just an exercise in memorizing names and dates in the hope of getting a good grade. And for most of my adult life, it was, at best, a fuzzy feeling of nostalgia. This project was a chance to look afresh at Singapore’s 800 years or so of history, this time through different eyes – the eyes of 5 talented illustrators in Singapore.” – ampulets.

We are so accustomed to calling Singapore a “young” nation that we forget that this island has a longer and richer history than just the last 50 years. “From Another Time / 從新時光” is an exploration of Singapore’s history, an attempt to look into our past in order to know better who we are as a democratic society today.

Together with SUPERMAMA‘s product label Democratic Society, creative studio ampulets invited 5 talented illustrators to create illustrations that are re-produced on a series of 5 cups by the 400 year-old ceramic maker KIHARA.


Project Plug: Art from Junk


“art from junk was started partly because I was searching for more fulfillment in my work life, and for me, that automatically translated into actually creating something.”

We can’t help but admire the way Jing Yi upcycles reclaimed and vintage furniture in exciting and nostalgia-inducing gems. “I love drawing, painting and all things vintage. As such it was a natural transition to start painting vintage and secondhand furniture pieces. Vintage furniture is extremely solid and has plenty of life, so painting the pieces meets the requirements of both functionality and form. I started art from junk  in July. Each piece of furniture has been hand-painted with a unique design created specifically for the piece, and is one-of-a-kind. I draw inspiration from retro patterns, old-school motifs and other vintage designs which have their origin in the vibrant traditions of Singapore and South-east Asia.”

art from junk’s eye-popping pieces are conveniently on display at Nu Artists Gallery. Check it out!

Spotted! Fredrik Yeo

“Multilateral” is a graphical piece of reminder to us as men, to respect a world that holds life other than ourselves. A reminder to us that we are neither omnipotent nor omniscient, but part of an ecosystem that lives and breathes interdependent.” – Fredrik Yeo.

“I created this body of work for NOISE TAP under the guidance of Kelley Cheng,” Fredrik explains. “The construction of this piece is positioned in a way where the final message reveals itself only when read in a specific order. The six posters, when seen individually would make absolutely no sense. They are but part of a paragraph that does not exist when seen as single units. However when the posters are placed together one after the other, the message is unveiled. The posters are done in various graphical styles to create the illusion of 6 different identities uniting to deliver a single voice. Much like how people complete each other’s sentences of another.”

Graphic Designer/Illustrator Fredrik Yeo is a year two Design Communications (BA) at LASALLE, College of the Arts. “I started out with a diploma in Art Management after my secondary school days. As though I’ve always seen myself in design, I knew that I needed more than a mean set of aesthetics. Plus I knew I was too young to make a solid decision. What I really needed was time to explore my options. With that being said, I ventured to take on the weirdest jobs I could find; these included organising the youth olympic games and being a consultant for menswear fashion. I liked how diverse it was, it gave me the character I needed. This experiences turned out to be the foundation I set for myself, for a career in design. I love design for every design tells a different story. Looking at a piece is much like speaking to its creator, and getting to know reasons why certain decisions are made on contrary to others. I am a strong ambassador for intricate line art, and I love coming out with interesting ways to problem solve. The weirder the brief, the more excited I get.”

Project Plug: The Makers’ Journal

The nicely curated makers marketplace HAYSTAKT – an e-destination housing carefully chosen, well-designed, quality goods from independent makers – is now supplemented by a monthly online-only publication – The Makers’ Journal – looking at Making in Asia, with a focus on people, product, and process.

“In our inaugural issue, we set out on a journey to define maker. The task saw us travelling to Japan to bring you an interview about the craft difference with terrarium maker Daisuke Tsumanuma, while learning about the importance of tea drinking. Stopping over in Bangkok, we uncover Talad Rot Fai through our lens, an industrial-themed marketplace (and probably one of the city’s best kept secrets). Back home on our sunny shores, we attend a beautiful exhibition by our friends from The Workshop Gallery, and learn about the art of crafting an online memory experience with the State of Buildings. Last but not least, we take some quiet time off to reflect with designer Melvyn Ong.”

