SINGAPORE – Local talents continue to sculpt and change Singapore’s arts, design and culture terrain. Here is the spotlight on a new breed of Singapore creatives, from artists and sculptors to furniture makers and designers, who bring with them a fresh crop of ideas and perspectives.
TEXTILE DESIGNER AND WEAVER
The art of weaving is experiencing a contemporary revival and Tiffany Loy is one to watch in this field.
The industrial designer-turned-weaver took up textile-weaving at Kawashima Textile School in Kyoto and set up her studio in 2014.
The 33-year-old melds her knowledge of product design with textile-making to create 3D objects and spaces, while also focusing on material structure at a micro level.
To date, she has worked with the likes of The Rug Makers, Japanese fashion label Uniqlo (for an installation) and London-based leather goods supplier Alma Leather.
A recent graduate of the Royal College of Art, she will be exploring and creating bespoke textiles for interior companies.
Info: Go to www.tiffanyloy.com or @tffnyly on Instagram
FREELANCE VISUAL ARTIST
It is easy to be drawn to visual artist Howie Kim’s arresting works, which he describes with adjectives like surreal, whimsical, strange and cute.
Delving into Internet culture for inspiration, from memes to viral videos to selfies, he works across various mediums, including digital illustrations, animations, photo manipulations, paintings and, most recently, augmented-reality filters.
It has been only about four years since Kim, who has a fine arts bachelor’s degree from Lasalle College of the Arts, stepped into the industry, but he boasts a clientele of brands such as DBS Singapore, tech giant Apple, beverage Tiger Beer, watch label IWC Schaffhausen and local musician Gentle Bones.
Info: Go to www.howiekim.com or @howie759 on Instagram
Minimalist aesthetics that allow a product’s concept to shine through characterise the work of Karyn Lim, 28, who collaborates with brands to conceptualise and develop products and accessories.
Her love of contemporary design started during an exchange programme in Paris.
Since then, she has showcased her works at Milan Design Week and designed for brands like furnishings label Zanotta and tech giant Samsung, as well as worked alongside prominent designers New Zealand-born Sabine Marcelis and Frenchman Erwan Bouroullec.
The recent graduate of Switzerland’s Lausanne University of Art and Design, where she has been studying luxury design and craftsmanship, is looking forward to working with local and international brands, manufacturers and artisans.
Info: Go to www.karynlim.com or @karyn.lim on Instagram
Tan Yang Er
MULTI-DISCIPLINARY ARTIST AND SET DESIGNER
The lack of formal art training has not stopped self-taught Tan from building an impressive resume that ranges from installation to set design to art directing.
For starters, the 27-year-old’s works have gained international recognition. She was named Best Visual Art Director at the Mnet Asian Music Awards in South Korea for her work on the set of The Sam Willows’ Keep Me Jealous music video.
Apart from working with heavyweights like Singapore Airlines, Sony Music and beauty label Guerlain under her practice Yangermeister Studios, she also scored a gig as a production designer for the television series Mixed Signals.
Keep an eye out for more of her public art installations like her previous interactive ASMR Wonderland creation on Sentosa.
Info: Go to @yangermeister_ on Instagram
Liew Yu Hua
FURNITURE DESIGNER AND MAKER
A lifelong appreciation of trees led to Liew Yu Hua taking a leap of faith to embark on a furniture-making course in Britain.
The wood she works with – from the grain to the growth of wood rings – is at the crux of her pieces, which are shaped by hand and eye rather than with computer-aided drawings.
She is inspired by people’s stories and forms found in nature.
The highlight of her woodworking journey is the Songjun Cabinet, a personal project made with wood that was gifted by her mentor.
What is next in the pipeline? She hopes to launch a sculptural furniture collection next year that explores a more fluid and organic style.
Info: Go to www.secretlifeoftrees.com or @secretlifeoftrees_ on Instagram
An artist, curator and educator, Zulkhairi’s interest lies in lens-based arts, which entail digital photography and materials like archived or appropriated images.
The topics he explores are often centred on identity, specifically Malayness and masculinity, and how they are informed by the dynamics and asymmetry of multiculturalism and Eurocentrism.
The 29-year-old’s work has earned him accolades like Art Outreach Singapore’s Impart Award (Curator). He was also the recipient of the 2019 Objectifs Curator Open Call, which aims to recognise creative presentations of image-based works.
Most recently, he conceptualised his showcase-exhibition How To Desire Differently, which ran till Aug 7 this year at Lim Hak Tai Gallery.
Info: Go to @sikapgroup on Instagram
Morgan, Lincoln and Ryan Yeo
As a homage to their late father Roger, who ran system furniture company JR&P Industries, brothers Morgan, Lincoln and Ryan Yeo rebranded the company to Roger&Sons after taking over the reins of the family business.
Having been exposed to the craft from a young age, the brothers, now aged 25 to 32, often helped out in the workshop during their schooldays.
Function before form is at the heart of their design philosophy. This, along with showcasing the beauty of wood and immaculate detailing, has culminated in exceptionally crafted bespoke furniture.
Their focus now is on the Local Tree Project, an ethical furniture initiative that salvages trees felled for urban development. Their partnerships with organisations such as Mandai Park Development and Tan Tock Seng Hospital resulted in public furniture made from fallen trees.
Info: Go to www.rogerandsons.sg or @rogerandsons on Instagram
From working with brands to create exhibition booths, installations and digital showcases to launching its own furniture collection, Fraction Design Studio has done it all.
It is headed by Celine Ng, 29, who set it up after being invited to brainstorm creative concepts by furniture store Xtra Designs and Swedish flooring company Bolon for SingaPlural in 2016.
The studio, which has exhibited on international platforms like Milan Design Week (above, a partition with modular baskets under the O Series), received the Golden Pin Design Mark last year, an influential design award by the Taiwan Design Research Institute.
It is full steam ahead for Ng, who will partner Sevenvine Design and Office Planner to create hybrid office pieces with height adjustability and enhanced with technology.
Info: Go to www.fraction.sg or @fractionsg on Instagram
ARTIST AND DIGITAL ART DIRECTOR
Better known by his moniker The Next Most Famous Artist, Hafiiz Karim is a digital art director by day and an artist by night.
The 28-year-old is best known for his photo manipulation of historical art figures placed in a present-day, often Singaporean context. Think Hans Gudes’ Fishing With A Harpoon with Marina Bay Sands in the background.
The series started when he was pursuing a master’s degree in Asian art histories at Lasalle College of the Arts, which exposed him to various artworks.
He was then intrigued by and experimented with the juxtaposition of classical Western figures and Singapore’s modern setting.
The creative whizz, who has garnered a sizeable following on social media and also created a series for Visit Singapore, continues to make and sell art and prints that respond to current events.
Info: Go to www.thenextmost famousartist.com or @thenext mostfamousartist on Instagram
This article first appeared in the August 2020 issue of Home&Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines.
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