Saturday, April 30, 2011

The breakfast getaway

Breakfast with great company at Wild Honey.
This photo is taken using Canon IXUS 1000HS. Using the Miniatures program.

One of my good friends, Mystic, generously and kindly planned a breakfast getaway to celebrate my upcoming birthday. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, and I was hoping to spend the getaway at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. I was grateful to Mystic who so graciously obliged.

Our initial plan was to have breakfast at Halia Restaurant which is located within the Singapore Botanic Gardens. However, an unexpected downpour led us to change our plans. We ended up at Wild Honey. This place serves breakfast all-day long. I like the idea that I could have breakfast any time I like!

The staff told us that Wild Honey's signature dishes are "European" and "Tunisian". My friend and I gladly went along with the flow and ordered the restaurant's signature dishes.

"European". This photo was taken by my friend using Canon IXUS 1000HS.

I ordered a "European" set. This is "Wild Honey's version of Eggs Benedict". Made up of "two perfectly poached eggs, sauteed mushrooms and prosciutto on toasted homemade brioche and hollandaise sauce", it was a visually delightful breakfast to savour. The prosciutto, which is dry-cured ham, was too salty for my taste-buds. I was more impressed that my friend could tell that it was dry-cured ham. I like my choice of breakfast despite it being too salty. Afterall, I could tell that the chef has prepared this breakfast set with much love and pride. This set costs $18 each.

"Tunisian". This photo was taken using Canon IXUS 1000HS.

My friend ordered a "Tunisian" set. This is a sizzling pan comprising "red pepper, onion and tomato concise (stew) studded with sliced chorizo sausage and crowned with two fried eggs". My friend gave me a portion of her breakfast to sample and I dare say that I fell immediately in love with the tomato concise and this sizzling Tunisian breakfast. It was so good that I felt that I had to figure of more about Tunisia. I learnt that it is the northernmost country in Africa. This set costs $18 each.

Nature Remedy. This photo was taken using a Canon IXUS 1000 HS.

To complete the meal, we each sipped a cup of delightful "Nature Remedy". While enjoying our meal, I took the chance to practise using the Canon IXUS 1000 HS that I had won from the "100 Things that make Sydney so... Sydney" contest, which is a part of the "We Heart Sydney" campaign. While I still needed time to get used to using the camera, it actually took quite pretty photos of the food when I used the "Miniature" program mode. The photos turned out to be way more beautiful than those that I had taken at Wild Honey in Nov 2010 using a Kodak digital camera. So it seems that I would have to re-evaluate my preferences for Kodak digital camera which anyway is no longer in production.

Whatever it is, I hope you have enjoyed the visual treats from my breakfast getaway with one of my good friends. Wonderful friends are like precious gems to be treasured and celebrated.

Thank you Mystic!

****
Wild Honey
http://www.wildhoney.com.sg
Mandarin Gallery
333 Orchard road
#03-02
Singapore 238867

Telephone (65) 6235 3900

Opening hours
Weekdays 9am to 10.30pm
Weekends 8am to 10.30pm

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The beautiful spaces of Old Kallang Airprt

This path to the Old Kallang Airport has brought me fond memories. When I was a student, I had the opportunity to perform at the nearby Kallang Theatre and this was the path that I had to take from the Kallang MRT station to Kallang Theatre if I do not wish to take a bus.


Thanks to the Singapore Biennale 2011, I have a great reason to visit the Old Kallang Airport. This Singapore Biennale 2011 venue was the former headquarters of People's Association. I learnt that this very location was the site of Singapore's first civil airport, opening in 1937. It was described as the finest airport in the British Empire in those days until it was replaced by a new airport at Paya Lebar.

Did you know that this very site was built on reclaimed swampland? Before the reclamation, the very location was swampland along the Kallang River. I suppose reclamation is one important technology that has greatly changed the physical environment of the main island of Singapore over history.



Even though there is limited air-conditioning facilities at the Old Kallang Airport, I have found this Singapore Biennale 2011 venue to be a beautiful space with a nostalgic feel to it. In this post, I shall share some of the photos that I have taken at this site. Please feel free to share your comments about the photos and the Old Kallang airport.



I was very attracted to what remains of the airport hangar.




I appreciate the fact that Toast Box has set up an outlet at this Singapore Biennale 2011 venue.  The best place for refreshment at the Old Kallang Airport!

