Several years ago, artists Clara Yee and Mok Cui Yin moved to London to pursue their passion in art. Despite being far from home, both Clara and Cui Yin kept in touch with Singapore the best way they knew how – through art.
While in London, Clara and Cui Yin participated in several art projects that showcased the works of Singaporean artists. In doing so, both girls have forged close ties with other Singaporean creatives in the UK and shone a spotlight on Singapore’s arts scene.
“Being able to participate in creative conversations with other creative capitals feels, well, pretty shiok!”, chuckled Cui Yin.
One such project was Pop-Up Singapore House (PUSH!). Held in a refurbished townhouse in London, the project featured the works of UK-based Singaporean artists. With an exciting line-up of events, exhibitions and workshops, PUSH! saw visitors from all walks of life from both Singapore and the UK. These included Singaporeans living in and visiting the UK, creative professionals, students as well as families.
Clara (left) and Cui Yin (right) at ‘Pop-Up Singapore House’, held from July to September 2012.
The exhibition gave visitors a glimpse of Singaporean art in various arts industries.
As part of the SG50 celebrations this year, Clara and Cui Yin came together again to work on another art exhibition titled Singapore: Inside Out. Featuring a collection of multi-sensorial experiences designed by Singaporean creative talents, visitors are given a peek at Singapore’s burgeoning arts scene as well as a chance to immerse themselves in the Singapore culture.
The Singapore: Inside Out exhibition was featured earlier this April in Beijing and recently concluded its London run in June. The travelling exhibition will continue its tour to New York City in September, before making its homecoming finale in Singapore this November.
Clara, who took on the role as the art director, said that the exhibition gave them opportunities to exchange stories with their foreign counterparts. “It was an exciting yet humbling experience. I learnt so much from them!”, explained Clara.
Cui Yin, the creative producer also relished in several moments of opportunities created by the event. “Being able to participate in creative conversations with other creative capitals feels, well, pretty shiok!”, chuckled Cui Yin.
Dancers showing off their moves at ‘Singapore: Inside Out’ in Beijing.
The exhibition showcased the works of more than 20 Singaporean artists. (Photo credits: Singapore Tourism Board)
Although both Clara and Cui Yin have relocated back to Singapore, they remain closely connected to the Singaporean creative community in London.
“When I was in London, we had very regular art and design events that brought together the creative Singaporean community,” Clara reminisced. “It could be anything from book launches to month-long Singaporean design and arts festivals that involved the Singaporeans staying in or visiting the UK.” Today, she is still part of Creative [SIN]ergy, a network of Singaporean creatives based in the UK.
As for Cui Yin, she is the director and creative producer of Platform 65, an independent and non-profit arts company collective based in London. The collective Platform 65 strives to provide a platform for Singaporeans in the UK to both explore and enjoy the arts.
This year, both Clara and Cui Yin are looking forward to be part of the many festivities around Padang. “It’s nice to celebrate how far we’ve come as a nation, and at the same time, we should reflect on the direction we’re headed towards in the next 50 years.” said Cui Yin.