In a world dominated by tech, it’s no surprise that most parents would balk at the idea of their children studying art at university. It’s time to put the idea of ‘starving artist’ away – artists play a big part in the community. Creative thinkers provide their communities with joy, interaction, inspiration, and contribute to the overall health, development, and well-being of our society.
Some even give critique to our political, economic, and social systems by encouraging society to make steps towards social progress. Besides, it imagine how dull a world without artists would look? Even business magazine Forbes recognises the power of artists.
Its recently-released 30 Under 30 Asia list featured 300 young trailblazers under 30, and out of 27 Singaporeans, three women on the list are recognised by Forbes for their art:
Marilyn Chew, 27
Marilyn Chew is a Singaporean calligrapher and educator (she’s a certified instructor of American Cursive Handwriting). She’s also the founder of Eterate Calligraphy, which is a calligraphy studio focusing on the art of penmanship, specialising in calligraphy workshops, as well as design and event experiences.
She’s a member of the International Association of Master Penman, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting, as well as the Society of Scribes, New York. In addition to being one of the Most Fashionable Calligraphers in Singapore by Harper’s Bazaar, she was recently named one of Vogue’s 6 best bespoke wedding invitation designers in Singapore. Her studio has worked with companies including SK-II, Google, Bulgari, Christie’s, and Montblanc.
Grace Ciao, 28
Grace Ciao is a Singapore fashion illustrator and artist who engages with sustainability through her ‘Bloom Belles’ figures which combine watercolour painting with real flower petals. These stylised characters have appeared in TV commercials, on limited edition products, and on the walls of shopping malls.
She founded Grace Ciao Studio during her final year at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School in 2013. Today, her iconic designs connect viewers by making them experience nature in new and surprising ways, blending fantasy with realism. A speedy live illustrator and watercolour artist with an artistic eye for detail, her clients include brands like Bulgari, Chanel, Dior, Prada, and Ralph Lauren.
Priyageetha Dia, 28
You may know Priyageetha Dia as the artist whose name is inextricably linked with her artwork – the “Golden Staircase,” which went viral in 2017. She launched another viral installation, “Golden Flags,” a year later, prompting critics to nickname her “the girl who paints everything in gold.”
Her interdisciplinary art now bravely confront the themes of identity politics, the inclusion of race and gender, and of course, the social function of the public sphere. What is the role of public art in relation to governance and authority? She received the IMPART Artist Award by Art Outreach Singapore in 2019 and has showcased her work at the Art Science Museum and National Gallery.
Who says artists can’t be successful?