Creative Unions: Highlights, media coverage and more

March 25, 2021
Aravin Sandran

Creative Unions concluded after 31 days on 21 February 2021. In total, the art-meets-retail partnership programme involved 33 visual artists and 11 brands, resulting in the creation of over 68 new artworks and merchandise. In adherence to the prevailing social distancing advisories, 45 visitors participated in the public engagement programmes that included artist workshops by Vans and Bernina as well as curator walkthroughs. Online, Creative Unions reached audiences through a digital brochure as well as a dedicated microsite on CapitaLand's e-commerce platform, eCapitaMall. Astoundingly, more than 108,000 video views were clocked.

The programme was first conceived by Neighborhood back in March 2020. However, work on the programme commenced only at the end of September after contractual negotiations with our main partners were finalised. This meant the programme was delivered within a tight timeline, a factor that most participating artists and brands felt was insufficient for their process unfortunately.

Work was also inhibited by disruptions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Fabrication and production companies were either not operating at their full capacity or closed entirely. This was further exasperated by Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year preparations locally and around the region.

Despite these obstacles, participating artists and brands believed in Neighborhood’s vision and rallied together to produce their best possible work. The 11 brands who participated were Swiss sewing machine manufacturer Bernina, London-based folding bike brand Brompton Bicycle, local gelateria Butterknife Folk, urban farming social enterprise Edible Garden City, homegrown furniture retailer Grafunkt, popular bubble tea purveyor LiHO TEA, Singapore-born fashion label Love, Bonito, textiles and print studio Minor Miracles, specialty coffee boutique PPP Coffee, contemporary streetwear brand Vans and tech-meets-lifestyle development Funan. These brands collaborated with a total of 33 visual artists - most of whom were young Singaporeans - to produce 68 new works that ranged from home furnishings, wearables, F&B accessories, digital media and many more.

The most well-received artist-brand collaboration was undoubtedly between graphic artist Nur Aida Sa’ad and Butterknife Folk. The artist took over the entire storefront and menu to celebrate little moments of happiness we experience each day. Propelled by crowd-sourced stories, ‘Small Joys’ featured 12 exclusive flavours including “Moonlight Prata-ta” and “Misty Morning at Clementi Forest”, bold architectural interventions and a fun capsule machine. 


After the event, we surveyed our participating artists and brands. Here’s a summary of their responses.

1. They rated the overall experience 4.3/5.

2. 66.7% believed that Creative Unions achieved its objectives of fostering art-retail collaborations and audience development.

3. They liked that Creative Unions "had a pretty localised take on a concept (art-meets-retail) that has been done all over the world. Many of the collaborations appealed to different interests of the masses, making art more accessible and relatable to them.”

4. They hoped future editions can be improved through a longer timeline, greater publicity, more large-scale collaborations and more funding!

5. They rated Neighborhood’s performance 8.2/10.

A scoop of "Traffic Jam on the AYE Sunset" by Yellow Mushmellow and Butterknife Folk (Image: Yafiq Yusman)
“In conjunction with Singapore Art Week 2021, Neighborhood has curated Singapore's first mall-wide art activation. They brought in local creatives to collaborate with retail stores and I'm in love with the outcome!”
Photographer Yafiq Yusman

Press Coverage

According to analysis by our appointed PR agency, Creative Unions raked in over $1.9 million in PR value with a total of 128 stories, 117 media and 21 influencers. We are grateful to the following publications and influencers for their support.

  • 8 Days
  • Berita Harian
  • Buro. Singapore
  • CNA
  • City Nomads
  • Mothership
  • Plural Art Magazine
  • T Singapore
  • Tatler Singapore
  • The Smart Local
  • The Straits Times
  • Time Out Singapore
  • Vogue Singapore
  • Andy Yong
  • Jason Lim
  • Jethro Hoon
  • J Kishan
  • Qhventures
  • Yafiq Yusman

Head over to T Singapore to read our feature.

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