Arty-farty actors

These local celebrities put the art in artistes

Arty-farty actors in Singapore
Arty-farty actors in Singapore
28 Jul 2017

Arty-farty actors in Singapore

These local actors do more than just act: they draw, sketch, paint, and are talented in more than one ways than one. Some have even staged art exhibitions and released art books of their own. And the best part about it? Most of them were never formally schooled or trained in the arts which goes to show that some people are just born with a flair for it. Colour us impressed. 

A screenshot from the 'Jalan to the West' video and the team behind it
A screenshot from the 'Jalan to the West' video and the team behind it
27 Jul 2017

A screenshot from the 'Jalan to the West' video and the team behind it

A satirical animation short which recaps a boy’s commuting experience from the east to the west has been making the rounds on the internet. Called Jalan to the West, the three-minute long production features caricatures of passengers and scenarios one might come across while riding the East-West line: from a loved-up couple to the rush hour crowd at the CBD station (read: Raffles Place).

One particular name stood out in the end credits -- Chen Yi Xi, Edmund Chen and Xiang Yun’s son, who worked on this animation together with two classmates from Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media, Mohd Zuhairee and Patricia Teo, for their final year project.

Speaking to Toggle in a phone interview, Yi Xi, who is currently filming 118 Reunion, shared that he and his team members spent a good one and a half years working on Jalan to the West from its conceptualisation to animation phase. He was in-charge of the direction, flow and concept, Zuhairee took charge of the background and colouring and Patricia worked on the characters.
The clip has been viewed over 311,000 times with more than 6,200 shares at press time.

According to Yi Xi, the story was based on their long commuting journeys to school. “I stay in the east and Zuhairee also stays in the east, and it took us two hours to get to school every day - so that’s four hours in total. We observed people [on the trains] and got a lot of ideas from them,” he added.

“We didn’t expect the clip to be so well-received!” he chuckled. “We really wanted something that was able to reach the people and for people to laugh at. We’d wish to continue doing this project – it really is a passion project – but it’s harder as we have work commitments now.

“If I’m going to do a second part – I’m going to buy proper software to do it this time,” he chuckled.

Photo: Chen Yi Xi

(Continued on next page: Yi Xi’s other passion project – his sketches on the old Caldecott Broadcast Centre)
 

Chen Yi Xi's sketches
Chen Yi Xi's sketches
27 Jul 2017

Chen Yi Xi's sketches

Another passion project that Yi Xi is currently working on is his first art book, Xi The World – A Journey Through Caldecott Broadcast Centre, which will tentatively be released in August. The sketchbook came about from his time spent on the set of Peace & Prosperity, when he was working as his mum’s PA (personal assistant).

The 26-year-old shared that he started taking drawing more seriously when he started his university education, during his early 20s.

When asked if his dad’s flair for the arts had rubbed off on him, Yi Xi jokingly replied, “I don’t know if it’s (being artistically-inclined) genetic or not, but I can’t do Maths for sure (my dad can do it) and I definitely did not inherit my mum’s language capabilities! (Laughs)”

“And I’ve never gotten an A for most of my drawings [in school] actually.”

The last we heard, good grades don’t determine success in life.

Click on to read about other local actors who also have a flair for painting or drawing.

Jeanette Aw
Jeanette Aw
27 Jul 2017

Jeanette Aw

Sol was first created when Jeanette was writing a column for i-Weekly magazine in 2010. She is said to be a “reflection” of Jeanette and has red hair, big eyes and long lashes. The actress grew fond of her and eventually decided to make Sol the heroine of her second book, Sol’s World, which was released in 2015. A story about the journey of self-discovery, a total of 50 paintings of Sol were created for the book and all were “hand-painted” for the “human touch.” A few weeks after her book launch, Jeanette worked with the National Museum of Singapore on an installation project featuring Sol.

Photo: Jeanette Aw

Jeanette Aw
Jeanette Aw
27 Jul 2017

Jeanette Aw

Jeanette, who has always loved drawing, recently joined forces with Montblanc and UNICEF for a special project featuring Sol on a postcard which she spent two days working on. “What I really wanted to achieve was to have different silhouettes of people interwoven into her hair, since UNICEF is about people coming together to spread love,” she shared during an interview with Toggle. 

Sora Ma
Sora Ma
27 Jul 2017

Sora Ma

The Malaysian-born actress decided to pick up the paint brush again, four years ago, to overcome negative thoughts after playing an unpopular character in 2012’s Yours Fatefully. She’s not stopped painting since. Sora is currently working on a series of paintings for Heartworks, a non-profit organisation and a charity project that she helped set up and runs with a group of friends. Her latest artwork, No Boundaries, is painted in colours of blue, red and measures 18 by 36 inches.

Photos: Sora Ma/Instagram

Sora Ma
Sora Ma
27 Jul 2017

Sora Ma

One of her paintings of the old campus’ driveway was made into a fridge magnet by the Mediacorp drama department to commemorate their relocation to the new office last year. In an interview with TODAY, Sora shared that painting helps to stimulate her “creativity” especially when she’s “preparing for a new role.”

Photo: Sora Ma/Instagram

Eleanor Lee
Eleanor Lee
27 Jul 2017

Eleanor Lee

Is there anything Quan Yi Fong’s daughter can’t do? She dances, sings, acts and dabbles in art during her spare time. From designing a dress for her mother for the Star Awards ceremony to collaborating with Chinese artist Wu Qiong on two paintings, Eleanor has done it all. Her latest artistic conquest? Designing and releasing a fashion line called No Limits 0927 in May this year.

Photo: Eleanor Lee/Instagram

Eleanor Lee
Eleanor Lee
27 Jul 2017

Eleanor Lee

For the two artworks done with Wu Qiong, the self-taught artist and then 15-year-old shared that she didn’t sketch any drafts before putting paintbrush to canvas. She got down to painting after looking at many artworks online and was praised for having a “natural flair” and “unique style.” Both pieces of artworks are reportedly worth $15,500 each. 

Photo: Eleanor Lee/Instagram

Fann Wong
Fann Wong
27 Jul 2017

Fann Wong

Fann’s secret talent for drawing was made known when she released her first art book, Girl, Illustrated, in 2004. She revealed details about her childhood years and stories about her love life and showbiz journey through the illustrations in her best-seller book, which she spent a year working on. After she published her book, Fann’s creative services was widely sought after and she was even engaged to do commercial projects for several companies.

Photos: Fann Wong/Weibo

Fann Wong
Fann Wong
27 Jul 2017

Fann Wong

One of Fann’s last few drawings were illustrations of her character in The Last Night of Madam Chin. The closest arty-farty thing that she does in real life these days are art and craft school projects for her soon-to-be 3-year-old son, Zed.

Photos: Fann Wong/Instagram

Report a problem