There are several strong, independent and risk-taking women in Singapore who have made great strides in building up our local arts scene. One such artist is 36-year-old industrial designer Lee Yun Qin, who made headlines with her light art installation, MoonFlower, which is now being showcased at i Light Marina Bay 2017.
Not only is her installation one of the stand-out pieces at the sustainable light art festival (it is one of our picks of the most instagrammable installations at i Light Marina Bay 2017), it was actually chosen to show overseas as well at the Scottsdale Canal Convergence in Arizona, US this February.
Below, we talk to the National University of Singapore alumni about her inspirations, her experiences as an artist so far and her wise words for fellow local artists wanting to make a name for themselves:
1. When and how did your passion for design/art start?
I’ve always enjoyed art since young, but never had formal training until university where I spent an intensive 4 years in the industrial design course. The passion kind of grew on me, when I discovered the difference I can make, to create delightful experiences.
2. Who/what are some of your inspirations?
I get a lot of my inspirations through people and things that surround me. Careful consideration of people, context and execution forms the basis of my sparks. I am also intrigued by Nendo’s works, at how they are always able to look at things from a fresh perspective.
3. What is the inspiration for MoonFlower?
I grew up in a family of florists. I remember the magical childhood experience of running through my grandfather’s orchid farms. When I came across i Light Marina Bay’s theme, ‘Light & Nature’, the idea that came to mind was how I could recreate this magical experience of immersing people in a luminescent garden of flowers. I came across these solar modules that allowed the flowers to be powered up by the sun, allowing sustainability and simplicity in execution.
4. What is your motivation to make MoonFlower an installation available for public adoption?
As i Light Marina Bay is really about sustainability and community engagement, my intent was for the artwork to take on another dimension – to give back to the community through supporting sustainable efforts in Singapore. I also liked the idea of the art piece living on in different people’s homes even after the exhibition.
5. How do you balance your full-time job and your design/artwork projects?
It’s a lot of late nights and careful time management. I’m thankful for an understanding husband and supportive family that chips in to spend time with my little girls when I’m away.
6. Do you have anything in the works/ any upcoming plans?
I’m in the midst of refining a cat furniture piece that I did for 9 lives design show, a cat furniture design exhibition which some friends and I put together. The pieces are currently on show at cat cafe Neko no Niwa and The Company of Cats till the end of the month.
7. Do you have any advice for young or struggling artists in Singapore?
Keep engaging, exploring and doing…you get lucky from doing.
Images: Lee Yun Qin
This article was first published on Female Magazine.