YAH-LENG YU & ARTHUR CHIN
Foreign Policy Design
Company Founded in
Name of Founders
Yah-Leng Yu, Arthur Chin
Founder Birth Year (Yah-Leng)
Founder Birth Year (Arthur)
Bachelor of Fine Art (Graphic Design)
DigitalForm, New York (1999-2001)
DoubleYolks, New York (2001-2006)
Period of Occupancy (1st Office)
Estimate Space (1st Office)
Number of Staff (1st Office)
Mohammed Ali Lane, Chinatown
Period of Occupancy (2nd Office)
Estimate Space (2nd Office)
Number of Staff (2nd Office)
Yong Siak Street, Tiong Bahru
Period of Occupancy (3rd Office)
Estimate Space (3rd Office)
Number of Staff (3rd Office)
King George's Ave, Jalan Besar
Period of Occupancy (4th Office)
Estimate Space (4th Office)
Number of Staff (4th Office)
Officially operating in an office space at Kallang Pudding
Move to Mohd Ali Lane office
First hospitality branding project. The Waterhouse at South Bund, launched in Shanghai
Launch of The Space Programme
Move to Yong Sia Street, Tiong Bahru office
Launch of The Swap Show – an exchange exhibition between studios of two cities
Launch of landmark project Gallery&Co – biggest, most comprehensive and complex project
Launch of The Working Capitol – first large scale wayfinding project
Launch of Brand Guide: Singapore Edition – a book documenting the most progressive and beautifully-executed brands in Singapore
10th Year milestone
Launch of Critical Mass
Yah-Leng inducted as member of the prestigious AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale)
Move to the King George's Ave office
Launch of Design Diplomacy during the pandemic as a platform to unite designers with online dialogs and live talks
Yah-Leng named Asia's Most Influential by Tatler
Launch of official Foreign Policy Summer School with 2 parts: Internship program and Bootcamp
Launch of Vodcast - SHOWING UP
15th Year milestone
Looking Inwards and Out
By Michelle JN Lim & Megan Miao, 30 September 2022
Today we are excited to speak with Arthur and Yah-Leng of Foreign Policy design group. Yah-Leng, can you share a little bit about how you arrived at this name for the studio? And how does it inform the way that you both run the company?
Yah-Leng Well, the name actually came from a dream. I woke up with the words in my head, so I just told Arthur that that's probably the name that we want to go with. And he wholeheartedly agreed. We were trying to crack our heads for the longest time to name the practice, and “Foreign Policy” really clearly, succinctly and very pointedly described what we do and our philosophy, as well as values of how we would like to operate our studio. Foreign Policy is about looking not just inwards – you know, locally – but also on a more international global outlook. It’s not just about design but also having different perspectives coming together. And we like diversity, whether it's cultural or mindset, or backgrounds, or voices, I think that's really important for any kind of design practice.
I see. And is this philosophy something that you've developed and evolved along the way? Or has it always been the case since you started Foreign Policy back in 2007?
Yah-Leng It's always been part of our DNA, because at that point we had come back from New York. In my experience when I was in New York working in the studios, especially the last one I worked with, and the studio that I founded with my partner in New York before I left, we were always a group of people who were coming from diversified backgrounds. I didn't see anyone from the same country or speaking the same language. One of my best partners was a Venezuelan Art Director and we've worked with a lot of European designers and Japanese or Korean counterparts. I had interns coming from South America and Lithuania and other countries that you won't usually come close to. I feel like that's really important in building an interesting or powerful design team. I was always blown away by my Russian colleagues who can just churn out programming code so ingeniously. These are things that I don't think just anyone could do easily.
Foreign Policy is about looking not just inwards, you know, locally, but also on a more international global outlook… And we like diversity, whether it's cultural or mindset, or backgrounds, or voices, I think that's really important for any kind of design practice.
