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Yeo Yakka, Ashley

Yeo Yakka, Ashley

Meet visual artist from Singapore, Yeo Yakka, Ashley.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m an artist working mostly with paper. My practice splits between drawing and paper cutting.
I pursue details and refinement within my art practice, its a love-hate relationship.
I think of myself as an inarticulate person…

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.
I live in Singapore. it’s very warm and humid, but we are safe from natural disasters. Most Singaporeans are bilingual or more, which is great! Its relatively convenient, clean and we have good public transport. Singapore emphasizes a lot on education and it gets really competitive but it is a modern city, and I like the comfort that comes along with it.

 

Singapore emphasizes a lot on education and it gets really competitive but it is a modern city, and I like the comfort that comes along with it.

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?
The best thing, it’s pretty safe. I could go jogging at night or walk home alone and it’s not a problem. We have a national arts council that support the creative landscapes to a certain extent, so that’s nice as well.
The worst… the weather??? It’s really very warm and humid, terrible for someone who constantly works with paper. But at the same time, most public places have air conditioners, so it’s not exactly a big problem either. hmm. We also have a lot of censorship issues, for example, working with nudity or LGBTQ topics even in the context of art so its something that we have to work around. I’ve heard about local art collectors or businesses talk about how proud they are to have certain international artists’ work and they went to great financial lengths to get it, and to showcase their art, but they don’t show the same support towards local artists, so that can be disappointing too, but we work with what we can.

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.
tricky, different, rewarding (sometimes)

 

How did you start your career in art?
I went to art college after my O’ levels. it was a straight trajectory towards an art career since.

 

I went to art college after my O’ levels. it was a straight trajectory towards an art career since.

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?
Yes! My parents were quietly supportive. I was very certain and motivated to pursue arts since I was 15, so it was something that I was working towards without any doubts.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?
If I could just keep drawing without worrying about bills and rainy days in the future, that would be great… lol

 

If I could just keep drawing without worrying about bills and rainy days in the future, that would be great… lol

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?
Wow. Do I dare???
That’s a nice question to think about.  but it feels really presumptuous of me to name anyone. I would be happy if anyone looks forward to creating an exciting and genuine piece with me.

 

How would you describe the women around you?
Strong, clear, decisive.
Both my twin sister and my mother are really outspoken and confident, I really do hope more of their energies rub off on me. They are also truly supportive and encourages me, so it’s really comforting.

 

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

Chinese singers Stephanie Sun and Tanya Chua were really big when I was growing up. to see them so successful on an international level tells me it’s possible even if our local landscapes do not suit the pursuit of a creative career. I think a lot of it is about hard work and available opportunities.

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

I haven’t faced any directly about me being a woman in the creative scene, or maybe I try not to think about it. I think being an artist is difficult enough.

 

In terms of advice, I think, do good work, be nice, and never be late is a good way to start.

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?
Working constantly is so important, making things and putting them out there is really important.
Knowing how to talk is also important.
In terms of advice, I think, do good work, be nice, and never be late is a good way to start 🙂

 

 

Photos courtesy of Yeo Yakka, Ashley.

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