These beautiful, mesmerising & subtle GIFs celebrate 30 years of the artform

A brilliant selection of GIFs created by artists from Singapore for a whole festival about GIFs.

All of us are familiar with (if not love) GIFs by now – whether you use them on various messaging platforms, see them on social media, or even create them yourself as an animator or artist.

If you haven’t heard of the Graphics Interchange Format, first make sure you haven’t been living under a rock, and then read this quick history lesson.

The GIF is a bitmap image format developed by US-based software writer Steve Wihite while working at the bulletin board service provider in 1987. That was 30 years ago, and GIFs have come a long way. 

We’ve seen all kinds here at Digital Arts – the educational, the beautiful, the quirky, and black and white, and that's just the beginning of our collection. Although GIFs are often seen as a light hearted form of visual communication, they’re also an incredibly cool artform gaining favour with the artistic community (check out illustrators’ tips for creating animated GIFs).

GIF: Lydia Foo

Apart from the mesmerising effect of watching four frames of action on loop, GIFs are defined by capturing a moment in time – a scene from Game of Thrones, a silly robot or 31 ways to say Get Lost – which heightens communication beyond just text and emoji; that’s why we love them.

This year marks 30 years since GIFs began, and to celebrate the unique richness of the format, initiative of the National Arts Council, Noise Singapore, creative agency Kult, and GIPHY have teamed up to create a GIF bonanza.

GIF: Dian Amirah

Noise x GIF Fest is launching to explore the digital art. Last month, a group of designers, animators and photographers were commissioned by the event curators to create a GIF inspired by the festival theme – 'Spellbound'.

We’ve got a selection of the GIFs here, and they are exceptionally subtle and delightful. There’s everything from psychedelic swirling patterns to mesmerising cats with moving fur.

GIF: Wan-G

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A whole range of styles have been used, including collage, illustration, photography and 3D animation from artists such as Lydia Foo, A Whispering Campaign, Matthew Ryan, Natasha Wijaya and Siti-Muzainah.

More than 500 GIFs were submitted from established and fresh artists across Singapore, and 50 will be showcased at the festival. GIPHY, the largest library of animated GIFs (it surely is a treasure trove), has chosen its favourite GIFs too.

GIF: Aik Beng Chia

The festival will be held from October 5 to 11, showcasing the 50 shortlisted GIFs through projects, large screens and secret rooms.

Noise Singapore dedicates itself to express, develop and showcase creative talent from Singapore’s young artists.

Take a look at the rest of the GIFs.

GIF: A Whispering Campaign

GIF: Dianna

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GIF: Audrey Marzin

GIF: Williem Siddik

GIF: Ahmad Rifa'ie

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GIF: Ella Zheng