That sounds like such a rich experience, because you get to meet so many different people and learn from their stories and their skill sets. So it looks like both of you have had the opportunity to work elsewhere before setting up your studio back home here. Maybe Arthur can take this question: how important do you think it is to go out into the world and look at what other designers, other strategists are doing? And what advice do you have for the younger folks who may not have the opportunity to do so but still want to broaden their horizons and sharpen their skills?
Arthur I guess the question is whether we should get out there, for designers, right? That's the question?
Yes. But perhaps, do you think it would be a different answer if it was for strategists?
Arthur No, I think the answer will still be the same. Because the thing about geography is that it’s sort of shaped by human history and migration. For the most part it's man-made. But the world is so intertwined, and it's so important to be able to see from another perspective, so generally the short answer is, it's absolutely critical to get out there. And to your second part of the question, if they cannot, I will still highly recommend it. Because with the advent of low-cost carriers, and backpacking, and shared accommodation, the opportunities are still there. I think it's so important to be able to live and experience a culture, which will come alive to you versus looking at it on the internet. Although the internet does provide some information, to be able to experience it firsthand is so helpful.
And how was that experience of coming back to Singapore for you? What were the biggest challenges that you guys faced when you came back?
Yah-Leng Apart from some kind of reverse culture shock, I guess trying to grapple with the scale of the economy in Singapore. We were coming from the States where, just in New York alone, it's enough to operate as a single-discipline studio serving one industry. But it's impossible to do that in such a small - well, Singapore's not really micro but kind of micro in a way - economy. So I think that's something that we had to give ourselves time to overcome in the beginning.
I think it's so important to be able to live and experience a culture, which will come alive to you versus looking at it on the internet.
What have been some big turning points or definitive moments in Foreign Policy's history? You guys have been up and running for some 15 years now. It's quite a long time.
Arthur I feel that there are certain instances that are a little bit more influential in terms of how we were growing as a studio. But by and large, I feel that over the 15 years, it is about constant adjustment, constant adaptation and constant understanding of how the landscape is shifting. Almost all industries and businesses and practices face the same adaptation needs.
Yah-Leng I think we were always trying to adapt, but trying to disrupt at the same time. When we first started, we were just sussing out the landscape. I was still working on projects coming up from LA and New York, a little bit. And then in 2008, the whole Lehman Brothers situation hit. So projects from the States dried up, and we started looking at projects more locally. We were trying to find out how it works here, so we were working on trying to understand the GeBIZ system, and trying to go for a few projects. And that was how we kind of started the first two years maybe.
There was a point where someone came knocking on our door, and that's how we got started working on Unlisted Collection for [hotelier and restauranteur] Loh Lik Peng and his partner then. And I think that was how we all got started on our journey doing branding for hospitality groups and so on. So there was like one turning point in 2009.
Then the next turning point would be really 2014, 2015 when we had a chance to work on the National Gallery store. And actually that year, we had a huge amount of deadlines - it was insane. That year we had a lot of output from the studio and it was a crazy year.
But there was another year where we took on one of the biggest projects to date, which was the Gallery & Co project. I would say that was the second turning point maybe? That assured ourselves that hey, we can do projects on a much bigger scale. And that leads us to today. Since then, we have been working on not just branding, but branding in the form of interior design, space design, experience design, wayfinding, merchandise design.
I think we were always trying to adapt, but at the same time, trying to disrupt at the same time
Over the years and over these big milestones that you've just shared, you both have managed to make a name for Foreign Policy, both locally and globally. What do you think are some key factors that you feel helped you stand out in the design landscape?
Yah-Leng I think it's putting out your work. Making sure that the work that you share is properly crafted. Don't hide your work, blow your own trumpet. Well, maybe not to the point of blowing your own trumpet. But share your work, it's okay to share work and just participate, be active.
Arthur Yeah, I just want to echo Yah-Leng's point about the importance of putting together good pieces of work as consistently as we can. That is, in my mind, the foundation and fundamentally important. Sometimes we can easily run into a situation whereby there are constraints. And for me, I think being able to embrace the constraint is important. Constraint can come in multiple forms, right? So it could be a regulatory constraint. And it could be a budget constraint, which is very common. And it's important to not give up and end up producing a piece of work that could otherwise be better. I think constraint is good, constraints of timeline, to be able to work under tighter pressure is important, because sometimes we just have to go with the flow. Constraint in terms of market. We will embrace constraints, but yet try to work with our partners and clients to share perspectives.
