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Singapore

We scavenge and curate homegrown works from aspiring artists and dreamers alike.

Silent Night

Canvas

Silent Night

Obscured Team

Text and Compilation by Desiree Soh & Yap Yen
Introduction by Sean Poon

 
ObscuredChristmas stars.jpg

TAKE A LOOK around you. Tinsel, sparkly lights, glitter, and yes, artificial snow. It's that special time of year once more; Christmas, or at least the commercialized version, is here and brashly in your face.

 

But here at Obscured, we believe that the Christmas season is of so much more value than the mere economic stimulus it brings (who can ignore the jingle of cash registers). We believe in its underlying spirit of family and giving.

It’s not about the wonder of a postcard-ready white Christmas (though that would be a miraculous respite in our sunny, monsoon-y – our weather's really quite erratic these days – island). Neither is it about placing your hopes in receiving all that you’ve dreamed and yearned for from a plump man in a red shearing-lined jumper (honestly if that were to happen in real life, you’ve got a serious stalker problem at hand).

Every retailer that’s trying to capitalize on the season knows this: behind Christmas’ glossy façade lies something so elemental and simple: the desire to create wondrous memories with those you hold dear, to cherish them, in short, to love them.

 

BEHIND CHRISTMAS’ GLOSSY FAÇADE LIES SOMETHING SO ELEMENTAL AND SIMPLE... LOVE
obscuredchristmas trees.jpg
 

Inaugurating our Canvas page is a series of carefully curated selection of local works that celebrate Christmas' spirit of love.

Enjoy!

 

01 – 11

Cards & Presentables

 
 

SPECIALIZING IN HANDCRAFTED illustrations, each of PEEPnPRESS's cards are unique; drawn, colored and packaged by hand. Squeals of delights are always guaranteed.

This Christmas, Natalie of PEEPnPRESS will be spreading festive joy by giving out a personalized Christmas card to one of our readers. Leave a comment of your favourite Christmas card greeting in a form of a haiku on our Facebook post. She will select a lucky winner who will get their saying written on a card, along with a drawing!

 
 

THE FINGERSMITH LETTERPRESS is a quirky Singapore-based letterpress printing company which does custom designs specializing in hand lettering and illustrations. Whether you’re looking to stand out with your business cards, a unique wedding invitation to impress even the toughest in-laws or to look for that one-of-a-kind cards special enough to send via snail mail, they’re here to share the magic of letterpress with you!

 

03

Paintinks by Melt

PAINTINKS-BY-MELT.COM

 

THE WORKS OF Melissa Tan, also known as PaintInks by Melt show her love for animals, seen in her whimsical depiction that renders them delightful, and her humility in recognizing her talents as a gift, so much so that she would choose to pay it forward to our four-legged friends this Christmas.

Proceeds from the sale of her Christmas cards (above, left) go to Mdm Wong's Shelter and Friends and LiFeline, organizations that help homeless pets. 

 

04

The Gentlemen's Press

FACEBOOK.COM/THEGENTLEMENSPRESS

 
 

THIS CHRISTMAS, THE Gentlemen's Press have both white and black Christmas cards. The Black Celebration is designed by Michelle Yu and letterpressed on paper manually treated with sandpaper, to "create a sandstorm effect". This festive season, they have teamed up with The Collective Push to raise awareness on Dolphin Captivity. 

 

05

Pupilpeople

PUPILPEOPLE.COM

 

PRINTED BY A Risograph in Bright red and green, HoHoHo 2013 is a series of postcards containing various alternative interpretations of Christmas. Pupilpeople is a local graphic design studio that operates in both digital and print. They focus on the examination, understanding and reconstruction of content to better express it with their capabilities, which span various disciplines such as identity development, typography, illustration, photography, copywriting and editorial design.

 
 

TWELVE. SPECIALIZES IN corporate design, branding, printing services and corporate gifting. They also do seasonal cards for Christmas, Chinese New Year and wedding invitations. 

