Who we are

(COLLAB)² - pronounced 'Collab Square', harkens back to the olden times - where people of different trades and specialties came together at the Town Square, to meet, to trade, and to collaborate.

We are committed to bringing collaborators closer.

Our Mission

We are a network of like-minded individuals who do greater things through the power of local collaborations.

News & Articles

Post-Processing! (The Future & the End)

Here's to the future!

Here’s to the future! (Extreme left, taken at Napa Valley, California)


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So, I’ve just had an epic 2 weeks (moving to San Francisco, starting work at Chewse, etc). I’m also relatively settled in enough that I can write a blog post that describes the future of (COLLAB)².

In case you didn’t know (COLLAB)² has mainly one person behind it – me! (And here’s a good chance to thank all the people that have really helped me in all my wild ideas and crazy projects, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, you know who you are :) ). I think that Passionistas represents exactly what (COLLAB)² stands for and the message it seeks to drive. With Passionistas, I aimed to create conversations around what it means to follow your passions, and to show that following your passions is possible & plausible.

And with that, I hope people are in turn, inspired to listen to their heart & live an inspired life.

So what’s going to happen to (COLLAB)²?

Due to my year-long commitment to San Francisco, I feel that it is perhaps the right time for (COLLAB)² to retire due to the lack of a personal touch (which I feel defines my content). I have a few more posts that I’d like to finish, but beyond that, it’s time for change. The website should be up for another year, after which it will disappear (and perhaps be replaced by other projects).

I am really excited to see what’s going on in the future for Singapore – judging by some of the comments I’ve received there are plenty of like-minded people rearing to start things up!

Here’s to an amazing year that has changed my life in so many ways, and to the future that awaits.

With love, Christopher Chien.


PASSIONISTAS @ The Arts House – 24th to 30th July

opening night
the displaced
public exposure
maj harmonics


{ Click on any of the pictures above for more information! }



(COLLAB)² is proud to join forces with our friends to collaboratively transform the Gallery into a showcase of living passions.

Passionistas is a collaborative photography project aiming to raise awareness of our local & homegrown passionistas.

A passionista is someone who follows his or her passion.

Passionistas will feature 15 portraits of Singapore’s passionistas, and the space will also be used to provide a platform for our collaborators to inspire and motivate people to follow their passions.


What differentiates a ‘passionista’ from the everyday man?

Passionistas exhibits 19 unlabelled ‘passionistas’ alongside each other, and in collaboration with our event partners, aims to create conversations around what it means to do what you love.

The photos showcase portraits of the people behind 15 cross-industry entities. Through capturing snapshots, the exhibition underscores the notion that a ‘passionista’ is just like any other – not the extraordinary superhumans that we sometime view them as.


Get Artsy Featured! – Artsolute



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This week I have the amazing Terence Tan from Artsolute, an art start-up that wants to bring more art to society at large. This is something that brings a little bit of warmth and joy to my heart ;) I guess behind every success is a passionate person – I definitely enjoy listening to Terence’s passion & the stories he has to share.

Alright – let’s break to the interview!


1. Give us a brief introduction to Artsolute.

Artsolute was started by a bunch of us Singapore arts managers who want more art that speaks to and works for our society. As a start up, I currently run it as the only full-timer, while my associates contribute financially and on a project basis. We’re about one and a half to two years old now, and have helped to put together the 2012 ASEAN Puppetry Festival, several youth arts projects, several theatre shows, and provided management and publicity support for local band Seyra during their New Delhi tour.

2. What’s going on at the moment?

Right now, we’re staging Chestnuts #16 at the Drama Centre this August, which is a comedy sketch show that’s been around since 1996. I’m also putting together a Southeast Asian puppet artist network, and directing a music video for local band Seyra. We also plan to coordinate a series of performances at our local hospitals, to alleviate their wards’ conditions and bring a little laughter to the rooms.

3. Tell us a little more about Artsolute, and what inspired it.

I think our work tends to take on whatever topics currently face Singapore. We produced STAGES’ On This Emerald Hill and Chestnuts, the former restaged for its relevance to the Bukit Brown issue, and the latter an annual show that provides a humorous take on our Singapore news and entertainment. When tasked with producing the ASEAN Puppetry Festival, the central theme was how much our Southeast Asian nations had in common, and how we can be one big family. This was in response to the South China Sea conflicts. It is also very important that our projects involve the young, because it can do so much for their personal development, which helps them and our society as a whole. Its hard to say what inspires us really. The needs of our society is so wide ranging, and we are just doing what we can.

4. Where do you see Artsolute heading in the next 5 years?

I believe that with more experience and exposure, Artsolute will be able to strengthen the impact of its programmes on society. We have always wanted to provide details on how the arts strengthens communities; it is something people readily know, but without a dedicated publication, will only continue as a phantom thought. If all goes well, we hope to run a venue even, with programmes that supports the work by existing arts groups. With greater knowledge and information, we hope to do good work for our communities in a big way.