That's such a good point to note. I mean, of course, anyone can create wonders given enough budget and enough time, but it's learning how to enjoy the process of working within these boundaries and being inventive, that perhaps separates a good designer from just a run of the mill one. I'm curious: what were some client projects that you guys did, where you really embraced that constraint and produced something remarkable? Would you want to highlight a particular project?
Arthur Across the board, I think they all have their own constraints or requirements, their own point of view. Maybe it is fair to say that every single project will have some form of constraint. There's no such project whereby you're free to do what you want to do. Maybe Yah-Leng can pick a project?
Yah-Leng I think all projects have their constraints in ways. I don't think there is a particular one.
Arthur I think that's also in our DNA. Right? Not to take a no, as a no. Instead, take it as, can we look at it differently? Or, have you considered another point of view?
Being able to embrace constraint is important.
That's a lot of food for thought, thanks Arthur. And, you know, maybe let's throw a bit of a curveball. I know that you shared a lot about the projects that you're proud of that define the Foreign Policy approach, you know, such as Gallery and Co and Figment. But do you have a project that you don't like so much that you hardly talk about?
Arthur I don't think we have one... do we? None off the top of my head. I can't think of one.
Yah-Leng Let’s say a project comes through the door. People can label something as fun or corporate, but I don't think you should really label them. Whether they're fun or corporate, we approach a project the same way. So, for example, I always tell the team, if the client is a bit more conservative, or if they are a business that cannot have “too much fun”, then we need to respect that when we are actually working for that client. And so whatever we are doing, we are always trying to help them level up.
That one level up may not be the most fun, but it's already 3,000% better than they have had, and we have to embrace that. So every project we approach that way. I wouldn't say that we have a project that we are unhappy with. At least we know that, using our design integrity, we've pushed them further and higher than what they were before. Yeah, so I think that's kind of where I stand.
Arthur It's back to the same thing, right? There will be constraints and we deliver the best we can within the constraints.
I see. That's pretty cool. And I guess that kind of leads me to this question about the Singaporean audience. Because we're talking about meeting people where they're at, and in doing so, are there things that the Singapore audience in general doesn't understand or appreciate about what designers do? How has the climate surrounding design been in the past decade and a half that you've been working here?
Arthur Are you referring to clients or the public who are consuming design as part of their daily activities?
Both but you know, feel free to answer in whichever way you resonate most with.
Arthur Maybe I can take the one from the client side of things. Generally, I feel that the Singapore clients are actually quite progressive. A lot of people say, oh, Singapore is boring and people are not, you know, inventive or enterprising, and it is so not true. I remember quite well during the COVID period where everybody was shutting down, but people were coming through our doors, and they're still doing amazing stuff. And it blows my mind that there's so many people based in Singapore, who are constantly looking up ideas, and taking them forward. So that is quite a delightful thing to sit and listen to - a prospective partner walking in to talk about what they're thinking. It's so encouraging, because the ground movement is so healthy.
Yah-Leng When we first came back, we probably wouldn't say that. We were not so ingrained. But I think over the past 10 years, there has been a huge shift in mindset and acceptance, or really knowledge or awareness about design. It's important, branding in general, in relation to businesses. This new generation of business owners in the second generation, the Millennials, and Gen Zs, they are a different breed. And they are very on top of what's happening, the trend, the aesthetics.
They have a very progressive mindset. They will do things differently from their parents. And so that really is quite inspiring. Some people come into our office and they are very young folks with really very interesting business ideas. It's really interesting and quite inspiring, so much so that you also want to work with them. There are a lot of people like that. As I said, during COVID, there were tons of people who were doing things, preparing things to be completed, so that they can launch either during COVID or after. So yeah, I think it's a very interesting time at this point. Singapore is not boring at all.
