Saturday, 20 April 2013

It's a small commision; but it speaks volumes in its significance.

A very significant project 26 years in the making...
I received my first commission the other day: a project to reflect the venue of PassionArts at Bedok organised by the PA. It is exciting as a personal project and a personal affirmation.

When I was 12 and selecting secondary schools and programmes that I would be interested to go to after my national exams (PSLE), the then-newly implemented Art Elective Programme caught my eye. My parents, especially my mum, were supportive and encouraged me to go for it. But there was an obstacle.

Despite having helped with the illustrations of several ‘big books’ (the drawings were A3 in size), my form teacher stated that my school (i.e. herself) needs to endorse on my application and maintained matter-of-factly that I was “not good enough for the programme”.

More recently, despite being a graduate and having practiced as an interior designer and architect, I was told by the local Ministry of Education that I am “not qualified to teach art because [I am] not certified by the National Institute of Education”.

To me, it’s all right. I have already practiced as an actual designer, taught art for at least 10 years and had my works published. Now, I have at least one commissioned piece to add to my portfolio. I suppose I don’t really need their qualification for affirmation or confirmation.

Although this is a simple piece of work, its very existence speaks volumes in its significance.

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