Christmas is a time where families and friends gather over a meal to celebrate the achievements of the past year and share goals for the new. Sumptuous delicacies placed on beautifully laid tables bring out the true essence of a delightful meal. This Christmas, twelve. wants to bring you back to that moment. May their cards remind you of the love, joy and laughter you experienced at the Christmas table.

 
 

THE PART-TIME DESIGNER and full-time arts business management student, who occasionally provides free labour, was initially fooling around with the idea of making a drowning Santa Clause. He decided against it in the end as it sounded too morbid. His next thought was to create a digital collage filled with cows and poppies for a surrealist Christmas.

 

08

Jolene N.

 

THE ENGLISH MAJOR at National Technological University enjoys doodling in her sketchbook during her free time.  Considering herself to be an amateur, Jolene is still in search of her personal art style and character. She enjoys including love and humour in her drawings and often feature people, animals and animals in natural, flowering, whimsical settings. 

 

09

Chen Zhi Liang

BEHANCE.NET/ZHILIANG

 
 

AS A YEAR 3 student in Singapore Polytechnic, Zhi Liang learnt the basic of design in his diploma course in Digital Media and self-taught himself hand lettering two months ago. Although currently an amateur in hand lettering, he wishes to bring out the beauty of hand-drawn letters and create unique pieces of works away from the norm. He was inspired by various hand lettering work available out there and found that hand lettering is considered a lost art in Singapore with few people practicing it. 

 
 

RECENTLY GRADUATED WITH a Bachelor in Communication Design, Yanrong’s work is largely influenced by nature, emotions and her imagination. For this piece, she drew items that reminded her of a warm and cosy Christmas where people gathered around the fireplace, listening to Christmas music while it snows outside.

 

11

Tofu

78 YONG SIAK STREET #01-06, SINGAPORE 163078
TOFU.COM.SG

 

A CREATIVE STUDIO nestled in Tiong Bahru, Tofu is a collective of designers, art directors, illustrators and collaborators. They are united in their unwavering quest for meaningful communication, and the perfection of their craft.

 
 

12 – 16

Carols & Joyous Jingles

 
 
 

PITCH FEATHER IS a Singapore-based indie rock band piloted by Chuan and Alberta—a husband-and-wife duo with a keen DIY spirit and eagerness for artistic collaboration. Their self-produced 12-track debut album "Mountains and Tides", recorded in a home-studio, was independently released on 28th October 2013.

 

Arranged and performed by Pitch Feather, Away In A Manger is a sweet Christmas song that celebrates the birth of Jesus. This cover of one of the most popular carols and lullabies worldwide is Pitch Feather’s largest collaboration to date, with the inclusion of voices from friends and family of Pitch Feather. 

 

As one of the more obscure, but surprisingly addictive Christmas songs, Jolly Old St. Nicholas is another jolly Christmas cover done by the band about the original Santa Claus.

 
 

HUBBABUBBAS IS A three-piece semi acoustic band made up of Stephanie on vocals, Ryan on guitars and Mervyn on the beatbox. Ryan and Mervyn are best friends but refuse to admit it, and Stephanie likes to make fun of them. They recently won the Budweiser Made For Music 2013 competition and are working towards their secret plan of taking over the world at some point.

 

A Hubba-Christmas was produced with the help of their friends, Anders and Dino. They put their own spin on the old Christmas songs they love and made it their own. By making the Christmas album free, they only hope that people will add the band into their Christmas playlists this year.

 
 

DESPITE OUR LACK of snowy weather or conventional Christmas traditions, local band 53A sings about the Christmas season from a Singaporean perspective and reminds us about the meaning of Christmas. 

MAY IT [CHRISTMAS] BE ALWAYS GOOD FOR YOU/ MAY IT BE SOMEWHERE NEW/ WITH SOMEONE TRUE/ WE’LL WISH A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU
 

15

The Sam Willows

THESAMWILLOWS.COM

 

THE MUSIC QUARTET consisting of siblings, Benjamin and Narelle Kheng and their friends Jon Chua and Sandra Riley Tang, have been making sound waves in the local music scene and beyond since mid-2012. 

