Comics of Singapore Histories (COSH) Studios








In January 2016, COSH Studios brought together a collective of comic artists and writers eager to share their stories of Singapore Heritage. “Our heritage shouldn’t just be confined to history lessons and the classroom,” comic historian Lim Cheng Tju says. “These comics are fiction, but they have aspects of local history and places in them. And when readers can relate to these stories, there’s always the chance that they will want to find out more about the hidden corners or undiscovered stories in Singapore.”

Three comics will be launched tomorrow at the Singapore Writers Festival from 8:30PM until 9:30PM at the Arts House: Live through Singapore in the 1910s through five different people in the Guidebook to Nanyang Diplomacy by Lim Cheng Tju and Benjamin Chee. Listen in to the politics of food and business in the Coalition of the Savoury Spare Parts by Koh Hong Teng and Oh Yong Hwee. Or run into the Bukit Brown Caretaker in a place where many Singaporeans called their Final Resting Place – James Tan will help you with that.

Four more titles will be published by March 2018, featuring writer Dave Chua and artists Don Low and Cheah Sinann as some of the many names to release their books then.


Watch! ChiobuTV

Chiobu – In Chiobu We Trust

(from the press release)

Chiobu Collective is the first broadcaster in Singapore that creates video content targeted at female audiences. The series of videos launched on Thursday and focuses on different aspects of art forms in Food, Fashion, Health, and Music in collaboration with in influencers like Cheryl Wee, DJ Tinc, and Sharon Lam.

In addition to enriching the local arts scene by providing meaningful content that viewers can engage and relate to, Chiobu Collective hopes to build a community where information is freely shared amongst those who practice honing their craft.

Chiobu Collective mirrors a growing movement in women taking a different role in culture and in media regionally. Sites such as Singapore Geek Girls exists to debunk the misconception of girls not being able to excel in the IT industry. Other than having girls who code, gather and help each other with problem solving, female leaders in the industry conduct talks and workshops that help build their community.

The brainchild behind Chiobu Collective is Ang Geck Geck, one of the youngest female directors in Singapore. Throughout her years of experience in directing commercial work, she saw that other females around were mostly given roles that were gender specific like makeup and wardrobe styling. This drove her to create a platform where artists can sell their works, and provide opportunities for collaboration to showcase their skills and talents. “I hope that Singaporean girls will realise that there is more to how the world limits you,” said Geck Geck. “Do not shy away from challenging roles that are male dominated. It is about how you fight to pursue your dreams that is most important.”

About Chiobu Collective

While the term ChioBu is common hokkien slang in Singapore used to describe girls who are hot, The Chiobu Collective aims to redefine it. We look beyond the surface and draw out different personalities that reside in each Chiobu to explore the beauty within through artistic expression, proving that girls have their own means and styles of self-expression, which in itself is already beautiful.

We support women regardless of their age, size, or race by showcasing their individual talents from different categories such as Cooking, Travel, Music & Dance etc. The videos are shared on an online platform to help build a community, opening up more opportunities locally, and internationally as the initiative gains awareness.

The Chiobu Collective was inspired by Chiobu Movement, a one time event in 2012 for females in the creative industry to express themselves by showcasing their written works, and photos.

For more information about the Chiobu Collective visit


It Takes Balls by Adeline Loo

Our grannies knew something we didn’t – until now. Sitting down and click-clacking two needles together with a string of colourful yarn between them is totally chillax. These days, knitting has become a fashion trend, a social activity, some even call it the new yoga.

Why knitting is hot again? We find out from Adeline Loo, founder of It Takes Balls.

“I started ITB on my own and my sister Carol has joined me last year. She helps me to handle the marketing and social media platforms as I am terrible with stuff like that. It helps that she has a fashion background and knows how to take good photos.

My personal beliefs lie very strongly with the same ethos that Wool and the Gang is built upon  – to change the way Fashion is made. We really hope to bring more awareness of the maker movement to South East Asia where fast fashion reigns supreme. Of course, I have been advised to tone down on this message – people now tend to be put off when you rub the words ‘socially responsible”, “ethical” and “sustainable” in their faces too often. So instead of picketing and shouting my message at people, I use craft to silently communicate this. It’s an age-old thing known as craftivism where we use the crafts to get a message (whether political or otherwise) to people. Safer too, especially in Singapore where picketing will get me thrown in jail.

So ITB concentrates more on educating and first getting the public to be willing to DIY, hoping that conversation can then be created which will allow people to naturally begin questioning, as well as appreciating, the true cost of fashion. In this, we use the approach of first debunking the belief that knitting is for grannies or uncool – and people see that it can be fashionable and trendy and that they can wear something they are equally proud of as their luxury label items. My free and unlimited classes also attract them as we practically guarantee they can finish their projects as we guide them step by step. A lot of people don’t take up a new skill / craft / hobby as they fear they’ll not complete it without further help.

