I had the pleasure of meeting Ng Sze Kiat, the mastermind behind the mycological design studio Bewilder, who passionately champions the awe-inspiring wonders and diverse applications of mushrooms in Singapore – from waste management solutions to high-end gourmet mushrooms and jaw-dropping ganoderma art.
Sze Kiat's journey weaves his twin passions for art and nature. His fascination with nature's intricate beauty, nurtured since childhood, led him to fields ranging from photography and illustration to writing and botanical design. However, his deep connection with fungi found its origin in Istanbul. There, he embarked on a self-taught journey, learning to cultivate oyster and lion's mane mushrooms through liquid cultures and online resources.
Upon returning to Singapore, Sze Kiat's attempts faced failures due to the lack of suitable materials and mycology experts. Unperturbed, he persevered, until founding Bewilder in 2019
Kicking off with workshops on mushroom cultivation, he shifted Bewildered's mission during the pandemic to focus on fungi research on top of education, housing a lab, production area, design studio, and event space.
Bewilder's research delves into the transformative potential of fungi, exploring avenues such as waste management, mycomaterials like mycoleather and sustainable packaging alternatives, and even mycoprotein.
Sze Kiat envisions these ventures as not only transformative but also commercially viable. His journey embraces a dual identity, as an artist and scientist, merging both perspectives to create a truly unique mushroom research and cultivation company.
Ng Sze Kiat embodies the spirit of innovation, creativity, and a deep-seated respect for the intricate web of life that fungi represent.
Check him out: