Whether it’s to make your current home special, or to always have something to remember your time in Singapore, there are plenty of good reasons to invest in fine art.
Give these 5 standout local artists a look!
Also known as skl0, and previously known as Sticker Lady, Sam is one of Singapore’s most famous/infamous street artists. Why? Back in 2012, she was arrested for printing stickers with cheeky Singlish slogans like “Press Until Shiok” and placing them on pedestrian crossing buttons around the city. There was much public outcry and debate, and she was eventually sentenced to 240 hours of community service, rather than the original three years in jail.
Since her “guerilla paste-and-run days”, as The Straits Times wrote in 2017, Sam has evolved into a fine artist creating sculptural pieces such as the escapism-themed “Everything In Its Right Place”, which she hand-carved out of clay and cast out of resin. She is also an in-demand muralist, creating pieces for the Lodhi Art Festival in New Delhi (see above) as well as permanent murals for Nike’s Jewel Changi Airport flagship store. Another way to own a “Sam Lo”? Get your hands on the G-SHOCK x Sam Lo watch released for National Day 2019.
Take a trip down Jonathan’s Instagram page and come face-to-face with familiar, yet often overlooked moments of Singapore life: the quiet glow of a security guard’s night shift in a wide industrial space, intimate conversations between friends after dark, a lone occupant looking out wistfully from a window on “Bus 45” (see above).
Lim – who worked as a freelance graphic designer even before graduating from Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media in 2017 – paints intimate portrayals of his subjects in isolated spaces and with vivid colors. They never seem to look at the viewer, instead looking sideways or outwards, devoid of overt emotion, inviting the viewer to narratively participate in the stories they may tell. (contact the artist directly on Instagram)
Lucinda’s botanical illustrations showcase her skill in feather-light brush strokes, a keen eye and her love for nature – very much reminiscent of images in botany textbooks of yore. On top of illustrating breathtaking pictures of plants and flowers for clients, Lucinda also teaches watercolour courses in her art studio, and heads WITHIN, an online consultancy dedicated to nature-led creative, cultural and lifestyle pursuits. (contact the artist directly here)
Jahan’s pieces range from the Warholian “Pork Luncheon L.U.N.C.H.-2011” (see above) to largescale installations like his futuristic “Intergalactic Dreams” shown recently at the National Museum of Singapore and during Singapore Night Festival 2019. Sure, we could tell you about the awards he’s won (such as Taiwan’s TIAF Taipei Special Award in 2005), or list the cities across the globe in which he has successfully exhibited (New York, Tokyo, Beijing, Melbourne, etc.). Instead, we’ll tell that you may have owned this internationally renowned urban artist’s work without even realising it!
He has collaborated with an envy-inducing list of brands on toy, apparel and footwear projects, including Adidas, Vans, Sony, Samsung, Carhartt and more. As Jahan told Harper’s Bazaar Singapore in 2016, “Art has always been the heart of design, fashion and pop-culture but not many are aware of how evident its influence is.” (contact the artist directly on Instagram)
Born in China in 1969, Zhu Hong migrated to Singapore in 1997 as an architectural designer. He became an SG citizen in 2006 – and has lived here long enough to capture both Singapore’s past and present with his uniquely distorted, figurative style.
A member of the Singapore Watercolour Society, he likes to layer bright colours over monochromatic tones, and emphasise the local characteristics of The Lion City’s urban areas and iconic scenes. While many of his works are watercolours, such as the raucous “Populous Shophouse” or delicate “Lau Pa Sat” food centre, some are oil on canvas like “North Bridge Road” (see above). Why buy his works, in particular? If you’d like something more bespoke than SG’s ubiquitous shophouse photography, you can know with confidence that Zhu Hong offers a truly unique perspective.
These stores stock souvenir-worthy artworks and more!
TheAC: “I love how vibrant, upbeat and nuanced Louise Hill pieces are,” shares TheAC’s founder Claire Chahil, who offers the expat artist’s many-layered vignettes such as “We Love Singapore” at her two boutiques. TheAC also carries family-fave Scribolo’s Giant Colouring Poster of Singapore, a creative venture between a French expatpreneur and a Singaporean illustrator. (see here for more)
Emperor’s Attic: Textile artist and designer Deborah McKellar of Talking Textiles (see artwork above) and photographer Sandra Macheroux are just some of the locally-based artists sold at this award-winning furniture store. All of their works are printed and framed here.
By Adam Bow, Kimberly Ong + Syed Zulfadhli, The Finder Issue 300
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