Open doors, open minds

Don't be alarmed if you see two guys setting up a projector in the middle of the street or your favourite hangout.  Meet Siyuan, a Communications Strategist at Ignition Factory and Hwee Chong, an Art Director at DDB whose latest creative endeavour has us opening our minds to the feast of possibilities life presents.

YOLO: How did you guys come together and start exploring creative projects outside of work?
The force that brings us together: Our restless energy to ignite interesting conversations with people. And because every dialogue starts with a great monologue, we decided to present our points of view in creative ways, and see how people react to them.

For instance, we created “A Sweet Life” at an HDB void deck with lots of candy, and waited for the inevitable to take place. As the ants carried out the destruction, we wanted people to think: What’s a sweet life? How long can it last? Are we trying too hard to create it? And is there any point in trying to prolong it? Perhaps, the real sweetness in life is fleetingly bittersweet.
In the same way, “Doors” projects our view on hope and despair. For this project, we roped in Fajar and Jeremy (both advertising creatives) who also share the same desire to create stuff outside of advertising. At the end of the day, we all just want to use our energy to create something a little more meaningful than advertising, that’s all. 

YOLO: Can you share what the challenges of being a creative in Singapore does to your own personal sense of creativity?
Many people complain that Singapore is very restrictive, and that its systematic environment impinges their creativity. But we don’t think so. Because in reality, creativity thrives on restrictions – big obstacles often bring out the best creativity in us.
If anything, Singapore has taught us the art of beating the system, without creating a ruckus. Singaporeans know how to quietly navigate our way around obstacles – breaking and bending rules that come in their way. Ask the illegal hawkers and DVD peddlers, and they’ll belt out amazing stories of stealth creativity.


YOLO: What inspired the Doors project?
It’s inspired by the many stories from people we’ve met. From an Indian foreign worker desperately hoping to borrow money for his son's surgery in Bangladesh, to a young boy hoping to master kungfu skills to protect his mum from his abusive dad. These people, despite much hoping and praying, are faced with countless roadblocks that take them nowhere.

We wanted to make a statement about life, and jolt people to think: Instead of following the light at the end of the tunnel, why not carry our own lights, and create our own doors! It’s really about rolling up our sleeves, and start creating opportunities we want for ourselves.
Creating this project is quite a feat in itself. But we saw it as our door – our opportunity to share our opinion with others. It wasn’t easy putting up the installations, especially in some ‘well-guarded’ public areas. We went through quite a lot of trouble, to make sure that each door sees the light of day.

YOLO: Where do you see the extent of this project?
“Doors” is meant to be an ongoing project. There’s no end date to it. For as long as we keep collecting stories of hope and despair, we’ll keep projecting people’s ‘doors’ onto roadblocks. We hope more people can share / inspire us with their stories. Or perhaps, collaborate with us with any new ideas. The next “door” will be projected as a video. Once the location is finalized, we’ll keep you guys posted.

YOLO: If you could create opportunities for people - what would they be?
We think people - everyone of us -  should create our own opportunities; not wait for others to create them for us. It’s just more meaningful that way. We’d encourage people to take a giant leap of faith, and work hard at what they believe in most. There might be some sacrifices and a few pitfalls, but hey, that’s what makes it more meaningful than having people pave the paths nicely for us. Don’t you think?

YOLO: What else can we look forward to from you guys?
We have many more ideas up our sleeves. Some require some money, so we’re saving hard to make them happen. Others require a little more planning. Most of them will be in public places. We’ll definitely share them with you guys when they’re done.

If life were a pencil…

Siyuan: If life were a pencil….  it’d make its mark on even the roughest surfaces.
Hwee Chong: If my life were a pencil…. it’d be without an eraser. It’ll constantly create new things, and waste no time removing any mistakes. (I want to be able to look back at an amazing journey filled with twists and turns, not a straight prefect line).


YOLO can't wait to see Siyuan and Hwee Chong's "Doors" project develop further and we are so glad to find more passionate thinkers in our city-state.
If you have creative projects you'd like to share with us, please don't hesitate to drop us a note!