Emerging artists from Singapore wowed the BAZAAR Art Prize judges for the second year in a row, with an array of innovative entries.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Emerging artists from Singapore wowed the BAZAAR Art Prize judges for the second year in a row, with an array of innovative entries. This time, BAZAAR Art threw down the gauntlet and invited artists to create pieces that fit the theme “Fashion Meets Art.” The challenge resulted in works as varied as a 3D-printed boned corset made to look like honeycomb, to a canvas filled with hidden messages.It was down to a panel of esteemed judges, including Harper’s BAZAAR’s Editor-in-Chief Kenneth Goh, to select 12 of the top finalists from the hundreds of entries. “This year, I was very surprised by the level of enthusiasm, and the interpretation of fashion and art. The sculpture section was particularly well-represented, and the works truly interesting and beautiful,” says Goh. The winning work will be announced at the BAZAAR Art Prize event at Scotts Square in February 2017. The overall winner will receive $10,000 awarded by Scotts Square, and the winners of the remaining three categories will each receive a holiday package from Club Med.



Editor-in-Chief, Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore


Curator and art historian 


Fine Arts Programme Leader, LASALLE College of the Arts 


General Manager, Architecture & Design, Scotts Square 



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“What we choose to wear speaks volumes, for it embodies a lot more than it first appears. For me, it is a reflection of our broader culture, global preoccupations and trends. In my art, I think about the paradox of how a fragment can also be the whole. This piece reflects my fascination with how perception works across many layers and challenges boundaries in things, whether it be the presence or absence of something—or even the gap between the two.”

“The painting is able to incite viewers to make visual associations without making reference to any recognisable form. In this case, we may be looking at a section of the dressmaker’s worktable.” —BOO SZE YANG 

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Paper Qipao 

“This is inspired by the traditional qipao (cheongsam). The painting was made by rolling Chinese ink over recycled paper. Each ‘roll’ represents a layer of cloth required to cover the body. The qipao is usually perfectly cut and tailored to fit a female figure so that it presents an elegant form. This artwork questions the materials used in the creation of garments during a time of sustainability and environmental responsiveness.” 

“A cool interpretation of an age-old craft with a modern feel.”  —KENNETH GOH 

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Black Leopard 

“Inspired by Hybridism, and the different idiosyncrasies and characters of animals, I placed this animal on its own hoping it would gain the same attention as a model in a fashion show. Humans characterise ourselves by the way we eat, walk, dress and speak. I gave my artwork that same charisma using details, colours and how it looks at the viewer.”

“In an appealing play of figure and colour, Ieo Gek Ching’s Black Leopard presents the capacity for combination and synthesis that is found and expected in fashion.” —JUNE YAP 

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Label Me 

“Conspicuous consumption is used to describe the behavioural characters of those who use the buying of goods to manifest their social power and prestige. Examinations of consumer behaviour have shown that lower income individuals spend a larger percentage of their money on consumption of goods than higher income individuals. This stems from the fact that luxury goods are not only seen as status symbols, but psychological armour. Among the brand names on this artwork, you can find a few hidden words that address this consumption.”

“ I loved the reference to Murakami and Louis Vuitton and, on closer inspection, the mix of emotive words.” —KENNETH GOH 

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“Hera is inspired by the Greek Goddess of Women— strong, independent and calm. I wanted to infuse my Asian heritage into the artwork, so I added a stubbier nose and a red circular mark on her cheek that is very popular in Japanese art. I have always adored the idea of mixed media, especially to create a 3D textural surface in my works, and used masking tape to resemble an embroidered-like cape. I also referenced the style of a traditional Chinese opera character to create the work.”

“The judges were impressed with the eclectic use of materials, and how all these came together cohesively to paint a positive image on the complexity of modern women.” —BOO SZE YANG 

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Semi Private Life in Helsinki 

“I started this project while residing in Finland from 2011 to 2013. I started taking self-portraits of myself in public and private places like a typical tourist. I then created this character with a beam over her eyes by chance. It has now become an art performance staged in real-life where life and art become blurred.” 

“Her decision to insert glimmering lights into the eyes is a captivating one, rendering these images weirdly compelling to look at.” —HAZEL LIM

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Minimal Maximal 

“The book Minimal Maximal was the result of a movement of inquiry with Minimalism as an art movement. The art movement emerged in the 1960s as a rejection of the elaborate sculptural form of the previous decade. It is now the most consumed aesthetic with its conceptually simple yet perceptually complex meanings. With a fascination for paradoxical concepts, I created an intimate, flawed and raw exploration of 10 themes and constructed the pages of the book in homage to Minimalist Japanese designers.”

“What is interesting in Desiree Liew’s Minimal Maximal is the exploration of fashion, as well as the body found in fashion, in the manner of minimalist design, to create a form that is at once simple and, paradoxically, replete.” —JUNE YAP 

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“Clothes make the man. Identity has always been a pivotal theme of my works, exploring the many different ways one can be perceived. Not being able to fit into what was expected of me in the conventional sense, my journey in my earlier youth was a different and difficult path. In this particular body of work, dressed in Jeremy Scott’s collection that featured child-like motifs, I aimed to build a strength not found in my childhood.”

“Ho’s self-portraits highlight his stance on identity and gender fluidity, and how our perception of self can be strongly shaped by what we see in pop cultural imageries.” —HAZEL LIM 

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The Inside Out Adult 

“This jacket is adorned with toys that are reminiscent of childhood memories. It took inspiration from my friend who describes his job as ‘something his five-year-old self would have never imagined doing.’ Professionally dressed with not a single hair out of place, one would never have imagined the fun loving personality and crazy antics hidden behind this spiritless suit. The jacket weighs down the person wearing it, just like the responsibilities of the person growing up.”

“ I love the way this jacket literally envelopes you with memories of your childhood.” —KENNETH GOH 

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Memory of Maman’s Magical Machine 

“This year’s theme, ‘Fashion Meets Art’ ignited my earliest memories of fashion and art. Growing up, my mother’s dress pattern books and my paper dolls provided me with hours of delight, and were my first introduction to fashion. In my artwork, I pay tribute to my mother and other women who taught me about colour, line and shape, the very basis of both the fashion and art worlds.”

“Schubert’s sculpture is a nostalgic piece. The sewing machine together with the paper cut-outs of dolls is a tribute to early technologies and craft in fashion.” —HAZEL LIM 

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Gunny Stack 

“Gunny Stack is a representation of fashion in Singapore. It consists of clothes donated from Singaporeans, folded neatly to mimic a stack of newspapers for recycling. Fashion shares so many qualities with newspapers; it is meant to be attention-grabbing, is mass produced and ephemeral. The voice of the karang guni reminds us that even the latest fashions are destined to be discarded.”

“Yom Bo Sung’s Gunny Stack takes a broad perspective of fashion in highlighting how value exists even after what was once fashionable has lost its trendy lustre.” —JUNE YAP 

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Being Human 

“Being Human is a tribute to nature’s wonder. The more I learn about nature, the more I am uplifted. The details are inspired by the honeycomb, a structure that is unique to the creative power of bees. A honeycomb is painstakingly constructed with bees playing different roles. To me, this is similar to how humans construct objects for protection, be it clothing or architecture.”

“Jamela’s likening of humans’ self-preservation in the form of clothing to the hexagonal honeycomb structure of bees is her ‘human’ inspirational response to her interaction with nature. Drawing from that theme, her ensemble is exquisitely detailed and beautifully crafted.” —MO LOKE