Little dial makes big splash
She was one of five Singapore student artists selected to paint the dial of a Limited Edition Arbutus Singapore Heritage Commemorative Timepiece for Singapore's 50th birthday.
And the watch designed by Miss Chloe Wong sold for $1,800 on Tuesday, the day after it was placed on exhibition.
It is part of a set of 12 timepieces with unique dials, five by Miss Wong and her fellow students from The Little Arts Academy (LAA) and the other seven by Hong Kong artist Elmo Chung.
Miss Chung also designed an auction-only "Shophouses" Limited Edition Arbutus Singapore Heritage Tourbillon, which has a reserve price of $18,000, for the series.
At the end of the exhibition yesterday, another two of the five student pieces were sold. Four of Miss Chung's watches were sold as well. The rest will be put up for sale at Arbutus Watch at Tangs Orchard.
Proceeds will go to LAA and the new arts training centre 10square @ Orchard Central for the arts education of children and youth from low-income families.
Miss Wong, 20, who is with the centre, is a second-year student at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.
Although her original timepiece has been sold, a magnified replica that she painted on canvas was put on display at the exhibition at VivoCity.
Miss Wong designed the timepiece, titled "Singapore Never Sleeps", with a fisheye effect, showing Singapore's skyline. Its backdrop was inspired by her favourite time of the day - twilight.
"(That's when) I can see both the sun setting and stars rising across the sky at the same time," she said.
She used glass and acrylic paint to finish the watch dial in five hours.
Before painting on the actual dial, she practised her strokes on paper pieces of the same size.
The dial is only 44mm in diameter, about twice the size of a 20-cent coin, and it was the first time Miss Wong had worked on such a small surface.
But she did not find it tedious, she said, adding: "It's fun for me as I enjoyed the challenge."
Miss Wong said her father had not always been supportive of her choice of career despite her flair for art since kindergarten.
He had often advised his only child to choose a job with a stable pay and regular working hours.
But he changed his mind after visiting Miss Wong's first art exhibition at the Arts House in January last year. That's when he saw her artwork - a painting - gracing the cover of the exhibition's catalogue.
"I realised she was excelling while doing what she loved," said Mr Wong, 54, who declined to give his full name.
That moment was especially precious for Miss Wong, as her father worked as a chef to single-handedly raise her and his support was important to her.
"He is my pillar of strength," she said.
Miss Wong hopes to be an art therapist in the future.
Her advice to aspiring artists: "If you choose this path, never give up, and go all out to achieve your goals."