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Showing posts from November, 2006

anyone listening?

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Love classified - click for larger flickr view and translation Today I was at a conference listening to all these hotshot designers, an Indian filmmaker and a "media maverick" talk about their work and worklife. There were a few others, but they were not in any way memorable. The Indian filmmaker, having just retired and whose film titles fill 3 pages, was the only one who argued for a life of reflection as opposed to a life of consumption, amusement and pleasure. The rest were unapologetic about their celebrity and their ability to command desire. They were, of course, more amusing and quick-witted in their presentation. The Indian filmmaker, dressed in a large denim shirt, his eyeglasses perched atop his balding head, his eyes in a squint and his face in a grimace, was not amusing. In fact, the audience shifted between respect and incredulity at his departure from the vocabulary of "branding", "design" and "creativity" as he declared - &quo

been down so long it feels like up to me

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"...because it's a long way down before you hit the safety net." 2 men sketched while on a train. Transporting them onto a pseudo calder mobile is J's idea, as usual. On an island obsessed with "upgrading", J and I were involved in a little "downgrading" this morning. Specifically, this morning J and I tried to help his dad navigate the healthcare system. We learnt that if you or your relative has a long-term illness and your family members don't carry wads of cash in your pockets, it is best to be prudent and opt to stay in a subsidised ward. Even if it means doing without the air-conditioner. Because the long-term costs are what you should look out for. In the case of J's mom, it means paying $75 for a 1 hour physiotherapy session instead of $30. It means $190 to see a doctor and a speech therapist instead of $60. Not too bad until you consider that doctor visits are once a month at least, and a good structured rehab programme for

more is less

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For the past 2 weeks at printmaking class, I've been learning what is known as the "reduction method" for lino-print ( similar to woodcuts, except the cheap & soft linoleum sheet is used instead of wood ). The idea is this: (1) If you want to make an image with several colours, you start with a print of the lightest, for eg. pale yellow. (2) Then you carve away the sections which you want to remain pale yellow. And you make a print using a darker colour (say red) on the exact same piece of paper. (3) Them you carve away the sections you want to remain red, and you make another print using an even darker colour (say brown) on the exact same piece of paper. reducing As you continue to layer colours (from light to darkest) on that printed paper, the more your linoleum sheet is stripped away. I thought, what poetry! That as the image emerges on the paper, it disappears from your linoleum; and as the paper changes its form as a print, so the vessel and medium of

on the back of a turtle

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all images in this long post are by J - click for flickr view Politicians often like to refer Asia as if it had a unity of culture, economics and geography. Particularly on our small island, there is a certain rhetoric, dreamlike, of belonging to or even defining that large bountiful continent. But whatever Asia is, it seems more like a varied and fractured place - cultural and religious practices diverge, and nations themselves are often artifically forged and hence bear the marks of recent unions or fierce disjunctures. Its physical geography seems to have pre-determined this - a continental mass, many peninsulars, and countless islands from barely visible dots to splotches along a major faultline of volcanic activity. So it is that even our small island, itself only a diamond-shaped dot, lays claim to several still tinier southern islands. Well, if you have it, enjoy it! So to satisfy our wanderlust, J and I decided we would leave our work and small island behind for a day

check your inbox

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click for flickr view Friends, in the general mood of these long days of yearning for foreign places, daydreaming time and journeys, ampulets-supplies present our second series of greeting cards "To the End of the World and Back" . Send them off to friends, family, heck - that girl/boy next door, and see what comes back. As with the first "Those Happy Days" set of cards , the cards are blank inside and are packed with an envelope and work-tag. Email us (ampulets at yahoo.com.sg) and we'll send you the luurve - links to posts that first had these illustrations on the cards: Going Places To the End of the World & Back Just me Silent Night 1 & 2 Time to go

better late than never

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It's that time of the year when the wanderlust becomes almost unbearable! And the body, realising it is still on a small island, cannot dislodge itself from sleep...so getting out of bed each morning takes longer. After a while, you start thinking that it is not quite theft to take that extra 5 minute when the alarm goes on snooze. When you make that final stretch to wake the muscles, you find a fresh cool spot on the sheets that tempts you to settle and let your skin rest on its surface instead. Then there's that glance at a darkening sky that makes 8am almost feel like 5am. Oh just give up! There is always the possibility of catching a cab to make up for the 30mins now gone by. Tonight, stationary by my desk, I trawl the web and make do with photos of Haruki Murakami's Tokyo by Eizo Matsumura, and their travel photography book . After tonight, I am one day closer to travel. Friday I will leave this small island!

how not to catch Monmow Disease

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Monmow Disease is like a X-man type mutation disease - but unlike Wolverine or his Marvel colleague Spider Man - those who start mutating into dog-like figures don't naturally assume super powers, they die. It starts with bad headaches, a taste for raw meat before bone structures shift. The face protrudes in a snout and finally the spine curves. Thank goodness Monmow disease is but an invention of Osamu Tezuka , he who created less horrifying things like AstroBoy, Kimba the white lion (ah, I remember watching the cartoons) and Phoenix. But Ode to Kirihito , with its crippling disease, is my favourite Tezuka work. Originally serialised in Japanese between 1970-71, it has just been translated and published by Vertical with a fantastic book design by Chip Kidd. I'm finding it hard to not say too much about the narrative, lest I spoil your experience of being seized, frama by frame, all 822 pages of Ode to Kirihito . But it will seize and fascinate you. At times suspenseful

laying the cards on the table

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click for larger flickr view I was chatting with monster ru on msn late last night and was thinking how strange it was our relationship with distance - geographical, metaphysical, imaginative. How we desire and loathe distance, our strategies to overcome and our strategies to impose it. We traverse and we also wander, charting and savouring. Lest I ramble even more, ampulets-supplies will be putting up Set#2 greeting cards To the End of the World and Back next week for that end-of-the-year reflection. Watch out for them and send some love - or if love is too close for you, daydreams. --------------- p/s Set#1 cards Those Happy Days (image above) are still available. They are blank inside, and are packed with an envelope and individual work note ($3 ea) Details here .