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Showing posts from October, 2007

city walls

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all images, except this, by J The walls of ancient cities mark their boundaries and serve to control traders, aliens, intruders and disease. Today's cities are marked instead by their porosity. They boast not of limits, but of - to use our island's governmentspeak - "possibilities" (or the super cringe-worthy " possibicities "). Maybe today's city walls are represented instead by our museum and gallery walls. While these walls face inward, they invite instead of deny and repel. They close off a room, but open up imaginative spaces and physical spaces for not only inhabitants of the city but all kinds of folks to question, critique, demand, contemplate, play. These walls hold up for its inhabitants and visitors to view the strength of a city's financial and intellectual currency with the world, its ability to talk above its domestic noise, and its vitality. In fact, a mark of cities that are deemed to have arrived is that their museums and gal

sl/b/urp

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We are at a lost for words after 10 tiring but inspiring days in Japan (also mostly because most evenings I've too much beer, sake or choya-soda in me to concentrate!), so here's some pseudo-manga: what competiting in Tokyo looks like - click for larger view in fickr

it's a squeeze!

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J spied upon this 1.4m tall Tokyo-ite all dressed in 70s gear 2 tables away from us. We finally arrived in Tokyo this evening, having done all the touristy visits in the Kansai region, and now back doing what we probably would do at home too - having a coffee, watching the people go by and drawing in our books. On difference is Tokyo's late night TV. It is a strange humour, to have a detective series where the lead detective's special skill is flinging his wig (boomerange style) at criminals and the female detective has perfected the art of attacking using the suction power of those rubbery breast-enhancers. J: Young people born in Tokyo or even Osaka are really lucky. Y: Why do you say that? J: I mean, look at all of them here - there's so much more they can do, the creativity and - . Y: I don't know about that. It must be terribly competitive and pressurising. How do you stand out in a place like Tokyo? J: [ puzzled ] I don't agree. Why is there a need to

2 Days, 2 Creatures from the deep

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atmospheric horizon. all images in this post by J - click for flickr view The clouds were so low that even as we were already a minute or two from the runway it remained the same pale grey outside the window. Stare hard enough and the world will turn into a flat sheet of paper. Then emerging from the clouds, the runway suddenly appeared and we were there - the Kansai International Airport . But how different it was when we were above the clouds - day broke - the sun burnt through the atmosphere in a line. And it was almost possible to imagine how the world began. We got off the plane by 6.30am. But it was not until almost 9 when we reached our hotel in central Osaka, the Namba area. There was no rush. We were lost a little figuring out the train to Namba as J struggled to recover from the claustrophobia of the last 7 hours and to recover some memory of his university Japanese. And when we got to Namba (by bus instead), we were a little lost figuring out the various maps to get to

time online

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I haven't quite organised my thoughts, but somewhere I think a pattern or some meaning will emerge. Or maybe not. Still, here goes... Last weekend my sister left Singapore to start her undergraduate studies at York. I have not spoken to her since, but I've read a little of her life at York from her facebook. That same day, I met ru . The next day she would be getting back to the UK. Our parting words were - "see you online!" It has been almost 2 years when I wrote this on the blog the day before J and I left for a holiday in Taipei. Tomorrow we leave for a holiday in Japan. Reading that post, I wonder what had changed. This evening I stepped out of the office at 11.15pm. It's getting clearer that in the last 10months, the 3 things that matter most to me - God, sweet J (and by some extension, family and friends) and writing (not blogposts!) - have in fact suffered the most from the demands of my work. It's of course not right. Something must give. And

give the public the public star

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image by J Sunday J and I caught the last performance for the 2nd run of W!ldrice's The Campaign to Confer the Public Star on JBJ . A simple 2 act structure with 2 actors, each playing multiple roles in 1 of the 2 acts - the first act on the unintentional public life of a private individual, the other on the private life of an unintentional public servant - both martyred, relunctantly or unwittingly, by their own play in the system. Described as a satire, the humour is biting, intelligent and knowing, yet also accessible, owing to Pam Oei's dynamo-like costume changes and everyone's favourite digs at the dynastic Lees/politicians/complicit civil service. In this way, the play's also a romance. A romance about that other JBJ , the hapless Singaporean, the undead Lee, the absent father, heck, the system , the clueless public, the clued-in repressed media... Still, it was an enjoyable, well-conceived play with the wordless ending (finally, quiet in a hyper-wordy pla

don't forget

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big kid J - image by J I almost forgot, but J left me a reminder this morning with this image. Us amps don't have too many words to this post, except Happy Children's Day, don't ever forget!