art4d SPOKE WITH SINGAPORE-BASED KINETIC ABOUT THEIR NEW CURATORIAL SPACE, K+ THAT WELCOMES EXHIBITION, WORKSHOPS, RETAIL AND CELEBRATION OF ALL THINGS ‘SINGAPORE.’
Tell us about Kinetic – who you are, what you do and what one can find in the newly opened K+ Curatorial Space.
Kinetic: K+ is a curatorial space conceived by Kinetic, an independent design and advertising agency. As a boutique set-up ourselves, we know first-hand how difficult it is for Singapore talent to shine amidst a lack of support and appreciation. Our vision for K+ is to help raise the profile of local artists, designers and brands, and elevate their works by giving them a highly visible platform in the heart of prime Orchard Road. What we really want to create in the long run is a K+ community where practitioners, students and anyone interested in art and design can freely mingle and interact, helping to build a strong art and design community from the ground up.
At the new K+, retail is just one element. While the new space does allow us to feature more retail stuff, we are still very much a platform for local talent first and foremost. We will continue to have a Gallery space, which will in fact be larger than our previous store, and will feature a new artist every six weeks.
We now also have a Community space that welcomes anyone interested in art and design to come sit and work at our communal table, or just make friends and talk shop. There’s even free WiFi! We have set aside a smaller exhibition space here to showcase works by hobbyists, amateur creators, local art schools and associations from time to time. This community space will also play host to our monthly “Design Leftovers” corner. We’re currently working with other agencies and studios in Singapore to acquire excess brochures or printed matter — “leftovers” from the production process. We’d like students to have access to these leftovers and learn from them.
Even within our Retail space, the individual brands are highlighted rather than subsumed under the K+ branding, raising their profiles. There is a section for each of our principal collaborators BooksActually, GoodStuph, Kinetic, Pomelo, Supermama and Tofu. In addition, we have kiosks featuring the works and wares of a line-up of artists, refreshed every three to six months.
You mentioned that the space started out as gallery before expanding into retail and events – could you talk about the progression? Are the new outlets a means of supporting the gallery or more so just a redefinition of what you felt the venue was perhaps already facilitating?
K: We started K+ with a vision to present an experience that is less mindless consumption, more mindful appreciation. As we sought out collaborators who peddle the extraordinary, we realized that our single gallery space may not do them full justice; an artist and a retail brand would have different requirements. Other than serving as a springboard for budding talent, K+ hopes to spark fresh ideas and unexpected collaborations across disciplines, with the long-term goal of building a strong art and design community in Singapore. We realized that we needed a bigger space, where we could bring our vision to life.
Are the workshops fairly widespread in terms of topic/discipline?
K: Yes. We’ve hosted indigo-dyeing workshops, as well as workshops on embroidery, floral arrangement and ceramics! In general, our workshops encourage participants to work with their hands.
Could you introduce a few of the products K+ is home to?
K: We have some product lines that are exclusive to K+, such as Tofu’s collaboration with Polkapom. It’s a colourful and vibrant range of interior goods and accessories. Our other collaborators have quirky items as well — Goodstuph has produced retro notebooks inspired by old Singaporean textbooks, and BooksActually is retailing adorable cat pins. For tourists or locals looking for stylish souvenirs, we also have wonderful ceramic products from Supermama. We — as Kinetic — have also brought in a selection of inspiring products from around the world. We particularly like the scissors from Tools to Liveby, the Donna Wilson scarves and the Lucie Kaas wooden toys.
Last but not least, upcoming events/ plans we should mark our calendars for?
K: We’ll be shining the spotlight on UK artist Stephen Wiltshire next month! He’s an amazing artist with an equally amazing ability to draw an accurate and detailed pictures of a subject after looking at it just once. We also have a couple more exciting activities in store. Do stay tuned to our K+ social media accounts for more information: