THE NEXT GENERATION CLICK NETWORK
Digital art has disrupted, liberated and transformed creative expression, and resulted in machines as today’s canvas. BAZAAR speaks to 10 digital artists who have embraced this medium in Singapore.
Illustrator and Character Designer
Candice’s whimsical, maniacal and mildly subversive characters would fit nicely in a Studio Ghibli film. Inspired by nature, pop culture and life’s finer details, her fantastical creations have led to collaborations with international brands such as Chanel and Rimowa. “For me, the biggest challenge of digital art is to infuse it with an equal amount of personal touch as traditional art,” she says. “On the flip side, digital art enables the artist to create installations and projection mapping that allow viewers to interact with the artwork. I definitely look forward to the opportunity to create a virtual reality of my art—a whimsical world that you can walk into.”
Digital 3D Artist
An art director turned artist, Fizah identifies herself as an ’80s kid with a penchant for “colourful things.” Her surrealistic kaleidoscopic art has won her many notable accolades such as the PromaxBDA World Gold Award, and commissions by design-driven brands such as Nike. As an artist, she constantly seeks to find harmony by “re-skinning traditional things into something new.” For instance, she reinterpreted zinc rooftops, a ubiquitous sight in Malaysia, with digital tools for her Rainbow Paper Series #04, which was later used by IBM for its Cognitive campaign. “In this social media world, it is also easier to share digital artwork and connect with others with the same interest,” she says.
HANDSON/LIM SI PING
Handson was already building websites for punk rock bands at the age of 17. The versatile artist now teaches at Parsons The New School for Design, works at New York design film C&G Partners—where she is currently designing interactive experiences for a new museum opening in Washington, D.C.—and helms her own creative outfit, Handson Studio. “I started as an illustrator and I didn’t want my work to be static. I chose programming to not just add motion to my work, but give the user control over how they interact with my work,” she adds. “Current technologies allow designers to create immersive experiences. I am excited because they allow the user to be immersed in another dimension; and nervous because they can alter our perception of the world,” she adds.
Illustrator and Designer
Inspired by Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte and Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher from a young age, Esther creates dreamscapes of magic realism and dark humour. The busy artist recently created the key visual for the 2016 Singapore Writer’s Festival, as well as the 111-page Lien Foundation annual report for radical philanthropy in the form of a graphic novel. “Ever since I picked up a Wacom tablet, I haven’t stopped drawing with it. Digital art feels intuitive, and I’m constantly moving elements around to improve the composition and colour schemes,” she shares. “I think 3D art and motion graphics will become more commonplace in the future, so studios and artist specialising in only one discipline are going to find themselves in trouble.”
With a disquieting voyeuristic flavour, Sarah’s work evokes a sense of social alienation in urban society. Working with photography, video and installations, her narratives have won her the 2016 Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3) Gold Award, as well as the 2015 Moscow International Foto Awards. She is currently preparing for a solo exhibition in London revolving around the theme of hotels as a momentary place of transit. Sarah doesn’t work exclusively with new media, but is fascinated by it. “Through large-scale projections, interactive features and programmable sound systems, this digital environment allows viewers to be seduced into an alternate reality, to momentarily be drawn into a potential narrative in another time and space,” she says.
Visual Designer, Illustrator and Fine Artist
Intrigued by artificial worlds and alternate realities, Andre seeks to express a state of “in-betweeness,” “fleeting limbo”, alienation and escapism. One of his most notable projects includes constructing a virtual world for an electronic dance music festival, and he is currently creating a book for the inaugural Contemporary Printmaking Festival at Singapore Art Week 2017 and building a cyberpunk video game. Describing his work as loosely autobiographical, the sci-fi enthusiast has turned to digital art for self-expression. “Imagine having a Lego kit with an infinite supply of bricks in every shape and size; a playground where one can test anything, without limits or consequences,” he enthuses.
New Media Artist
If you’re a music junkie, chances are you have seen Brandon’s work. He has combined moving images in projection mapping, audiovisual performances and sculptures to create visual spectacles at St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, as well as Skrillex and Flying Lotus’ concerts. He has also collaborated with :phunk studio on an exhibition at the Diesel Denim Gallery Aoyama, and created an installation for the National Museum of Singapore titled GoHead/GoStan. “Inspired by dreams and coincidences, my work describes how I see the world in a symbolic way,” he shares. “I love how digital art has an immediacy that urbanites connect to intuitively."
Photographer and Digital Artist
An accidental artist, Eugene was a computer programmer when he came up with the wild idea of re-imagining Da Vinci’s The Last Supper in a hawker centre. Now a full- time artist, he has since localised other theological and historical events, such as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ for his third solo show at Chan Hampe Galleries last year. His latest project is an online gambling website that cashes out your winnings in limited edition 3D printed art. “Digital art enables you to do the work of an entire creative studio on your own while still in your underwear—it’s very liberating. It is also more forgiving—just ‘Control-Z’ mistakes away,” says Soh.
Artist and Technologist
Applying cutting-edge technologies to historical data, Debbie reworks and re-appropriates information. In 2013, she re-imagined archaeological findings from Pulau Saigon, a former island in the Singapore River, and created 53 objects with a 3D printer. This year, she is analysing 19th-century trade between Britain and its former colonies in the East Indies. Much of Debbie’s work involves using 21st-century data classification and visualisation tools to analyse historical data, and has been displayed at the National Museum of Singapore and The Substation. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the digital archiving of digital art will change in the future,” she says.