We’re thrilled to welcome our Neighbourhood Socials Artist in Residence, Lydia Yang, also known as Oak & Bindi. Lydia wears many hats — illustrator, graphic designer, and creative entrepreneur, to name a few — and over the years, has emerged as a force in Singapore’s creative scene. Together with Lydia, the MW Creative Neighbourhood is coming to life in Lydia’s signature style: bold, playful illustrations and larger-than-life murals, painted live at The Great Hall.
This collaboration has been a long time coming. As a cherished friend of our neighbourhood, Lydia tells us about how much she enjoys visiting Millenia Walk, and how she’s been looking forward to a project like this for a while. Join us to catch up with Lydia.
Hi, Lydia! Can you tell us more about this project and collaboration with Millenia Walk?
I’ve hoped to work on a project of this nature and execution style for a long time now, so I’m really happy to be checking that off my bucket list — even more so with Millenia Walk, which I personally enjoy going to! Knowing that the visuals were going to be used on a larger scale, in terms of dimensions, I doubled down on the finer details such as my linework and hand-written typography, and added little easter eggs that referenced things that were personally meaningful to me.
It's truly wonderful to have our neighbourhood expressed in art by someone who knows and loves it so well! What are some of your favourite spots at Millenia Walk?
The Great Hall is one of my favourite places in Millenia Walk. I love to check out ongoing installations, especially over the festive seasons.
Another favourite spot in Millenia Walk has got to be MEIDI-YA. It feels like a little Japan in the heart of Singapore. I love going there for the experience and inspiration.
Finally, this is pretty random, but I love the huge lifts! The touch-free lift buttons are such a small, but important, detail. They were probably a response to COVID-19, and my partner and I were really impressed at how quickly this was implemented!
Have your experiences at Millenia Walk influenced the artwork in this project in any way?
The team at Outer Edit and I drew inspiration from the works of Ilya Milstein, of whom I am a huge fan. When the opportunity came to create something around the theme of “neighbourhoods”, I was stoked to be create my own take on a neighbourhood.
I dug into personal memories, and the experiences, people, and things that reminded me of a great neighbourhood. I wanted to be able to capture a day in the life of a neighbourhood within a single frame and moment, and at the same time, to tell the stories of the interactions in the community within the piece.
What are you most looking forward to about painting live at Millenia Walk?
Just being a part of the festivities! I’m really looking forward to checking out all the other vendors and booths that will be part of this edition.
I’m also quite excited to be working on a mural — it will be a change from most of the work I’ve been doing these days, which has mainly been in digital form — and I hope that visitors feel a sense of positive inspiration from the installation. If you’re in the audience as I paint, please feel free to come up to chat. I'd be most happy to discuss anything from coffee spots and plants, to just getting to know you a little better!
Spot Oak & Bindi’s striking artwork around our neighbourhood, bring home limited edition merchandise featuring her illustrations, and catch her painting a mural live at The Great Hall. This mural has a playful twist as Lydia will be painting on our iconic MW shapes! See her in action from 24 to 26 April 2023, 5 to 9 pm.
Discover our full Neighbourhood Socials programme here. Join us in making lively conversations and meaningful connections over coffee, cakes, art and more in April 2023!
Where are you on your creative journey, and what has been your biggest takeaway from this experience?
This year marks my 10th year as a creative! It’s hard to summarise my entire journey — the past ten years have felt like a time and space for creative training, exploration, and experimentation. It has also been a journey of growth in professionalism, balance, and finding joy in my practice. I feel content and at peace at this point of my creative journey, and am excited for all the possibilities ahead.
This project will be the first time my artwork will be displayed within the public setting like Millenia Walk. I’m just thankful for the opportunity and am looking forward to seeing it come to life. I hope the community at Millenia Walk enjoys the art!