Showing posts from September, 2008


3 men riding the train home from a day out at the racec- click for larger flickr view The desire for speed is bewildering. Rubber on tarmac. Ecstatic champagne bottles. Loops and crashes. More understandable is the desire to be part of a spectacle, to participate in revelry, to gape and gawk and cheer, to say "I've been there too". That we collect experiences and their memories is also part of our desire to consume. So the the Singapore Tourism Board knew that the crowds who attend the Formula Races would in fact be spending more time (and money) in other forms of consumption. Yesterday afternoon, with J's work meeting and my class assignment out of the way, we decided to spend the afternoon luxuriously sipping tea, across the street from Raffles Hotel, at a fancy cafe with lace curtains, tasteful furnishing, and the conspiring whispers from the ladies at the other corner. We've always wanted to do the lady-of-leisure thing. And we did. There. Experience consumed

what we talk about when we talk about running

the original running man On our island, running has become the latest fad. This year alone, there has or will be the Nike "Human Race", the Great Eastern Women's race, Adidas' sundown marathon, the super crazy "double marathon", some new balance thing, the annual standard chartered run...and too many for a non-participant to name. It's a little bit more crazy than when yoga and roller blading were the rage, perhaps because running is something you can do alone and is basically a outcome/goal-driven activity, quantifiably by time, speed and distance. Maybe this is why this book flew completely off the shelves, but Kinokuniya has re-stocked it again. Now that I got my copy of Murakami's latest "memoir" comprising reflections on running, I wished I had just borrowed a copy from the library. The prose is thin and loose. The premise is indulgent. Or rather, the premise is indulgent because the prose is thin and loose. And perhaps owing to the

"Wah, so stylo!"

Notes below. All images by J's dusty Nokia phone camera...and photoshop ...that's a Singlish and somewhat reductive version of the Singapore Biennale 's theme this year. Yet the ability to wonder is not something we should scoff at - it suggests, at the minimum, curiosity and if it implies a level of naivete, it's because our cynicism is not far away as a counterpoint. Nor should we underrate the almost unique ability of art - among other exercises of inquiry, craft and expression - to cause its viewer to stop, be amazed, think and question. But in today's world of expensive, Olympic-scale entertainment, is art no more than another spectacle? Because what indeed are we wondering at, or what are we to wonder about? And does it simply stop there? Is wonder as a purely visceral response to art enough ? J and I spent Thursday evening wandering the halls and rooms of the City Hall building. Some of the best pieces at the City Hall site were multimedia or video

cross culture

J's sketch of his 2 favourite shelves Last night J and I met with some friends (to be precise, they were ex-students from one of my past lives) who started this blog , putting down their thoughts and readings on what the cross means to culture, and by extension, what it means to a growing group of folks - Christians or otherwise - who are practitioners and/or consumers of the arts, design and all forms of "cultural" goods. The post on "What's wrong with my Christian Tshirt" made me smile. J and I had walked into one of those stores selling "Christian" paraphernalia - and it was an experience somewhere between amusing and horrifying. Imagine - bags of "bible-verse mints"!?! One of the first things that ampulets design did some years ago, just a little while before it was formally registered as a business, was the visual identity for a church. It was a pro bono job for a friend's church, though in the end they gave us a $200 popu

out, out!

#5 of Kidnap Bob 2. Count the roaches on a typical day. click for flickr view Given all the common values we may profess and the common ground we will always try to build on, the reminders of the possible divisions - be they cultural, financial, physical or generational - are not always pleasant. Still, they exist and persist. Two days ago, the Town Council conducted their periodic "fogging" of the rubbish chute. For folks who don't live in HDB flats, this is when they smoke out the rubbish disposal chute located located in all the kitchens and connects all the flats. J and I had taken a walk for brunch, having forgotten about this exercise. When we got back, we found the void deck (i.e. ground level common area) littered with over a hundred dead cockroaches and those half=alived, upturned, their legs twitching or trying to carry their poisoned bodies away. When we next ventured out of our flat in the evening, the cockroaches were gone. (It was probably in the pest compan