Tell us about your education in Media Arts and Computer Science. How did you get into these rather contrasting industries?
Well, my interest in media started at 12 when I would watch YouTube videos and aspire to be just like the YouTubers (laughs).
Then in secondary school, I got into computer science and did a 180; I joined the InfoComm Club where I was exposed to creative coding (using computer programming to create artworks) which is so cool!
That was how I decided to pursue a double degree in Sydney, but Media Arts and Computer Science aren’t as different as one might think. With the technology we have now, I think the natural way forward is to use these new tools to create art. For example, I personally enjoy working with moving images and visual effects.
What are some of your hobbies outside of school?
I have too many hobbies! I do calligraphy and a bit of spoken word poetry, I play the ukulele, and I also do Jujitsu.
Personally, what does art mean to you?
At its core—self-expression. All of us interpret the world in different ways, just like how the colours that I see are not the same as the colours you see. As such, art serves as a channel for us to communicate our experiences with each other.
How do you express yourself?
One way I like to express myself is through fashion. In a country where everyone seems to be going down the same fixed path, fashion helps us see people as unique individuals.
Was there an exhibit at the Singapore Biennale named Natasha that resonated with you?
Talking in Trees (Like Shadow Through Leaves) Part 1, a collaborative installation by Migrant Ecologies Projects and other artists. It was based on an essay by Singaporean writer Alfian Sa’at about the Malay language and how it connects to nature.
It’s so interesting to see how the artists bring the preservation of language back to what is natural, ensuring that it doesn’t get lost in our fast-paced society. Through the exhibit, I imagined an entire world where only one language is spoken. The thought of losing a lot of other beautiful, nuanced languages really impacted me.
Since studying in Australia, have you noticed a difference in the arts culture there as compared to Singapore?
From what I see, art in Singapore is like a formal presentation; we’re taught to create a concept, execute the artwork, and then present it in a certain way. And since we’re such a small country, we have a high standard of doing things—even art—leaving no space for “bad” art. Whereas in Sydney, I find that art is more accessible in the way it’s presented, and created based on intuition.
While there certainly is a noticeable difference, I think both scenes are valuable in their own ways.
What’s a random shower thought you recently had?
I think extraversion and introversion are simply performative, and no one is one way or the other. For instance, I’m personally quite introverted, and yet I force myself to be extroverted when I have to. In that case, am I really forcing myself or am I actually just both an introvert and extrovert, and so neither?