Fostering student creativity
The classrooms at Nanyang Polytechnic brimmed with youthful energy as numerous student teams raced towards the final lap of an arduous 12-day boot camp as part of N.E.Mation! 2019. Organised by NEXUS, the national education unit of the Ministry of Defence, the animation festival certainly lived up to its reputation as an incubator of student creativity since its inception in 2007.
Behind classroom doors, the organisers housed student teams with mentors from co-organisers Animagine, a Singapore-based animation firm. As newbies to animation production, the students were coached through a deep dive into the technical aspects of animation production, ranging from illustration works to stop motion animation.
SCGS students share creative passion
The team from the Singapore Chinese Girls' School (SCGS) was the first group to share their work. Team DNA.RNA was made up of Nurin Aliyah, Arya Lakshmi Ravinchandran, Nur Deanna Sim Khalid and Rachel Lim Lexuan. Even as they came from different classes, the girls all share the same passion for making fun things – something that was quite clear in the work they had produced.
Using the visual storytelling analogy of DNA strands, the team told the story of Singapore’s journey as an evolution from a strategic place for trade and commerce to a nation with its own unique traits – much like how DNA is a slow distillation of characteristics over time. “There are other events in Singapore’s history such as Sang Nila Utama’s arrival to Singapore which are unique. All these events contribute to the Singapore we know today,” Aliyah said.
There are other events in Singapore’s history such as Sang Nila Utama’s arrival to Singapore which are unique. All these events contribute to the Singapore we know today.”
Impressed by what they had achieved
The girls’ animation style may be a tongue-in-cheek look at some of the familiar symbols of Singaporean popular culture. But they were ahead of their years in sharing more than what has been covered in the textbooks of Singapore's story. All things considered, the girls were impressed by how far they had come, considering that they had no idea how they would even begin such an animation project just days before the boot camp started.
What makes us Singaporean? Here’s the second clip of the Student Category, ‘Genetically Singaporean’ by DNA.RNA from Singapore Chinese Girls’ School!
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Posted by N.E.mation! on Sunday, January 20, 2019
CHIJ students use humour and wit in storytelling
Another team was made up of a lively bunch from CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School. Kaslyn Neo, Im Sing Lu, Jasmine Pang and Danelle Wong are all classmates. Their team was cheekily dubbed Why So Cereals? – a statement about their irreverent take on Singapore’s history.
Unsurprisingly, their humour and wit shone through in the storyline of their ambitious stop motion clip – familiar scenes of Singapore stitched together using the visual medium of postage stamps. This was inspired, in large part, by the stamp collection of Jasmine’s.
Working with stamps to tell their story
As a tactile medium that linked people far apart through letter writing, stamps are close to the heart for these students as one of them had a pen pal. The team also felt that even though stop motion animation was not easy, it was worth it because its analogue nature lent itself well to the theme. "For us, stamps are not only colourful and easy to work with, but they are something younger Singaporeans may not have experienced in the age of emails and electronic messages. The message on looking back to Singapore’s past to chart the way ahead is thus something we wanted to convey," said Danelle Wong.
For us, stamps are not only colourful and easy to work with, but they are something younger Singaporeans may not have experienced in the age of emails and electronic messages. The message on looking back to Singapore’s past to chart the way ahead is thus something we wanted to convey."
This last animation from our Student Category is packed full of love! Here’s ‘Packages of Legacy’ by Why so cereals from CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School.
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Posted by N.E.mation! on Sunday, January 20, 2019
Their work certainly spoke for itself. Selecting various pivotal moments then designing them as stamps to be imprinted onto a giant postcard, what they had created was akin to a love letter to future Singaporeans.
These animation clips were judged based on the assessment of a panel of esteemed judges. But 50% of the score will be carried out through public voting. So here's your chance toto show these two teams what a great job they had done!
The Singapore Bicentennial in 2019 commemorates the 200th anniversary of Raffles’ landing in Singapore, which was one of the key turning points in our history. It is an opportunity for us to reflect on how our nation came to be, how far we have come, and how we can go forward together.