I find the corridors of this block at the Old Kallang Airport to remind me of my days as a student. 

The windows reminded me of the windows at one of my former schools. I like its nostalgic design.

I think it is possibly beautiful to catch a glimpse of sunset from this place.
I suppose some may have memories working in one of these buildings when this place was formerly the headquarters of People's Association.


I cannot help but like the Old Kallang Airport. Don't you feel that life has slowed down to a satisfying pace there?

*****
Old Kallang Airport

9 Stadium Link
Singapore 397750
(Former People's Association headquarters)
enter via Geylang Road

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I like them even if you may not. Noteworthy artworks at Singapore Biennale 2011



Following my blog post titled Noteworthy artworks to enjoy at Singapore Biennale 2011, I realised that I did not mention some of the works that I like. These works may not suit the preferences of many people, yet I have a positive response to each of them perhaps because of my personal experiences and preferences.

If you wish to take a glimpse of more of the works from the Singapore Biennale 2011, I welcome you to explore with me. You may not like any of the works that I would soon be sharing, yet I do!




Sketches of buildings galore! Fine architecture and buildings seem to captivate me, particularly after I have taken a short course to appreciate the "History of Western Architecture" a few months ago. I was immediately drawn to Charles LaBelle's Corpus, 2010 - ongoing (from Buildings Entered 1997 - ongoing).

It surprised me when I learnt that the motivation for this project was for the artist to overcome his fear for entering into buildings. It was admittedly not easy for me to appreciate the fear that a person may experience when he walks into a building since I do not have such experience on a regular basis. I am impressed and inspired by Charles LaBelle's efforts to face and to conquer his fears.

From the exhibition guide, I learnt that Charles LaBelle has been keeping records of over 12000 buildings that he has physically entered since Sep 1997. He would take a photograph of the building before entering it where possible. Then he would keep a record of the date, time and the building location. This archive became the source from his drawings.

Perhaps you may not like Corpus because it seems to lack colour. However, I like it because it is a document of an artist's attempts to overcome his fears and transform his inner fears into beautiful sketches that inspire.






Charles Lim's All lines flow out (2011) did not catch my attention immediately. However, when I sat down to watch his video recordings taken of the drain system in Singapore, the obscure passages began to bring me fond memories of a time when I walked along the Singapore river and the related drains associated with it.

I was reminded that from the ordinary things, we could find hidden realities.

I have a feeling that my parents would not appreciate why I like an artwork which seems to just make up of lots of dried and forsaken leaves. Anyway, I like them because these leaves do add up to tell a very interesting and fascinating story.




For reasons I cannot fully explain, I have a liking for the Old Kallang Airport. Life seems to be wonderfully tranquil at this venue. I could not help but to admire it as a fine piece of art as well.









Scribbles and scribbles on the window panes. You may have thought that these were works of vandalism since we are living in such an orderly Singapore. Thankfully, Gosia Wlodarczak's work involving 'frost drawings' are here to stay, at least for the Singapore Biennale 2011. She looked through as well as on the window panels and translate her experiences of the Kallang Airport into drawings on glass.

I like the maturity in her lines which are at the same time playful and spontaneous. Go and take a look at this work and you may be amazed by the sheer size of it!

I love the idea of how Gosia Wlodarczak's work juxtaposes against the beautiful spaces of the Old Kallang Airport.


***


At the Singapore Art Museum, Julian Gothe's work caught my eyes. I love the simplicity of the lines. It was interesting how Julian Gothe had dervied an angular sculpture from his rope drawings on the walls. I like this work for its seemingly theatrical effect. It somehow reminded me of the Baroque style of architecture.











***

At the National Museum of Singapore, while it was not aesthetically pleasing at first sight, after some moments of understanding the concepts behind the work, I was pretty drawn into Jill Magid's Evidence Locker (2004). Interestingly, in her performance-based practice, she uses institutional structures, rules and language as her media.

In Evidence Locker, she wrote in to request for security camera footage of her movements. Please take some time to read her letters.

I have found it thought-provoking that she could actually walk with her eyes closed through a city, led by a policeman who was watching her via the security cameras and speaking to her through a earpiece. Should we put our trust upon the security cameras to keep us safe or should we be wary that they are watching us even when we do not wish to be watched?

