Singapore Contemporary Young Artists

Playing With & For The Community

Of Photography Manipulations & Prints, this month we look at SG representatives for WEYA 2012


It is just three weeks away from World Event Young Artists (WEYA) 2012! WEYA’12 will take place in UK, Nottingham from 07  September – 15 September. For the next two months (Aug & Sept), our artist of the month feature will interview the representatives of Singapore for this event. 

ALIF SUFIAN

“ The constant toying of ready images and painting them with solvents and acids gives me fresh impetus to the whole idea of image-making. The urban landscape, an intricate and complex organic entity that shifts and shapes itself over time is the focus of my works.” – Alif Sufian

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

“Ionidized“ series 1 of 2
2009
C-Print
297 × 420mm
Selected work for WEYA 2012

Hi I’m Alif. Some fast facts about me: I’m born and bred here in Singapore. I’m a good boy who loves his family and friends dearly. I love art and love to draw. Drawing was everything to me when I was still a kid.

Getting a star on my drawings meant a lot more to me then getting As for my exam. I was a pretty good academically when I was in my younger years. I would top the class in most exams and tests (perhaps due to my result-obsessed mum), but things changed after I got older. My perspective on life changed. I stopped chasing after having good grades. I decided that I wouldn’t want to be a boring granddad later in life, or worse, with no interesting tales to tell my grandchildren. I want to do something that I would be proud enough to tell my grandchildren. I do not want to tell tales of myself that I had worked all my life immersing myself in books, studying and then work for an already established company earning big bucks. Screw that really. I don’t want that, and hence made that decision to pursue art when I was 13 years old. Naturally, my academics studies plummeted from then onwards, but my love for drawing and art-making grew.

2. How did art get into your life? Can you describe your works/artistic genre? 

“Fareast” series 2 of 2
2009
C-Print
297 × 420mm

I grew up in a fairly creative family.  My mother used to sing in clubs but she did not make it big time and decided not to pursue her passion. She is still a great craftsman though, always involved in wedding decoration projects. My father was a multi-talented man; he could paint, draw, do carpentry, fish on his own out in the sea, loves trekking alone and repair vehicles such as lorries and small ferries. There was really nothing that he can’t do… well maybe singing. It’s obvious that I obtained my drawing skills from my father, and I am really grateful to have that gift. Sadly he left this world when I was only 13 years old.

I really have no specific description on artistic genre of my works. I am just really fond of drawings… maybe mark-makings on photographs? Be it representational or non-representational in my works, I really don’t know.  To me, it is more about creating a picture than taking a picture for me. It’s two different things altogether.

During my Diploma course in LASALLE College of the Arts, I was more interested in the other disciplines that I wasn’t really familiar with like sculpture and photography. I was not interested in the conventional use of cameras. My main objective through school was to explore new ways of making art and not simply chasing after grades. That said, I do not want to limit myself to just drawing.  My idea of going to an art school then was to make as much mistakes as I can and learn from the people around me.

3. Who or what is your inspiration(s)? 

“Neo Ruins “
2009
C-Print
30x30x6cm

My inspiration comes from all kinds of forms and sources; Affandi’s expressionistic paintings, Radiohead’s digitally enhanced sounds, Perks and Mini (PAM) use of quirky images, Quentin Tarantino’s cult movies and many more. However, nothing beats having great conversations with like-minded creatives.

4. How do you see your place in the arts and what are your main aims and hopes for yourself as an artist in the arts scene?

I have never set out to becoming anything in particular! I don’t even know if I would be still in the arts industry in the future but being a reference to fellow budding artists is nice… really nice indeed as it meant that my works are being studied and recognized. It is such an honor and I am more than willing to share my experiences and knowledge around… I would love to help.

I don’t really have any main aims but I hope that I would be able to learn more from other artists, get inspirations and continue experimentation.

5.  this influenced your art or your goals in life in any way?

“Void “
2009
C-Print on tracing paper
297 × 420mm

Maybe, as I never knew what my drawings or photographs would look like. I never intended for them to turn out to be a certain way. It would defintely kill the fun and surprise if I were to know what my final outcome would be. The same goes to my goals in life and that is; to not to expect anything but just to live creatively with every progression I’ve made.

6. What are your thoughts about participating in WEYA? How do you think will WEYA give you exposure in your artistic career?

I hope participating in WEYA would open up doors for more opportunity in my short artistic career. I was really close in giving up hope of making it in the arts industry. To exposing myself in WEYA to other artists and learning from them is going to be of a great experience.

BENJAMIN ZIGGY LEE

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

Wen Fang
2010
Digital Inkjet Print
58 x 78cm
Selected work for WEYA 2012

I am a photographer by training but find myself thoroughly enticed by film making. I would want to be a fashion photographer, a creative director, cinematographer, director, scriptwriter and an inventor. There are simply so much to do, with so little time.

2. How did photography get into your life? Can you describe your works/artistic genre?

To study photography was a second choice for me. I initially wanted to study psychology in National University of Singapore but my grades wasn’t fantastic, and hence I ended up doing photography. Thank God(s) for that as I could not imagine if what I would  have been if I did take up psychology…. I would have probably ended up in the factory line.

3. Who or what is your inspiration(s)?

Eugene Smith was one of the first photographers that struck me. He took great cinematic images which had  political/social agendas.  Recently, I have been doing a film study on Oliver Stone and he’s currently my new found idol. Nothing grabs you more than great film craft.

4. How do you see your place in the arts and what are your main aims and hopes for yourself as an artist in the arts scene?

Stock Photos
2010
Digital Inkjet Print
58 x 78cm

I would like to see myself as an innovator in the arts scene. I would like to create, do something groundbreaking or provoke people to think deeper about political/social issues at large. I would probably set up a collective or foundation, to initiate support and bring together people to develop the arts scene. Eventually, I would like to base myself in New York City and Singapore (a teleportation device would make things easier).

