Red Dot Design Museum Singapore interviews Chua Soo Hoon of Artprentice
What was your inspiration behind starting Artprentice?
I am an architect by training, so Artprentice is both an architectural firm and also a place to showcase artworks- these artworks are story or space driven.
[It was] a dream, a step of faith to go out in 2012-13 and do something I [wanted to] since young, with God as [my] main inspiration and nature, bible quotes and architecture as some common themes.
What sets you and your brand apart in your chosen field?
I am still basically an architect and an interior designer. The artworks that I do, if you noticed, are very architecturally driven or with story-telling as its concept. Very similar to how I design spaces, I imagine from the users' experience and stories. For example, the light boxes are 3D, which give a sense of space, or the flipbooks which sought to tell stories and to encouragement. The artworks are not 2 dimensional, but with a 3rd dimension, either space or time (flipbooks). Most of all, I designed each artwork with the aim to lift people up, to bring a smile to whoever who owns a piece. Almost everyone will smile when he or she flips our flipbooks.
Who has been your greatest motivator or encouragement, in pursuing your art and works?
God, Lord Jesus and my family.
What is one challenge you face/have faced, in being an artist in Singapore?
Honestly, making a living by being a full time artist is not easy, so doing arts is still a hobby to me now, as making a living by selling artwork here in Singapore is still not quite possible. It will probably take a few years (actually more) to be established.
How have you overcome the challenge that you face as an artist in Singapore?
I cannot say I am an artist, though being one was a childhood dream, but I took on a path that I felt I can make a decent living by being an architect. I still enjoy designing buildings and spaces. I am now mainly an architect and a part time lecturer in polytechnic, and teach arts here and there. So doing artworks remains a hobby.
Soo Hoon also lets us in on her hopes and dreams for MAAD
How did you first find out about MAAD, and when did you first join?
I was looking online for a place where artists sell their handmade stuff and I started selling in 2013. However, due to work commitments, I usually set up a stall at MAAD 1-2 times a year, usually during year end.
What is your motivation in joining the event?
To showcase my artworks, as I don't see many (probably none in 2013) doing the artworks I do in Singapore, there are such artworks overseas, but not in Singapore. However, this year, I saw 1-2 selling similar stuff.
What are your hopes for MAAD?
That it will be a platform for local artists to showcase themselves, also a place where we can recognise our own local unique brand... could there even be a MAAD brand in future that will bring artists under its wings?
It is a dream that I feel is not too far fetched. Perhaps MAAD with a workshop for artists to have equipment to aid in producing their artworks?
How has MAAD affected your art and craft?
Much, I talked to people during the MAAD flea who liked my works, and I design in response to their thoughts and comments. I wanted to create arts that common folks or the layman can appreciate- not expensive, so it is good for me to hear from people. Everyday stuff can be beautiful and even uplifting when designed with a purpose, similar to spaces. Spaces are for people to enjoy.