Singapore is not boring at all.
That's so lovely to hear. Would you guys be willing to share a couple of the brands that you've been excited about recently?
Arthur I guess if we are sharing a brand, it will have to be public knowledge. So mostly recent launches.
Yah-Leng The only one we can probably share now is a bouldering gym that we are actually launching next week. It's founded by a young couple. They were very young. Maybe it surprised everyone, like “huh, so young”. But age doesn't define what you do. I think it's even more inspiring. So they've been working hard to establish this gym and it's going to be at the Esplanade. I think it's going to be one of the first ones in the CBD area.
Arthur Yeah, after COVID.
Yah-Leng They're inspiring because they are young business entrepreneurs and we worked together really well. They understand design. They get it. So there's a lot less pain points. When they latch on to an idea, they get it and they will go with it. And that's very helpful for our project to evolve because that will help the brand.
That's a good reminder. You put your all into each project to make it better as you were sharing earlier, but then the starting point, the brief, sets a lot of things in stone.
Arthur The design studio is half of the bridge, right? So the other half of the bridge has to come from the client partner side. For projects and founders, besides being young, enterprising, there is also tremendous grit, because it's not an easy thing to pull off. You have to find the resources to make things happen. And also, the thing that I admire a lot about them, as with a lot of the clients, is the courage. Because it is one thing to say, “I have an idea”, and it is another thing to see it come to life. So they had the courage to stand by an idea and the courage to push through, the courage to overcome obstacles. And as with any other project, there will always be naysayers, there will always be people saying, "why do you have to do this?" But to overcome all of those sorts of friction and resistance is quite admirable. And that is the other half of the bridge. So together the two can produce stuff that, you know, hopefully, is bringing new experiences to the consumer.
Yah-Leng Yeah, our project is as good as the client, is what we always say.
It is one thing to say, 'I have an idea', and it is another thing to see it come to life.
Let's talk about how you run your studio. In a previous interview you mentioned that your optimal team size would be six to eight. Can you share what it is about this number that works for Foreign Policy? Do you still agree that six to eight is the best?
Arthur We still agree that six to eight is the best.
Yah-Leng Not that I don't appreciate a larger team, but when it comes to being a bit more effective in delivering and executing your ideas, six to eight is a great number, because it is more intimate, and everyone's a bit tighter in the communications. There's no intermediary, miscommunication or something else. I like that tightness in that size. Everyone feels like they are in the same team, and not like a few different teams. So I think that's something I prefer. But of course, sometimes you can't help it. When you've got a lot of projects on hand, you need a larger team. But yeah, it's a dilemma.
Arthur Partly this is because of Yah-Leng's working style. She's very hands-on and accessible. The studio has no hierarchy – that's something that is very important to us. So in order to work closely with designers, having a bigger team just makes it difficult. A six to eight man team would be quite good for the way we work.
And does everybody do a different thing? You know, like what are the kinds of roles on your team? How do you guys work together?
Yah-Leng Obviously Arthur heads up business strategy and planning. I lead the creative part of the department, but then in the team there are designers and there are technologists, and people are more savvy in social media. Everyone still has that singular base of having some kind of design background, even the copywriters and all that. I think everyone has also learned to develop different skills as they progress through the journey with Foreign Policy, whether it's managing a project, managing the clients, being forced to learn a new set of skills, new technology, new software.
Arthur We have a podcast called Showing Up. And one of the earlier episodes was an episode with Chris Lee of Asylum. And he basically shared that oftentimes, you just have to figure things out. And I think that it's another fundamental truth in our studio: it's not so much of what you learn in school or in a formal setting, you have to learn everything there and bring it into the workspace. And I'll say maybe what we learn in the formal environment is maybe like 20%, or even 10%. The other 80 to 90% is really self-learnt, self-driven, or explore or figure it out. I think that is a really critical, super critical element, because it's part of growth. And we can't expect people to spoon feed us. For someone to be able to embrace that not only contributes to his or her individual growth and personality, but to the studio's growth. So it's not so much of growth required by some system, but as a necessary life skill.
