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.


Dear Sky by Jerrold Chong

“I’m always inspired by the little wonders of nature around us, and I want to bring the sublime beauty of nature into my films. The idea of a boy falling in love with the sky struck me one day, and the film carried itself from there. I’m a person who can lie on a grass field and stare at the sky forever. The way the sky moves, the subtle changes in color and the shapes it creates is fascinating.”

Today we invite you spend a good five minutes watching Dear Sky, a story about a little boy who falls in love with the sky, and seeks to win the sky’s love. The video has done the rounds a bit of late and is the brainchild of Jerrold Chong, a Year Two Character Animation student at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

“My love for the art of animation began from a young age, and my inspiration includes Brad Bird, Tim Burton, Hayao Miyazaki and Michel Gondry. I am always amazed by the heartfelt stories told through animation.

I love experimenting with and combining animation techniques in my work. The little boy was animated traditionally with pencil-on-paper, before cleaning-up in charcoal. The sky was animated using paint-on-glass technique and it gave me a lot of freedom and spontaneity which I felt added to the sky as a character. It was an enjoyable and meditative process using my fingers to paint and move the sky, and in a way, I see myself in the little boy.

To me, the wonderful beauty of animation is in its limitless possibilities and power to translate my imagination onto the screen. I love telling stories that convey emotions in a powerful poetic form, and make us feel human again through themes of love and relationships. And animation allows me to do just that.”



Spotted! Edison Teo

“I’m fascinated by mythology, folklore and stuff related to legends.”

The signature style developed by Edison Teo, also known as GalactikCaptain, in his illustrations and art work is bold and defined, using line weights to refine details in his characters. His tools of the trade are mainly black pens and ink. “I prefer the good old traditional art compared to digital illustrations – papers, walls and vinyl toys are among the mediums that my art lands on.”

A graduate of LASALLE’s Communication Design programme, Edison was at first conflicted in his path to express his art. “I was tossed between selecting a course in Fine Arts, Communication Design and even Animation. Now I’m a designer by day, illustrating crusader at night – something of a dual identity with a balance that challenges me.”

Edison isn’t one to sit still and get comfy. His strive to improve his design skills behind the desk further pushes his illustration boundaries by seeking ways to refine his already signature style and exploring new ones. His recent showcase at Noise Singapore 2013 is demonstrative of that and has opened even more doors to take his art to the next level.



Ghost: The Body at the Turn of the Century

(from the press release)

Entitled Ghost: The Body at the Turn of the Century, Sculpture Square‘s sixty-nine-day multi-disciplinary exhibition showcases seminal moments at the turn of the century, and looks at how representations of the Body in the arts and other burgeoning counterculture movements reflect new cultural moments in Singapore. From photography, films, music to performance arts, the Body becomes a central artistic medium.

Curated by Sculpture Square’s Artistic Director, Alan Oei, this wide-ranging show draws a common thread through different art forms in the last twenty years. Alan says, “We tend to look at the life of different disciplines separately. Instead of looking at how each discipline evolved in relation to its predecessors, why not reframe that discourse and look at how our artists respond to the larger milieu. So much of their art uses the body as a medium or motif chafing against the paternal authority of the state. The representations of the body, both in popular media and in anti-establishment art forms – tell us so much about who we are, as individuals, as a nation.”

Ghost locates the artists’ practice within Singapore’s cultural representations of the Body, and how they use their bodies – unmediated, unscripted, ephemeral, and most of all, visceral – to counteract popular notions and stereotypes engendered by society. In addition, Ghost features new and younger artists, such as Choy Ka Fai who creates an almost sinister dance project to record and control the body, and Esther Lowless, whose music is driven heavily by her schizophrenia and the subjugation of her rational self to the body.

This exhibition is especially important as the Internet and global capitalism has brought about a paradigm shift of both physical and social relations. Oei suggests, “We can see a countervailing effort in this show. At the very moment where physical geography seems to matter less and less within the new global order, the Body emerges as a central artistic medium across different genres and art forms.”

The artists exhibiting are:

Singirl by Amanda Heng  at the Chapel Gallery – Project to amass a collection of women’s gluteus maximus, with a future view to a parade contingent. Singirl is an ongoing series on cultural commodification and national marketing. Prospectus for a Future Body by Choy Ka Fai at the Gallery Block – An installation that showcase a memory bank and system that duplicate, reproduce and control dance choreography. New Commission by Esther Lowless at the Gallery Block – Performance-sound installation to recreate the experience of hypochondriasis, anxiety disorder – the destabilization of the body. Mee Pok Man by Eric Khoo at the Chapel Gallery – Selected footage of the film, with original painted cinema banner and an installation of a scene. Street art on Chapel by Jahan Loh & Mazlan Ahmad at the Chapel Gallery (exterior) – Full building mural by street art pioneers incorporating SSQ and cultural history. New Presentation by John Clang at the Front Courtyard – A billboard and horizontal presentation of John Clang’s Beon’s series. New Commission by Lee Wen at the Chapel Gallery – A negative sculpture / cast of Lee Wen’s back. New Presentation by Li Xie at the Chapel Gallery – Approximation of The vaginaLOGUE through its set, objects, audience drawings, in addition to one to one encounters, in the form of an installation. Ray Langenbach’s Archive by Loo Zhihan at the Chapel Gallery – An archive presenting the 7 days of Artists General Assembly in 1993. Torso to Face (Female) by Ng Eng Teng (b. 1934 – d.2001) at the Gallery Block – An enclosed presentation to focus on the sensual, material presence of the sculpture. Stompin’ Ground by Suhaimi Subandie at the Chapel Gallery – The struggle of a Malay artist in Singapore presented through his music, memoirs and artifacts. The Professor Speaks by X’ Ho at the Chapel Gallery – Pseudo documentary account of Singapore and Woodstock.

Ghost: The Body at the turn of the Century opens today and runs until 31 December at Sculpture Square, 155 Middle Road. Opening hours: 11am – 7pm (closed on Mondays). Admission is free.


Spotted! Ella Zheng

27-year-old LASALLE graduate and winner of the Faculty Awards for Academic Excellence Ella Zheng is no stranger to the world of design. She earned a BA(Hons) in Fashion Design from Northumbria University and held the position of Creative Partner at a local wedding events company before her passion for graphic design led her to pursue Design Communication at LASALLE. Ella quickly made her mark as a talent to watch, taking home one gold and one silver at the Crowbar Awards 2011 and winning the Space-Kartell Ghost Chair Design Competition 2011. Her winning motif design now adorns the Kartell Louis Ghost Chair designed by Phillippe Starck, produced in limited numbers.

“I am a designer who loves simplicity, clean layouts and type,” Ella says. “In the future, I hope to be able to nurture Singaporean’s mind-set towards design.”

Ella now plies her trade at Foreign Policy Design Group. She is also the founder of The Design Folder, a Facebook group for designers to share works, ideas and communicate with each other.


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