Jessica Goodfellow
Feb 11, 2021

Singaporean artists depict country's fondest memories

INSPIRATION STATION: Up-and-coming artists visualise Singapore through the fondest memories of local dwellers, as part of a crowdsourced art exhibit by BBC StoryWorks.

Singaporean artists depict country's fondest memories

BBC StoryWorks used a social media crowdsourcing campaign to gather Singaporeans' favourite memories of the Lion City—places they have visited, meals they have eaten and activities that they have taken part in—forming the basis of an online art exhibit.

Wu Yanrong STIR-FRY ME A SUNDAY AFTERNOON: Eating ice cream and chilli crab while swinging in the playground – STIR-FRY ME A SUNDAY AFTERNOON shows how contrasting qualities of warm and cold, and sweet and spicy, come together to create a comforting experience.

Of the submissions, 37 memories that best showcased the diversity and vibrancy of Singapore were selected. BBC's content studio then worked with Singaporean curator Racy Lim to identify 37 up-and-coming artists, each with a unique style, to develop artwork visualising the memories.

ARAIKREVA SHALLOTS & GARLIC: The wet market is where a community comes together. In SHALLOTS & GARLIC, the artist pays tribute to this space, as well as to the Malay folklore Bawang Merah Bawang Putih, which translates to shallots and garlic—the foundation of our cuisine.

The 'Singapore Memories' exhibition is on display on a bespoke microsite on It forms part of the National Arts Council Singapore's #SGCultureAnywhere campaign.

The hope is to democratise art and culture by putting it on display online, open to all; to explore a new side to Singapore through the eyes of its people; and to provide a platform to local artists.

This is especially valuable in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the local arts community, remarked BBC StoryWorks APAC director Nicola Eliot.

"We’re really excited and proud to be providing additional opportunities for local artists and practitioners to have their work showcased. Working with such talented local artists has been a pleasure and a privilege, one we hope to continue on future projects," Eliot said.

clarrot_ 50 MHZ: Bugis Street Market and its lights are a familiar sight to us. In 50 MHZ, the artist uses these circuit and matrix panels to create a maze-like image. The artwork references the social and economic aspirations behind such spaces. The lights remind us of the transient nature of such pursuits.

Paul Tan, deputy CEO of planning and corporate development at National Arts Council Singapore, said the 'Singapore Memories' exhibition is a "timely reminder that Singapore’s diverse arts offerings have the potential to be experienced anywhere and anytime, and transcend distance and physical boundaries".

"We look forward to more arts lovers around the world getting a better understanding of Singapore’s multicultural make up and how our artists are navigating today’s complex world," Tan added.

FREAKYFIR THE GREAT CROSSING: A cable car ride from Mount Faber to Sentosa is reimagined with an homage to old Singapore stamp illustrations. The artist recollects childhood memories of his epic journey over a large body of water with a view of the majestic Merlion.

To complement the artworks, four augmented reality (AR) filters which layer over real-life images of camera displays were also created on Instagram to provide an immersive digital experience.

Reza Hasni MEET ME AT THE VOID DECK: Playing games, attending weddings and even funerals – the "void deck" of Singapore's public housing is familiar terrain for families. The artist uses a technicolour collage to bring these memories to life – especially the one of "block-catching" with neighbours, a local game many Singaporeans played in their childhoods. MEET ME AT THE VOID DECK shows how public architecture is more than just about physical homes; as homes to our childhood memories, they too shape our identities as a community.
You've arrived at Inspiration Station, a weekly look at imaginative and artistic work from creators of all kinds across Asia-Pacific. Or sometimes, we might ask a creative about what they're inspired by outside of work. Step off for a minute to recharge your creative batteries and find inspiration for that next big idea of yours further down the track.


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