By Low Jingyi and Magdalene Tan, Year 2, NM Majors
We aren’t design aficionados or gaming experts; just a pair of curious public relations majors keen to visit new places and share about them in writing. So, when we received an invitation to the opening night of Random Blends 2013, we immediately accepted the invitation as well as the chance to blog about it.
Random Blends is a digital art exhibition organised by the students of Communications & New Media Department every year since 2009. This year, Random Blends was held from March 22 to April 7 at the ArtScience Museum in the integrated resort, Marina Bay Sands.
“The location of Random Blends 2013 is great. It gives what is essentially a student-run event, a professional feel,” said Jeal Ng, Chairman for Random Blends 2012.
Random Blends had begun with a concentration in photographic works. Since then, collections have taken an eclectic turn to project more comprehensively the multi-modality leanings of the department. The 36 designs on display this year ranged from comic illustrations to collages, interactive storytelling, user experience designs, playable art and interactive games. Most of the creators were student designers of CNM majors or students from the School of Computing.
“Having dabbled in some of the game making tools some time ago, I really enjoyed the games designed by my peers and seniors. Playing the games as they are projected on the wall also added a new dimension to the experience. The game design ideas are engaging and fun!” said Samuel Cho, a year one CNM student who was with us on opening night.
Loh Sze Ming, Curator and Head of Public Relations for Random Blends 2013 elaborated: “In the selection of work for display, we looked at the aesthetics and the message behind the artwork. For example, if you take a look at the comics section, some of the works cover thought-provoking themes like national identity and xenophobia in Singapore, and presented the issues in direct, questioning ways.”
The same aesthetic and conceptual appeal of the students’ work had impressed the venue sponsor: “Our definition of art science is looking at the processes that underlie artistic and scientific development. We believe that they are joined through creative acts. It is about creativity for us. We felt that this showcase really encapsulated that because it was showing the processes that the students had undertaken and it was showing very creative products of that process,” said Anna Salaman, Associate Director of Programming at Art Science Museum.
The student exhibitors explained that the production of a piece of work involves the demanding process of gathering insights from people, iterating and reiterating the initial drafts till it was time to submit them for evaluation, selection and display.
Yet, it was also “very meaningful to see our games being displayed here” and even more gratifying “to see the public enjoy playing them,” said Edwin, a Year 3 Computing major.
“We want our audience and participants to be impressed by the standard of our students’ work. Many people may think that school projects are substandard. We want to demonstrate that our students can hold a public exhibition. We are heartened that CNM has been very supportive,” said Sze Ming.
“It’s the first school project that we’ve showcased for a significant period of time. I’m really delighted that it is here for two weeks, usually it’s just for a day, but we felt that the quality and range of these projects were worth showcasing for a long time. The whole exhibition is really beautifully laid out,” said Anna Salaman.
More than 100 visitors attended the opening night. Just about everyone was impressed by the exhibit, and inspired everyone who left.