Red Dot Design Museum Singapore is going to forever close in May. I am deeply shocked and saddened by the news. I was quite unable to accept it when I saw it on TV. The Ministry of Law announced that it will be taken over by Maxwell Chambers in May.
This place holds wonderful memories for myself, and is part of reasons why I chose to do design for life, why I chose to change from Chemistry to Design.
I started my card business Laugh and Belly there on 8 July 2017, taking the student booth outside during MAAD. I sold cards, featuring puns, all the while when I was there.
I made so many friends, so many connections with people from the design world. They helped me so much, I am so grateful for the opportunities to even start a business from scratch, from NOTHING! I paid $0 for my booth there because I was a student when I was just starting out. There were no rental fees, and yet they still provided a box to put out our creations and even provided power banks and lights to shine on our works throughout the young night. (They stopped providing power banks after Dec 2016, but all is well, they reminded the vendors through email and I brought my own.)
What is MAAD? MAAD (Market of Artists and Designers) has been organised by the Red Dot Design Museum for one Friday night every month since July 2006. It’s a free creative marketplace for artists and art lovers to share their creations and appreciate innovations and design.
I love it. I love how people are allowed to freely create, freely express their thoughts and sell their creations. Singapore should allow more people to do that. Why can’t creatives just be more respected in Singapore? Why can’t they build another building so that nothing will be affected?
The government chased people out from Thieves’ Market at Sungei Road, the original flea market for people to sell their things. The government wanted to build an MRT there. I remember going there with my father when I was in secondary school, looking at old cameras and old furniture. I was so tempted to buy it and was so inspired by old things – that’s why I shoot film nowadays, to relive the inspiration and memories I had.
I felt sickened when they announced on the news that Thieves’ Market was going to be gone, but I had hope for other communities such as MAAD and The Local People SG.
Now, MAAD is going to be gone, for real. The Local People SG is still doing extremely well, but the booths that participates are no longer the same as those which participated when The Local People just started out. I remember going there and buying at least one thing from each booth because the creations were just mind-blowing inspiring.
But I guess more new things will be started up, and even greater things will happen to support artists in Singapore. Please appreciate art, guys. Buy the original work, not take a photograph of it. Please support artists and local markets. Make a change of how art should be viewed in Singapore. Change it to become a more positive one.