Barely a year out of school and the 21-year-old, who goes by the moniker Oh.nanaz, has been getting noticed by all the right folks (including us — she’s behind our energetic branding video, available for viewing on our website). The organisers of Singapore Fashion Week commissioned her to create a video celebrating its heritage with scenes from its decade-worth of shows spliced to a specially created hypnotic beat. (She favours working with local music producers on the soundtrack to her productions, and the effect is almost always youthful and infectious.) And she’s just come off the high of directing the MTV for Time Wastin’ — the new single by the Pharrell Williams-approved, local hip-hop/reggae artiste Mas1a.
The Bad Blood-esque production — set in an underground gambling den — featured cameos by some of Singapore’s most prominent newsmakers in the creative scene, including consultant Tracy Phillips, DJ/Female Collective member Amanda Keisha Ang, television presenter Anita Kapoor and artist Samantha Lo. It’s only her first, full-scale directorial debut, but every moment in the take-no-prisoners visual feast thumps with her signature, self-described “ratchet luxe” aesthetic. “It’s how I describe Rihanna (whom she’s a huge fan of) as well as my personal style,” she says. “It’s sophisticated yet badass.”
What do local musicians The Sam Willows, Gentle Bones and The Lion City Boy have in common? For one thing, they’ve all tapped on the 27-year-old Tan to direct their music videos. Not too shabby, especially for a one-man-show (he films, directs, edits and produces) who taught himself the craft entirely via Youtube. “Music was actually the thing that made me want to pursue film, and it’ll always be special to me, which is why I always work with musicians,” he says.
He cites Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson among his key influences, and it certainly shows in the rich, saturated colour palette of his videos: colour-grading (or the altering and enhancing of colour on video) being his self-professed forte. Couple that with a distinct lo-fi ’90s aesthetic and a propensity for campy humour, and it’s perfect made-for-social media material. It’s a formula that’s clearly worked: his clients include G-Shock, luxury labels, and even Singapore-based fashion plate Jamie Qian Qian, who discovered his work through Instagram (@vilecorpses). Up next: more music videos — this time for the nation’s new golden boy Charlie Lim.
This story first appeared in Female’s October 2018 issue.