They have since released their debut self-title EP and amassed an explosion of success. Their brand of soul-folk attracted the attention of Grammy-winning producer Steve Lillywhite who later reproduced and re-recorded one of their singles, ‘Glasshouse’.

 
 

OFTEN SEEN WITH just his acoustic guitar, singer-songwriter Jude Young (Tan Yu Quan) is everything young, alive, and full of heart. Through his live performances and videos on his YouTube channel, Jude has demonstrated his penchant for sweet and charming acoustic pop tunes, cementing his reputation as a young and talented musician with an alluring sensitivity for words, rhythm, and melody. By being fully self-taught in guitar and singing, Jude keeps a raw edge in his performances and is audibly infectious with his passion for music.

 
 

17

Seasonal Ruminations

 

Ernest Goh

 

WHEN NOT BUSY reading, editing and covering events with a camera, Ernest loves to see the sun rise and cycle by the beach. He writes occasionally in the mornings and on trains.

 
 
 

'The First Snow' is a poem Ernest wrote after turning down the opportunity of studying abroad. After imagining how life would be like away from home, it dawned on him that the moment he would miss most is when his loved ones are gathered around having a simple home-cooked meal during the festive season. 

 

THE FIRST
SNOW

the first snow trails through my breath

landing on the side walk

 

I turn to the sky

as the white notes fall

 

they gather in my hair

as I remember the ashes

 

at the temples when I was young

papers burned with whispered wishes

 

for the dead and the living

as they drifted upwards

 

towards the heavens

as if they knew who to tell

I imagine the same of the snow

as they drift down

 

whispering of home

the one I left far away

 

back on that island shore

where the breeze

 

sang Christmas in the lights

and the rain

 

where we gathered for

one more dinner

 

before a new year

sent me far away

 
I WONDERED IF I WOULD BE REMEMBERED AT THOSE FEASTS, AND IF THE SNOW THAT FELL WOULD CARRY WISHES FROM HOME
 
 

18 – 20

Handcrafted Gifts

 
 

 

 

MOMSHOO IS A mother-and-daughter team based in Singapore. Together, they design, hand-sew and knit whimsical creations which range from potted plants to amigurumi (Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed toys) rings and brooches. 

 

19

Teresa Lim

TERESAAA.COM

 

TERESA IS AN illustrator and fashion textile designer who loves embroidery and sparkly things. She has just graduated from LASALLE with a first class honours degree in Fashion Design and Textiles and had just returned from representing Singapore in Bangkok Fashion Week. Other than that, she just really likes to sit at cafes to draw and work on embroidery on long bus journeys and gets lost a lot.

This series of embroidered works are inspired by none other than Christmas itself. Each embroidered work serves as a reflection of a particular memory or thought that is related to the end of year and the festive season. 

 

20

The Lorem Ipsum Store

FACEBOOK.COM/THELOREMIPSUMSTORE

 

BEST KNOWN FOR their Pantone Animal Pins and Medals of Inspiration, The Lorem Ipsum Store does not disappoint this Christmas. Ho! Ho! Ho! showcases their signature brightly-coloured felt animal pins in festive colours, each with an attached greeting card.

 
 

21

Festive Spaces

 

HAYSTAKT POP-UP EVENT @ TEMPORIUM

72 DUNLOP STREET, SINGAPORE 209400
FACEBOOK.COM/EVENTS/395073820623239

 
 

‘TIS THE SEASON to celebrate the spirit of independence, authenticity, and all things local. March down to Dunlop Street to take Christmas gifting to a whole new level with the help of the collaboration between curated online marketplace, HAYSTAKT.com and physical concept space, Temporium. Arm yourself with cupcakes, home-brewed ice-cold beers and popsicles as you immerse in the Christmas cheer. Browse through collections of local fashion, lifestyle and home wares specially created for the festive season.

 
 

 

That's all folks

Happy Christmas

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