While Tan Yang Er (CS’16) is professionally known as a multidisciplinary artist, she prefers a more fervent title—a 21st century Renaissance person. Tan dabbles in set design, oil paintings and more because she has an unquenchable curiosity to embrace as many creative mediums as possible.
The 28-year-old strives for authentic storytelling in both commercial and personal projects, but admits it is sometimes hard to execute her vision for commissioned work. But tension does not stop her from pushing on with new projects, as creating art makes her feel alive.
“Deep down, she knows she would have removed herself from this position if she did not love this dissonance,” she mentions in the “about me” section of her website.
Although Tan specialised in broadcasting at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, she discovered her passion for set design as a second-year student. Combining her learning experiences and interest, she worked as a production designer for her first local television series Mixed Signals in 2019, an adaptation of local playwright Michael Chiang's 1989 play.
Tan strives to tell stories in each of her works that connect with viewers on an interpersonal level. Her creative process usually starts by thinking of what she wants her audience to feel.
“I am drawn to the brutal honesty and sincerity in arts. To know there is another living, breathing soul behind a work speaking directly to me,” she states on her website.