Behind the Scenes at Gillman Barracks: Meet Rachelle Toh

By Singapore Arts Club

Feb 10th, 2017 11:45 AM

Rachelle Toh | Gallery Assistant, Yeo Workshop

“As a child, I used to beg my mother to send me for art classes because I wanted to learn how to draw and paint so badly. I studied art in school for a while but I always felt I was a better writer than I was ever an artist, so I played to my strengths that way.

I studied Linguistics in university, so that’s my expertise I guess. In my third year in university I decided to take an art history course and I was reminded of how alive art makes you feel – that was when I decided I wanted to breathe visual art again and share that with people. What drew me into working with Yeo Workshop was Audrey’s Arnoldii Arts Club. I love the idea because it’s a very interesting platform for people to learn about contemporary art and get up close and personal with it.

Visual art is one of those things that is everywhere, but for some reason it’s relatively inaccessible, exclusive, or something else, when it shouldn’t be. Knowledge about how people use language is important because it’s the one way to open up a field that is or comes across as technical, specialist, even exclusive to a select group, to make it more accessible to people who are unfamiliar with contemporary art. I mostly do marketing and communications for Yeo Workshop, so my skill set thankfully fits right in. The difficulty is actually balancing your audiences. We want to please and stimulate those who are well versed, but we also want to encourage more engagement and general interest in the arts!

As a writer, I think that the importance of perfection and pride in the information that gets pushed out (i.e. the final product), is essential because you owe it to your audience. Sometimes it can be really stressful, because I believe you can never attain perfection – you can only approximate it. This awareness both frustrates and motivates me, because I know the end result is never the best, and I can always do something to make it better (the fun part is figuring out what it is!). So to unwind, I sing. Not just in the shower but I’ve travelled for group competitions and festivals. To me it’s just normal because I’ve been singing since I was 9 but people are always surprised when they find out.”


Portrait shot by Natsuko Teruya
Makeup by Kelvin Khoo