Dressed in white coveralls and protective covers for my shoes, it felt like I was about to embark on an important mission.
At the nondescript, 630 square metres pop-up art studio at MOX @ Katong Point, patrons are promised a safe space to unleash their creativity and make a mess out of the space – in the name of art.
This ingenious concept is introduced to its founder, Andrea Lim, who was inspired by a friend when she was studying in Portland, Oregon. “I was doing exactly the same thing in Portland, but in my friend’s spare room,” she said.
A starter package for one will cost SG$39, and includes the use of 2 syringes, 1 squirt bottle or water gun, 400ml of paints, and a 45x60cm canvas. Additional protective accessories such as hairnets, gloves, and safety glasses are also available upon request.
However, if you’re going with a party of four, you’ll get more splat for your buck – for just SG$150, your family or band of sisters/brothers get four times the starter kits, more paint and splat equipment, and needless to say, more fun.
The 27-year-old founder shared that most Singaporeans misunderstood it as a workshop or class when she first introduced the concept. “They said that if there is no structure or if there is no one teaching them what to do, they won’t know what to do. But that’s the whole point, right? I’m not an artist, I also don’t know what to do!” she quipped.
Prior to our session, Andrea gave us a few helpful tips on what we can do to create different variations of splat. For example, she introduced the pouring technique for those who wish to add an abstract touch and some semblance of fluidity to the masterpiece.
She also showed us how to create mesmerising diffusions, simply by blowing on the paint through a straw.
Andrea added, “We give you a few tips and ideas on what you can do, but we don’t actually tell you to do anything in particular.”
Holding a cup filled with my choice of paint, I aimed gingerly at my canvas. I peeped at my partner’s first splat and wondered if there was any method to this mess.
Then, I aimed at the canvas and hurled the paint towards it with every ounce of strength and pent up frustration inside me. I did not see this coming, but it felt really good. It was a truly cathartic experience to watch it translate into the colourful creation right before me.
After the first 30 minutes of mindless tosses and slings, I start to devise creative ways to make my masterpiece look different. For example, I would pour the paint at one of the four corners of the canvas, and flip it in another direction to allow it to drip and juxtapose with the splats.
For a non-artist like myself, I realised that I could create an original artwork that I am actually proud of. I can imagine this pop-up studio to be the perfect, judgment-free starting ground for budding artists who may not know where or how to begin with art jamming. In fact, an acrylic pour workshop could easily set you back at SG$80 here in Singapore.
I don’t remember entering the room with a plan or an idea of what to do – I simply grabbed any piece of equipment that I could find in the room and only remembered having fun.
In another 15 minutes, my canvas was filled and it wasn’t enough to sate my appetite for destruction – I need more.
And it seemed like I was not the only one: observing that her customers start to create much more interesting art from their second canvas onwards, Andrea priced an additional canvas at just SG$12. If you simply need a size upgrade, a 60x80cm canvas only costs SG$8 more.
She said, “I think that people start to create interesting art from their second canvas onwards; when people (work on) the first canvas, it is just fun and exploring what you can do. But once you figure out what you can do and once you see what other people around you are doing, you start to get an idea.”
“The second canvas onwards becomes more deliberate even though you’re still having fun, and you really start to think about what you’re doing. It’s fun and therapeutic to just draw paint and make a mess, right? To me, it is also very important as well that people create something that is not just (about) throwing paint to the wall – I want them to be a bit more conscious, or deliberate. At least you’re not just wasting the paint, it’s still a piece of art that you’re proud you create.”
Of course, the fun doesn’t stop after you’re done with your canvas – you’re free to make a mess out of the studio’s walls too, though you will not be able to bring it home. Instead, leave the glory of your vandalism for the next person’s admiration – just as a painted “yeet” on one of the walls have left an impression on us.
The first of its kind in Singapore, Splat Paint House is one of the few temporary projects under business startup generator, The Creative Space Company. If proven successful, Splat Paint House might move its pop-up studio into a permanent location after the end of September 2019 for more to enjoy splatting away with wild abandon.
Sharing her observation of splat artists in Portland and Singapore, Andrea said, “I haven’t met anyone who has done it and not have fun – everyone who does, loves it, so I’m sure people in Singapore would love it as well.”
Splat Paint House
Address: #02-08, MOX, 451 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427664
Opening Hours: 3PM to 9PM on weekdays, 11AM to 10PM on weekends and public holidays
Prices start from SG$30. Splat Paint House’s pop-up art studio in MOX will open its doors till the end of September 2019. For more information, visit Splat Paint House’s official website at https://www.splatpainthouse.com/.
This post was brought to you by Splat Paint House.
Photos by Soloman Soh of the DANAMIC team.