Yah-Leng Recently, we were designing the floor plan for some sort of outdoor installation. And the constraint is that there's a very tight deadline and we're working with some other partners. All the team were working using Adobe Illustrator, trying to figure out the dimensions and the distance and the size and perspective. And then I was like, “guys why don't you use SketchUp? You can learn it in like 30 minutes!” Okay, two hours, whatever. (laughs) So the tech team did it - they actually went to learn it. And hey, one or two of them actually became experts in that. And you know, that really sped up our workflow. It was easier to explain to the client where things are, how big the sizes and the dimensions are. I mean, these are things that are important to embrace and to learn on the go, just like Arthur said. That's just one example.
Arthur And oftentimes, even friends and peers that we know in the industry, many of them do not have formal training in whatever things that they ultimately became really good at. It was really self-initiated – they learnt, they figured it out, and then eventually became really good at it. I think it is like a holy grail, to embrace that. And embracing that can create wonders.
It's not so much of what you learn in school or in a formal setting, you have to learn everything there and bring it into the workspace.
Yah-Leng That's also part of the DNA of Foreign Policy. In a way, we're always trying to find ways to do things better. So there was once – I just wanted to share, I'm not sure Arthur knows – someone in the team commented that we are always trying to find the best communication tools or project management tools for the studio. And they were sometimes quite shocked when we were working with someone else, and they were still using Excel spreadsheets to do stuff when there are other sets of tools. So that team member expressed gratitude that we are able to be quite open-minded about trying out new softwares or apps to help our workflow.
We're always trying to find ways to do things better.
That's such an important thing to learn, and it stems from knowing how important it is to be iterating on the go and figuring out as we go along. I think that sometimes is a bit antithetical to our Singaporean education if I dare say so myself, where sometimes we expect the academic learning to be enough or to be the boundaries of our world. So thanks for sharing. That's a good insight and I think it's very worthy for design students or younger designers to know as well.
And on that note, Foreign Policy does a lot to create platforms to showcase local design and insights from thought leaders – from your Brand Guide to Design Diplomacy to Grad Show and Tell and the podcast that you were just mentioning, Showing Up. I think this is such great outreach, and also just such great sharing that Foreign Policy does.
So I'm wondering: what drives you guys to constantly be putting these out and engaging with the community? What is it that makes you embark on these projects?
Arthur I think there are primarily two parts to making this sort of project work. One, most of the ideas came from Yah-Leng. So she usually says, okay, I have this idea, we need to do it. So that is important. The second part that I felt is really important is the team at Foreign Policy. The thing is, whatever projects that we do are over and above the daily crunch. There's never once a complaint, or projects taken on half-heartedly. Most of the time, the team will embrace it, and push through. And this just means more work over and above the daily to-do-list, that they have to clear. And I think that's an important part of the culture where, when there's a good idea, people rally around it, and then somehow, we'll figure it out and make it work.
Yah-Leng I think the genesis of why we are doing it is also because we like the social part of it. We like to share, we like the social part of meeting similar minds in the design world at the beginning. And then eventually, when we were doing the podcast, we decided that we don't want to just focus on designers. We've been working with our business partners, or what we call partners or clients, and there are so many of them who are so inspiring. We want their voices to be heard. And of course, beyond our clients, there are businesses that we truly think are doing amazing work and impacting our little economy.
"Showing Up" is not just for designers, but also for entrepreneurs who are actually making an impact that we wanted to chat with. So I know that in the beginning people felt like, “huh, you're not doing design?” They were a bit unsure, but I guess we just pushed on. Now we're in the second season, and I think it's pretty okay. We just have to reach out or push it out more to the non-design world. There's a lot of things to share from the business side of things. And I hope that designers can also be interested in that role as well. Because as brand designers, we need to be very keenly aware of what the business people, our clients, are thinking about and what their struggles might be. And that brings us together, aligns us, and that's beyond design stuff. So it's about personal growth, you know?
