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Tell us about your field of study and why you decided to pursue this path.
I’m a first year student at Nanyang Technological University, studying in the School of Art, Design, and Media.

I’ve always had a passion for the arts since I was a child and it has made quite a natural progression since then—my parents signed me up for art classes and I attended the School Of The Arts. Many people say it’s in my genes because my dad is also a designer.

What is art to you?
Art to me is an expression of an idea, concept, or emotion that has an intention. An artist’s intention doesn’t always have to be clear, but the intention has to be there. For example, deciding to do art for art’s sake is an intention in and of itself.

Share with us an art piece that is of particular significance to you.
I personally get a very visceral reaction when I see famous artworks, regardless of whether I like the piece. Many of my friends saw the Mona Lisa at the Louvre and were underwhelmed because of its size, but for me, it was like meeting a celebrity, and I just appreciated it for what it is.

I still remember my visit to Tate Modern in London, where I saw an artwork named Fountain by Dada artist Marcel Duchamp. It’s a urinal signed “R.MUTT”, an anti-art piece of sorts, and challenges what one would consider art. That experience really struck me and has made me want to visit all the museums in the world to see all of these renowned art pieces in the flesh!

I think seeing art in person is so significant as it helps me to appreciate the history of these artworks by witnessing how they’ve affected the art world as a whole.

How do you like to spend your free time?
Art definitely takes up a lot of my time, even outside of school, because it’s the one thing I use as a crutch, and I try to incorporate many of my interests into it as well.

Apart from that, I’m really into nature—botany, zoology, and ecology. I love learning about plants and animals, and I never get tired of going to parks and zoos. Ironically though, as much as I love plants, I don’t have a green thumb (laughs); I’m stuck with fake plants, those never let me down.

What’s your favourite animal?
I was born in the year of the snake, so I’ve always loved snakes. I think they’re very misunderstood creatures and I appreciate them for what they are.

My favourite animal group is fish, and my favourite fish of all time is the Sunfish (aka mola mola). They’re very cute and campy, but I like the fact that they exist despite how poorly they’re designed. I mean they just look like an evolutionary mistake!

Fun fact about myself:
My hair is all natural! People always ask if I’ve got a perm, but I guess my parents’ prayers were answered and I was just blessed with good genes (laughs).

That said, it took me a while to embrace this hairstyle. My hair grows really quickly, so I used to get frustrated at having to spend money on haircuts so often to keep it short and neat. Since then, I’ve come to appreciate my hair as a standout feature of myself, so I now let it grow a little longer before getting a trim.

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