“Art is about the journey of an artist. And struggle is at the heart of that. If you’ve had it easy in life, it reflects in the art.
I remember a time when I didn’t know how to make a living from my art. It’s very different from design or advertising where everything is paid for, you’re just carrying out other people’s communication.
But art is your own voice versus the world. Some might like it, some might not, and that’s the struggle. Figuring out if you want to bend towards what the market wants or if you want to be original. If your art happens to be in sync with what the market wants, then great, otherwise, it’s tough.
So in the beginning, it was difficult for me. Two years without an income was really taxing but once you’ve hit the bottom, there’s no way else but up.
In art, when people talk about a group of artists or movement, they always expect them to come from the same geographical regions. Like how there’s this preconceived notion out there of what “Southeast Asian” art is. A lot of batik, natural landscapes, kampung life. But we’ve progressed a lot from that. Our modern day artists are very contemporary with very diverse voices. And people from the same movement can come from all over the world.
Singapore has a culture of putting things together. A melting pot. And ARC can be a melting pot of different people of different fields from the region or even internationally coming together to create something new. A catalyst of breaking boundaries and seeing what these new combinations of people could result in.
That’s exciting because there has never been a model or platform of this level of convergence.”