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

Articles tagged “creativity

A glass of art and science, please.

Posted on July 29, 2013

Ronald Ramirez

Mixologist, THAILAND

When did a drink get so complicated?

Gone are the days when my idea of a mixed drink was a rum and coke or a gin and tonic. There’s a new bar in the ‘hood and mixology has been spreading faster than you can say, uh, mixology. The term itself eludes me. I mean, the last time I checked, the person behind the bar mixing me some rum, lime juice, and mint leaves was called a bartender. So, when does the guy behind the bar earn a license to be called a mixologist—if there’s a license at all? To be a professional bartender, the one responsible for managing everything behind the bar and ensuring that customers are happy—and behaved, often entails completing a bartending course.

Many professional cocktail mixers are uncomfortable with the label mixologist. Regardless, the fact remains; mixology is complicated. And no mixologist in their proper mind would say, “I’m just mixing things along, I really have no idea what I’m doing.” Nobody just takes the classic margarita and hands it over in foam/gel/mist form without trained calculation and a creative imagination. Mixologists go beyond the aesthetics of a pretty drink; they dive into the human experience by digging into the chemistry (especially in molecular mixology) of spirits, playing with flavour, touch and texture, and provoking a myriad of senses that are often roused by memories and emotions.



On top of the world’s highest open bar and the tallest in Bangkok, I had the opportunity to learn about the art and science that goes in a glass. After years of honing his craft all over Europe and Dubai, Philippine-born Ron Ramirez is back in Southeast Asia and is the resident mixologist of lebua’s Sky Bar at Sirocco. As he blended one spirit with another and traced glass rims with herb-infused salts, Ron shared his creative inspirations and gave a peek into a regular workday of a mixologist.


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Examining the Mental Blocks to pursuing a Creative Career

Posted on July 19, 2013

Within every deskbound Singaporean exists a creative soul.

When I look at Singapore, I see a nation of highly committed workers focused on growing their incomes, extending their exports, expanding services to generate incomes and build stores of wealth whether for a rainy day. Beneath these solicitors, accountants, and engineers, are dreams of being a musician, an artist, a dancer—all pushed aside to pursue ‘a proper job’.

There are reasons why these closeted creatives exist.


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The Science of Creativity: Intersections of Design x Music x Art

Posted on July 9, 2013


What feeds our imagination in the act of creation?


Some artists turn to music. Some turn to design and others turn to art movements, aiming to trigger that spark and burst of creation. This article looks at the influence of these 3 factors in the process of artistic creation and concludes that, oftentimes, it’s at the intersections and confluences of these stimuli where the stuff of magic happens.

The process of adaptation in creation is quite common, and pastiche as an act of imitation is a practice familiar to many ideas. However, when does borrowing border on plagiarism? As author Dean Inge spouts, “What is originality? Undetected plagiarism.” If we begin from this premise we can be more constructive in unpacking the influences (as the euphemism goes) of design, music, and art in one’s creative process.




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Meet the Makers of Singapore

Posted on June 25, 2013


Photo by Luther Goh

In May this year, local startup Pirate 3D launched their own Buccaneer 3D printer with an overwhelmingly successful Kickstarter campaign that made global headlines. The device seems not only easy to use but also beautiful to behold. The price: only US$347 plus shipping. They intended to raise just US$100,000, but as I write they have crossed US$1 million already.

It’s a good example of trendy tech enjoying crowdfunded glory. Some people are wondering if it’s a sign that local makers will soon experience boom times. But the truth is, such stories are rare in the Singapore maker scene.

Look around and you’re more likely to find modest maker meetups around town where friendly tinkerers exchange tips about down-to-earth projects, including everything from origami-inspired sculptures to mesmerising LED displays for the visual effects industry. Like the Singapore Makers Meetup, which happens every two months at HackerspaceSG. They are organised by local hack-ducator William Hooi, who works at the Science Centre Singapore conducting workshops for kids. In his free time he manages community projects like the Singapore Makers meetup group and the HacKIDemia Singapore chapter.

William is also part of the team behind the coming Singapore Mini Maker Faire in late July, a geeky gathering that Singapore’s makers, hackers and DIY enthusiasts are eagerly anticipating. It will be held at the *SCAPE Warehouse over the last weekend of the month, and provides a platform for some 60 or so local inventors to showcase their DIY projects and share their craft skills. If you turn up you’ll find that it’s a wildly diverse crowd. Still, William believes they share one important quality: the maker mindset.

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ARTSYFACT: Creative Karungunis Keeping Memories Alive

Posted on June 11, 2013

This interview was first published on the Project Passion 365 website and was told through visuals. Lilian was kind enough to let us republish and remix it a little. All photos and text provided by the author. The Karung Gunis are rag and bone men in Singapore who visit residences door-to-door to collect unwanted items and newspapers.


Art Director/Copywriter/Producer at ARTSYFACT

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

Aaron: An Art Director and a skate enthusiast.
Aaron believes in the insight behind every idea / design.
Casey: A Copywriter and a movie buff.
Casey believes that having a compelling story is vital in getting the message across.
Leon: A Suit / Producer and a coffee connoisseur.
Leon believes that focus and staying true is key to success.

What is your passion in life?

Keeping memories alive and if we can help the environment along the way, even better.

Why is passion so important in life?

Without passion, everything will be done half-heartedly and passion makes all the sacrifices we make along the way worth it.

Do you have Monday Blues (or Sunday Evening Sorrows)?

Never. Most probably because we’re off on Mondays but more importantly, we look forward to every day and every new challenge with eager anticipation.


When did you have the ‘Fuck this, I’m going to do this now’ moment?

When we realized that we couldn’t stomach another lie.


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