February is traditionally a month of love. At Straatosphere, we celebrate a different kind of passion this month – here’s a look at professional pairings that have collaborated successfully to create art, things, and events that have caught our eye.
By Kim Hana
Photos by Joe Kiflie & Haq Anuar
Syafii Ghazali & Eric Foenander
Lovechild: All things good – GOOD TIMES, a first-Friday-of-the-month party at Blu Jaz for the past five years. Also Good Vibes, another party held quarterly at Art Bar over the past year. Both are laid-back, no-frills parties hosted by some of SG’s finest DJs, live acts and MCs.
Who does what: Syafii and Eric work together on most aspects, such as the programming, set up of the space, sound and concepts, while illustrator extraordinaire, Eric, works on the visuals for each party.
How long they’ve known each other: About 13 years.
How they met: Through mutual friends first. “We became tight on a random train trip when we realized Madvilliany (MF Doom and Madlib) was our favorite album at the time,” said Eric. What sealed the friendship deal? Syafii reminisced, “Then I asked if he was a Biggie guy or a Tupac guy. He said Biggie. The moment he said that, I knew we were going to be very, very good friends.”
Why it works: Syafii said, “We have the same opinion about the kind of party we’d like to be at on a Friday night: No cover charge. Great music. Big ass smoking area. No fancy promotion. Laidback vibe. No frills. No gimmicks… Good Times is an approximation of that ideal.”
What next: Eric hopes to be able to run and curate an outdoor festival featuring local talent, teach Syafii how to cook (“and to move away from his shitty cold meat wraps”) and then “world domination, naturally.” Oh, and then there are plans to to do a larger-scale party with former JUICE writer, Hidzir Junaini, like their last Good Times New Year’s Eve Party, which had three floors of DJs and live acts, only bigger.
DJs who are keen to play can send their mixes to firstname.lastname@example.org or get yourself to the next Good Times happening March 7th at Blu Jaz for a night of hip-hop and dancehall
Gareth Lee & Lengfei Tok
Lovechild: BANWAGON BAGS/WARES, a range of leather bags, wallets, and home-wares that are one hundred percent hand-made from start to finish. Each leather product in the range is hand-cut, hand-dyed, hand-stitched and hand-polished. Leather from the current collection is sourced from two of the finest and oldest tanneries in the USA – Horween Leather Company (est. 1905) and Wickett & Craig of America (est. 1867).
Division of labor: Lengfei handles the crafting of leather goods while Gareth is in charge of the home-wares. Both liaise with stockists.
How long they’ve known each other: 6 years.
How they met: Schoolmates at Singapore Polytechnic while reading a course on Visual Communication and Media Design. While studying, they also worked at The Student Agency, a student-run agency where students get to have first-hand experience on industrial practices.
Why it works: Perfectionists of the same leather work well together. Gareth said, “The really cool thing is that when two perfectionists work together, the work produced is closer to perfection.”
What next: A ladies collection of bags and wares, and more furniture. All plans are under wraps except for a collaboration with Kevin Chiam, a furniture designer, to produce a leather tea table. The final product amalgamates soft leather with steely metal.
Shop Banwagon Bags/Wares here
Fahmy Ishak (FIN) & Mark Ong (SBTG)
Lovechild: Two FIN x SBTG TOTE BAGS – the leopard print handle tote and the more recent release, the Sabotage Army print tote. In September 2013, SBTG worked on an a custom apron made by FIN, which was showcased alongside seven other custom aprons at the Goodcraft exhibit.
How long they’ve known each other: A couple of months.
How they met: Mark first heard of Fahmy through his products, then they got introduced to each other through a mutual friend, Chris Fussner of Sifr.
Why it works: Both are terminally chill. Fahmy said, “The dude is chill and we have lots in common so aesthetic-wise, it was plain sailing.” Mark broke it down for us: “Great product, true values and pure intentions.”
Something to look forward to: A release for tools – no, literally, it’s called the “Tool Bag”, which will be a bigger silhouette than the tote bags. FIN and SBTG are also talking about presenting a trunk show at the end of the year – you heard it here first.