Showing posts from February, 2008

dry season

It hasn't rained at all since Chinese New Year on 7 Feb. But at the Esplanade's Huayi Festival, there was thunder and a chorus of falling rain during Sound seed , Taiwanese actor/musician-composer Lim Giong's collaborative performance with a sound engineer and 3 young Singaporean lighting designer, interactive designer and installation artist. As Lim Giong himself hinted at, this attempt to create an immersive aural, visual and spatial experience of positive energy could have worked better in a museum/gallery than as a 1 hour performance. [left: cover of Lim Giong's latest CD insects awaken ] The next day, J and I watched renowned Taiwanese director Stan Lai's thoroughly enjoyable and admirable new production Like Shadows . Much has been written about it in the papers, so I won't go into any details about the play. Walking out of the theatre after one of the better post-performance discussions I've attended, the intellectual and emotional energies the p

in passing

image by J of an altar of sorts for Ma J at Pa J's house I've never been particularly drawn to Chua Ek Kay's paintings, but today I found myself compelled to pay my respects to the Singapore artist who died last Friday . Mr Chua was only 61 when he died and according to some, at a point of his career where he was set to make new breakthroughs. I find that remarkable. A couple of months ago, J was at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute where he saw some new works by Mr Chua. Mr Chua had started out working with Chinese ink, but in the later part of his career, moved on to work in oils and some 2 years ago, the print medium. What J saw were not only new print works, but paper-collage prints. What does it take for an artist in Singapore to have an artistic career , and more importantly, to develop artistically and remain open to new ideas, new techniques? How many of our artists today will, say 30 years later in their 60s, be able to boast of a similar career? At t

particular realities

"it's not meant to sound/look depressing, really."A quick sketch during a train ride to work. It has been a long time since I've a reason to walk around the Mohamed Sultan area. Last Saturday, on our way to the Singapore Tyler Print Institute by the Robertson Quay to see the new print works of Indian artist Anju Dodiya , we walked past another expensive condominium/service apartment development that has mushroomed in the area, together with dozens of new Japanese and European restaurants, delis, pubs and fancy watering holes. A Japanese woman walked toward us holding the hand of her beautiful 8-year old daughter with brown hair and green eyes. Y: J, are we in Singapore? J: ... Y: Strange huh. Same country, yet we lead such different lives. This - and Toa Payoh. J: You don't say. Aiyah, the truth is that even in Toa Payoh, if you take the 2 of us and a family living in the next block [of one-room flats], there's already a big difference. Y: You