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BE BRAVE, IT’S A NEW WORLD

Diana Khoo

Diana Khoo, Editor

To say that the New Year — and indeed, the new decade — has started off most precariously is an understatement indeed. Industries across the board, already reeling from the effects of sluggish economic growth, are now faced with the unexpected outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Industries such as retail as well as travel and tourism have been particularly hard hit.

In these trying times, where fear has led to outright discrimination and enmity, one’s home and private space seems more of a sanctuary than ever before. In this light, we dedicate the first issue of Haven for 2020 to the theme and subject of art. Drawing inspiration from the great German painter Gerhard Richter — who once opined that “Art is the highest form of hope” and believes that it occupies a firm and vital place within human optimism and endeavour — we are pleased to offer you glimpses into the spaces and sanctuaries of four notable personalities in the art world: a pre-eminent artist, a highly rated gallerist, a celebrated collector and a talented sculptor. For this feature, we travelled far — from the East Coast to Penang as well as the north of New Zealand’s South Island — and hope our editorial discoveries will serve to delight, soothe and inspire.

As we are also increasingly spending more time at work than at home, we were also heartened to be able to feature the efforts of M K Goh, CEO of Karex Bhd, the world’s largest condom manufacturer, to constantly inject artistic creativity into his company. We were able to get a special sneak preview of Karex’s new employee annexe — built entirely out of repurposed shipping containers — which has now become the preferred place for employees to come together to brainstorm or even catch a breather during a hectic workday. Read all about it on Page 52.

For those of you who recognise the power that art wields in changing or challenging the way we perceive things, we hope you will find some comfort, joy and positive emotion within our pages as well as share the sentiments upon which the creation of this issue was based. To brighter days ahead!