5. What’s a word or phrase you feel describes Artsolute best?

It simply to make good art that speaks to and for the people.


BTS (3) – Learn to Imprint | Mechanics & How To

Displacements - 13 WT Piano's Due Date

Displacements – 13 WT Piano’s Due Date


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I’m not sure how many of you guys have managed to catch Imprint (I)’s exhibit at Displacements, (preserved online for posterity here), but I’d like to show you guys Imprint’s mechanics and how to create your own artworks :)

But before this, a quick explanation on why I settled on using Photoshop to digitally double expose my images!

Imprint was created by imprinting pictures of Singapore on studio shots of youths.

Because my gear is so wonderful (a 5-year old, second hand D5000 with a broken lens), it doesn’t have the ‘double-exposure’ function many higher end cameras have. In fact, my choice to portray the youths in a studio setting (wanted consistency across the set and a white background) would have made creating 15 images really REALLY difficult.

Alternatively, I also toyed with the idea of using film – it’s a lot easier – calibrate for -1 stop exposure, shoot one roll of studio portraits, then go outside and shoot the imprints. However, my Yashica (the only film camera I have), has a fixed focal length of 40mm – where I would really prefer a 90mm for the portrait & a wider focal length (~24mm) for the imprints.

So, I settled on Photoshop. I also tried to mimic the analog process as much as possible. You’ll be surprised how easy it is!

The layers used for the final work.

The layers used for the final work. (No Due Date by Alex & Karen Mitchell and the piano at 13 Wilkie Terrace)



1) Open the two files in Photoshop. The files should be the same size/resolution (not an issue if taken using the same camera without cropping).

2) Copy and paste one photo over the other in a new layer. The ordering of which photo comes first doesn’t matter.

3) Set the top layer’s blending method to “Lighten”.

4) ???



That’s all there is to it! I’m assuming Lighten works how a digital camera would doubly-expose pictures ‘in-camera’. I keep the methodology simple to mimic the analog process.

Of course, if you want to touch up your images (or resize and adjust exposure), you can do that in Photoshop too! How you create your art is up to you :)

So go out and create! Don’t hesitate to ask me on my Facebook page if you have any questions.



Where poetry & music collide

Where poetry & music collide


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(COLLAB)² is proud to collaborate with Artistry (17 Jalan Pinang, Singapore, Singapore 199149) & 3 amazeballs duos on the 1st of July! Facebook event is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/538067786228374/

Are poetry and music two sides of the same sentimental coin, or irreverent alter egos?

The night encompasses an intimate reading and moderated Q&A session based on poet Jerrold Yam’s second collection, Scattered Vertebrae (Math Paper Press, 2013), interspersed with musical performances by talented songbirds Olivia Cham and Crystal Wong & Yelyn Yeo.


7.30 to 8.15 pm: Olivia Cham, accompanied by guitarist Mark Ho
8.15 to 9.00 pm: Jerrold Yam, moderated by Sujith Kumar
9.00 to 9.45 pm: Crystal Wong and Yelyn Yeo



JERROLD YAM is a law undergraduate at University College London and the author of Scattered Vertebrae (Math Paper Press, 2013) and Chasing Curtained Suns (Math Paper Press, 2012). His poems have been published worldwide in more than sixty literary journals and anthologies, as well as featured by the Arts Council England, Overseas Singaporean Unit, Singapore Memory Project, The Arts House, The Substation and elsewhere. He has won first prize and three honourable mentions at the National University of Singapore’s Creative Writing Competition 2011, first prize at the British Council’s History and the City Competition 2011, and is the youngest Singaporean to be nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Reviews of Scattered Vertebrae are available at http://drfulminare.com/scattered.php and http://www.ofzoos.tk/2.1=kimlim.html.

SUJITH KUMAR is a coordinator with The Purple Alliance, a group committed to the welfare, dignity, and education of the LGBTQ population in Singapore. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in communication and media management from the University of South Australia and a Master’s degree in human rights from Columbia University, and will begin studying the anthropology of religion at Harvard University this fall.

CRYSTAL & YELYN are an acoustic duo comprising of Yelyn Yeo and Crystal Wong, who first came together to perform at a little cafe called Screme in SMU back in 2009. Since then, they have performed for countless school events, and have done a range from gigs from birthday parties to weekly performances at Dempsey Hill. Fresh out of university and battling the harsh realities of the working world, the girls are glad to take a breather, and to go back to doing what they love most… singing and performing for you guys!

OLIVIA CHAM, now 22, first started performing when she was 15. She has performed at the Esplanade, as well as co-composed and released a Mandarin EP entitled “爱无期限”. In her free time, she belts out songs hoping her neighbors will not complain. She is accompanied by guitarist Mark Ho.