25th December 2019
In light of Christmas, during the Global Junction in Tokyo, all the different VIVISTOPS decided to do a world wide Secret Santa where we all surprised each other with a present. VIVISTOP Orchard scored VIVISTOP Užupis as our Secret Sentee and how timely it was too, as VIVISTOP Užupis had recently just opened as well, so we really wanted our gift to to go out with a bang, confetti poppin’ and all the works. The only criteria for the gift was that it had to be co-created by the members of each stop, and it had to fit into a shoebox. Challenge accepted!
For the uninitiated, Uzuipis is located within Lithuania in a capital called Vilnius and its one of the smallest republics in the world. A few artists initially declared this little town independent from Vilnius as an April Fool’s Joke but now they do actually celebrate their independence Day on April 1st! While they aren’t recognised by foreign governments as an official nation, they boast their own president, government, constitution and currency! It is a small community mostly made up of artists and creatives and people there don’t take themselves too seriously, everyone is laid-back and mostly know one another. The entire town is also a gallery in itself, with art filling the streets, river banks and parks.
When it came to thinking about what we wanted to gift the team, we wanted to capture the essence of their quirky and full of life character in the present. We took inspiration from Užupis’s own constitution for this where one of the lines that really stood out to us was “Everyone has the right to be unique”.
We thought to ourselves— How might we introduce them to our own tiny little republic and tie it back to show them what’s uniquely Singaporean too?
So we got our members to think about why our city is unique to them, and what they love about it. It could be anything from a childhood dish, or a place they have fond memories of. Each member created a piece on Singapore that meant something to them and each creations was personal, heartfelt and came with its own handwritten description.
We had such a good time making the present and we hope VIVISTOP Užupis had a fun time picking each one out and finding out a little more about our little red dot, our unique culture and identity.