Showing posts from April, 2008

2 lives

weekend aliens - photo by J here , de-faced by me For various reasons, it was much harder to empty my mind of work this weekend. The thoughts lingered and festered stewed. The air laid its humid weight on the skin. And it was no surprise that the newspapers brought ill news of far larger scale. So if, like me, you too need a powerful dose of distraction to empty and clear the mind before the start of a new week, I would recommend: (1) A swim in a public pool , where the colliding bodies of old men/women doing the backstroke in circles and the schools of children at stage-1 buoyancy, will certainly chase out all other voices in your head. But there is something else very therapeutic, even hypnotic, about doing front-crawl/freestyle laps. The need to focus on each stroke and stretch, the thrill of overcoming resistance and those dancing lines of light on the tiled bottom of the pool, that play of light, medium and motion. (2) A visit to the newly-opened Peranakan Museum by the Asian Ci

flowers' city

bubble city - image by J There is nothing correct - politically speaking - about Saint Jack , the 1979 film by Peter Bogdanovich based on Paul Theroux's novel of the same name . A Chinese shopkeeper repeatedly refers to the American pimp Jack Flowers (Peter Gazzara) as ang moh , and eventually gets chided by the deadpan Jack "hey, you don't want me to call you chink" (or something like that). The British colonial castoffs in Singapore get drunk, prance around in their undies, mumble some cynicism and sleep with the prostitutes Flowers pimps. The Americans are horny Michael Fays off to Vietnam or men in cowboy hats and big cars. And of course, our favourite Asian men are either loutish gangsters with no style even when they swear, a dwarf, grouchy suspicious old men in a shophouse (or behind the bar counter), or a pimply teenage male prostitute along Tanglin Road. The first Indian woman the camera has any interest in is a Ceylonese "black" beauty who later un


SOTA student recital - phone camera pic When you've been buried in your work for a while, take a step back. It's simple enough. Everyone knows. Step1 back This afternoon, I took some time off work to be at the School of the Arts, Singapore (SOTA) and caught 15mins of a short recital session by a few of their young music students. Watching the 13 and 14 year olds take their art seriously and interacting with teachers who, I think, are not only developing their students' skills, but in performing alongside their students, demonstrating the values of the arts - I came away hopeful about this island. The value of an arts education is not a career in the "creative industries" or even being a "well-rounded" individual. It's a whole bunch of other stuff - discipline and persistence, confidence, openness to new ideas and (contrary to all the stereotypes of self-centred artists), respecting others, whether the artist for your audience, or the audi

artist fantasy vol.1

J: Wah, you look damn sloppy. Time for a haircut. Y: ...another time. J: Sloppy. Y: ...artist mah. [ the next day ] J: Aiyoh. Look at your nails. Gross. Y: What? oh... artist mah. [ later that evening ] J: Blur you. Always forget this and that. Y: ... artist mah ... wah, good to be an artist hor, heh. J: At this rate, you should start a project called "Artist fantasy volume 1." Y: ... Not a bad idea.