Showing posts from February, 2009

family history

For someone who counts film as a...hmm, second third love, I've never been drawn to watch the Academy Awards ceremony. The only televised film award ceremony I've sat through is Taiwan's Golden Horse, as a kind of teaser for what films to look out for during the Singapore film festival or on DVD. One of these films was Wu Nien Jen, 吳念真's film A Borrowed Life or Duo Sang (mangled shortform for "father" in Japanese). I had bought a copy of its screenplay almost ten years ago, but it was only at our recent trip to Taiwan that I found an inexpensive copy of its DVD and finally watched the film. But first, who is Wu Nien Jen? To most folks in Singapore, he is probably recognised as the older man in the Jolin Tsai Visit Taiwan TV commercial below. Of course, he got to be the "Visit Taiwan" ambassador because he is also well-known as a prolific writer for the cinema, having crafted screenplays for countless films since the 70s (e.g. Hou Hsiao Hsien


12-13 Feb J: At the end of everything, it all comes down to the price of diapers [ points at the article in The Straits Times about retirement/nursing homes across the causeway and the accompanying table comparing the price of adult diapers in Singapore and JB nursing homes ]. You start in diapers, and end in diapers. Y: ... J: Last night I dreamt I was in a prison...or some kind of prison camp. There was this 1 year-old kid in the camp, but he could already talk. Together with another guy, we were planning a prison break. There were these people cycling up and down a slope nearby. I remember looking down and telling the toddler something. Suddenly, he touches my face and asks: "you have a baby or not?" He was reaching for my other cheek when I woke up. It was creepy! Y: Creepy...

how big's your neighbourhood?

watching the sunrise at Burobudor The islands that make up the Indonesian republic are only an hour or so away from ours by air. But other than a trip to Bali some 10 years ago, I've not been to this part of our ASEAN neighbourhood until the trip last week . The 5 days to Yogyakarta and Jakarta were taken up mostly by visits to artist studios, galleries and (very wealthy!) art collectors' homes. It was a cloistered view into this vast nation. But even so, the very narrow glimpse afforded by the art and the very few folks I met already suggested the complexity and wealth of the social and cultural resource and challenges of the world's 4th largest population. The trip and various conversations were short, but difficult to summarise. So instead of trying to make something coherent of it, here's a photo-diary (and some links): Jogja Community DIY: wall art on the IVAA courtesy of Jogjakarta's resident street artist "LoveHateLove" The Indonesian Vi

what a stop - for a start

Yogya from the Melia Hotel The Garuda GA877 hits the tarmac still at high speed. The green through the window is a blur. The ground is dark, with rain. The brakes work hard. There can't possibly be more runway left. Then it stops. Ah, safe in Yogyakarta .