Close to Culture, Close to Creativity, Spot on Asia.

The Everyday Revolution

Posted on February 7, 2016

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Sophia Tan, SINGAPORE

Founder, Managing Director of The Everyday Revolution

A framed canvas sits in the middle of a room.

Swirls of red, blue, green form a kaleidoscopic flurry; their streaks and splatters made in watercolour beg to tell a story. At first glance, the story is whimsical and jovial, as bright colours often seem to have that effect. Yet, as it goes in the world of art, one must plunge beyond the colourful surface and swim with the undertow to reach the depths of its true meaning.

Is this all too esoteric? We stand in the middle of a museum or a gallery; across a piece of artwork on display waiting to be dissected, judged, loved, understood. Whether it is a portrait made with oil or water, or a figure sculpted by hand, it simply sits there, like a puzzle to be decoded, the worth of its maker’s story waiting to be measured. Yet somehow, we manage—to grasp, to resonate, to connect. And its maker—the artist—succeeds. Beyond the price pegged for its value—or the fame and adulation that may follow—nothing could be more gratifying than the connection made with another being amidst all the layers of our expression.


Imagine the world of a person with autism, a condition defined as a developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people, as well as how they make sense of the world around them. Fortunately, more progressive and passionate advocates are emerging and enabling opportunities for people with special needs to be heard, understood, and provided a chance to participate in society.

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Crossing the Chasm

Posted on December 2, 2015

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Marco Sparmberg, SINGAPORE

Acting Lead for Social Media, Digital Group at MediaCorp

Marco Sparmberg grew up in East Germany during a period when Berlin was divided by a wall until it fell in 1989 paving way for a reunified Germany. Marco now lives and work in Singapore for the national broadcaster, MediaCorp, and is determined to transform the five decade old organisation inside out by embracing digital technologies.

Growing up, Marco has live in countries like South Africa, Israel and China. Before working in Singapore, Marco has worked in Hong Kong for about 4 years. Marco’s love for Hong Kong films by directors John Woo and Johnnie To, led him to do his graduate studies in film at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Marco Sparmberg working on the set of Squattertown (www.squattertown.com), a web series shot in Hong Kong.

Marco Sparmberg working on the set of Squattertown (www.squattertown.com), a web series shot in Hong Kong.

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LIDIA MAY – “Substance and value is true luxury”

Posted on August 13, 2015

May Yang, BANGLADESH

Founder of LIDIA MAY

Dhaka is the capital city of Bangladesh and home to more than 14 million inhabitants. Among them is May Yang, also one of the few Chinese Americans who call this city their home.

Born in Chongqing, China, Yang immigrated to the United States with her parents at the age of 10 and was raised in Los Angeles. Since then, she has lived in cities like Hong Kong and worked in a corporate law firm in New York prior to taking on a development role for a non-profit organisation in Bangladesh.

“My heart has always been with doing development work in areas of poverty alleviation and disaster management. Doing that gave me a lot of meaning and purpose,” said Yang during the interview at her office and workshop for her accessories label, Lidia May.

While working for the NGO, she yearned to create more impact in the lives of the locals. That opportunity came when she learned about the Lidia Hope Centre, a small slum school serving families that reside in the slum areas.

“I came to Bangladesh seeing two extremes. On one end, a lot of poverty and poorly made systems and things. On the other end, a very vibrant art scene and very rich tradition of hand-made goods. Including, a growing community of people who are well travelled and appreciate the finer things in life.”

LIDIA MAY was set up as a socially conscious label that would market and sell quality accessories made by women from the slums who are trained and counselled by the the Lidia Hope Centre.

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The Road to Creative Fulfilment

Posted on July 19, 2015

When it comes to career choices, traditional Asian families are known to be highly pragmatic. It is common for parents to nudge their children to pursue a practice in accountancy, medicine or law, and thus build a name in a respectable profession with high earning growth prospects.

Some may conform to their parent’s wishes and societal pressure despite a lack of interest in the field of study. A few will find courage to break out of the mold to pursue their heart’s desire.

David, Ethan and Elise are 3 Singaporean professionals who made the plunge to drop their respective 9-to-5’s to pursue their artistic passions.


Photo by David Seow

Photo by David Seow

David Liew

Freelance Illustrator

What were you doing before venturing full-time as an illustrator?

I’ve held a number of jobs in my “previous life” – junior college art and history teacher, model-maker, animation production artist, polytechnic lecturer.

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Tasting The World In Her Kitchen

Posted on June 30, 2015

Gabriele Galimberti, Photographer (Italy)

Gabriele Galimberti, Photographer (Italy)

Gabriele Galimberti, ITALY

Photographer, Author of In Her Kitchen

There is a reason why comfort food is called, well, comfort food.
It is food that makes you comfortable at a time you need to be; arousing feelings of nostalgia, familiarity, your forgotten childhood — resulting in a symphony of warm and fuzzy emotions with every bite.

So, what happens when a person, who hardly ever left his Tuscan hometown and was very attached to the comforts of a traditional Italian household like a proper Italian boy, must leap outside his comfort zone to explore the world as a couchsurfer and (literally) live on and off the couches of total strangers for two years?

In Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s story, he goes to his Grandma Marissa and she makes him his favourite ravioli. (As a matter of fact, he would then go off to meet other grandmas in different cities, where they not only feed him, they would also teach him how to cook their own favourite recipes and help him create a best-selling cookbook.)

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