Aside from this, I strongly believe the mental and physical benefits of knitting is something I would love Singaporeans to discover, having personally benefitted from it. Singaporeans live in a fast-paced society – whilst I get it that job security and earning capability is very highly regarded here, I think that the tangible benefits of making and creating is something people should not give up on, and would actually help towards a better quality of life. Like how some turn to Yoga or meditation, knitting is the same – a moving meditation like tai chi.

Many people are also surprised as they imagine a feminist like myself would be knitting – and it is unfortunate this view exists – the problem is that when our feminist pioneers gave up the ‘unproductive’ crafts to join the workforce to be able to be valued equally as men, they forgot about the benefits the crafts provided. A very unfortunate loss. I read somewhere before (and use this very often as my response)  that the new feminist now is one who chooses to take back the knit (or cook or bake etc or another traditionally feminized craft). This reclamation shows the contemporary woman can reconnect with the female dominated art forms, to legitimize the importance of undervalued craft and show that the new woman has the privilege to express themselves through craft. Again, I suppose I should not harp too much on this angle as it’s probably not wise for the business aspect.”

Fancy joining Adeline’s close-knit crafters squad? Click here to ‘get the ball rolling’ with free lessons. 




Six hankies for Good Sweat 2015

There’s a certain reverence reserved for a man who can take out a handsome hankie with a hit of visual interest in lieu of a paper tissue. Neighbourhoods‘ 2015 Good Sweat hankies, will help you make a fine first impression.  Made from 100% pure linen, each design incorporates a phrase favoured by six of Singapore’s top creatives.

沒有你 哪有我 by Kenny Leck, BooksActually
‘This is inspired by my mother and father. Like a typical family, we have our fair share of ups & downs, but I know that without them, there will be no “me”. Their teaching, scolding, tears, laughter, and especially their work ethic are my guiding beacon. Pa was a taxi driver and ma was a stay-home seamstress. Pa would drive his taxi 364 days a year, resting only on Christmas day, and Ma sewed everyday. She was paid per completed piece, and the more she completed the more she earned. I know they did this not because they wanted to be rich, but for their children to have a better standard of living. So yes, my hardworking parents in their humble jobs gave me a “road” & “foundation” upon which I have built my dreams. And I know my dreams can only be achieved through hard work such as theirs.沒有你 哪有我 (trans: “Without you I am nothing”) is also from both my ma and my favourite song “酒干倘卖无” by Su Rui, the most poignant part is “没有天哪有地, 没有地哪有家, 没有家哪有你, 没有你哪有我” (literally: “Without heaven there is no earth, without earth there is no home, without home there is no “you”, and without you there is no “me”).’

不怕路長 只怕志短 by Theseus Chan, WORK
‘I have learnt that it is important to adapt and work well with any given situation, especially when it is not to your expectation or in your favor. This will push you to use the circumstances to find other ways that will not be taken if not for the limitations or changes that have been imposed. This change can be for the better, I discovered. So when we are faced with problems, the question to ask ourselves is not how tough or long the road has become, but do we really possess the ambition to push on or will we simply give up?’

拿得起 放得下 by Tan Pin Pin
‘拿得起, 放得下 (As easily as one attaches, one can detach) is a phrase I find wise to remind myself often. A friend once told me this while trying to console himself after a breakup. I find this epithet applies to most things, not just to breakups or spring-cleaning, but to art making too. I am currently in the throes of editing a documentary I had spent two years collecting footage for. Some of the footage I shot is spectacular, I love it, but it is also spectacularly out of focus so the footage cannot be used. It has to be tossed. It is too painful. But detach and move on I must. If there is a bright side, ditching footage gets easier with time, like a muscle that gets better with use. Meanwhile, the film is formed by whatever is left behind. Art-making is a process of coming to terms with remnants of one’s initial vision.’

一見忠情 by Edwin Low, Supermama
‘The phrase 一见钟情 (Love at first sight) is like the perfect love story. It speaks of the first encounters between lovers in which time stood still. It is passionate, romantic, momentary yet eternal. However, while we enjoy entertaining such ideas, 一见钟情 is not always realistic. I replaced the character 钟 with the similar sounding 忠 (loyal), to remind ourselves of the commitment and sacrifices required to keep love alive. To love is to commit.’

不要浪費 每滴眼淚 by Carrie Yeo, The Freshman
‘This phrase is a line from a song that I wrote with Diya – 眼鏡矇矇的. The song is about getting lost in the struggles of life and losing sight of where we are headed to. There are always tears and sweat in life, life can’t be a bed of roses. Well, even on a bed of roses, there are thorns. I have also come to realise that I secretly enjoy the “emo” moments. They just make life fuller. So this phrase is a reminder that we should cherish and learn from every tear and every drop of sweat, and not waste the lesson or experience. In a way, it’s also a reminder that we can turn every negative emotion into positive energy towards something good.’

