Lianhe Zaobao 联合早报
19 May 2021
Written by Zhang Heyang
Translation by Isabella Meo
[Original article in Chinese]
28-year-old harpist Laura Peh founded a business last year - a publishing house specialising in art picture books for children - with the belief that art can help cultivate the emotional intelligence and creativity in future generations.
University students Isabella Meo (left) and Erika Solomon (right) are currently interns with Laura Peh (centre), founder of Cinnamon Art Publishing.
Women fascinated Gustav Klimt and he enjoyed painting them. He began with commissions from Viennese society belles, and over time, sought to express the beauty of human emotion through his depictions his muses, their personalities, and desires. His later portraits overflow with expression and decorative features, thus turning the anatomy of a muse into ornamentation. Klimt developed his Art Nouveau style with motifs, mosaics, flowers, and oriental influences. He often thought of his muses as trapped fairies in their own dreams.
As a millennial, I grew up with educational computer games and television programmes, learning problem solving from Putt Putt, egyptian history from Carmen Sandiego and visual art from this one peculiar computer game that I can no longer remember the title of. It featured a talking lizard that would visit famous Impressionist artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, and up till now, I still credit part of my life trajectory to that lizard. I ended up studying art history in university, and even though I was naturally inclined towards the arts from a tender age, that game gave me the confidence as a primary school kid to proclaim that my favorite painter was Van Gogh, even though most of my peers had no idea who that was. It was one of the many seeds planted in my early life that actually bloomed!
Children identify with colours from a young age. Is colour something we need to teach our children? If yes, how do we do so? In elementary school, we used to learn about colour by painting the colour wheel. My teacher showed me how the colour wheel should look - from drawing the circle, to splitting it up into equal parts, and finally how to mix the colours. Looking back at this lesson as a teacher now, I begin to ask myself - What was the objective of the lesson? Where is the element of discovery? How do we teach colour theory and concepts in more engaging ways?
In the sunny island of Singapore, where cinnamon art stories was founded, we have grown to love giant outdoor projection art - those that wrap our museum facades during events such as the Singapore Night Festival and National Gallery Singapore’s Light to Night Festival. Thousands of people fill the streets watching slick animations dance across monumental slabs of concrete. Given that our lives are full of screens and digital content, it is natural that we seek art in that form. It's eye-catching, dynamic and familiar to us. It is easy to take for granted the fact that video is considered an art form. In fact, these large scale video projections, alongside other immersive, technologically-mediated art, come from a long lineage of video and new media art, from which Nam Jun Paik stands out as one of the most important.