Tan Wee Kiat
Designing His Path to Success
- Tay Eng Soon Gold Medal
- IMDA Gold Medal
Tan Wee Kiat has come a long way since his primary school days. Being a disobedient boy, his bad results for PSLE landed him in the Normal Technical stream in secondary school. His behaviour did not improve as he continued to perform poorly in his studies. Wee Kiat was also involved in frequent fights in school and was on the brink of expulsion when he was given four strokes of the cane.
The turning point for Wee Kiat came in Secondary Three when he started to excel in Mathematics as a result of close mentoring by his teacher at Fairfield Methodist School. Realising that he could achieve what he set his mind to, he worked hard and began doing well in his other subjects. For his efforts, Wee Kiat scored four points for his G.C.E ‘N’ Levels and enrolled in the NITEC in Visual Communication course at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central.
Drawing was always in Wee Kiat’s blood. Coming from an underprivileged household, Wee Kiat would use his imagination to draw on anything that he could get his hands on, including his test papers.
Upon graduating from ITE, Wee Kiat decided to enrol in Singapore Polytechnic(SP)’s Diploma in Visual Communication and Media Design. He was attracted to the course as it allowed him to hone his skills in photography, film and advertising on top of his passion for graphic design.
To further improve his skills, Wee Kiat became an active member of his SP’s The Student Agency, where he had the opportunity to work with external clients on graphic designs. He also played a part in designing the look and feel of the polytechnic’s Open House campaign.
At SP, Wee Kiat was given the platforms to unleash his creativity through the Asian Film Archive Annual Report Design Project and the National Logo Design Competition for the National Resuscitation & First Aid Council. While he did not win both competitions, the experience of working on a real-life project was enriching.
His skills and experiences were put to good use during his final-year project where he worked with a partner to rebrand the Singapore Chinese Orchestra. Despite the challenge of reworking a well-known icon and brand, Wee Kiat was unfazed. After months of meticulous research, Wee Kiat co-conceptualised a modern look for the brand while paying tribute to its heritage. Wee Kiat’s final-year project was met with positive feedback and industry professionals when he showcased it.