When she was young, Clara Yee used to draw comic strips as her homework instead of writing essays. What started as mere curiosity turned into a lifelong pursuit of art. Fast forward to now, the multi-talented creator has successfully made a name for herself across various fields – from fashion prints to stage design and even an experiential travelling art and design showcase. You name it, she’s done it.
“You have to be curious everyday,” she explains on the inspiration behind her works. ” This way, your mind doesn’t stop collecting, thinking and questioning what you see or interact with. It can be from reading a book, browsing the web or simply something strange that my friend said that day.”
As an artist, Clara doesn’t limit herself to certain mediums. Instead, she chooses to convey her art through multiple disciplines as a form of storytelling. She elaborates, “I’m not so keen on the conventional. When I approach different disciplines, I may not necessarily have the right technical knowledge or expertise for that area, but what I really like about the process is how I can play around with it.”
And perhaps it’s this flair for experimentation that makes her work so appealing to modern audiences. Her diverse portfolio aside, the young designer has also collaborated with the likes of international brands like Alexander McQueen, Barbican London and NPTD, and was also featured as a Forbes Asia 30 under 30 honouree.
And the coolest part about her job? Her art has taken her to many places. Just recently, she took charge of an experiential traveling art and design showcase titled Singapore: Inside Out, which toured Beijing, London, New York and Singapore.
When asked about the city that speaks to her the most, she says, “I have really fond memories of Mexico City. It’s so far away from Singapore, but there are some cultural similarities that I find intriguing – the colours, the warmth and the way they communicate visually, feel much closer to home than any other country I’ve been to. Having worked cross-culturally in different cities, you start to realise that you’re opening up your mind to so much more beauty and possibilities in the world.”
Sharing her hopes for the local design community in the future, she expresses, “I hope that there will be more diversity and attention given to local design. The cultural seat of power still lies in the hands of media abroad, so it appears as if the talented designers are all gathered there. Through my works, I wish to bring the conversation to the region.”
This article is an excerpt from our latest issue of Teenage Chapters 2019, where we shine the spotlight on youths who are changing the world – one chapter at a time. Out on newsstands now.
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