In 2001, I obtained my first copy of Macromedia Flash. I taught myself the software by completing the built-in tutorials, borrowing books from the library, and taking apart other peoples' source files. As my vocabulary increased, I started making my own home-brew browser games and making websites for friends. This was how I encountered the beautiful and uncontrollable organism that is The Internet.

My design education was completed at UNSW's College of Fine Art in Sydney, Australia. Fortunately fuelled by the influx of international students, the school was wealthy enough to upgrade all the labs to Adobe's CS3 (which contained the game-changing Flash CS3) on release day. The curriculum was also updated to teach Actionscript 3, Processing, and Javascript—kickstarting my foray into creative coding and object-oriented programming.

I started my first job at Asylum under Chris Lee. A year later I was hired by Graham Kelly to join a newly minted multimedia team at TBWA Singapore, and worked as an interactive designer/developer (the first title in the ad agency with a slash). I was lucky enough to have worked with some of the brightest creative minds. It was an interesting period where creative agencies were only just starting to realise their digital capabilities.

I left TBWA in 2010 and helped start The Ching Chong Group as a creative technologist (it wasn't called that back then). The agency built multiple verticals in traditional and interactive advertising, web development, and native mobile apps, driven to be a hybrid of creativity and technology. In spite of being a small team, we were bent on big things and our list of clients included Asian Development Bank, Carlton Hotel, Mediacorp, MSN, and Singtel. We even won a Creative Circle Award for a TVC.

In 2012, I started Pettycache with Justin Low. We place great emphasis on information architecture research and building our own tools for web development. Over the years we have refined a process which many of our clients have found to be very effective.

While we've stopped trying to win industry awards for ourselves, we've taken pride that award-winning clients come to us to build their projects.

I also teach Interactive Media at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

Connecting online

You may like to visit my LinkedIn profile which contains similar information but I'd be happy to connect with you there. I capture things that I find interesting on my Instagram, and am fairly active on Twitter. Occasionally, I upload some of my little animations as GIFs on my Tumblr, and a couple of my code sketches to Codepen too. I'm weening off social media platforms but you will probably find me in most places as @gadtan.

Side projects

In 2014, I worked on a side project with a team from NUS that won a prize to develop a national architecture archiving project called State of Buildings. A year later, the National Heritage Board (NHB) took an interest in our project and awarded us a small development grant to overhaul and greatly enhance the project.

My team and I at Pettycache also worked on GRAPHIC.SG, a visual archive that set out to collect and document graphic design from Singapore to encourage research on the industry, and to promote a critical appreciation of the city-state’s visual culture.

In 2016, I attempted to sustain my schoolboy fantasy of becoming a professional gamer by contributing to the digital design and development of CSGO2ASIA. Positioned in the fast-moving realm of e-sports, the site is ever-iterating and its viewership growth and reach has quite frankly been nothing short of phenomenal.

For 2017, the Pettycache team and I worked on the development of New Naratif, a platform for journalism, art, research, and community-building for the people of this region. The site tells stories, whether in visual arts or in written form, and they are retelling these stories from a local perspective, thus a new narrative.

This site

It's taken me almost a year to consolidate the content and put together the structure for this site. The site attempts to maintain old URLs from previous versions to try and minimise 404 errors. I like to think I've grown up a bit with this version but I'm still making adjustments to it. You can see what it used to look like in 2015, 2010, 2009, and in 2007.