5. Has this influenced your art or your goals in life in any way?

It is a matter of taste, many a times,  in the arts especially.  I am glad that there are people that like the things that I do. It gives me renewed confidence in what I do.

Stock Photos
2010
Digital Inkjet Print
58 x 78cm

6. What are your thoughts about participating in WEYA? How do you think will WEYA give you exposure in your artistic career?

Being part of WEYA has been very encouraging. I am glad to be able to go overseas and meet different artists around the world. It would interesting to see how cultural and political context influence their works. I would also like to see how they approach old mediums in new ways.

MICHY WITCHY (MICHELLE LIM)

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

In reality, I’m a Singaporean art maker who holds day jobs to get by. At times I imagine myself to be an onion-eating pretend-cat who crosses roads dangerously.

2. How did art get into your life? Can you describe your works/artistic genre?

Being Nyonya –
Hoo Leng protects the little nyonya
2009
Pen, Chinese Ink, Acrylic and Screen-print on Coffee-stained Watercolour Paper
75 x 105 cm

I used to sit for hours doodling and coloring at a table in a corner of my granny’s home after kindergarten sessions. I marked it my territory and called it the ‘office’.  Right now, I try to draw, print, knit and document life (if time permits).

3. Who or what is your inspiration(s)?

I’m inspired by personal experiences, especially from my travels, and the interesting folks I meet along the way.

4. How do you see your place in the arts and what are your main aims and hopes for yourself as an artist in the arts scene?

I will continue to express my experiences in various art forms, as well as attempt to work in different environments such as overseas artist residency programs, which I find, keeps the lifelong learning process alive.

5. Has this influenced your art or your goals in life in any way?

This will definitely allow for personal growth and exposure when I get the opportunity to, as experimenting, traveling and meeting people from other cultures broadens the mind and gives new ways of seeing. Having these as goals keeps me hopeful in a world where the artistic industry is still considerably young, and gives me the drive to continue living life making art.

Being Nyonya –
Baba boy riding the british thoroughbred
2009
Pen, Chinese Ink, Acrylic and Screen-print on Coffee-stained Watercolour Paper
105 cm x 75 cm
Selected work for WEYA 2012

6. What are your thoughts about participating in WEYA? How do you think will WEYA give you exposure in your artistic career?

WEYA offers a platform to gather fresh responses as I share my work with a wider audience. This allows it to develop new meaning as it is placed in a foreign setting with my other international contemporaries. This platform also allows for the exchange of ideas and inspiration as we get exposed and discover the inspiration behind creating their masterpieces, not only in visuals, but also in sound and word, today.

FOO WEN XIN

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m currently studying 3D animation at 3Dsense, and I will be graduating in November. I’m currently learning pole dancing and taichi, and I hope to learn more dance when I have more money.

2. How did photography get into your life? Can you describe your works/artistic genre?

Dismantled Series
2012
Photograph
59.4 x 84.1cm
Selected work for WEYA 2012

My parents have always been artistic but in their own quirky ways. Also, my family wasn’t very rich so we learned to make do with whatever we have and because of that, we have to constantly ask ourselves whether social norms is in line with what we need, and this affected me a lot in how I approach art. I first took up photography when I was 14. My dad bought a Ricoh 5 megapixel digital camera for $600+, which was already considered very sharp then as compared to our VGA phones. So I started snapping everywhere and will get really pissed off when people get into the way of what I was doing. So photography has actually helped me relaxed and be more attentive to my environment, but kudos to my family for going through my temper all those years. I eventually got hooked to film photography when I was in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and I touched on the surface of film production when I was working in Sinema Old School. 

I like to do street photography because talking to strangers always remind me that life is bigger than what I have now. I rarely do photography series but I’m exploring that at the moment for both my photography and artworks. 

3. Who or what is your inspiration(s)? 

The people around me, old and new are my inspirations. I have learnt that as long as I keep immersing myself in new environments, I will always grow as a person and this makes me appreciate what I have.

Dismantled
2012
Photograph
59.4 x 84.1cm
Selected work for WEYA 2012

4. How do you see your place in the arts and what are your main aims and hopes for yourself as an artist in the arts scene?

I was never formally trained as an artist and so I think I’m pretty much an unknown in the arts scene. It never occurred to me that I would want to be an artist for a living. At the moment, I just want to have fun figuring out things and sharing them with people.

5. Has this influenced your art or your goals in life in any way?

I just want to keep creating, figuring out stuff and also eventually to create a platform for others to do the same.

6. What are your thoughts about participating in WEYA? How do you think will WEYA give you exposure in your artistic career?

I’m excited to meet people from other countries and I hope that this will eventually spark off more projects. 

About scyablog

Singapore Contemporary Young Artists Project (SCYA) is a non-profit Art Society that highlights Contemporary Art by Young Artists in Singapore through several platforms in exhibitions, websites, talks, workshops & commissioned services. SCYA was initiated by Jacquelyn Soo who is an artist, curator and director for SCYA. SCYA has over 10 members in the society contributing ideas, activities to support the organisation. SCYA represents up to 70 Singaporean/PR Artists in their works. SCYA launched their first project in Nov 2008 with a website collaboration with FIVEFOOTWAY that featured 23 Contemporary Young Artists Portfolios on an interactive website. Since then, SCYA have had several collaborations and events organised with corporations, government institutions, NGOS and education institutions, Please visit our website for more details: www.contemporaryart.sg Like us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/SingaporeContemporaryYoungArtists Thank you!

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This entry was posted on August 16, 2012 by in Featured Artists.

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