SAM x Shentonista: Novel Ways Of Dressing — Prismatic



How do you speak the language of art? For Anza, a language he deems himself well-versed in is the language of colour. To him, colour is instantly relatable, a universal language that unites us. Using this avenue as a platform, Anza picked hues reminiscent of the New Radio series by Mengju Lin for his outfit for #NovelWaysOfDressing, creating a collage of textures and materials, much like the artwork itself.

One of the selected candidates from our #NovelWaysOfDressing open call, Anza shared more about his relationship with art, and how the artwork New Radio series related to him on different levels. See how Anza’s outfit was inspired by the vivid colourways of the artwork in the video below, and read on to find out more about what he thinks of art.

New Radio series is an artwork exhibited in the Time Passes exhibition, organised by the Singapore Art Museum. From now till 21st February, you can explore the virtual gallery online, or head down to National Gallery Singapore to view the exhibition in person. To find out more about the ongoing exhibition, visit

What first struck you when you first saw Mengju Lin’s New Radio series?
The colours in the artwork were the first thing that lured me in. When I look at a piece of art, it’s often the colours that I notice. While I’m also passionate about the integration of technology that Lin talks about through her artwork, my love for art will always stem from paint and colours. The words and phrases in the artwork also struck a certain sense of emotion and familiarity. When I read the artwork description to dig deeper, I felt that the work really resonated with me.

How was your get-up for Novel Ways of Dressing inspired by Lin’s artwork?
My outfits always involve experimenting with colours and for me, Lin’s colour choice for the New Radio series was mad inspiring! Nothing speaks to me more than colours. There’s something poetic about the way the different colours in the work blend with, contrast, and juxtapose each other.

How has your appreciation of art developed over the years? 
My appreciation of art started at a very young age—I participated in art competitions when I was in primary school. I’m grateful to have a father that has been very supportive in my creative pursuit. However, the true appeal of art is its ability to morph, integrate, and permeate into any medium. My understanding of art changed drastically after this realisation and I began to appreciate anything that has any semblance of art and all of its forms.

Lin’s artwork is a combination of discarded materials and items, and shows how art can be found in the most unconventional of places. What are some different places you’ve personally encountered or experienced art?
I believe you will experience art wherever you go. For me, the experience always happens uninformed. Art, to me, is when you have an unexplainable visceral experiencelike the feeling that I got when I stumbled upon a remote 7-11 kiosk at 4AM, and the light from the signage illuminated the empty street.

There’s art to be experienced when I walk down the CBD—the way the buildings are layered, stacked and lined up makes me feel like I’m part of a collage. Art doesn’t have to be complicated either—it can be as simple as watching a great TV show or eating really good food (like how I consider my mom’s cooking to be pure art!).

The term ‘art’ encompasses various types of forms and mediums. Personally, what is your favourite medium or form of art to consume? 
My favourite medium of art is definitely painting or collage—it’s very hard to pick one from these two mediums. I love art that is methodical and involves great technique in the making of it.

It’s easy to be intimidated by the idea of engaging or approaching art. How do you think people can build a deeper appreciation for art? 
While I was in Paris and London, I had the privilege of visiting different museums and a regular occurrence I observed was young students in their uniforms listening attentively to the tour guide, which was a sign that museum visits and art appreciation are part of the school curriculum. I believe that intimidation of art stems from the absence of it or lack of exposure at an early stage in someone’s life. It does make it more difficult to build a deeper appreciation of art with no foundation to start with. Appreciation of art has to start from an early stage in life, with the purpose of building a basic understanding of it. I am grateful now that art is more accessible digitally and there are many amazing local communities currently advocating for deeper and wider appreciation of art.

As a creative yourself, what is your personal definition of art?
Art is omnipresent, yet also very intimate.  It’s for everyone, but it doesn’t define anyone. Every experience is authentic to us personally and it’s malleable to the shape of our perspectives. It is meant to unite, and diversify. It enriches life.

Anza was chosen as one of our four candidates from the #NovelWaysOfDressing open call, which we launched at the end of the first phase of this collaboration with the Singapore Art Museum. We invited the public to submit their own sartorial interpretations of the artworks in the Time Passes exhibition—view the other submissions at the links here and here.

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