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

A Message for our Readers

Posted on June 1, 2015

Dear Readers,

OpenBrief has been serving stories about Asia and its creative communities for the last 2 years and has been a passionate endeavour for its volunteer contributors.

When we began OpenBrief, we wanted to place the spotlight on emerging creatives and makers in Asia that are hardly covered by mainstream media and even niche design blogs. The stories were intended to serve as an extension of the inspiring conversations we would encounter at each CreativeMornings / Singapore event, and hopefully inspire the imagination of more people to pursue their creative endeavours.

We have always tried to benchmark our journalism standards to the great daily papers of our time while keeping the operation sustainable with commitments in our own day jobs and business ventures.

Today, we’re going back to where we started: centering on the people. From hereon, OpenBrief will have weekly interviews with some of the most inspiring change-makers in Asia and the Asian diaspora making waves outside of Asia. Past stories in other editorial formats will be archived and remain searchable within the website.

Additionally, we are also experimenting with thematical stories for each month. We begin with the theme, FOOD, in which Asia’s food culture offers some of the most diverse culinary practices and customs.

Asia is growing more dynamic each passing day and we hope to be part of its growth story helping English speaking readers to understand the idosyncracies of this continent through the window of creativity and culture. We hope you’ll be part of the change and help us spread the word whenever a story inspires you.

We would love to hear from you some time.

P.S. Keep a look out later this weekend for our first interview.

OpenBrief: FOOD
Daylon & Chiara
Editors of OpenBrief

Creative Hub PMQ is a gem in Central, Hong Kong

Posted on July 18, 2014

Every morning, a barber shop sitting at the foot of a flight of granite stairs leading to the Police Married Quarters (PMQ) opens its shutters for business. The elderly shop owner inspects his equipment and cleans his adjustable arm chairs in a two seater shop fitted within a narrow back alley. At a time when Hong Kong island has been modernised with skyscrapers and rows of luxury fashion brands in Central, this tiny shop still hangs a framed menu of services written in Chinese calligraphy and is deck with arm chair designs that feel like they’re from the 60s.

Just across the barber shop on the side of the granite steps is the remains of rubble from the Central School built in 1889; the alma mater of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, the first president and founding father of The Republic of China.

PMQ has exhibits which showcases the building's rich heritage

PMQ has exhibits which showcases the building’s rich heritage


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Photo by Rebecca Toh

A neighbourhood in transition

Posted on June 15, 2014

A small group gathers at the kitchen area of a 4000 sq. ft. light industrial space learning how to bake cookies with herbs on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The workshop instructor from Wholesome Co. pulled out the baked creations from the oven provided by Mudian Crafted, a boutique carpentry firm, the aroma tempted a few curious shoppers from the corner of the space to peek over while they browse an assortment of well designed lifestyle goods curated by online store Naiise.

Photo by Rebecca Toh

Photo by Rebecca Toh


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Natalie Hiong — Right at home with music

Posted on February 21, 2014

Photo: Hoong Wei Long

Photo: Hoong Wei Long

Natalie Hiong, SINGAPORE

Independent Singer-Songwriter

Akin to starting a business, kickstarting a professional music career and building a name from scratch is by no means easy. Many would dream to bask in limelight with their favourite music idols, yet few would take a leap to pursue their passion relentlessly and eventually play alongside their idols. Not Natalie Hiong, she traded the bullion for the piano and has never looked back since. Her latest EP, Beautiful Mess, pens a heartfelt rendition of love and ambiguity. Inspired by experiences true to life, nothing is quite perfect. Yet in music, she finds comfort knowing everything can end (or begin) on a good note while she sings.

What inspires you to keep writing and singing songs?

Love and personal experiences in life.

What has been some of your most interesting experiences to date as a singer-songwriter?

Opening for Marie Digby’s concert here in Singapore, writing lyrics for the magic extravaganza show, Incanto, previously shown at Resorts World Sentosa and performing at the MEOW Con Showcase in Austin, Texas.

Who are your muses?

Singer songwriters like Sara Bareilles, Christina Perri and Brooke Fraser.

So you’re a fan of Glee?

Not exactly, but I do admire Rachel Berry (played by Lea Michele) and Finn Hudson (played by the late Cory Monteith) performance in Season 1. That’s as far as I’ve watched for Glee the TV series.


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Photo by Daylon Soh

Death to Brainstorming

Posted on October 21, 2013

“Creativity is dead.”

Carl walked out of another fruitless brainstorming session feeling despondent with more questions than good ideas that address the clients’ brief. Carl, an award-winning creative director at an upstart advertising agency, had been mulling over the brief with his colleagues, some of the most brilliant minds in the industry.

“Those mental blocks get to even the best of us,” Carl lamented to himself as he left the office for a quick smoke.

He understood well that the quantity of ideas matter more than the quality of ideas — at least at the beginning. “Perhaps we just need to give the team more time to crack the brief.”

Times are changing as we live in an attention deficit culture. The audience craves instant gratification and quick fixes while their brains unconsciously filters anything that resembles an advertisement. According to the latest statistics verified by the Associated Press, a modern audience average attention span has decreased from 12 second in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2012.

The average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds.


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