練習每一天 by James Teo, Ampulets
Some years ago in a crowded train in Taipei, my wife and I overheard a granddad asking his granddaughter to give up her seat to an elderly lady. When the little girl refused, he chided her gently: “這樣是不對的喔。你沒有練習禮貌啊。”(“This is not right. You didn’t practise courtesy.”) I remember this encounter vividly. I was struck by his use of the words練習 (to practise and drill). He reminded me that courtesy is not just an ideal or aspiration but is about practice. And like courtesy, many things in life, whether big or small, starts with this deceptively simple練習 – deceptive because simple is often the hardest. It is the practice of everyday living that makes us the person we want to be.

Each design is available in an edition of 100 and can be pre-ordered via at an early bird price of $38 each (usual $42). Each hankie comes with a limited Good Sweat 2016 calendar-poster and part of the proceeds will go to charity. 


The lowdown on SG Heart Map @Float

(from the press release)

From 26 till 29 November, SG Heart Map will unveil the first-ever crowd-sourced heart map of Singaporeans’ cherished places at the Float @ Marina Bay.

Inspired by the stories shared, seven artists across different creative and arts communities, have created immersive and poignant works of art for the SG Heart Map. The artists include Gwen Lee, Kenny Leck, Michael Ng, Royston Tan, Tia Boon Sim and Zaihan Kariyani, William Chan  and Zul Mahmod. Stories of Singaporeans will be told through various art forms such as prose, poetry, a film, sketches, photographs, audio installations, illustrations and animations – to be showcased at the SG Heart Map Festival @ Float.

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50 First Kisses by Royston Tan and Outdoor Cinema
50 First Kisses is an emotive anthology showcasing 50 Singaporean couples and their most heart-warming moments, which took place at cherished places in Singapore. Set against the backdrop of iconic landmarks in Singapore, the film will take the audience through time, bringing back memories of sentimental moments in the past, while celebrating the success and modernity of Singapore today.

Wordplay! A Literary Playground by Kenny Leck
Led by Kenny Leck, this playground features 20 literary art works in the form of prose and poetry authored by a team of 10 established local writers. They drew inspiration from the SG Heart Map stories relating to the theme of childhood, covering topics such as kite-flying and the all-time favourite playgrounds.

Future City Vision by Michael Ng
Just as how past city planners have shaped Singapore into our much loved city today, Future City Vision by Michael Ng, founding member of OIC Singapore (Organisation of Illustrators Council), invites visitors to immerse themselves in the imaginative future of Singapore through the larger-than-life pop-up illustrations created together with some 100 students.

Darren Soh, Punggol Waterway Terraces

HomeScapes by Gwen Lee
Five well-known photographers – Ang Song Nian, Bob Lee, Darren Soh, George Wong and Robert Zhao will present the HomeScapes Photography Exhibition at the SG Heart Map Festival @ Float. Led and curated by Gwen Lee, director of the Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF), the exhibition presents the theme of home with many untold stories of the common and ordinary in our midst. Narrated through the images captured by the five photographers, these stories range from those of Singaporeans in their living rooms and their display cabinets that curate their personal memories and life events, to scenery and façades of flats that illustrate the progress of our living environment, and animals found in Singapore that co-habit with us in our space.

SonicMemories by Zul Mahmod
Sound artist Zul Mahmod will showcase SonicMemories, an audio installation created with recordings that reflect familiar experiences at national, cultural and celebratory events, such as the crowd’s excitement during the commissioning parade for Officer Cadets or the joyful music played at weddings. They also include personal interpretations of special occasions that have taken place in the heartlands such as the Bedok Reservoir and Whampoa. SonicMemories will feature the mailbox – key in bringing people together before the advent of email and social media – as the centerpiece and intermediary to convey these cherished stories.

Scenes of Our Hearts Showcase by Urban Sketchers Singapore
From August till September this year, Tia Boon Sim and Zaihan Kariyani (Urban Sketchers Singapore) led some 400 Singaporeans to capture the poignant perspectives of life in Singapore through sketching on location around the island. From our quaint streets to the everyday city

A Beautiful Day by William Chan at the Dome
‘A Beautiful Day’ is a documentation of Singapore from dawn to night. Featuring the 50 SG Heart Map places, it brings visitors on a visual journey of the many places that trace the progress of Singapore story. The animation projected on the dome also brings to life the 50 SG Heart Map places contributed by Singaporeans and inspires the rediscovery of the beauty of our landscape.

(All images courtesy of SG Heart Map)


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