Iconically Singapore

09 September 2017
The Straits Times Life!, Page D4

NAFA student and artist-illustrator Chris Chew with his Singapore-themed products

Two years ago, when SG50 stirred up patriotic feelings, local creatives put out a glut of products celebrating Singapore’s birthday. Local icons such as the Merlion and traditional Singaporean foods, such as kueh, were used as motifs on notebooks, crockery, jewellery, postcards, tote bags, T-shirts and recreated as cushions. These items were popular with Singaporeans, who relished the local connection, and tourists, who bought them as mementos. The trend of slapping local elements onto accessories did not end post-SG50. Two years more Singapore souvenirs came on the market, as the first wave of designers put out new products and newcomers jumped on the bandwagon.

One of the designers is young illustrator 23-year-old Chris Chew. He creates postcards, framed prints, bookmarks and plushies depicting Singapore icons such as kueh, playgrounds and even a samsui woman. Currently doing a diploma in design at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, he started his personal label ArtofChris during SG50 with framed prints. Now he has expanded the range to 12 types of products. “I love creating meaningful designs and hope to trigger sweet memories of the old days. It’s a key characteristic of my artwork.”

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Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.