Published on 7 January 2018

Nüwa founder Elaine Friedlander tells us more about organising “You Art What You Eat” as part of Singapore Art Week and how this event creates more work opportunities for local artists.

By Melanie Lee

Elaine Friedlander founded Nüwa, a professional network for artists last September as a way to affirm the role of artists in society. For this year’s Singapore Art Week, she’ll be organising a cross-industry event bringing in artists, restauranteurs, as well as culture and lifestyle professionals to come together and inspire each other. Participants will also get a chance to hear from Ryan Clift, chef and co-owner of Tippling Club; botanical artist Mamakan; and Chua Koon Beng (also known by his artist name ‘Y/X’), Co-CEO of the Spa Esprit Group as they share about their work and arts-related collaborations. Friedlander tells us more in this Q&A about what to expect from this event.

Why did you want to set up Nüwa?

I have always enjoyed, studied and worked in arts or charitable fields. I seek out roles that bring me into contact with artists, and where I can make a positive social or environmental change. I’ve spent the last few years observing, researching and connecting with the Singapore arts scene. I am still meeting new artists and organisations and asking them how can Nüwa help you? I’ve been asked to help with accounts by artists so they can access funding, to work as an agent securing galleries and stockists, and to organise events that lead to meaningful introductions and sales.

How did you come up with the idea of “You Art What You Eat”?

Working across sectors is a very important part of Nüwa as our mission is to affirm the role of artists within a wider society. “You Art What You Eat” is the first of our cross-industry events, and the F&B sector was a natural choice given Singapore’s love affair with food! Such an event allows professionals from both sectors to meet, be inspired, and potentially forge new leads and commercial opportunities for both.

What do you hope is achieved through this event?

A key aim for this event is to demonstrate the employment and developmental opportunities that exist for artists in the F&B sector, and for F&B professionals to consider how artists and creatives might offer fresh ideas and approaches to their businesses. For Nüwa, the event is also about telling more people about what we are about. We also hope it will encourage artists, art students, and professionals to join our network to benefit from future ‘matchmaking’ opportunities.

Why do you think it’s important that artists collaborate with people from non-arts industries such as lifestyle and F&B?

The more opportunities you expose yourself to, the more likely you will find those that match your needs and wants. Being an artist is a niche profession, so you need to be creative about finding a way to do what you love, and get paid for it. Artists have unique skills and can contribute to other sectors in a meaningful, innovative and commercial way.

What else do you hope Nüwa achieves for the year ahead?

So far, we have been fortunate to have received the strategic advice of a talented and well-connected group of arts professionals and artists. Looking forward in 2018, we want to continue our consultation across the art genres, building our network, and delivering several talks and networking events that cover the business of art, and highlight cross-sector opportunities. In 2018, we are planning more cross-industry events such as #SheCreates for International Women’s Day in March – a networking event for women working in the arts in Singapore and the broader women in business networks here. Nüwa is also planning an event that delves into the art of wellness; featuring artists, health practitioners, and others sharing their experiences of art in relation to physical and mental health.

“You Art What You Eat” will take place on Sat, 20 Jan 2018, 3.30pm – 5.30pm at Tippling Club. Tickets cost $15 for Nüwa members and $18 for non-members. Click here for more information.

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