JOURNAL // 4 Jan 2020

Looking back on the past year, 2019 was a period where I continued to experiment and explore artmaking. It feels like I’ve been doing this for such a long time, so it is surprising for me to realise it is just my second year in art.

These days my eyes are easily fatigued, so I’ll make this a quick post to review my favourite pieces of 2019!

I wanted this to be just about favourite pieces, but I realised there is more to life than that! Here were 6 highlights / lowlights of the year:

  1. Set up a website for my art, which is the site you are on now.
Jul 2019: launshae.com

2. Joined my first art competition by Foodpanda and was very lucky to win!

3. Worked on the climate stripes friendship bracelet project with our friend Jie Hui; it was really interesting to come up with a way to weave the stripes into a bracelet. More info and a tutorial to make your own bracelet here.

4. Completed my first commercial project – a yummy board game called Mooncake Master! Grateful to W and the Origame team. More about that here.

Sep 2019: Mooncake Master box

5. Distancing myself from social media

Oct 2019: Workspace

In November I grew to realise I was still very affected by social media likes – how I felt about my art, myself, was dependent on how many likes I got. I wanted to free myself of this dependence to create art that was true to me rather than art that is popular. I also had an illogical impulse to want to post something nearly everyday to show I was being productive.

Since then I started going onto social media just once a week to catch up on the happenings. With the time lag of 7 days, I have usually moved on to a new piece and am no longer as attached to the success or lack of, of the previous piece. I feel that this has helped me create more independently.

The painting above titled Open my eyes was created as a reminder to myself.

6. Worsening eyes

Dec 2019: Phone bed

During the year my eyes would increasingly tire more easily, especially when I was working on screens. I’ve had to learn the hard way that I need to use my eyes gently and responsibly, like how you might use an outdated old computer. This is not easy as I have a tendency to dash till the finish end for I can’t stand anything unfinished. With a limited shelf life remaining, I also have to be mindful to prioritise what I do to save my eyes for what matter most. On the bright side, taking frequent breaks means a cleaner house, more exercise and meditation.

And finally to wrap it up, my 4 favourite pieces of the year (couldn’t narrow it down to 3!):

4. Playthings // Nov 2019

A portrait of my workspace. One day i thought perhaps it’s not so much that i love art, as that i love to play.

3. 雾锁南洋 // Aug 2019

雾锁南洋 is the title of a classic local tv drama from 1984, it translates to fog-lock-nan-yang (Nanyang refers to Singapore, south of China). How can a gaseous fog be hard enough to lockdown a country? Perhaps it does so by being pervasive, perhaps the feeling of being trapped is in our minds?

This piece of wood embroidery inspired by “雾锁南洋”, aims to serve as a reminder, to free ourselves of the fog that entraps our mind.

2. Like a million paper cuts // Dec 2019

Inspired by W’s essay, an insight into invisible wounds.

1. Bookshop // Oct 2019

As if by capillary action, the books she touched coursed through her, and in this being they became one.

These were pieces with a deeper resonance. For me “雾锁南洋” has a special calming effect, “Playthings” feels like fantasy and adventure. “Like a million paper cuts” – a suspended moment in an otherworldly dimensionless space, that suspends me when I see it. And “Bookshop” is some indescribable magic.

I think art is a framework that helps me decide how I want to live my life, how I make decisions, how I surprise myself, and how I treat myself. It also helps to decorate our house almost anywhere you look. I am very grateful to be able to do this and want to thank my friends, a couple of whom have been extraordinarily kind and supportive, as well as thank W and my family for their great unwavering support.

2020, make more new things!

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