’cause it’s Christmas with Chubby Chubby’s SantaOwls

“May this Owliday season leave you with precious memories, a Christmas filled with happiness, love and joy all around! Hope your Owliday season’s a Hoot!” 

Hoot Hoot Hoot! The Chubby Chubby elves made these mega cute SantaOwls for you to purchase at once! We just bought this one and we are giving it away to the first Singapore-based reader to email michele@culturepush.com. Contest closes 30 November. .… and we have a winner!

Hoot luck!

The Last Gift by Raymond Hon

“A gift that reminds. A gift that takes away loneliness. A gift of acceptance and closure. A gift that offers a fleeting moment of familiarity yet at the same time informs the fact that some things are ephemeral and are lost forever no matter how hard one tries to hang on to.”

2050 designers from 96 different countries participated in this year’s Design for Death competition organized by designboom, in collaboration with the LIEN FOUNDATION and ACM FOUNDATION. Among the shortlisted entries we found a project by Raymond Hon, a 3D printed from the cremated remains of the departed, the last gift for the living …

Raymond: “As cremation becomes an increasingly common practice, many still find it awkward to display an urn of cremated remains in their house but at the same time, find it a pity to just leave what’s left of their loved ones in a columbarium, only to be forgotten over time. With advancement in technology, many things deemed impossible have become a reality. By creating a wind chime with components produced from the cremated remains of their loved ones, it is possible to aid in gaining acceptance and closure during the grieving process, and then serving as a reminder to the living of his/her existence. An abstracted image of the departed is obtained by inputting a portrait into an algorithm in Grasshopper, a generative design plugin for Rhinoceros (a 3D visualization software). The abstracted images are then printed as negative spaces in each piece of the wind chime. As the pieces align, the onlooker would be able to catch a glimpse of the image of the departed for a fleeting moment. At the same time, during the grieving process, one would try to align the pieces manually, only to realise that some things are ephemeral, and no matter how hard you try to hang on to it, it is lost forever.”

Raymond is a final year undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Division of Industrial Design.

Spotted! Matthew Sia

“Always be curious. To understand something is not being able to define or describe the subject. Instead, taking something that I already know and making it unknown thrills me. It refreshes and deepens my understanding of the subject. ”

Matthew Sia is fresh out of his BA in Graphic and Media Design at the London College of Communication, focusing on Design for Interaction and Moving Image. He enjoys working across a broad spectrum of media and materials, high-tech, low-tech and no-tech, and agrees that the only boundaries are set by the imagination and creative ideas hold sway over technology. Matthew’s work is often about playfulness, humor and social interaction.

About Applejack 45s: “You could say it is a typology of records. I made a record of a song called Applejack using different materials. It would be silly to expect the music to match the quality of the actual record. However the end results from some of the materials sound surprisingly good. “Applejack 45s” is my most recent work motivated by Haptic considerations. The term Haptic means relating or pleasant to the sense of touch. To put it plainly the term here indicates an attitude that takes into consideration how we perceive things with our senses. For Applejack 45s I used three of our senses -sight, hearing and touch- and I focused on tactile sensitivities through the use of materials. Materials are not the only components in design, but materials and means are the reason for my explorations. Only through a study of each material I was able to optimize their potential. Through this project I have discovered the emotional qualities in materials that invoke our senses. I went beyond vinyls, by making impressions of records onto different types of materials. To observe the interplay of materials and sound, one can sense the effects of texture and sound. Microscopic scans of the different record grooves were taken at the Natural History Museum in London.”

Now sit back, get your headphones on and submit to the grooves of the Applejack.

Project Plug: Goodcraft by Neighbourgoods

Images by Jovian Lim.

Every time Neighbourgoods pops out a new project we’re all like “Yeah man, that’s awesome!” Well my words exactly (again) since first getting wind of their ‘Apron’ project.

James Teo, Neighbourgoods“About 2 years ago, when Fahmy (FIN) showed me the aprons that he made, I was blown away. We kept saying that we should collaborate to make something that puts craft and aprons together. Fast forward to early 2013, we decided to dive head-on into putting together a show simply as reminder of the importance of craftsmanship. It’s great that there is a lot more talk and respect given to craft, but in a world that worships things done fast and cheap, total focus on practising a craft can really be a hard thing to do. So Goodcraft was conceived.”

Why an apron? ”As the craftsman works, the apron protects the wearer and carries the different tools and accessories unique to their craft. The apron bears the marks of the craftsman’s daily activities, habits, and methods over time. It speaks not only of what they do, but who they are.”

Besides the Goodcraft show apron, they invited eight creatives to customise a blank canvas apron for their Goodcraft show. Here’s a peek at the customized pieces to whet your appetite for the upcoming Goodcraft show which opens Friday and runs until 3 November at the Dwelling Concept.

“It’s about take the time to refine, hone and perfect your skills or an object – it’s about obsession and passion.” – Stolen.

“Honesty to material yet being able to use them in a refreshing way.” – Bureau.

“Craft means something that will take years to master. It is something that can be part of your life. It needs focus, love, and intention. It is dependent on how skilled your hands are, your mental stamina and, a lot of the time, on your mood. I believe there is no finishing line when it comes to craft… If the piece is made with love and care, the owner or use can have thousands of conversations about it and that same energy would spread.” – Sabotage.

“Pure intention in the concept, intention and process.” – Christopher John Fussner.

“Craft – an oft-misquoted and abused word. At the heart of it, it means to me the act of making something beautiful by hand, controlled only by the human mind. Machines and tools are supposed to be but conduits of our creativity.” – Ed Et Al.

“Great ideas have to be accompanied and complemented by craft that understands the vernacular and accentuates the crux of a body of work…The passion for craft develops my character in being honest to myself and my work. This is what constantly drives me to improve as an illustrator.” – MessyMsxi.

“Craft means knowing the trade inside out, understanding the tools of the trade than the trappings and the drama of the occupation.” – Hounds of the Baskervilles.

“Craft is something that I try to work on everyday. It’s my point of departure and sometimes, arrival. In some cases, it comes after art but I don’t think you can have one without the other.” – Speak Cryptic.

For more information about the craftsmen and their craft, visit the Neighbourgoods page.

Spotted! The Lorem Ipsum

We invite you to succumb to the lovely felt creations of The Lorem Ipsum, the brainchild of real-life designer couple Boon and KK.

KK: “Boon loves brooches and felt, which she transforms into flowers and animals for hair bands, clips, necklaces, brooches and badges. I am in charge of art direction, illustration and promotion that “brings the accessories to life. We believe that lorem ipsum represents the undefined possibilities in which our accessories can be used to enhance one’s personality.”

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.”

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