These guys know where the talent is.

Spotted! Calvin Ng

“Sardinapore, is a dystopian state set in the Year 2040, where the citizens are humans of a different breed – they have evolved to become humans with a sardine head – mindless and having total reliance on technology. The country’s statutory board for censorship and surveillance – DIAM (Democratic Institute of Authorization & Mass Censorship) is releasing their latest propaganda paper telling the citizens of their latest censorship, licensing and surveillance plans, including a 5-step self-censorship kit, island wide deployment of surveillance drones and to apply for a license every time you perform an act in public. The list goes on …” 

Calvin NG made the authoritarian acts by countries today into the subject of his NOISE TAP project, Welcome to Sardinapore. “Implementing strict censorship measures, manipulating the media and controlling the masses (surveillance, police-state) …  countries are blatantly performing these acts – to the point of putting up wildly illogical (or even funny) excuses to back up their reason for doing so. The absurdity in my project brings across that point.”

Calvin Ng is studying at the NTU School of Art, Design & Media, making his way through a Visual Communications degree. “I had a love for Graphic Design since young – unknowingly – while mingling around with the then Macromedia Fireworks MX for posters and tried to emulate everything pretty – including Channel U’s logo (the orb and the slanted U) and a lot of other motion graphics on TV. I found myself deeply interested in the design aspect of things while studying for a Diploma in IT. I am influenced by Japanese and Taiwanese Graphic Design, loving the works of Aaron Nieh especially.”


This Friday, multi-label e-store YESAH will tie up with Shentonista for the launch of their in-house designed multi coloured metallic YES TOTE bags.

The designer behind the fantastic totes is 23-year-old fashionista, DJ and model, Linda Hao Li Yuan. Having studied fashion in school, she used her skills and knowledge to set up her own mini fashion world, YESAH.

The YES TOTES will first be introduced to women on the streets of Shenton Way  where six ladies will be handpicked by both lifestyle brands and featured on Shentonista’s website. They’re also offering you the chance to flaunt one of those babies. Just look out for a series of contests organized by Shentonista on facebook and twitter.


Spotted! Paige Lee

Paige Lee graduated from NIE/NTU (Visual Arts) in 2004, and went on to teach for a couple of years before she ventured into marketing communication. “I’ve dabbled with various art forms, genres, mediums and styles. Art to me is fun, expressive and always having ‘that’ element of deeper exploration and surprise.”

Infusing childhood dreams of becoming a fashion designer and her passion for the arts, Paige decided to start Thirty Versions. “It started off with neck pieces that resembles ‘miniature-like sculptures‘. Gradually, I explored a wider range of materials and techniques and began creating neck bibs. These have since became Thirty Versions’ signature collection.”

The last design is from Paige’s Braille Collection, an exciting project she has worked on in support of the visually handicapped.

Spotted! Ryn Tang

Ryn Tang is a jewelry artist who designs and hand makes unique jewelry using traditional jewelry making tools and techniques. Formally schooled in design at Temasek Polytechnic and business at San Francisco State University, Ryn is mostly self-taught when it comes to jewelry design, driven by her passion for the ancient craft and a persistent inner voice.”As a result, my work defers from conventional commercial and emerges in organic forms and hand-forged textures and finishes, taking inspiration from nature and culture. Each piece is born from a little idea, story or wish to inspire and help the wearer reconnect to simple joys and live well.”

Her latest collection promises plenty of space which she creates using a strip piece of metal. “The results are sculptural pieces that do not follow the body contours – but create space between the jewellery and the body. Because of unconventional form, each piece can be worn in different ways, inviting the wearer to play with it to create different looks, while exuding a distinct nonchalant vibe.”

Available at Threadbare & Squirrel, Supermama and online at My Vintage JewelBox.

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