24 days to go and all the artists will be arriving in Singapore to collaborate together! It has been so long, with so much preparation work that only now when I write this, I realize that IT IS HAPPENING! And I can hardly wait!

Right after the exhibition Project 6581 at the Japan Creative Centre in February this year, we started planning for this. The Indiegogo campaign was quite a fun experience and I am so grateful for all help and to all backers for bringing it to a sweet success.

Why did I do this? The greatest, biggest event in the history of INSTINC.

I believe in the power of collaboration. Competition makes you faster, but collaboration makes you better. When two creative individuals collide, there will bound to be sparks. I like it even more when the artists do not know which artist they will end up being paired with; it is all up to ‘chance’. And I also like the idea of bringing together the best artists who existed at one point in time in INSTINC; they are like dots in INSTINC’s timeline and now for the 10th anniversary, all these dots will join together and dance in the same time and space from 7-23 November 2014.

Of course, not forgetting that I was super inspired by LindArt in Slovenia in 2008, where they invited 12 international artists, pairing them randomly to collaborate for 10 days, which culminated in an exhibition in the old castle. I made great friends there like Katja Pal, Alba Escayo and Hirofumi Matsuzaki, and that experience there was one of the most unforgettable and enjoyable times in my life. It was great because it was intensive, and for 10 days you simply create, breathe, eat and drink art.

I hope I can re-create that magic here in Singapore through this collaboration. I hope these 10 artists will never forget this, just as I will never forget LindArt.

Thank you so much for all your support in these 10 years. It wasn’t easy. I faced many challenges as an artist in Singapore. I learned that when I could not find a conventional way to get something done, I had to create my own way of doing things. After my return from San Francisco Art Institute in 2002, there was a lack of affordable exhibition spaces and huge difficulty in making artist friends (there were usually cliques from Lasalle or NAFA, therefore no way to be included in their group shows). I felt that I needed space to show or collaborate with other like-minded artists without going through grant applications each time so that the works could be more spontaneous. Since starting INSTINC in 2004, we have had great times as well as miserable times. We learned the value of keeping focused on the main purpose of INSTINC, which is to maintain independence as an artist-run space and to be a catalyst for collaborations. We learned that we were attempting to become part of a scene that is dominated by large commercial art galleries. We learned that we are different as we put artists and art as the top priority.

After 10 years, there are still challenges, but people I met along the way inspire and energize me.

“Work is not work as many people refer to it, but something that is fun and interesting and exciting. It’s not a “job”… [it’s] a passion.”


Yeo Shih Yun
Director of INSTINC
14 October 2014