“Whatever Lee Kuan Yew did in the past will no longer work today. Many more are educated and will not follow policies blindly without questioning. But they can actively contribute and improve Singapore, in different sectors and ways. And we need them to do that.”
“I am more Kheng than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I’m feel that I’m in one of the best places of my life now where my mind and heart are more balanced. Learning doesn’t happen in a linear fashion. Free agents are running around in your brain, making patterns and separating out… I’ve never felt more together, and happy with where I am.”
“Gender equality has come a long way in the past few decades, but we are not making as much pro- gress as we think. We need to start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and scrutinise what is needed to create a global culture where opportunities, perceptions and recognition are equal.”
“I am a woman, young, Chinese, and speaking English isn’t my first language, but that makes me more memorable, and most of the time, underestimated… You create your own norm, because what works for others may not work for you. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will.
“Sustainability as a concept has to be fundamentally normalised — it’s not just a kind of fashion that is “niche” or an alternative. There’s more to sustainable fashion than the schema of how we see it to be. Ultimately, the goal is to reach a point where transparency and sustainability are no longer utopian ideas, but a required standing point for all fashion brands.”
“It takes a lot of hunger. It’s not easy to be an artist in such an expensive city like Singapore, especially if you want to make work that’s impactful and groundbreaking. It’s hard but I think it just takes a lot of guts and desire. Those who stick with it… just can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s not just about ‘making art’. It’s the need to speak, which is a sort of hunger that can't be denied.”
“I’m not an uncritical embracer of technological change—I believe that in order to understand how the future might be shaping up, we need to understand the past. It’s absolutely fundamental. And it’s the understanding that’s generated by science, and the emotional connections created by art, that gives us the tools to navigate through uncertain futures.”
“Singapore can have a scene as vibrant as those in London or New York, but in order to do so, we have to get away from monolithic narratives. We need to expand the number of voices we have to be more inclusive and diverse, and to adequately reflect our complex and pluralistic society.
“It’s impossible to talk about Singaporean architecture without recognising how this nation evolved from a country with a drastic shortage of housing and infrastructure to a thriving metropolis in the short span of just 50 years. Looking ahead, architects will have to think like ecologists and environmentalists; we will have to be technologists, innovators, even programmers.”
“Good design transforms, improves, connects and challenges. It should lead to a positive outcome, be it in transforming business, raising someone’s quality of life, connecting communities or pushing boundaries to advance the design industry. Design helped us shape a place for ourselves in this world at the start, and I believe it will help us reimagine Singapore again.”
“Retail as we know it needs to innovate, for today’s consumers exist in both online and offline spaces. While “new retail” has started the digitisation of the shop- ping experience and the online-to-offline connection, the design and execution have both tended to be more focused on optimising transactional relationships, rather than creating meaningful customer experiences.”
“Print never got close to becoming obsolete. Turning our gazes more towards digital media only made us realise the importance of the tactile connection we have with books that screens lack. Sure, engaging with printed matter often demands more time and energy. But that commitment is an investment that changes the experience and makes us more engaged with the stories we hold.”
“Fearing to fail is a script I had written for myself, and I have to be the one to rewrite it. If I see failures as valuable lessons I can draw upon to improve myself, then they simply become problems I can solve, and not reflections of my worth.”
“I've always been interested in impacting the lives of people through beautiful work and relationships. Design thinking and a human-centric approach are my instruments of choice. When I started working, it wasn’t what I had dreamed it to be. It’s challenging to do things in ways which are contrary to the norm and I questioned myself constantly.”
“I used to be so driven by goals and achievements that I would forget the process of getting there. Yoga has taught me to enjoy even the fact that I may not know everything. I may feel insecure, afraid and vulnerable, but that's all part of the journey.
“Always begin by asking why. If I can't see myself doing something over the next 5 to 20 years or making meaningful contributions, then I'd rather not start at all. I can also be impatient. This helps me to not take short cuts, and to give time and care.”
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