Singapore may be a small country but what it lacks in geographical size it makes up for with its strong assembly of uniquely talented designers and artists who consistently produce unique goods. Here is one collective that's worth the virtual trip.
FARM is a collaborative effort of designers, curators and visual artists. Since 2005 they've been "cultivating a culture of imagination" and organizing national public art events. Many of their unique architectural and interior design projects can be seen throughout Singapore. They also curate cultural projects and host free lectures (see Rojak for past events).
The design objects shown above reflect FARM's unique approach to items that signify and represent Singaporean identity. There is a nice tongue-in-check reference that a local, or visitor, will appreciate. The FARM brick and mortar shop is located in Singapore's Art and Heritage District on Waterloo Street and many of their pieces can also be found in museum shops, as well as online. Follow their latest projects on Twitter @FARM_sg.
Images, right to left:
Gum (Set of 3) by Dawn Ng: Nowhere else in the world but Singapore is this chewy contraband of such controversially-capped desire. While we may like to believe it is the Merlion or the Singapore Flyer that defines us, what sticks in the world's mind is that only in Singapore, gum, like crack, is banned. Nothing is worth more envy than something you can't have. This is the designer's life-size monument of a no-no substance, a sort of non-souvenir of Singapore people are so dying to ingest. Specially assembled by the people at Cottage Industry.
The Dragon by The little drömstore: This badge is fashioned after Singapore's Iconic old school mosaic playgrounds. (circa 1970/1980). The playground was our school, our imagination, our friend; life lessons were learnt through bruises gathered from knocking against colourful mosaic tiles, by scraping our knees falling on gritty sandpits, the feeling of sand between our toes.
Spotted Nyonya: Vessel with cover L by Hans Tan Studio: Nyonya porcelain vessels (traditional domestic wares native to Chinese-Peranakans in South East Asia) are subjected to a surface treatment which overlays the original multicoloured pattern with a new dotted pattern. The technique is an industrial re-interpretation of the traditional resist-dyeing technique used to dye fabric patterns - a masked pattern is sandblasted so that areas protected by the mask are preserved, while the original glaze from unprotected areas are erased to expose the white porcelain beneath.
Hóng Bāo 红包: Designed by FARM, this red packet is a cheeky re-imagination of the word 红包 (Hóng Bāo) which means "red bun" in mandarin. Red packets are traditionally given as monetary gifts during special occasions such as Chinese New Year, birthdays and weddings for good luck!
Singlish Notebook by triggerhappy: Singapore is a unique blend of Chinese, Malay and Indian culture. This permeates to the local language commonly known as Singlish. Although often viewed negatively as an incorrect use of English, it is one of the most authentic and genuine facets Singapore. Singlish is built upon the subtle nuances of the Singaporean personality and reflects daily life in the country. This notebook celebrates and promotes the intangible experience of the local Singaporean.
Images and item descriptions courtesy of FARM.