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.