Marcel Heijnen, Artistry and Chemistry
Marcel Heijnen knows no boundaries when it comes to creativity. The Dutch native, who cofounded art-gallery-cum-cafe Artistry and design collective Chemistry, is a polymath, carrying the titles of artist, musician and designer.
Marcel’s worked as a freelance graphic designer here in 1998 after leaving a comfortable job with Philips Electronics in Hong Kong. With a fellow designer, he founded Chemistry in 2000 to perform agency-level projects.
In 2012, the concept of Artistry struck him while he was on sabbatical to focus on personal projects in visual arts and music. Initially intended as a venue for artists to hold solo exhibitions and break into the local art scene, Artistry’s success as a live gig venue was something Marcel did not expect.
“Being a musician, I thought I’d install a nice sound system so that we could have singer-songwriters perform once in a while, but that part has completely taken off. It’s as though we filled a void.”
Art exhibitions and live performances now colour the days and nights of Artistry, with attention from a close to full-house audience on most occasions.
The artist in Marcel has also led him to participate in the Affordable Art Fair last November, where he exhibited a series called Residue, as one of the artists at the Artistry booth.
Joanne Lim, The Letter J Supply
Art isn’t anything new to joanne lim, founder of The Letter J Supply and a graphic designer by training. And through her online paper goods and customised calligraphy store, she aspires to inspire through the power of the written word. “Words are powerful because when you string different words together, they can either kill or heal. By placing words onto paper and making them tangible, they are given more power.”
During a vacation in New York City in 2013, the Temasek Polytechnic graduate trained with notable calligrapher Eleanor Winters and began showcasing her sharpened skills on Instagram last January. “People started asking if I did customisations or brand logos, which made me realise that there was a market.”
Her career has since skyrocketed and she now calls a quaint studio in Shaw Towers her second home. “Being independent allows me to be organic about things and having my own space allows me to do whatever I want.”
In the pipeline is a collaboration with homegrown contemporary womenswear label Ong Shunmugam that will launch in the second half of this year. “Priscilla Shunmugam approached me and discussed the idea of calligraphy on dresses, which I never thought was possible. This means words need not be just on paper, and the possibilities are exciting.”