shopping Singapore

Shopping Time: Experience art while shopping with Funan’s inaugural art-meets-retail programme

At Singapore’s first mall-wide art activation, taste a mouthful of happiness with a “Misty morning at Clementi Forest” gelato; colour your living room with a groovy rug that takes you on a trip down memory lane; join an edgy sneaker art workshop, or celebrate native mushrooms under the glow of neon lights.

Curated by Neighborhood and presented by Funan, Creative Unions is a major month-long art-meets-retail programme that engages visitors in the art of shopping across fashion, food and lifestyle. The programme, which is part of Singapore Art Week 2021, invites visitors to a ‘shoppable’ experience to discover over 10 unique artist and brand collaborations.

Creative Unions is the latest endeavour at Funan that ushers in a new paradigm for live, work and play in Singapore’s city centre. The programme is part of Neighborhood’s and Funan’s commitment to provide a commercially viable and creatively fulfilling platform for artists and retailers to create and engage with one another. 

The imaginative programme rallies diverse homegrown brands like Love, Bonito, Minor Miracles, LiHo TEA, PPP Coffee and Edible Garden City alongside international brands such as VANS and Bernina. With the curatorial expertise of Neighborhood, these tenants at Funan have been paired with emerging and established Singaporean visual artists who share similar values and aesthetic visions. The result is a heartening movement that deepens art appreciation in an unexpected yet natural setting – a shopping mall.

Mr Augustine Ow, Centre Manager for Funan, said: “Funan as Singapore’s Creative Intersection provides a common platform for retailers and local artists to collaborate meaningfully through the co-creation of exclusive merchandise and experiences for the public. Funan is proud to be a partner of the National Arts Council in supporting and growing the local art community. We hope that shoppers can experience their favourite international and local brands in an all-new manner; and the community can also be inspired by the new perspectives of the local creative. Funan will continue to bring about unique retail experiences and is dedicated to being the intersection for passionate consumers to build strong social communities.”

Redefining art and living, Creative Unions invites the public to embark on this larger than life activation with new perspectives. Using forward-thinking design and the personal touch of local artists, everyday items are given an artistic refresh through the unexpected collaborations.  


Mr Aravin Sandran, Director of Neighborhood, shared: “Creative Unions embodies the resilient and innovative spirit of both Singaporean visual artists and retailers. These diverse collaborations have dismantled cookie cutter formats of presentations in art as well as experience design in retail. By augmenting and amplifying artists’ ideas and voices into accessible yet high quality works, Neighborhood hopes to ignite the imagination and provide a dynamic experience for all to enjoy.”

I Have Seen The Future

In I Have Seen The Future, London-based folding bike brand Brompton Bicycle has teamed up with visual artist Jahan Loh to present a custom-painted bike and a limited line of T-shirts and stickers. The collaboration evokes Jahan’s counterculture style with a sense of independence and freedom that is distinctively Brompton.

Grafunkt Art Market

Grafunkt Art Market challenges, teases and inspires with seven unique home-ready art objects by Singapore’s most promising visual artists. Multidisciplinary artist Tristan Lim has worked with makers’ space Made Agency to produce a multi-layered acrylic laptop stand that references Brutalist spomenik structures. Known for her gold-based interventions, Priyageetha Dia has partnered The Tailored Timber to create a modern gold-lacquered tray and coaster set, perfect for one’s living and dining needs. Other alluring objects include Luke Heng’s ethereal mirror behind a mild steel chassis frame, a homage to his series of wax works and produced in collaboration with glassmaker Synergraphic Design. Produced by Neighborhood, most of the collectible pieces are commissioned exclusively and constructed by skilled fabricators and craftsmen.

In addition to merchandise, Creative Unions also marries art with tangible tastes within the Food & Beverage industry. For instance, in Small Joys, local artisanal gelateria Butterknife Folk invited graphic artist and art director Aida Sa’ad for a takeover of their storefront and menu. Propelled by crowd-sourced stories shortlisted from more than 100 entries, patrons of Butterknife Folk can enjoy a chocolatey “Campfire at Outward Bound” or a blueberry “Breakfast in Bed” as they take Instagram-worthy snaps to celebrate the little moments of happiness each day.

The public will be provided with opportunities to better understand art, such as through The Are by VANS in conjunction with their release of the 2021 Chinese New Year ‘Year of the Ox’ collection. Taking place at Funan’s Centre Stage on Level 1, VANS’ pop-up will feature a photography exhibition by students from LASALLE College of the Arts. Three sneaker art workshops with artists including Andray from Bada Bink Tattoo Firm will also be held at the Vans storefront. Other activities include curator walkthroughs, meet the artist sessions and even a 3D Free-Motion sewing workshop, where visitors will be able to interact with art and artists first-hand.

Those eager to bring home a piece of art can look forward to Funan’s partnership with Singapore creative studio Tell Your Children (TYC), which includes collectibles such as collar pins and iron-on patches, as well as Instagram digital stickers. These items are inspired from the iconic mural that donned the wall of Funan Showsuite prior to the mall’s official opening back in 2019. Shoppers can redeem an exclusive collar pin with a minimum spend of $50 at Funan, while stocks last. They can also stand a chance to win a set of iron-on patches by taking part in #CUatFunan.

Offering access to shoppers anytime, anywhere, eCapitaMall will house Creative Unions merchandise and workshop passes in its curated digital experience. Earn 5,000 STAR$ (equivalent to a $5 eCapitaVoucher) with a minimum spend of $40 on Creative Unions items online. Details on each partnership can be found through Funan’s Creative Unions web page.

Apart from Creative Unions, visitors at Funan can also enjoy A Closer Encounter with Art, an exhibition by ArtWallSt, showcasing delightful artworks by local artists, THE NEXT MOST FAMOUS ARTIST and ZERO at Level 1. Presented by Funan, Creative Unions and the complementary fringe activities are a part of Singapore Art Week 2021, the pinnacle of Singapore’s visual arts scene. This year’s edition is themed “Art Takes Over”. For more information, visit Funan’s website here

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