Social Creatives was built on a rhetorical exercise: If you ask anyone to draw a house on a piece of paper, we would draw the same kind of house. This is usually square shaped with a triangular roof and two windows with a door in the centre. There is even a chimney with smoke coming out. If we go deeper into this exercise, we realised that people who are environmentally friendly would draw two trees beside on each side while those with some insecurities will draw fences. Lastly, individuals that are progressive would draw an alley leading outside the house. But it is curved?
We are governed first by our core-values followed by the visions and missions of what we do. At the age of 3, we defined our DNA as
We, Social Creatives Ltd, do Art for social change; Art to enhance the public perception towards each other, societies and the eARTh.
Mural Art is actually the first way of communication originating from cave-drawing and served as the first avenue for us to connect to each other, our surroundings societies and even eARTh. As society progresses, de-marginalised groups are left behind causing other challenges which arise from time to time and concepts of even middle child syndrome in middle income based societies.
The hole in our physical environment has resulted in global warming, which is especially apparent in equatorial Singapore. On a light note, we are lucky to have Uniqlo's 'Airism' T-shirts to keep us cool! However, in our human environment, there are many holes too and these are represented by the many emotional and physical walls that separate us from being who we are and being our best. Some walls are necessary. It is impossible to breakthrough these or all walls but through different feathers of communities coming together to form a paintbrush, we hope to create art to spark social change. They say the grass is always greener the on other side. However colours are needed everywhere.
As such, we believe in inclusion of communities, art for social change and art elevating individuals from emotional poverty.
Growing with Society
1965 - Singapore was an accidental nation that started without any natural resources except for people. There was a need to maximize our potential through a knowledge base economy and critical education. Hopefully, together we build a city of possibilities.
2008 - Forty-three years later, through many structure changes especially in the education sector, we were nurtured to be forward thinking, critical and business-centric. This cultivated a religion known locally as kiasu-ism (overly critical). Today, we have a developed economy with hundreds of billions in GDP reserves. However, socially we can do better? Our uniquely Singapore is known as a fine city city with a Kindness and Courtesy campaign while on the surface, our environment represents a clean and green city due to help from our foreign friends and the many laws. Let’s together bring out our inner and exterior beauty internally and externally.
The problem of kiasu-ism is in our mind-set, and in the way we look at things. (2015 Note: Kiasu-ism is not a problem, it is actually our Singapore DNA and is something to laugh about). The challenge in our perception bleeds elitism, generalization, income divide, ageing population, lack of ruggedness, lack of empathy, and the list goes on. In view of these challenges, a group of us wanted to do our part. We wanted to connect people to their surroundings and develop a stronger sense of ownership amongst each other and to our surroundings. We wanted to bring the concept of exclusivity to our heart level. We decided to transform dustbins along Orchard Road with an heARTs objectives where the arts is for all anywhere and everywhere as well as in our DNA instead of being very exclusive, high-end or we locals call it as ‘atas’.
However, the relevance of community art to Singapore is of great significance, particularly because there are no existing groups doing it on a sustainable basis. This was how Social Creatives was born. The idea of painting of dustbins ripple our efforts of a paintbrush where different feathers come together to create masterpieces to address societal gaps.
2015 - Things are changing much faster now. We want to be part of this escalating and exciting society to shape that change. Singapore is also known by a symbol where a fantasy Lion appears with an oceanic mermaid. Perhaps this is a fulcrum for all of us to achieve and progress towards. We believe in people, and our missions and visions may be altered in the years to come to stay relevant. However, we believe that the soul of the organization should not be changed.
We have concentrated more on visual arts aspect of our work which is the strongest form of community art due to our capabilities and have done well.
2020 - Social Creatives is more than ten years old with quantitative and qualitative success. Singapore murals has grown too with many commercial entities starting out as well as more government doing art projects. Social Creatives is not competitive but complementary in our non-profit objectives for greater good. We are currently affected much by COVID19 challenges and do require much help to impact lives and society. We do have a strong value proposition of helping the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals too. There is a need to evolve.