Naiise Conversations With Jemma Wei
The new year brings not only new resolutions, but also fresh beginnings. For many, this lies outside of our little island and holds a brand new world of adventures ahead.
But home will always be home.The place where our family and friends reside in, the place where every corner of the island feels familiar, the place where we know local idiosyncrasies in and out, and feel an occasional pang of nostalgia for days long gone.
We invited lifestyle blogger Jemma Wei, who's abroad in Stuttgart on an exchange semester, to curate a collection of items to remember home by and double up as gifts for friends and family dearly missed.
We also took the chance to raid Jemma's beautiful and youthful mind for her thoughts on Singapore's art and design scene, and her favourite designers.
1. Who is Jemma Wei and how did the website come about?
I'm just a regular student who's dabbling in a whole lot of other things while trying to figure out where my life is going. Currently, I'm also hosting reality fashion TV show That F Word on clicknetwork.tv. I started blogging because i love to write- in fact, a collaborative anthology I wrote for was just launched this Singapore's Writer's Festival! Unfortunately, From the Belly of the Cat isn't available on Naiise.. yet.
2. We hear you're going on exchange soon - where are you off to, and what are you most excited about?
I'm off to Stuttgart, Germany, and I'm most excited for how my instagram feed will look over the next 7 months. So superficial, but it is what it is. You can follow me on my European adventures here.
3. What will you miss about Singapore?
Family, but that's not Singapore-specific. Food, i think. Very few places have food as varied and delicious as Singapore's. When I think about seven months without a decent bowl of laksa..
4. Top picks from your curated collection of items to remember home by?
The oh gosh collarpins are so adorable, although they're more for guys. The Choy keychain also made me smile- but I'm particularly keen on the Postcards from Lenne. She's a personal friend, and I think, also, a fantastic example of Singaporean talent. I mean, just look at them! They're gorgeous. I'd feel so proud of Singapore, handing these out to friends around the world.
5. What do you think of Singapore's art and design scene? Favourite designers?
It's still growing. We're definitely much more supportive of local designers as compared to before, and consequently, the scene is growing rapidly, but i think we still have quite a way to go. Personal favorites include Ong Shunmugam and Depression Label. It's also very encouraging that besides art and design, our local film scene is really flowering. Beyond established singapore filmmakers like Eric Khoo, we've got plenty of up and coming young student filmmakers and designers like Martin Hong and Ian Kong representing singapore here and abroad with works of incredible quality. It's very encouraging.
6. How is design important to you?
It changes your whole life. If you've got a coherent design scheme pulling your entire apartment together, it can affect your mood from the minute you wake up to the second you step back into your room after a long day's work. This extends to everything - how you pull your outfit together each day, how you perceive things around you, and so on. This is why on a basic level, it's so important to keep your living space clean (unfuck your habitat does a great job of teaching you how), but on another level, how your living space looks and feels and influences you is also very much to do with design.
7. What's ahead in 2014 for you, and what are your top picks for naiise living?
I'll be on the go most of 2014, so that's all very exciting. For some reason, I've taken to bringing a pair of chopsticks with me in my luggage- they make great gifts for friends you meet abroad, they're so intrinsically asian, and they're really easy to pack with you because they take up so little space. And you know, you can get the most orientally gorgeous pairs on naiise, so that's that. Cheers to a great year ahead, everyone!