5 Women Creatives Give Us A Sneak Peak Into Their New Realities
Female Singapore|October 2021
The pandemic has no doubt affected everybody, altering lifestyles and reminding us that often, what was once considered ordinary cannot be taken for granted. From a hyper-stylish content creator to a botanical designer who just uprooted to Europe, five women creatives give Keng Yang Shuen a peek into their routines to show us how they live now.

ART CURATOR TULIKA AHUJA

This 28-year-old is one to watch. Last April, she established Mama Magnet, her one-woman art programming consultancy that aims to bring innovative art encounters to the public and “collect an archive of our time”. Since then, she’s curated multiple shows including the much-buzzed-about Inner Like The OutAR, an immersive audio-visual experience by artists Reza Hasni and Tiong Hong Siah; set designer Tina Fung and electronic producer Intriguant at Singapore Art Week in January.

9am: “I’m least motivated to wake up when the sky is grey or when I hear it raining outside – like today. To get myself going, I stretch my limbs, drink some water, walk around the house and do a bit of yoga on my accupuncture mat.”

Noon: “This is when I typically get into virtual work meetings about shows that are coming to a close or still in progress or the works – I’ve an upcoming one for Singapore Art Week 2022 that I can’t share details of at the moment as we’re still in the midst of setting things up with collaborators.”

1.30pm: “Having moved to Balestier a few months ago, I’m still getting used to the neighbourhood. One of my favourite finds is a vegetarian stall at St Michael’s Bus Terminal. Nowadays I try to avoid eating meat when I can and I’m happy that this stall makes it easy. I order kopi siew dai and settle down for lunch.”

2.30pm: “Bussing down to UltraSuperNew Gallery on Tyrwhitt Road where we are into our last week of A Most Absurd Guide, an exhibition of fun, satirical paintings that I curated featuring Krack! Studio from Indonesia; Brenda Tan aka Hellopigu from Singapore; and Soika Vomiter from the Philippines. It’s been a great run – many interesting conversations have been had around memes, metaphors and everyday logic. I use the chance to also catch up with gallery in-charge Hilya and Brenda, who’s popped by, as well as chat with visitors. It’s always nice to connect with new people over the themes of my shows. I then settle into a spot to review some concepts and cost estimates for potential audio-visual experiences that are in the works for next year.”

5.30pm: “I’ve to text some artists to update them on these spray painting workshops that they’re supposed to conduct, but have had a low take-up rate because of the rising Covid-19 community cases. It’s unfortunate that our plans have to constantly change, but it is what it is.”

6.30pm: “Off to Kampong Glam Community Club for my weekly ceramics lessons. I started on them a year ago to reconnect with a skill that I had first tried in primary school... It’s nice to look away from the screen for a few hours and focus on just creating with no agenda.”

PASTRY CHEF SAE TAKAGI

Food has always been intertwined with Takagi’s life. Her family has been operating a sake brewery in Gifu, Japan, since 1720. Here in Singapore where she’s been based on and off since she was 16, her father has been running the cosy family-style restaurant Tampopo for nearly two decades. As tastefully chic when it comes to cakes and tarts as she is with her (mostly white) wardrobe, the Cordon Bleu alumni became a new mum last year and has since worked largely from home, retailing via her eponymous Instagram account (her bestseller: her pecan pies that are available monthly and almost always sell out instantly).

7am: “I get up and feed my cat Momo before waking my daughter up. We cuddle for five minutes and I read her her favourite book The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin, followed by some milk for her.”

9am: “I do about 30 minutes of yoga to clear my mind and set my intention for the day – I did yoga every day when I was pregnant and it really helped. After giving birth however, I’ve had less time for it, so I try to commit and set this time aside for myself.”

10am: “I make a quick breakfast of yoghurt and fruits before answering some emails and completing any administrative work. When I feel like treating myself, I’d make some scrambled eggs with ham and smashed avocado on homemade sourdough. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, but I hardly have the extra time to make a nice one now.”

Noon: “I start working in the kitchen. If I’ve any projects or commissions, I use this time to test recipes and/or prepare for my orders too.”

2.30pm: “I typically eat lunch late as I’ve found that if I break to eat, I lose momentum in the kitchen. This is also around when my daughter wakes up from her nap and has a snack, so it’s a good time to take a breather.”

3.30pm: “Back to work in the kitchen, usually focusing on preparing for upcoming orders.”

7.15pm: “On a typical night, my husband and I go for a short walk around the neighbourhood after putting my daughter to bed. We use this time to unwind and check in with each other.”

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