Spotted! Ying Tong Tan

Ying Tong Tan is a graphic designer specialising in books, publications and custom typography. “I see design as one that allows each person to be aware of his/her surroundings, questioning and triggering them to form interpersonal relationships with the work.”

A graduate from Central Saint Martins with a BA(Honours) in Graphic Design, Ying Tong is now based in Singapore after a year of working experience in London.

“My love for books – art and artist books in particular, has motivated me to strive towards my focus in producing conceptual and art-based publications where the form and design of a publication is as important as its concept and content. I am passionate in artist publications as I see the process of designing as a collaboration where both parties contribute to the direction and creation of a work rather than a client-designer based relationship.”

Ying Tong is also a co-founder of a Booktalk13, a blog that documents sharing sessions ‘that brings together books and friends, over cups of tea’.


Making Make with Kelly Yap

Making Make, a design platform led by Hans Tan at the NUS Division of Industrial Design, explores the artisanal charm of a handcrafted product and the beauty of its making process. Kelly Yap was one of the fourteen students tasked to create instruments to aid a small batch production of artisanal products; products with qualities otherwise unthinkable with mass production techniques.

We caught up with Kelly to find out more about her design: “Crumple is a collection of vessels, each created from a single sheet of metal. The crumpling instrument creates natural bends and folds impossible to duplicate manually or by any other manufacturing technique. The metal sheet is prepared prior to the crumpling by drilling holes around its perimeter. Each hole is enforced with a metal eyelet of which a nylon string is weaved through, then knotted. When the string is pulled in quick successions through an apparatus repurposed from a stool, the edges of the metal sheet deform and warp. The resulting vessels fully capture the dynamic motion of their conception.”

The Making Make products are available for purchase online at Haystakt. Check it out!

Nurture designed by Felicia Clare Paul

To NUS Industrial Design graduate, Felicia Clare Paul, design is the problem solving mechanism of the 21st century. “I love problem solving and thinking creatively towards an end outcome that enhances the overall user experience. Making life better through design is what inspires me most and drives my passion for design. To enable people through design is to me, a personal fulfilment.”

About her graduation project: “Nurture is a new soft structured baby carrier that enables and encourages mothers to sustain their breastfeeding efforts past 2 months as they take breastfeeding to the public. By ensuring proper posture for the baby, the carrier ensures a proper latch which is crucial for when breastfeeding. The design allows for an easy switch from a carrying position to a breastfeeding position through the use of a drawstring mechanism, allowing mothers ease in lowering their baby to their breast. Nurture affords security and discretion, giving mothers the much-needed confidence and encouraging them to sustain their breastfeeding efforts when breastfeeding in public.”

Girls of the Underworld Exhibition

For its upcoming show, Kult invited 33 locally-based female artists to create a new piece of art that will ruminate on what it means to be female in contemporary Asia. Exploring subjects such as music, identity and pop culture, the artists used a variety of mediums like painting, drawing, silkscreening, collaging and even animated GIFs to capture their perspective on living in fast-paced modern Asia.

Some highlights are:

“Dinner Time: Plate Number 4″ by Emma Maxwell

“Super-girl / 女子漢” by Joyce Lee

“Dare to Dream of Candy” by Caramelaw 

Other featured artists include Adeline Tan, Dawn Ang, Inkten, Kristal Melson, Soph Ong and Tiffany Tan.

The exhibition opens on Friday, 30th May, 5pm at Kult Gallery and will run until Saturday 28 June. All artworks will be available for sale.

Bloom by Tricia Chean

Bloom is a project for Craft and Therapy designed by Tricia Chean and it will be showcased at the NUS DID Grad Show which opens today at The Plaza, National Library Building.

“Bloom redefines the treatment process for patients suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Based on the therapeutic qualities of crafting, it is a sensitive and non-invasive solution that removes the fear of stigma, while providing a structure to crafting that effectively guides the patient through treatment sessions. The motivation to create functional items also drives patients on the road to recovery.”

Tricia likes to explore how visual communication can be used to enhance the appeal and usability of products and systems. “My interest lies in observing current trends and using them to find better alternatives to everyday problems.”

Kelvin Lim, Prix Emile Hermès finalist!

Marc Domage © Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, 2014

(from the press release)

Kelvin Lim, is one of the 12 finalists for the third edition of the Prix Emile Hermès international design award, on the theme “Time to yourself”.

