UltraSuperNew creative director Shivram Gopinath on work that broke the mould
This is not an exhaustive list that could capture creativity in the APAC region this year - we’re not sure any list can. In a time where the truth is threatened from all sides, we value work that broke through into popular culture effortlessly and are proudly honest, without the facade of unnecessary flash. Some of these are maybe familiar, hugely decorated projects. Some make the list because of home-country bias. And some are purely jealousy-inducing pieces of work.
Poori Gang - Yung Raja
Yung Raja, Singaporean rapper, takes Lil Pump’s anthem and deep fries it - assembling Tamil in-jokes, social commentary, lo-fi vibe, and my hunger for memories from home. Bars on fire. Best song of 2018 because it brought a young artist unafraid to spit rhymes in his mother tongue (and mine) into the limelight, and features a favourite breakfast,
Shiseido - Party Bus
A brave and simple story, incredible attention to detail, effortless artistry: Exhibit A. Brands that are able to present their values in an authentic way need to be applauded, encouraged. Enough posturing without substance.
Friendshit - KBank
Once again, Thailand makes us go haha-sniffsniff-huh - a feeling only they can make us feel. For a banking app. With an awkward teenager. And a script that surely would’ve been butchered into a cringe-inducing film in the hands of a lesser creative team.
Gaze Back - Marylyn Tan
A badass book of poetry by a badass poet in a country that lives infamously and comfortably (for the powers-that-be) in a grey area when it comes to queerness . Inside, you will find post-gender perspective, identity as a nice little bludgeon, an imagination of Jesus as a teenage girl, a poem in Unicode, and Nasi Kang Kang (google it). Check it out here.
The Story of Kaveri (and every river everywhere)
How do you make one want to save a river? You make it their Mother. A message of peace to two states fighting over water rights of a life-giving river that flows through them, is told in Kodava Takk, Kannada and Tamil (the languages of the region), features a script straight from epic myths, and brilliantly evocative imagery. While the problem maybe bigger than a video can solve, it has its beautiful, impressive heart squarely in the right place.
Blink to Speak
Understanding - isn’t that what we want with everything? Practical, inexpensive, and has real potential to scale - all things one would want from an idea that is meant to be actally useful for those in need.
A movie about an unmade movie that is part fever-dream-part-nineties-nostalgia-part-majestic mystery. A low-key surprise and a worthy addition to Singapore filmography which is really coming into its own thanks to some brave talents that are unafraid to tell their story without following a tired formula.