In this issue where we talk about celebrating all things Singapore, there is no one else that comes to my mind more than the achievements of an old friend of mine, Clara Yee.
I've always admired Clara's work, long before she started receiving all the many accolades and recognition. Apart from being one of the nicest people I've met, Clara has great work ethics, and I admire her relentless spirit and creativity. Years ago, we worked together at Alexander McQueen in London. Clara has contributed her stunning illustrations to the fashion house and has also designed postcards for the Barbican. Her body and portfolio of incredible work is never ending and her achievements are awe-inspiring. He has been named as one of the 30 Rising Stars of Singapore by The Straits Times, and most recently, included in Forbes Asia's 30 Under 30 list of influential people.
But don't be quick to pigeonhole this young lady as being JUST an illustrator. Clara works across multi-disciplinary platforms and was recently the Artistic Director for much-lauded Singapore: Inside Out.
We talk to Clara and trace back her fashion roots, where she seeks her inspiration and also getting to know how Singapore has played a role in her artwork.
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH CLARA YEE
TFC: What does it mean to you to be included in Forbes Asia inaugural 30 Under 30 list?
CY: I feel a sense of need to find out how it can have a wider radius of benefit in my community beyond just media attention.
TFC: How has Singapore influenced your art or how has Singapore played a part in your art.
CY: I am born and bred Singaporean so naturally its grievances, concepts and situations are very much a part of me, my thinking and my work.
TFC: You've worked with Alexander McQueen and your illustration have been included as a motif in the houses collection. What was your greatest takeaway from the collaboration?
CY: The importance of allowing time and focus to create a great work
TFC: What other designers (or fashion houses) would you want to possibly collaborate with in the future? And what would that collaboration piece be?
CY: I enjoy translating narratives from one medium to another, so hopefully there will be a chance to work on experiential projects with fashion houses that have a strong voice of their own and stick to their guns, like Commes de Garcon, Max Tan, Stolen, Jon Max Goh. Beyond fashion, there are so many people I would die to work with and so much to do!
TFC: Do you have a favourite piece or collection where art/illustration and fashion came together to produce something spectacular? If so, what is it and why.
CY: Bjork and Iris van Herpen. It's just so beautiful that such a strange creation can exist and be shown to the world.
To view Clara Yee's extensive and expansive body of work, visit clarayee.com