Art-making can and needs to go beyond traditional forms, which is why I always feel that it is necessary to keep searching for such “Lobangs”.Desiree
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
STAR: Why did you choose to title your work “Lobang”? What do you make of the word?
Desiree: What is “Lobang”, and why are we constantly seeking an opportunity or a chance? What are the gaps and voids missing in different aspects of our lives, prompting us to constantly search for a better option? In this work, I want to explore multiple perspectives while examining the word “Lobang”. The fact that “Lobang” is a Singlish word enhances its duality of looking at voids and gaps. By expanding “Lobangs” into 3 segments, the series allows viewers to explore and appreciate how the notion of chances, voids and gains echoes through the life of an art educator.
STAR: As an art educator, why do you feel it is important to search for “Lobangs”?
Desiree: Our Art scene is constantly evolving, and so is the education world. As an art educator, I have always felt that we are constantly searching for new approaches and opportunities so that our students can grow their passion and appreciation for the Arts. To me, finding interesting events, collaborations, cross-disciplinary programmes and exhibitions for students to experience them would broaden their minds on the possibilities in art-making. Art-making can and needs to go beyond traditional forms, which is why I always feel that it is necessary to keep searching for such “Lobangs”.
STAR: The choice of a hand-crafted book is unusual for an artwork. What inspired you to choose this medium?
Desiree: As an artist, I always pay attention to and work very closely with the sensitivity of materials. The tactility of a hand-crafted book incorporates a personal element to the work, especially since this series is based mainly on my personal viewpoint and my investigation of “Lobangs” as an aspect of art education that needs further exploration.
STAR: I can see your dedication to art education through your work. What are the challenges you face keeping an art practice as a teacher? How do you overcome them? What do you find most rewarding about being a Teacher-artist?
Desiree: There will always be challenges, but the most important thing is growth – both as an art educator and an artist. As I inculcate the Growth Mindset in my students, it is truly fulfilling to adopt the same mindset myself as a Teacher-artist and become their role model. When I acquire new knowledge and broaden my artistic perspectives, I too, can share that with my students for them to grow!