Window Seat explores the limits of private space. Lim’s armchair creates a private window space, made from tubular steel and concealed behind a curtain of elastic cords.

‘Today, we no longer need to retreat behind thick walls or into some distant forest to make time for ourselves. My design offers a moment’s isolation, with a play on the blurring of indoor and outdoor space.’ – A vision of ‘Time to yourself’, according to Kelvin Lim.

Kelvin’s project was one of 12 shortlisted from 700 entries by designers in 54 countries, by a jury of design professionals chaired by Italian designer and architect Michele de Lucchi.

The winning entries will be announced on 23 May 2014. The exhibition will continue online at for several months.

Willow, Sofia, Eva by Afzal Imram

We picked Afzal Imran from a line-up of NUS Industrial Design graduates. His furniture collection is made up of a chair, Willow, a cabinet, Sofia, and a light, Eva.

“My collection is a result of an investigation into connections in furniture and inspired by various elements of fashion. It aims to illustrate the notion of instinctive and familiar experiences of interaction with furniture, whilst evoking a certain sense of sensuality and tension, through the interaction between the fabric and the structure.”

Though trained as an Industrial Designer, Imran finds it hard to categorise himself as such. “My interests go beyond Industrial Design. As a designer, I am interested in the experiences fostered through design, be it the design of an object, a service, an interface or even a brand.”

For more explorative design projects, head down to The Plaza at the National Library Building between 23 and 25 May for the NUS DID Grad Show 2014.

Rise of the Risograph by Knuckles & Notch

Knuckles & Notch is a Design practice set up by three creatives, Djohan Hanapi, Marilyn Yunjin and Muhammad Izdi. Established earlier this year, the studio is positioned as an advocate of the arts in encouraging the exploration and development of the Risograph practice in a fine art context by providing a common platform for artists and designers to share and publish their works. We catch up with the Riso-loving trio and this is their story …

How did Knuckles & Notch come about?

It all began with a spark of an obsession. When Djohan discovered Risograph (Riso) at an NYC art book fair, the three of us were amazed by how vibrant the colours are compared to a product from a traditional ink jet machine. As soon as we realized how unique the outcome was, we were hooked.

Risograph is quite a new printing method in Singapore and there lies the value of it. We wanted to share how unique, inspiring and cost efficient Riso can be to our fellow local artists and designers and the best way to do so was by setting up a press and buying the machine. We sought out other presses in London, learned how they work with their Risograph machines and gathered samples. It took us two years to research and accumulate the capital to form our company. It was wild, stressful but simply exhilarating.

What’s the story behind the name ‘Knuckles and Notch’?

What we want to achieve is a great consistent quality of Risograph prints … always a “Notch” above the rest. “Knuckles” is a fun gesture when two people (us and our collaborators) agree with each other – like a high-five.

Why set up a Risograph press now?

Risograph machines have been around for years (mostly used by schools, churches and mosques) so we were surprised that the Risograph culture did not take off in the art and design industry. Risograph is very popular in the UK and the States so much so that it has become a normality for the art and design students, which is why we want students, art practitioners and designers to learn more about the beauty of Risograph.

How is a Risograph printer different from other printers?

Risograph produces a very rustic DIY look that other printers can’t replicate. The colours, texture and appearance can vary depending on the paper it’s printed on. Even the printing imperfections of the machine give a certain appeal. The inks are less expensive and easier to use than toner. The machine doesn’t require the high heats of photocopiers, meaning it uses less electricity. And finally, it requires less maintenance. It’s very simple and fast to change from one spot of colour to another. In other words, it is a revolutionary printing system for the modern age when people look for products and work with more uniqueness and ease of use. Can Riso replace other kinds of printers especially offset? We don’t think so. What we’re doing here is to introduce a different arsenal to the palette of printing techniques.

Who are your clients?

Most of our projects are with local artists and designers and we are working on predominantly art prints, posters and zines. We wouldn’t really call them our clients as we see each work as a collaboration.

Can’t wait to see more riso-printed work.

Continue Previous page Next page


Culturepush tracks cool stuff in art, culture and design in Singapore.

Contact Us.

Need a Job?

Over at the Job Board.

Submit a job listing. It's free!

Feel The CulturePulse

Culturepulse is a retrospective of the fresh-faced talents which we featured on Culturepush, and have since blossomed into established creatives-on-the-scene.

What's happening in Singapore?
Get your (almost) daily fix on our Facebook page.