(Tuesday 22 March 2016) Visual artist Speak Cryptic’s characters – drawn in clean black lines, heads crowned with anything from thorns and brambles to bandanas screaming slogans – have always been two-dimensional drawings
trapped on paper and brick. But they are poised to make their escape, with the help of members of the public.
For the first time, the Singapore artist’s black-and-white characters will come to life, weaving their way through the crowds as part of The O.P.E.N. About 100 participants selected from open auditions will join Speak Cryptic’s The Tribe. The performance is one of four anchor pieces planned for Club Malam, an evening of interweaving performances.
“I’m doing this because there’s this need to belong,” says the 35-year old bachelor, whose real name is Farizwan Fajari. “A lot of people are trying to fit into groups that are not really them. They’re just trying to be the best version of who they think they should be, when I think you should just be yourself and find people who like you for you.”
He enrolled in the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1998 when he was 18, but it was a struggle for a teen who went to school “wanting to be an artist, but not necessarily ready to do the work”. He did not graduate.
But national service gave him time to think about where he was headed. In 2005, he started drawing his characters, staying away from colour due to his partial colour blindness, which makes it hard to tell shades apart, and to keep costs down. These characters – his exploration of culture and identity – were posted online and gained a following. He also headed to Lasalle College of the Arts that year and graduated in 2007.
Media: ST Life, page D2
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南洋艺术学院 Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts