Exhibition: KEEPERS

(from the press release)

Singapore’s largest-­ever collective of local designers and artisans gather for five months at the Singapore Designer Collective (KEEPERS) showcase from 12 September 2014 to 15 February 2015.

Housed at a purpose built pop-­up at Orchard Green, the showcase will highlight the work of Singapore designers from across multiple disciplines – from furniture, fashion, and food to architecture, millinery and home-­wares.

KEEPERS will showcase fashion by A.W.O.L, In Good Company, hansel, Dzojchen; accessories by Carrie K., DestiSaint, Heads of State Millinery, Lingwu and Gnome and Bow; home-­wares by Supermama, IEX, perfumes by Code Deco; furniture by Grafunkt and many more.

For more details on the designers and the activities, visit the KEEPERS website.


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.


The NONG Pop-Up Store

You may have heard the buzz about the NONG Pop Up Store sitting high above the urban sprawl on the rooftop of People’s Park Complex. But do you know the details of what is actually happening and when?

The store is run by Edible Gardens, a movement that aims to promote urban farming in Singapore. The retail space is a collaborative effort with Naiise.com and features a mix of sustainably sourced, upcycled and locally designed kitchenware, furniture, stationery and gardening equipment. Together, they hope to promote growing your own food at home, and helping people live sustainably and meaningfully with design.

This February the NONG project will turn into a platform dedicated to workshops, culminating in a Farmer’s Market on February 28 where local restaurants like The Cajun King and Morsels will set up store and cook food using the first harvests from the farm at NONG.

Workshop schedule:

  • The principles of Organic gardening. Feb 8 and 16 10am-11am, Feb 9 and 15 2pm-3pm. An introduction to how to garden and what to look out for when gardening organically. Bjorn will share tips on organic growing and his experiences working with plants in the tropics and in the temperate climate.
  • Making plant babies, propagating herbs. Feb 8 and 16 2pm-3pm, Feb 9 and 15 10am-11am. A hands-on workshop by Rob on how to increase the number of herb plants at home so you never need to buy another pack of basil.
  • Urban beekeeping. Feb 22, 2pm-3pm, Feb 23 10am-11am. A talk on urban beekeeping by Thomas our resident beekeeper. Sharing with you insights into the world of apiary and the ups and downs of beekeeping in tropical Singapore
  • An introduction to permaculture. Feb 22, 2pm-3pm, Feb 23, 10am-11am.A talk by Imran and Alex on permaculture, the principles behind this design philosophy and how you can apply it to both your garden design and your daily life.

All this is happening on the rooftop of People’s Park Complex, 6th floor, access by Residential lift near KFC. See you there!


’cause it’s Christmas with paintinks by Melt

Are you getting ready for  … errrm …. Christmas? I hope so, because starting today we kick off with a ’cause it’s Christmas project special. Shall we? Let’s …

It wouldn’t be Christmas without some good old-fashioned charity, and Melissa Tan aka paintinks by Melt is the first do-gooder in our special.”I want to make this a great Christmas for homeless pets, donating all profits made from my Christmas card towards Mdm Wong’s Shelter and Friends and LiFeline.”

Each pack of four cards, all illustrated in glorious watercolour, is selling for S$8 and you can find the purchase details here.

Culturepush is giving away two packs of cards. Email michele@culturepush.com before 23 November. Giveaway is open to Singapore-based readers only. Woof!


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.


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