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[InC-terview] SG Heart Map Filmmaker - William Chan

By Flora  /  18 Nov 2015 (Wednesday)
Singapore’s first-ever crowd-sourced map project, SG Heart Map, will be organising a grand SG Heart Map Festival @ Float at the end of this month. 

Seven lead artists across Singapore’s literary and visual arts scene will be showcasing their unique works, contributed by Singaporeans. We talk to multidisciplinary designer William Chan, one of the selected artists in SG Heart Map. Chan is a recipient of the President’s Design Award ‘Designer of the Year’ in 2007, and the co-founder of PHUNK (studio). He will be producing a film that celebrates places significant to the Singapore story and an animation of the SG Heart Map journey, which will premiere at the festival, through projection mapping. 

InCinemas: Hi William, can you tell us more about the animation, ‘A Beautiful Day’ you’re doing for SG Heart Map?

Over the last one year, Singaporeans have actively stepped forward to share personal stories that happened at places in Singapore that define home for them. From more than 80,000 personal stories of places contributed, 50 SG Heart Map places were unveiled, reflecting Singaporeans’ diverse choice locations and experiences. 

A Beautiful Day documents Singapore from day to night through these 50 SG Heart Map places, and brings audiences on a visual journey of the many places that trace the progress of Singapore. This celebration of the 50 SG Heart Map places will be presented through an animation on the exterior of the dome and a short film projected in the interior.


InCinemas: How has the process been, and what are some of the difficulties you faced when it comes to projection mapping?

Working on a flat surface now is one of the challenges we faced because the projection will eventually be mapped on the exterior of a dome, while the animation will need to be able to join seamlessly in 360 degrees. We will only be able to test the work out a few days before the event when the dome is erected. 

InCinemas: Can you share with us more about your research process in shooting these iconic places in Singapore?

Before the shoot, I’ll recce the places first and spend some time walking around the area to look for things that catch my eye.  I'm trying not to shoot the obvious because many Singaporeans are already quite familiar with these places. The last thing I want is to shoot a tourism film. So I’m constantly looking for something that will spark the curiosity of the viewers. I hope that when they watch the film, some of the shots will trigger them to ask questions about the place.

InCinemas: What are some of the interesting findings?

One of the 50 SG Heart Map locations is Chinese Garden and most Singaporeans will relate it to the iconic pagoda. During my recce, I walked into the pagoda for the first time and I saw this beautiful spiral stairs when I look up. I was mesmerised by it, so I decided this will be shot for Chinese Garden.

InCinemas: Is there a specific location in Singapore that holds a special place in your heart?

It will be Tiong Poh road within the Tiong Bahru estate. It was where I own my first apartment, got married and have a kid, so it holds a lot of memories for me.

InCinemas: Your artworks are usually very bold and funky, is this something the audience can expect to see on the finale event?

Yes definitely. I welcome everyone to join us at the SG Heart Map Festival @ Float!  

InCinemas: How do you think the arts scene in Singapore has changed since the past few years, and what are your hopes for Singapore’s future?

The art and design scene in Singapore is definitely more vibrant now. There are more schools, awards, events, venues, etc to recognise and showcase works by local artist and designers. In the near future, I hope art and design thinking can be integrated more into the school curriculum, so that art/design appreciation will become almost like a second language to every Singaporean.


SG Heart Map will be celebrating this meaningful project with a grand finale festival at The Float@ Marina Bay from 26 - 29 November 2015!

The four-day event will include the artworks by the seven Singaporean artists, showcasing through a variety of art forms such as film, literary works, audio installations, sketches, illustrations, photographs and animations. Don’t miss the spectacular light shows and 3D projection mappings against the beautiful city skyline!

(More information on the festival at the SG Heart Map website, here!)

In addition to the yummy spread of street food and spectacular light shows, there will be themed outdoor movie nights every evening from the 26th! Dress to the theme’s dress code and be the first 50 pairs to arrive to receive a mystery gift! Enjoy well-loved local films like ‘Forever Fever’ (Glen Goei), ‘Chicken Rice War’ (Chee Kong Cheah), ‘Army Daze’ (Ong Keng Sen) and ‘881’ (Royston Tan) during the festival as well. 

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