A Different Stroke









Cat Socrates


Dr. Martens



How would you describe your fashion sense?
My dress sense is always a bit more bright and fun, because it helps with my job too: it’s easy to keep the kids’ attention when I’m more colourful (laughs).

What would you say is your favourite part about your job?
I’ve been with Singapore Art Museum for about two years, and I’ve grown to love many parts of what we do, especially interacting with children and helping them appreciate art. As part of my job, I help different groups of people understand and access art—like taking a concept that can seem very cheem and relaying the essence of it in simple terms.

For people who are intimidated by art, how do you think they can approach art or better understand it?
It’s important to remember that everyone’s opinion is valid, so you’re allowed to feel whatever you want to about a particular artwork. Appreciating art is also about going down to basics—when you see a piece of art that you like, you should ask yourself what you like about it. If you feel that you want to find out more about why you like that work, you should encourage yourself to delve deeper. It’s about being more critical of your thought process, so it’s almost like you’re watching a movie. It’s common for us to analyse what parts of a movie we enjoyed, and this can be applied to art too.

A lot of what centers art is about seeking, wondering and observing. I think you can find art everywhere if you approach it that way—it doesn’t have to be a museum visit. It can just be a walk along the streets, scroll through Instagram, or how the sun streams through the windows at a certain hour of the day. We just need to be open to question the world around us.

If you could change something about society’s perception of art, what would it be?
For many Singaporeans, art in Singapore is constrained to what they see in museums or galleries. For those of us who work in art, we have to accept that it might take some time for the general public to understand why art is important. Once we learn to see art as something interwoven in our daily lives and how many things fall under the bracket of art, it’ll be easier to explain to people how art can bring a lot of joy and instil hope.

There’s a trend towards making art ‘Instagrammable’ so that it attracts more people—what do you feel about this?
I think what another perceives as art is still art, so I wouldn’t define what’s considered as art. If something that’s Instagrammable brings people joy, I don’t think I’m in a position to judge them for it. In fact, I think all art is an expression of the artist’s thoughts, including the more aesthetic ones, so for me, I feel it’s a different way of looking at the world.

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