It’s been a while since I updated this! Late last year in 2016, our Hock Siong team was doing a slightly off track project to build a production set for the short film “Timekeeper”. It was in collaboration with NTU’s Art Design & Media course and my sister, Beaunice, who is the Art Director for this film roped us in to do this, which initially I naively thought was just to style a set! Boy, it was to build a set. From scratch.
We cleared an empty space out of our current warehouse to build a living room for the male lead Hock, an eclectic watch repairman in the film. Timekeeper’s storyline is about how millennial relates to stories that old objects hold, and with time, it comes oldness, age and nostalgia. Since it really ties with what we do, and we love to embark on new projects, we are game for this production. It had been a great learning experience to build temporary sets, age walls, finding props and I have to say I learnt a lot from Beaunice!
Many of the items are collected, sourced, borrowed from our store or Mr. Toh’s personal stash (like the clocks on the clock walls). The Tiffin carriers and toys were from a collector who passed his collection down to us. He kept so many old toys, cooking books and I guessed the set will never be complete without these details. We took over this collector’s stuff in 2014, and till date we have never finished unpacking. I will leave that story till next time. We also made our friends at Kim Hwee dig out an armchair from their old stock to loan us as a statement chair. We really thank everyone for their support!
How to age a wall: Saw those yellow, dirty walls? They were aged by spraying loads of dust water, coffee water and some random strikes of brown chalk we’ve got from Art Friend. To oomph it up, we also got lots of cheap compact make up powder from Mustafa to age the wall. Frankly speaking, shopping at Mustafa at 2 A.M is therapeutic. Beaunice’s friend also got her a pack of “Organic Dust Powder” (they actually sell dust). From styling the space, I realised it is actually very difficult to “age” an object.. it is really much easier to make something brand new!
So…. this is how the set looks almost completed. Ly was the “first” guest at the space!
Because the filming only took place for 2 days and we spent whole lot of month building this, we thought, why not let’s open this to our customer and friends at Hock Siong. In fact, we left the space dormant for a few weeks while brainstorming a concept, overcoming our contemplations of the activities we should do (honestly speaking, we were so worried that our customers may feel bored in here, there many not be people wanting to come here). In the end, we decided to host “Warehouse” as a open house because no one will expect a house inside a warehouse space.
Fast forward to 2017, Beaunice and I hosted the 1st session of Warehouse. Between the 2 days, many customers who had not visited Hock Siong before came to check out our space. It was a fruitful experience because I manage to bring faces to the names and also have deep meaningful conversation with them! We also had many new found friends 🙂
As part of our community project, we also held 2 Lino cutting workshop which participants carved limo-stamps and print them on recycling tote bags . I hope the participants had fun and thank you so much for coming! I always think Hock Siong is about the community and this was inspired by the floral arrangement workshop we held last year. Hopefully in the near future, we would have more opportunity to hold more (professionally managed) workshops.
WAREHOUSE X THE LYTTLE PEOPLE
For the 2nd session, it was hosted by the very talented Ly Yeow (who drew the illustration of us in the About Us page). She has transformed this space accordingly to her mood and feel.
It is really a pleasure to have her with us!
Last words: Warehouse and Timekeeper Film will not be made possible without the support from Mr. Toh. Growing up, Mr. Toh gave us the freedom to explore our creativity beyond limits as long as we do not break the law and still be good kids. During the making of “Warehouse” and Timekeeper set, we met many constraints and problems, but Mr. Toh will still try his best within his ability to provide the help or resource we need (and without breaking the bank). Maybe, one day I should write and talk about “Working in Family Business”, as I believe there will be a lot of things I can talk about.
I am super thankful for the help from my fellow colleagues whom provide technical and logistical support. Not forgetting my dearest friend Lynette who stayed late night to carve and prepped me with the Lino-cuts. Help is always readily given, for I am blessed and will never take that for granted!