What brings you to the CBD today?
I used to work at an advertising agency here, but I’ve since moved on to be a Marketing Manager at Google, so I’m really just back here today for the food and the vibes.
My current office is at MapleTree Pasir Panjang. The office is nice, but it’s not the CBD (laughs). So typically on Fridays, when I get to work from home, I’ll come back to the city to get some work done and see some friends in the area.
Outside of work, do you do any other kinds of creative activities?
Actually, no. I channel my creative energy entirely to my job.
Outside of work, I gym and run a lot. I have to work out everyday just to shut out the thoughts that are usually running a mile a minute in my head. It helps me zone out so that when I get back to work, I’ll have a new perspective on things.
Another reason why I’m in the CBD a lot is also because of the running routes here. I find that they’re the best. There’s just something about the vibe here that’s not the same with anywhere else in the country.
The Marina Bay area is actually my favourite. I like to run and people-watch there. It’s the one area in Singapore where you can really see a mix of people—interesting folks of different strokes.
What’s the most interesting scene or person you’ve noticed on your runs?
Whenever I run from OUE Downtown to Marina Bay, there is this one uncle that I always see. I don’t know why but I think I have some sort of fate with him.
He’s always on this motorised vehicle with flashing lights, blasting Hotel California, and he’ll be smoking with sunglasses on, singing at the top of his voice (laughs). At some point, we just started looking at each other and doing that silent nod of recognition.
Tell us a bit more about your tattoos.
My most recent one is a still from the film In The Mood For Love, because I’m pretentious like that (laughs). It was done by a visiting artist from Korea. I’ve been wanting to get something from him, but because of COVID, I couldn’t fly over, so when he did a two-week residency here, I got the tattoo with just five days’ notice.
There’s a huge tattoo culture here, and I’m really into it. I only started really getting tattoos two years ago, and I already have seven. The thing about them is that none of them are planned, and there’s no creative theme around it. I’m not as deliberate about it as I’d like to be, but I find that it’s the sort of thing that if you overthink it, you’re not going to do it, and you’ll just second-guess yourself.
Even if you spend months and months thinking and planning down to the exact detail what tattoo you’re going to get, you’re still going to find something in it that you don’t like, so I like to just do it and then just embrace whatever comes out of it.
For me, I give the artists a very open brief, and I leave it to them 100% and let them do whatever they want. I don’t kind of need it to be absolutely freaking perfect, I just accept it however it turns out.
What about your first tattoo? Tell us more about what that experience was like.
I decided to get my first tattoo on a whim actually, when I was working overtime at my previous ad agency. It was 10pm on a Friday night, and a good friend of mine and I were working overtime together, and we were really miserable. We were the only two people left in the building, and so we were drinking and thinking “I can’t believe this is our life. Have we lost our youth?”
That was about three years ago. We were not spontaneous anymore, and we were not doing anything fun. In fact, we were in the office working on a deck. So we thought “Okay, we cannot let this happen. We need to go get a tattoo right now.”
By this point, we had drunk quite a bit and were obviously intoxicated, so no tattoo parlour would accept us (laughs). We called up different shops multiple times, and the one that finally did end up accepting us was a really shady, tiny shop in Chinatown, which obviously did not have a very good standard of work if they’re accepting drunk people.
Anyway, I got the tattoo on my wrist, and it has since blown out completely, and I even paid $100 for it. Yeah, we were ripped off, but I will never cover it up because it’s a great memory.
So that’s the story of how I got my first tattoo. I had been wanting to for years, but I took that moment to kind of push myself over the edge, and then now I have seven tattoos (laughs).