Founder of Dude Studios, one of Singapore’s most interesting mix of creative arts and technology, Eugene Soh and his partner, Angela Kwek, share a similar vision for their creative endeavours. He is embedded in the world of virtual reality and is a consistent collaborator with Meta in the sphere of augmented reality.
Many may not know that Dude Studios was the creator of the crazily popular Squid Game filter that hit 1 billion impressions in two weeks in 2021 – it might come as a surprise that Angela’s creative outlet is the more traditional art of watercolour painting. Still, this unique pair finds it easy to work together.
“We work together in a way where we bounce ideas off each other. Then someone executes it,” explains Eugene.
“For his work that won the first prize in the meta hackathon, I provided the idea and he built it,” Angela says. “Can’t say we really collaborated, but usually I’ll just provide ideas and feedback to refine his work.”
“We worked together on my Squid Game filter last year, it went quite well. She would have a lot of suggestions, it would then be up to me to pick the ones to adopt. She was the one who suggested the user’s avatars run backwards, which didn’t make sense to me at first, but after about a day of internal deliberation, I gave it a try and it turned out to be the best creative decision for the filter,” says Eugene.
“I’ll let him know what I think about his projects. He decides whether he will implement it or not. But a lot of the time, the client will come back with the same comment and then I’ll tell him ‘you see’,” laughs Angela.
Angela’s insistence on being right sometimes causes ruffles in their relationship Eugene admits: “One time she felt so strongly critical about my work even after it was finished and the client approved. ‘You should have done this’, ‘I told you to brighten this part’ all this while the project is live and the client is within earshot.”
But this small negative is outweighed by his love of being able to bounce creative ideas off each other, and the way Angela’s input helps improve his work: “It’s her suggestions and ideas that inform my work directly,” he says.
Eugene also loves Angela’s art: “My partner’s work is water colour paintings. They are amazing and nice to look at.”
Angela, in turn, loves that she is able to discuss things with Eugene “from our own creative perspective”, but she really wishes that he would stop buying “frivolous boliao stuff like Buddha maks from Donki”.
“Maybe it’s just him and nothing to do with [being] a creative person. Anyway I put that mask over a lamp which made our place look so religious,” she laughs.
Funny homewares are obviously a theme with this creative couple, Eugene loves a cushion Angela created “because it makes me smile; it’s so funny”. Angela loves his Space Sweeper filter, which is super cool and based on a funny film.
Humour definitely keeps this couple together.
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