Mother’s Day at Gardens By The Bay

For this year’s Mother’s Day, we went to Tulipmania at Gardens By The Bay. I wouldn’t do this post if it has no relation to art. Nature has inspired me in my illustrations and being surrounded by a fields of flowers and other non flowering plants was definitely an endless pool of inspiration.

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But here’s the highlight of my day: There was this art activity corner where we had to design our own postcards. The moment I saw a watercolour set, my heart skipped a beat. It was therapeutic, especially after walking so much. There were people from Laselle who I guess volunteered to hold this activity, I’m not sure but they were great. So here are the finished pieces done by my family.

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(Clockwise)
Brother’s impressionist work of ‘Autumn’, Mum’s dancing caterpillar, my yanky doodle landscape, and my sister’s minimalist piece of a flower.

Until next time 🙂

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Thai Transience _ Singapore Art Musuem

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Showcasing the dynamism of Thai culture, Singapore Arts Museum is exhibiting Thai Transience from the 26th October 2012 to 6th January 2013. And since it’s Christmas today (Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all), admissions were free.

The Art Museum is definitely a place for me to refuel my creative bar or jolt it awake. I spent a good 2 and a half hours there just empathizing with the artist and the persona in their works. I’ve already seen the other exhibitions a few months ago so there’s more time for me to just be in awe with the “Thai Transience” exhibition.

Unlike Western artists, Thai contemporary artists explores surrealism in their society, faith and tradition. Colours are something you cannot miss in the exhibition as it depicts the exuberance of the Thai culture. (This is miles apart from the monotonous colours of Jia Aili’s work of Seekers Of Hope)

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Religious practices like meditation were also depicted to have great effect as have art-making. It crosses between the lines of zen and the vastness of the mind.Sam 14

But when it comes to the honest truth like that of gender issues, the persona in the paintings are “in states of distraught, panic and hysteria” like that of the works from Bussaraporn Thongchai. And out of all the paintings and artworks in the museum, this painting below, “You & Me” made me go back and take a long second look.

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This drawing on the wall shows the image of linga matching with a yoni; The meeting of the two genitalia sounds. While the title, “You & Me” suggests a happy ending, it’s apparent that there is an issue of sex and gender. The portrayal of Bussaraporn’s lovers remains in the patriarchal thinking, since it identifies herself by the existence of those men; to be twisted into almost beyond recognition.

Source: Bangkok Post

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These twisted figures looked so raw and deformed. One can relate these figures to Ancient Thailand where temples and statues seen to either be twisted or have Mythology associations. (Below: Khun Chang – Khun Phaen Garden)

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These feelings of being tormented in her sexual relationship are suppressed and Bussaraporn releases them by sketching them of pieces of parchments like sugar sachets, receipts and notepad pages. 100 of them are being exhibited in the Museum. She substitutes objects and limbs into phallic images and while it was disturbing to look at these images, I was honoured to get access to her creative yet dark mind.

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It’s quite shocking to see in such contemporary art that Thai artists are still focusing on problems that Western or more developed countries have slowly progressed out of; reversal of gender roles or lost of culture. Issues like gender and cultural identity are not better depicted than the works of these Thai artists.

There are just so many more pictures to be shown but you might as well see them for yourself at the Singapore Art Museum.

I was so intrigued by Southeast Asian contemporary art that I purchased “Tomorrow Today: Contemporary Art from the Singapore Art Museum (2009-2011), exploring collections from such artists that revolves their works around the wider social context.

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What I’m hoping for in the future is for Singapore Art Museum to exhibit Abstract Expressionist paintings. My inspiration mainly derives from emotions and artists like Jackson Pollock or Franz Kline’s contemporary works are just beyond the horizon of art and being.

Until next time and Happy holidays!

Glam:Lelaki (Style:Men)

Look what I found when I stepped into Malaysia? It’s (Glam:Lelaki) Style:Men; Malay edition. I can’t lie: the first thing I wanted to look for in Malaysia was a local fashion/style magazine.
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And then I realized something oddly familiar: The cover! It’s almost the same of June’s issue of Style:Men magazine. I then realized that there are 4 more other covers of December’s issue of Glam:Lelaki magazine; same concept but with different colours and cover celebrities.

Yet, there’re major differences that I saw after an hour of analysis on the bus to Melaka.

1)Text

There are definitely more words in Glam:Lelaki magazine which is unfortunate because a page or more filled with malay words featuring Ramli Sarip, a musician and songwriter, would make it a blur for me to read.

Also, Style:Men’s headings have puns in them which makes it more interesting and intriguing. Like “System Reboot” to feature a pair of Calf leather boots by Tod’s. Maybe in the Malay language there are no use of puns. I’m not sure.

2) Layout

Let’s just say you see a lot more white in Glam:Lelaki than in Style:Men. There are no price indications for the products they feature which is crucial, I believe, when it comes to featuring a product. But, truth be told, the price is not important for me because there is just no way I can afford it. Also, the layout makes it look like a catalog; lacking texture and drama in the magazine.

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3) Styling/Products

In Style:Men, the photography skills really brings out the nature of the bag — be it by the use of props (to compliment the product) or angular/focus shots (to emphasize the quality of the product).

Glam:Lelaki also lacks the spread where they introduce the recommended looks. With varying themes like Royalty and Prince Charming to the men of the rebellious age, it’s as if Style:Men has already laid out what matches for a specific style. Now isn’t that great?

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So I’m glad Style:Men and other men’s magazine has quality material and features and I’m so trying my hardest to work for them.

UNTIL NEXT TIME

 

A love too strong

Photo: The result of taking pictures in the dark. Senget oi!!

It has been quite a while since I’ve gone out to enjoy myself. And yesterday night was just perfect. May I add that the cooling weather yesterday was one of the main contributing factor.

Goodfellas performance: Perfect! The right balance of music and humour to make the evening enjoyable.

Singapore Flyer: Never been on one before. Cold and quiet; ever the romantic.

A moment in time

If you could go back in time to witness something (no meddling with time though) that happened in the past, anywhere in the world, what would it be?

It’s hard isn’t it?

You might want to visit the Wright Brothers and the invention of airplanes. Since this was the most important inventions that proved the old adage of “Humans cannot fly” wrong, I see no reason anyone would want to witness their success to fly.

I’ve asked around (at home) on that one moment in time they would want to witness and experience. And here’s what I got.

My sister would love to revisit the 4-0 score Singapore won against Pahang in the 1994 Malaysia Cup Competition. It’s this momentous time for her among the tens of thousands of people spectating the then key Singapore players like Fandi Ahmad and Malek Awab  winning the Malaysian Cup for Singapore. Couple it with the legendary Kallang roar (which was at it’s peak back then), it’s no wonder she wants to revisit that night.

As for my mother, when I asked her the same question, she immediately replied with a smile, “When I dated your father”. I’m not lying, that’s one of the greatest answers. I had goosebumps all over when she said that. It was so touching and I could never understand that kind of love.

As for me, there are many places of different times I would want to witness. So many life changing events that I would otherwise witness due to my age. The ‘Youthquake’ in Britain for example; a time of youth culture and modernism. It’s basically the blossoming of the freedom of expression, love and creativity.

I’ve been in search of freedom of any form. And maybe this is why I choose to witness such times. It is these parades or marches after some kind of traumatic events like the Stonewall Riots (1969) that I want to be in; to empathize and understand why they march.

How about you?

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