“Memes are like weapons. You use them to
justify your agenda.”
“You don’t need much space to have sex,” Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State, famously said in 2016.
But in a country where home ownership is an uphill battle for young adults looking to leave the nest, and spatial concerns like a lack of decent housing for foreign labourers and minority communities remain unaddressed, there is little room for basic privacy and indviduality in our designated private spaces, let alone for sex.
The Substation’s PiakPiakPlace Insta-Comic competition invites Singaporeans to celebrate their struggles and contestation for space with a healthy dose of satire and self-deprecating humour. What happens when spatial boundaries between the private and the public are blurred? How can we make room for staircase romps, registered mobility devices, and unauthorised picnics amidst increasingly privatised spaces and placemaking initiatives?
In the face of spatial adversity, join us in a new wave of digital activism by sharing with us your best Insta-comic memes.
The Jury Panel
Don Low, @donlowart
Graduated with a Master in Animation from Savannah College of Art & Design, Georgia, United States, Don Low is currently a freelance illustrator, and an adjunct drawing instructor teaching in two local universities. Don’s passion is drawing and sketching as much as time allows him to do so. With over 20 years of experience, he is an artist who delivers in several mediums and art forms, including both digital and traditional mediums (watercolour, pen & ink, oil and acrylics, etc), comic and caricature art, and figure drawing. His works are featured in The Art of Urban Sketching, An Illustrated Life 2, Urban Sketchers Singapore Vol 1, and Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Techniques and more. His most recent publication is a graphic novel titled Kungfu Dough, funded by the National Heritage Board.
Ann Gee Neo, @illobyanngee
Ann Gee is a Singapore-based illustrator who create drawings with an emphasis on storytelling with compelling characters. Her quirky, surreal and whimsical works have breathed life to children’s books such as The Rock and the Bird, Do Gallery Sitters Sit All Day and Do You See What I See.
Highnunchicken is just a group of cartoonists trying to make each other laugh. Nothing makes sense and you really shouldn’t waste your time on their page—there are better things to do on the Internet.
Miel is a Visual Artist, Cartoonist, Illustrator/Designer and works as a Senior Executive Artist at The Straits Times, Singapore’s top English-only daily newspaper. He received the National Cartoonists Society’s Newspaper Award for Illustration twice. The prestigious Society of News Design (SND) has also conferred on him an “Excellence Award in Illustration” at its 37th Annual Awards ceremony held in San Francisco in 2015. His cartoons are also published in newspapers such as Courrier International, The International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Newsweek.
Competition Period: 21 October–6 December 2019
Entries submitted past 6 December, 11PM SGT will not be considered.
Winners will be notified by Instagram Direct Messaging by 20 December 2019 (check your DMs!).
Submit your best Insta-comic with an accompanying caption on Instagram to join. Make sure that your account is set to public and your entry can be found using the hashtags #piakpiakplace.
The entry should best illustrate a personal and/or collective struggle with space—whether private or public, physical or virtual.
You should prepare a copy of your comic in 300 dpi and in a format suitable for print (at least A3 size), in the event that your entry is selected for the winners’ showcase at the end of the competition.
Grand Prize (x1): $1,000
People’s Choice (x1): $800
Jurors’ Choice (x4): $500/each
All winning Insta-comics will be published in a zine at the end of the competition. Selected entries will also be exhibited in a winners’ showcase in January 2020.
Winners will be contacted and announced by 20 December 2019.
Subject: Is the subject matter in your comic relevant and current? Does the content address the claims, contradictions, and tensions of public spaces in Singapore?
Creativity: Is your comic fresh and unique in terms of style, layout, story, and script? Extra points if you can make use of Instagram app features (carousel format, upload as video or .gif, etc.), in a clever and engaging way.
Longevity: Will your comic remain funny, interesting, and relevant over time, just like Josephine Teo’s quote?