Welcome to Time Out Singapore's 52 Weeks of #ExcitingSG – our commitment to showing you the best of what's going on in the city this week. Every Monday, a guest writer who's "in" with the scene shares a recommendation on what to see, eat, do or buy in the city. This week we catch up with illustrator Anngee Neo. This all-round cool cat dabbles with editorial, advertorial and publication illustrations. Reckon you've seen her work before somewhere in Singapore? You probably have with her portfolio full of interesting projects with the likes of Uniqlo, Singtel, National Gallery Singapore, Creamier and more. Her style is quirky, versatile, colourful and also a little cheeky, making it easy to resonate with anyone.
Hi Anngee! What gets you excited about Singapore?
Recently I’ve started going for local theatre productions – I've seen One Metre Square: Voices from Sungei Road and Tiger of Malaya recently – and have been very excited to find an entire new genre of awesome storytelling experiences within Singapore that I’ve not been exposed to before.
Tell us about an exciting project you had to work on.
I liked doing the collaboration with local brand Supermama, titled The Hawpocalypse. It’s a long sticker book landscape of a local hawker centre, with weird mutated creatures taking over and colonising the stalls. In part, it was my response to the overly slick and happily nostalgic imagery of SG50, where the overlords tried to paint very beautiful, modern pictures of how they want Singaporeans to view Singapore while ignoring and shunning the “dirtier” parts of what makes Singapore uniquely Singapore, like how we have elderly people clearing dirty dishes, or selling tissue paper to make a living.
How was the process like?
The research part was very fun, I went around hawker centres to take photos of things that were very mundane but essential to building up this imaginary world and I talked to some of my friends who had hawkers for parents who gave me feedback on what was right and wrong about my sketches.
Illustrating for books means you’re exposed to so many stories, what’s a story, fact or fiction you’d love to tell?
I’d like to illustrate a series of books for teenagers and young adults explaining the process of parliament, how our democratic system works and more. Sort of a Singapore Politics for Dummies kind of a thing.
What are your favourite places in Singapore to see some art?
The Projector, National Gallery, ACM, 8Q, all the museums! I love that entrances to many of the museums are free for locals.