Showing posts from September, 2007


If there was anything about math that I had vaguely liked, it was geometry. There is something about the order, balance, symmetry, form and pattern in geometry that is pleasurable, even poetic. Maybe because these are qualities mirrored in nature, with its own bag of patterns and form, its own rhythmns, cycles and hierarchies that order life. If nature is the work of a perfect Creator, then in art - man's creative outcome - the principles of geometry have often held both their aesthetic and spiritual grounds on what could be considered perfect or beautiful. I finally watched the Louis Kahn documentary My Architect that L had passed to J some time ago and had J talking about Louis Kahn virtually non-stop for days. Like J, I too had these scenes, images and ideas from the documentary that refused to leave my mind. And if there's a word to sum up these post-viewing thoughts, it would probably be geometry. The documentary was made by 1 of 2 illegitimate children that

school of hard knocks - an annual report

the new Lasalle College of the Arts building - it makes you wish you were a student there - image by J taken at last Saturday's Rojak . Secretary Amps: Boss, it's been 368 days since you became boss ... Boss Amps:, yes, and you want a pay raise? Sec Amps: For that I'll ask my real boss! No, just want to do a little interview about the past year, see if anything has changed . Boss Amps: Oh, ask difficult questions. Sec Amps: No lah, just wondering if there was one thing that really stood out in the last year - whether it was something you learnt, or thought about, or was most significant. Just one thing. Boss Amps: [pauses and wanders off to watch America's Next Supermodel for the next 30mins instead] I's become really clear, especially when I think of the people I've met who are so unhappy doing what they are doing, that it's quite important knowing what you like and just doing it - not thinking too much. I've also met so

get lost!

image by J "The street is not perceived as a complete entity in itself, with a beginning and an end, so it doesn't have a name...Instead, aside from the name of the township, indicated by the suffix 'ku' or 'shi', addresses only have three numbers: the 'chome', a sort of nieighbourhood or small quarter subdivided into different blocks; the block and the building itself, which is often numbered chronologically according to the date it was built, and not gradually, by physical position. This unusual system did not escape Barthes, who wrote, 'The roads of this city do not have names. Of course, there is a written address, but it only has a postal value...and will make sense to the postman but not to the visitor...This residential annulment seems quite inconveninet to us, as we are used to thinkning that what is most practical is also most rational...Tokyo, instead, tells us to once more that rationality is just one of several systems...This city cannot

after the red lights

all images by J It's a great sign that there's been, in the last couple of years, more residency and gallery spaces initiated by arts practitioners. Great because I hope it's a sign that there's a larger sense of community, and a recognition that coming together, instead of staking out turf, is the way to outgrow our small pond/island mentality. Of course, in the late 80s, there was already the Artist Village, and the late Kuo Pao Kun 's The Substation at Armenian Street. The former no longer exists as a physical space, but the latter still survives today with its small blackbox theatre, a gallery, classrooms and a courtyard that has been turned in a live-music cafe/pub Timbre . And early this year there was Emily Hill Nonetheless, these "artist communes", studios and cafes have always inhabited cities, whether planned or unplanned. Wherever the real estate is affordable, typically in depressed neighbourhoods, artists have always found their way there. Ove

repeat after me

The public administration and politicians on this island are both rather fond of the prefix "Re", as seen in this instance - Regenerate. Rejuvenate. Realise. Remake. So this conversation took place over the weekend at the "Remaking the Heartland" exhibition going on at Toa Payoh's HDB central. Y: Excuse me, can I ask you a question? Man at the Info counter: Yes, yes? [ watching the still blank survey form in my hand ] Y: Er, can I ask if the Potong Pasir stretch at Toa Payoh will be upgraded under this programme? M: Potong Pasir in Toa Payoh meh? Y: Yah, have. The little bit of Potong Pasir ward under Chiam See Tong? M: ... Y: I mean, is this programme "generic" or, er, only for PAP wards ah? [ smiles, acts cute ] M: Ohr - this programme is generic, supposedly. Y: So every estate will benefit? M: Yah, supposedly. Y: Oh I see, I just wondering. I live in Toa Payoh mah. M: Ohr - generic programme, but it - it all depends only on the timing . I