When there's a good idea, people rally around it, and then somehow, we'll figure it out and make it work.
It's almost like you're taking charge of your own personal development by creating these resources for other people, but also connecting with other thinkers and other people that you admire, whether it's in the design industry or beyond. And I guess we're at a time where things are moving so much more transdisciplinary that it wouldn't so much make sense to just keep to our own industries. There could be insights in other industries that we could figure out how, how might we apply that to our own industry? So that's where your podcast comes in.
Let me move on to a different topic. I would like to talk about your partnership together, you know, because you are life partners and working partners. And while I was researching for this interview, I came across a very touching interview with Men's Folio in February 2020, in which Yah-Leng was talking about how Arthur, you gave up your career to support her dream, and I wanted to ask: was it an easy decision to put Yah-Leng's career first? How was that decision-making process like for you guys?
Arthur Was it an easy decision? I guess it came naturally. I didn't think too much about it. It just came naturally and it's almost as a matter of fact.
Perhaps you guys just worked so well together that you don't even really have to think about it?
Arthur As in any partnership is not gonna be always a bed of roses. But we are also quite careful not to let any personal sort of matter spill into the work, where we can. Ideally, it should be resolved quickly, and then and then move along, I guess.
And what about you, Yah-Leng? What do you think has been the key to your successful partnership in both life and work?
Yah-Leng Without Arthur, there are things I cannot do, for sure. I mean, maybe on the outside it seems like I did everything, but not at all. Just a few days ago, there were things that I needed his help, without which it cannot move along. I'm relying on him in a very big way. It's good to have different skill sets. There are maybe very complementary skill sets in a partnership. Of course I admire Chris Lee, or Kelley Cheng, who can do everything. Really. But I feel like I'm not that kind, you know? And so, I'm just blessed to have Arthur, who is actually very good at those things. Very, very good. And he's the best negotiator. So yeah, there's no Foreign Policy without Arthur.
Even though you're the more public face of it, I think a lot of work happens behind the scenes. And it sounds like you guys do virtually everything together. Like, I mean, you see each other at work with each other. At home, raising kids together. Is there anything that you don't do together? Do you have personal time? And what do you do when you're by yourself?
Yah-Leng Arthur meditates. I don't.
What do you do?
Yah-Leng He's been absorbed in his reading machine - a Kobo. I don't have one. I prefer physical books.
Yah-Leng He's been ferociously reading. I think he's checking off all the books, like 100 books. So I think that has been his personal time already for the past two years.
Well, Arthur, would you be willing to share with us: what are your current reads? What's on your virtual bookshelf right now?
Arthur Quite a lot. One that I'm currently reading, well actually not reading - since it’s an audiobook - is "The Surrender Experiment". I just started this morning, about five chapters in. It's actually quite interesting. It talks about the notion that we all think we have a lot of control, and we want to control a lot of outcomes, such as, I wish this will happen, I hope that will happen, I hope it doesn't rain. But the truth is, you know, the world is moving ahead. And it's driven by a lot of forces, whether it's molecular or cellular, or something quite seismic. They will move on, with or without your preferences and wishes. So part of the notion about the surrender experiment talks about the importance of understanding that oftentimes, we have little or no control. And the second thing is, we always have someone talking in our head. It's important to take the seat of consciousness to understand this talking head - sometimes people call it a roommate - and what exactly they are saying. Being aware of that is also quite important.
Thanks so much for sharing. I'll be sure to pick that book up. I think it resonates a lot with some thoughts that I also have currently. Maybe it could be very freeing to know that, actually, we have very little control. So maybe we can enjoy the journey a little bit more rather than trying to enact our will on everything all the time.
Arthur Yes, there was this analogy that was shared with us. When eagles are flying, the wind could be very strong. You could either fight the wind, or you ride the wind.
The world is moving ahead. And it's driven by a lot of forces, whether it's molecular or cellular, or something quite seismic. They will move on, with or without your preferences and wishes.
