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Naiise x Noise: Interview With Anwar Rafie

Noise Singapore is dedicated to making noise about the creative talent of young people aged 35 and below. Through numerous platforms to express, develop and showcase their creativity, Noise Singapore hopes to encourage young people in Singapore to actively participate and nurture their relationship with the arts, as well as get them spotted for their budding abilities.

We are very excited to be part of a brand new collaboration with Noise Singapore. Naiise x Noise works with alumni of Noise Singapore and 5 chosen designers' works will be selected and printed onto tote bags for sale at Naiise.  

Naiise x Noise - Anwar 1

Tell us more about yourself - what do you do / how you got to where you are?

I am a self-taught artist who’s always hungry for a new challenge. I run my own company called Carte Postale (Postcard in French), an indie clothing brand that also goes by the moniker CP. It was established in 2010 and it’s been running since. Long story short: It all began ten years ago when I won an Asia Pacific ‘Design a Hotel Room’ Competition by CYX, organised by MICA in Gallery Hotel Singapore. Since then, I have been participating in numerous competitions around the globe. One of the notable ones being the T-shirt giant, Threadless, an ongoing online T-shirt design competition, where users submit their masterpieces for voting in hopes of having their designs printed on Threadless shirts to be made for sale. I’m thankful and delighted to have had 10 winning designs printed to date. It's all about building confidence with constructive criticism, awesome support and especially love and trust by family, friends and supporters throughout the years. That is how Carte Postale was born and this is where I am right now. I’m still hungry for new things in my career!

What makes you want to join Naiise?

I received an awesome email from Noise Singapore and Naiise. I bet it’ll be a great opportunity and platform to share more of my life through my work, to everybody and beyond. I’m guessing every local artist would want that bit of spotlight, wouldn’t they? That would feel really, really “Naiise. :)

What inspires you?

I’m inspired about everything around me. Music, fashion, animals, nature are some from my daily random life! To sum everything up, anything and everything is an inspiration to me. I also lean a lot more towards everything Africa for quite awhile now. It’s such an amazing place, I can never forget my experiences there. You can see African influences in many of my pieces, try to spot them. ;)

What difference do you think you can make to the local art scene?

Good question! I guess I don’t have any correct answer to this. I think we all need more awareness, focus, support and give credit where it’s due to our local artists first. Art lovers as well as amongst the artists themselves. Of course, we can learn and see what’s up with the regional and international artists as well, but let us spread the love to the home-grown heroes foremost! Originality in our work whilst being rooted to the beautiful cultures we have really makes us the unique melting pot that we are. Culture/ Art / Design/ Fashion/ Music and everything else. Better be original and not carbon-copies and being overshadowed by the “trendy” ones right? Since the earlier days of Carte Postale, I’ve been humbled and grateful at the opportunities given to work with some notable international icons and brands. One of the most special ones being, with Project Runway Winner S9, Anya Ayoung Chee. We did a collaboration with Ablemade, which took me to New York to actually meet her. It was crazy.

What I am trying to say is, our pool of talents right here in Singapore is JUST AS GOOD, if not better, as those found regionally and intentionally! This is why we should always support our Kampong foremost! In addition, I see a lot of interesting and cool locally-made stuff on the Naiise and that’s really great.

Sum up your works/style in 6 words.

Not Too Dark, Not Too Colourful.

In 5 years time, where do you think your works and you will be?

There’s always a random surprise everyday, so I’ll just go wherever this journey takes me. As I shared above, it took me to places and had me meet people I could only dream of ever going or meeting. For now, I guess I’ll stick to Singapura. If there’s any awesome opportunity elsewhere, my passport and suitcase await me.

What is your favourite item from Naiise? Why?

I worked in a high-end Italian furniture company called Cappellini years before and seeing the beautiful workmanship of furniture in the showroom made me love the art in furniture even more. And then I saw The Roadie Wardrobe by KARPENTER. I love it! There’s something mysterious about it….

Any words for budding artists?

Be “INK’dividual", stay humble, and do it with love or don't do it at all.

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