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

Articles by Daylon Soh

Daylon Soh

Daylon Soh

Design Founder at CuriousCore
Creative Rebel, Marketer & Managing Editor of @OpenBrief. ♥ Digital Photography, Copywriting & Gaming
Daylon Soh

State of the Art

Posted on April 3, 2016

Great news for enthusiasts, purveyors, and collectors that love art. There is an increase in online art auctions and platforms around the world making the medium more accessible for everyone via technology.

Online art sales had reached US$3.6 billion in 2014, about 6% of all worldwide sales, according to The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF). This figure represents an increase from US$2.8 billion in the previous year (5% of global sales). These figures match TEFAF growth estimates of online sales at a minimum rate of 25% per annum.

In the global art market report released by TEFAF in 2013, the report states that “the price level at which people are comfortable to purchase online is slowly moving up, as new generations of collectors become involved.” Founders of online art platforms from Asia agree.


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Crossing the Chasm

Posted on December 2, 2015


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 (, a web series shot in Hong Kong.

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


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LIDIA MAY – “Substance and value is true luxury”

Posted on August 13, 2015


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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NYC x SIN: Do good work to eat good food

Posted on June 18, 2015

Jenny Acosta and Benjamin Koh have never met in real life. Jenny works as a freelance food illustrator in Brooklyn, New York while Benjamin works as a freelance graphic designer in Bukit Batok, Singapore. Benjamin has never visited New York City while Jenny has lots of relatives living in Singapore because her mother is of Hainanese Chinese descent.

Both creatives share an obsession with FOOD. Jenny works for the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) in New York City while Benjamin just launched a zine full of food illustrations on Etsy.

Jenny exudes a bubbly charm whenever she talks about her work.

How has being a FOOD illustrator changed your life?

J: Making food a focus in my work has really made me want to look closer into all things edible beyond just eating. It has helped me appreciate the detailed process of making food; made me curious about the origins and pioneers of the past and future in food, and has allowed me to find new ways to link the role of the chef to the role of the artist and designer. I’ve been able to enjoy food and food communities in really fun ways by expressing my gratitude or passion for (a certain) flavour through illustration.

"GIFs are a great medium to express the current state of food culture; a saturated repetition of marketing consumption and trendy eating habits." - Jenny Acosta

“GIFs are a great medium to express the current state of food culture; a saturated repetition of marketing consumption and trendy eating habits.” – Jenny Acosta

What inspires you to keep drawing FOOD?

Jenny Acosta, Food Illustrator

Jenny Acosta, Food Illustrator (New York City)

J: Seeing friends, family, and strangers get as excited about my art in food as they do about a new restaurant or dish they tried inspires me to keep bringing out a new “course” and pushes me to not just draw food as still life, but tell its story in a fresh yet familiar way. I grew up cooking with my grandparents a lot as a child, so when I can connect with them through showing them my artwork about food and they can understand and enjoy it, that is one of my biggest motivations to keep communicating this way. Of course good food inspires me to keep drawing food, because I’m tasting these amazing things that remind me that the food world is important, exciting, and always changing. I want to be part of that movement of exciting food culture through my art.


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