That's such a good thing to remember, thanks for sharing. Well, I'm down to my last two questions. Yah-Leng, in a previous interview you mentioned that you have a knack for predicting fashion trends. Perhaps this is also why, apart from your many accomplishments in the design scene, you're also named Asia's most stylish in 2020 by Tatler Magazine. So I wanted to pick your brain: what do you think is the next fashion trend?
Yah-Leng laughs Ah, the next trend? I personally am quite huge on street and Japanese cult brands. I feel like the oversized look is still gonna stay. But the 90s look is kind of creeping in, so it will be interesting to see how that's going to merge with the current trend. I also think there'll be a lot more colours. Arthur and I always buy the same colours – maybe blue, maybe some greens. Last year, there was this thing about a shade of blue, which is actually our Foreign Policy blue. So we have our FP hat, which you can buy on our website.
We're also working on something currently, which is sort of apparel-related. Hopefully I can share it soon. But it's something that is also very us and part of our DNA. I don't think I can predict a fashion trend, we just wear what I think suits us.
But I guess you do tend to notice what's been going round and the current trends. Perhaps rather than predicting, you are being sensitive to the shifts?
Yah-Leng I mean, it influences my design as well. Sometimes the colours that I use are very much from the fashion shows. Or a capsule collection or some kind of clothes that I like. It might not be this current season, it could be the past seasons. It's always influenced by fashion - I will always say that.
Are there other big influences on your design? Apart from fashion?
Yah-Leng Maybe photography as well. Since I was young, it's influenced by my dad, who recently passed. Image making has always been very much part of me. That's how I see things. So, you know, imagery is always essential in what we do, and it definitely plays a part in design.
My condolences about your dad. And my last question for you guys. What's one thing - it can be anything - that you're excited about in the next week?
Arthur I guess next week has a few things. One is the launch of the bouldering gym at the Esplanade. We really would like to see it launched in a successful and meaningful way. So that's important. Second thing I guess is a collaboration project that we are currently in conversation about which I need to sort out by next week. So that one is also quite important.
Yah-Leng For me, trying to chase my deadlines, which are endless. I need to get some stuff ready before I jet off to Italy in two weeks. Oh, that's in the midst of trying to get our new house sorted out. We are in the middle of renovation of a new house and literally I'm behind in buying some of the furnishing and stuff. Arthur has kindly organised the movers and they're coming in a month. So then that begs the question of organising stuff to be packed, right? So that's essentially - I have no time for it. But then, there are a lot of other things that I'm trying to do. We have an exhibition coming up in either December or January next year, which I have to do some organisation for. Because the first part of the exhibition is going to happen in the first week of October, I need to be able to collate stuff and send it to them before I leave for Italy, and then I need to gather information, and blah, blah, blah.
Image making has always been very much part of me. That's how I see things.
laughs I asked what you're excited about, not what you're stressed about!
Yah-Leng It's exciting but then I need to do it, right. I have a few other things that I need to finish. I think projects as well.
Well, I guess that's what happens when you pick a career that you find immensely fulfilling, but then at the same time, it's your bread and butter. So it's both exciting, but also intense. That's what I'm picking up from what you're sharing.
Yah-Leng I created a bunch of to-dos for my Italy trip. I'm gonna be working there as well.
No half measures for you, full steam all the way, in every way. Like how is work also vacation..?
Yah-Leng Vacation is tough. After I come back, we're going on a studio trip to Bangkok. That's exciting as well as the entire studio is going to Bangkok for the whole week. Everyone's excited because we've not been out for a while and then COVID just kept everyone in as well.
Well, I hope you guys have a great week ahead and, and much success in the many things that you'll be working on in the next month or so. And that you have a fabulous studio trip with everybody at Foreign Policy.
Thank you so much for spending the past hour with me and to share your history, your thoughts, your insights with our readers and our listeners, Yah-Leng and Arthur. I hope you guys have a good day ahead of you.
Arthur You too. Thank you so much Michelle.