NSF, 21, creates BMT sketch book to give peek into army life
His illustrations posted on BMTC's social media pages have garnered much praise
He was not allowed to take photographs in camp. So Mr Asher Ong took to sketching to freeze moments of his army life instead.
The intricate sketches drawn by the 21-year-old national serviceman were posted on Basic Military Training Centre's (BMTC) social media pages on Aug 31.
Alongside sketches of weapon anatomies and soldiers in action, many illustrations are on what Mr Ong referred to as the "quiet moments of waiting", as he depicts soldiers resting or walking to the Singapore Armed Forces Ferry Terminal to book out.
Speaking to The New Paper last week, Mr Ong - the eldest of seven siblings - said his sketches were to let the women in his life catch a glimpse of how things are like in the army.
He told TNP: "My sketches help my four sisters and female friends to understand my days in camp a bit better.
"I am a storyteller, and since we are not allowed to take photos in camp, I resorted to the next best medium to tell my story."
Mr Ong, who enlisted in BMT in July, has almost filled his 250-page journal with sketches of his daily activities, accompanied with notes from lessons and annotations of his thoughts.
The Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) alumnus, who graduated last year with a diploma in spatial design, said his passion for sketching began in his first year at the institution, which honed his skills to become a better artist.
He will complete his national service in 2023 and is eager to explore his passion further by pursuing a degree in architecture at the National University of Singapore.
Mr Albert Lim, director of the School of Design and Media at NYP, said Mr Ong was one of its top graduates last year.
Mr Lim said: "His lecturers and I remember him very well. The thing that struck me was his deep sensitivity and curiosity about all aspects of our field - art, design, architecture.
"He was really insightful, and he grasped all the opportunities to really make a mark. We are really proud of him."
BMTC's Facebook and Instagram posts have garnered more than 3,600 likes, with many applauding Mr Ong's talent.
Mr Ong said: "People have asked me to consider publishing my sketches in a book, and that's something I might think about.
"I couldn't be more grateful that people have enjoyed my sketches.
"Some even said they see themselves in my drawings, and as an artist, that just means so much to me."