Art improvisation has been all the buzz lately, with various studios popping up all over Singapore. From painting with cats to glow-in-the-dark art improvisations, the options have become plentiful.
However, art interference can be intimidating for beginning artists with no painting experience or knowledge, as they find it challenging to try and fill a blank canvas.
Ricardo Sentosa and Adriel Ho, founders of Art space in motion, noticed this pain point and decided to start a new art improvisation experience.
Located within a stretch of shops on Arab Street, Motion Art Space is Singapore’s first and only art improvisation space that allows visitors to create masterpieces with the help of theories of physics.
Combining science with art
In Motion Art Space, all it takes is a little push for gravity and inertia to do their job. Visitors can create abstract art using tools such as a pendulum and a rotating station.
The two co-founders were interested in starting a business in the art industry and experience, when they came across the pendulum technique and rotating art created by Canadian artist Callen Schaub.
Upon entering the studio, we were greeted by cheerful staff, old-school music, and an interior that was peppered with colors of all kinds. The walls were also adorned with abstract paintings created by studio staff and clients.
There are also round tables that rotate, pendulums that hang from the ceiling, and a myriad of tools that would not be associated with painting.
To make sure it’s not overwhelming, the co-founders created a handy list of instructions that outlined the entire process from start to finish.
“We wanted to create a very efficient system, like the one McDonald’s has, and implement it at Motion Art Space,” Adriel said.
“In the beginning, we didn’t have any processes in place and we had to figure everything out ourselves. Now, customers can learn the process very quickly, ”he added.
After donning an apron to make sure they are safe from paint splatters, clients can head to pick out some tools and paints to begin creating their masterpiece.
Visitors can equip themselves with squeeze bottles and wooden trays, as well as toothpicks and ice cream sticks to unleash their creativity. The studio even provides clients with a tripod, so they can record their entire painting process.
Dance music from the 80s resonated in the studio and clients were seen happily experimenting with the painting. It doesn’t really matter if you can’t paint, because gravity will do the job for you.
The standard Newton’s 1st Law Package (S $ 69) comes with access to all painting tools and equipment, and a 46cm by 55cm canvas. This also includes 400ml or four cups of paint of your choice.
There are also packages available for kids that come with smaller canvases or packs for couples that come with premium paintings.
Newton’s law of motion
In Motion Art Space, gravity and momentum will do the work for you.
By attaching the paint-filled squeeze bottle to the adjustable pendulum setting hanging from the ceiling, the classic lines of pendulum art can be created.
The tables can also be rotated and the rotation speeds can be controlled with a remote control. These tables were built by the co-founders themselves, who painstakingly made sure it was kid-friendly too.
Ricardo told the Vulcan Post that when the team began their research and development process in early March, they were using Lazy Susans purchased from IKEA and testing the concept in public parking lots.
Both Ricardo and Adriel had little experience building hardware products as they were previously in the tech industry, so many hours were spent experimenting and testing before finalizing the products.
In addition to the hardware, the co-founders also did some in-depth research on the paint used in Motion Art Space. According to Ricardo, the team uses tempera paints that are washable and non-toxic, and a lot of work went into ensuring that the paint had the proper consistency.
In addition to using a squeeze bottle, visitors can smear paint on a wooden tray to create thicker strokes.
After the whole process, the finished works of art will be left in the store to dry and can be picked up by yourself after two or three days.
Creating stellar experiences
Ricardo and Adriel are entrepreneurs at heart, having been founders of new technology companies. However, when Covid-19 hit and travel stopped for a long period of time, they began to see opportunities in the local experience industry.
“Before the lockdown, I used to travel a lot. While I was trapped in Singapore, I realized that exciting experiences were lacking,” shared 37-year-old Ricardo.
In December 2020, he met 32-year-old Adriel, who shared the same feelings. Later, the duo decided to venture into the industry together.
Due to travel restrictions, there were many people thirsty for new experiences. So we went through the whole process of bouncing ideas and selecting the pendulum painting based on its likelihood of expanding to the local market.
Adriel Ho, Co-Founder of Motion Art Space
Since the study was opened to the public two months ago, it has collected a lot of positive feedback from satisfied customers, so much so that the team has tour operators interested in partnerships.
The duo also have big plans underway, including possible expansions in Singapore and overseas. The brand has already received interest from the United States and hopes to bring the pendulum painting experience there as well.
Giving back to society is also an important aspect of the Motion Art Space business.
Adriel told the Vulcan Post that the team embraces the “1-1-1 Philanthropic Model,” in which they commit one percent of monthly earnings, employee time, and products to a good cause. Last month, the team donated one percent of its profits to the purchase of oxygen for Covid-19 patients in India.
Ultimately, the co-founders hope they can provide their customers with an experience that was previously not easily accessible.
“Art can be quite technical and expensive, so we wanted our clients to easily create art at an affordable price,” said Adriel.
Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post