Going Through The Motions Of A Takeover
- Multiply: A Majestic Playground
By Carolyn Oei, 31 May 2017
“Many people don’t realise that there’s a rich culture of creativity bubbling under the surface here in Singapore,” said Carolyn Kan, founder of artisan jewellery label, Carrie K., and curator of Multiply: A Majestic Playground (Multiply).
Multiply was an artistic takeover of the New Majestic Hotel for the weekend of 27 and 28 May 2017 before the building is to be transformed into the private members’ club, Straits Clan.
Kan hand-picked the artists, brands and businesses for Multiply intending to create a mix that was diverse enough to show the depth and breadth of creativity we have. It is true that local artists, musicians, designers or producers aren’t always given due credit and recognition for their work. There remains an underlying distrust – and ignorance - of anything locally produced being of a high quality.
“There’s artistry, randomness, some are more commercial and all are releasing their creative child without thinking if it would make money or even sense,” Kan added.
Indeed, Kan put together a comprehensive mix of artists, artisans and craftspeople: some vending their wares, others showcasing their brands and pushing artistic boundaries, and still others having cobbled something together for the weekend.
Apart from the F&B, we don’t know if many commercial transactions were made.
But, it was apparent that not a lot of it made sense.
There was a feeling of messiness that cannot rightly be labelled chaos or discord and there was a lot of randomness.
Visitors were encouraged to participate in the takeover by speaking with the artists and craftspeople who were present, drawing on the walls (and stairs and anywhere else) with marker pens and pasting stickers everywhere. The engagement with artists and vendors was a fabulous opportunity given to visitors; the scribbling and scrawling less so. And even then, some scrawls were better than others. Perhaps it’s a reflection of how some people perceive Singapore to be repressive, so much so that when given a chance, they get a kick out of the permitted vandalism, even if only to say, “So and So was here”.
But where exactly were they?
They were all there.