Art is imagination come to life – the ability to give form to a thought or an idea. There are times when you catch a glimpse of a piece of work that makes you do a double-take or one that resonates deeper the longer you look at it. However, the Arts is a challenging field that in the not so distant past would not exactly be called the profession of choice.
But the winds of change have picked up and there is renewed vigor in the Singapore Arts industry. Handson is one such talent who has chosen to pursue the Arts and I had the pleasure of catching up with to get her take on the industry as it is today.
How long have you been working with digital media/arts?
Since I was about 15, so it has been 11 years now and counting.
How would you describe your own style?
I don’t have a style. I try not to do that. It is better to try what is possible in the realm of imagination, and not limit yourself to a style. But people have told me that my work is dark and weird.
Who are your influences?
Individuals who have a different outlook on life.
How is the local arts scene compared to the region?
I think that local artists have become more daring in expressing their work. Alongside our neighbours such as Malaysia and Indonesia, I think that we are all still learning. Globally, countries with a longer history in the arts will always have deeper roots, but that doesn’t make Singapore have any less potential to be creative.
What’s the best way to break into the market? Agency? Startup?
I think a person has to first find where his or her strength lies. If you are passionate and persistent, people will see it through your work. And the most effective media is word of mouth. That is the simplest and best way to break into the market. It’s not about wanting to go viral, it’s about wanting to do great work.
What’s your greatest challenge?
Knowing when a piece of work is complete. I find my work never complete and I always question myself, is it good enough?
If you are passionate and persistent, people will see it through your work… It’s not about wanting to go viral. It’s about wanting to do great work. – Handson
What’s your favorite piece so far?
I had the privilege to collaborate with Tribal DDB, an interactive agency in Singapore. Singapore Design Festival had us on board to do an exhibition. We found an interesting insight on how little HDB residents interact with their neighbours. So we did a full installation and interactive set to tackle this issue, and brought it to a void deck. It was titled A Void Experience. That is my favourite piece because it is based on a social issue and we found creativity through that.
Which is your most acclaimed piece?
I think the most acclaimed piece would be the one titled I M PERFECT.
It was an installation and interactive piece based on the physical insecurities of society. It was more about ourselves rather than being a stand alone art itself.
What would be your advice to an Arts student?
Everyone has imagination ever since we were children. Yet it is very rare that our parents would want us to become artists. So if you chose to pursue it, remember why you made that decision. That sense of naivety will act as constant reminder to stay humble, and be inspired.Check out more of Handson’s work at www.thehandson.co