Singapore Memories specializes in local Singaporean perfumes, room aroma, essential oil, bath bombs and more. We work with fragrant and therapeutic Orchids of Asia and bring their scent notes to you as various aromatic products. Our work ranges from retailing perfumes & scent to olfactory art. In this spirit we have partnered with three amazing Singaporean artists to created limited edition packaging, which will be displayed only at Design Orchard in 2022.
Introducing our 3rd artist, Ms. Tianyuan via this small writeup.
Ms Tianyuan is deeply interested in ink and has chosen it to express her creativity. She is trained in the ink medium for many years, and has devoted her art practice to exploring and reinterpreting this traditional medium and aesthetics. She often draws inspirations from the long history of East Asian art and its unique visual language.
She is excited to work with Singapore Memories and develop a limited-edition packaging for the brand. To her, a good design embodies the personalities of both the brand and the artist/designer.
In her words, “An design is a dialogue between the designer and the product, with an open invitation for the product’s users (or the general public) to join in. Each resonance between the parties is unique; and that is where the beauty lies.”
“We at Singapore Memories were swayed by the power of those words and are proud to be working with her!” – From Singapore memories team.
She wholeheartedly believes in power of perfumes, scent and smells. According to her, scent can be an important memory device and represent the essence of a place or an experience. She found it fascinating that there was a Singaporean brand that resonated with her ideas. As she expressed to someone a long while ago, during first few days of collaboration, “This is especially so for fragrances by Singapore Memories, where a piece of Singapore is embedded in each of its creations. “
Ms Tianyuan was drawn by Singapore Memories’ sources of inspiration. The perfume manufacturer includes multiple facets of vivid experiences in Singapore and turned them into scents. Their perfumers have turned the smell of the tropical monsoon rain into a dreamy room fragrance. Each of these fragrances provide a new entry point to the familiar places in Singapore that she identifies with and would like to call home.
“I am excited to see how the visuals of my art could work hand in hand with the scents of these perfumes.” – Ms Tianyuan
The artist par excellence, Ms Tianyuan started her journey when she was just 6 years old. Among the many enrichment classes which her parents sent her to, Chinese painting was one that she enjoyed the most and she chose to continue as she grew up.
“It seemed like a natural progression to continue making art in my schooling days, and eventually to pursue Fine Art in college.”
Over years, she has received training in various art mediums and modes of expression, but ink and its history remained where she roots of her art practice. She sees herself as a perpetual student and a learner. She finds the word “artist” to be rather loaded!
She chooses to remain engaged with art and the arts scene, and aspire to continue making art at her own pace in a long and sustained manner. This is purely driven by her love for this mode of expression, as well as an admiration for the amazing journeys that other older artists have taken.
“Each time I cross paths with a work that I resonate with, it just fills me with sparks of joy. If I am able to share and discuss this with someone who understands, it is as if a soul-mate has been found and my life just feels fuller! These moments are not easy to come by, but there is always a hope for the next one, the next, and the next.”
She enjoys the journey and doesn’t believe in jargons. She also does not see pushing beyond “boundaries” as a goal. Her focus is to produce art that her audiences can easily connect with, and are drawn to engage and probe deeper.
Speaking of pushing boundaries, she has a new definition for the same. She feels that she can provide new entry points to a topic, to generate fresh discussions, and bring attention to new questions participants may not have asked themselves. This dialogue, discussion and engagement is very dear to her and defines her artwork.
She considers herself fortunate enough to learn a lot from her peers, surroundings, collaborators and masters. Of all the skills she has acquired, she feels that the most useful has been “mindset changes” -- to stay open to influences, criticisms, periods of accumulation and non-production…
“This openness is a great help in making the journey an enjoyable and sustainable one.”
- Ms Tianyuan
She fondly remembers her high school art teacher who once told her, “All you need is 60% sure, the other 40% drives you on.”
She has taken this advice and applied it to her life and art-making journey. He remembers these words while taking key decisions as well as navigating the many important turning points in her life.
“It is a great assurance. Perhaps we can never be sure, to embrace rather than be crippled by uncertainties helps us go forward,“ she adds.
As we can guess, her inspiration comes from Chinese dynastic painters who came up with very eccentric, funky images worthy of the word “contemporary” even for the art world of today. Some of her favorite names include Bada Shanren, Luo Ping and Chen Hongshou.
(removing this part as it seems rather out of place and detached from the rest of this article. During the questionnaire, I wasn’t aware of this context and answered it in broad terms rather than in relation to my art.)
She is not working with ‘sense of smell’ or ‘olfactory’ and helping Singapore Memories with their redefined packaging.
She has no regrets in life and wouldn’t want to do anything differently.
“I don’t think I could or would do anything different!”
She truly cherishes time with her family and friends, which are the most precious to her. In her opinion, a casual quiet weekend night recharges the best. She enjoys long walks into new neighborhoods as there are always new discoveries to be made at our little island, during almost every walk she takes.
As much as she enjoys art, she also enjoys other activities. In fact, her big moment was to realize that she does not have to be a full-time artist or be fully immersed in the art world to do art or enjoy art. That was a liberating change for her. This doesn’t mean that one has to be less invested or takes the journey in a half-hearted fashion. She explains that this is rather to explore more……. to not be kidnapped by a single definition, and to allow oneself to be multiple things at different stages of life. These different roles and experiences all end up feeding one another eventually.
She loves reading books related to her work and area of interest and highly recommends -- “The Confusions of Pleasure” by Timothy Brook. She calls it an enjoyable read as the author gives a fun account of the rise and fall of the Ming dynasty through the eyes of common men.
How do you get in touch with her and check her work? Visit the Neptune Court Studio at https://www.neptunecourtstudio.com/. She founded the home studio in 2019, with a wish to share what she has learnt about East Asian art, and support the exchange and exploration of these artworks in Singapore.
She is also taking classes for all age groups- ink painting classes, workshops, lectures, and social media postings.