***
Our preferences and tastes are likely to differ. You may not like what I like, and this is perfectly fine.

The Singapore Biennale 2011 is held from 13 Mar - 15 May 2011 at various venues. These are the Singapore Art Museum and SAM@8Q, National Museum of Singapore, Old Kallang Airport, and Marina Bay.

OPENING HOURS
10 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily
(Last entry 6.15pm)

ADMISSION
Adult $10
Student $5
Senior citizen 60+ years $5
20% off adult admission for 20 or more people
Includes one-time entry to all venues, one complimentary Short Guide and one-time free audio guide rental at all venues.

FREE admission to Old Kallang Airport and The Merlion Hotel at Merlion Park, Marina Bay.

There will be free admission to the Singapore Biennale 2011 every Sunday from 3 Apr - 15 May and on public holidays, i.e. 22 Apr and 2 May.

***
Singapore Biennale 2011
http://www.singaporebiennale.org/index.php

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Win a Singapore Getaway

Dear friends and readers,

Take this a chance to win a trip and a hotel stay in Singapore for two! The "Win a Singapore Getaway" contest is organised by the Singapore Tourism Board. It will run from 00:00:01 (+8 GMT) on the 5th of April 2011 to 23:59:59 (+8 GMT) on the 15th of May 2011.

To take part, you would need a Facebook account. Afterwhich, choose your favourite postcard from the given selection and personalise it. Send it to one of your loved ones whom you would like to visit Singapore with. On your postcard to this person, state what you want to experience together in Singapore. The most creative entries win.

Terms and conditions can be found here: http://www3.yoursingapore.com/fb100k/tnc.html

Here are some of my simple ideas to share with you:



"Singapore is one of the places to about how the Malay Regiment fought very bravely against the Japanese before the Japanese Occupation. It reminds us that despite the odds, we will do our best!"










"Delicious food galore in Singapore. We could share one of the popular choices, the Hainanese Chicken Rice."






"Night-life in Singapore is beautifully charming. Let us take a boat ride along the Singapore River and be fascinated with the rich heritage of this river."





 I wish you best of luck!

http://apps.facebook.com/singapore-getaway/index.php

(Many thanks to Belinda Tan for sharing about this contest with me.)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Noteworthy artworks to enjoy at Singapore Biennale 2011



The largest contemporary art exhibition held in Singapore, the Singapore Biennale 2011 brings visitors to see new works by leading contemporary artists from Southeast Asia, Asia and around the world. The third Singapore Biennale revolves around the theme of "Open House". Held from 13 Mar - 15 May 2011, "Open House" examines the artistic processes involved in exchanges and daily transactions. It also questions how people move across borders, view other perspectives and form connections with others.

In this post, I shall share with you my personal favourites from Singapore Biennale 2011 as well as highlight to you what I think are the noteworthy works that visitors could consider making time for.


My favourite venue of the Singapore Biennale 2011 is undoubtedly the Old Kallang Airport. I learnt that the Old Kallang Airport was opened in 1937 as Singapore's first civil airport. I was grateful for the rare opportunity to visit this space. The works exhibited at the Old Kallang Airport discusses the movement from one place or state to another. I have found many of the ideas and concepts behind the works at the Old Kallang Airport to be mind-stimulating.

These are my personal recommendations of the artworks to make time for at the Old Kallang Airport:

I was fascinated by Elmgreen and Dragset's German Barn (2011). In this work, the artists put a German barn in a Singaporean airport hangar. This created a mismatch and I like the idea how such a displacement forces me to see the familiar things anew.

Walk into the barn and if you are lucky, you may find some interesting surprises.


Old Kallang Airport airport hangar

On the side, I somehow enjoyed exploring the spaces of what had used to be an airport hangar of the Old Kallang airport.

Michael Lin's What a Difference Made lends an interesting take on how the entire contents of a hardware store could be transformed in unexpected and playful ways.

Now you see the hardware store, and if you do visit the Singapore Biennale 2011 at the Old Kallang Airport, you will see the hardwares and crates being assembled to form an art gallery showcasing everyday objects.




Arin Rungjang's installation inside the Old Kallang Airport has a clever concept to make exchanges come alive.

In this work, Thai migrant workers in Singapore are invited to exchange their old furniture for new Ikea furniture based on a certain system of exchange. It is interesting to realise how the installation would constantly be evolving over time.






Ming Wong's Devo partire. Domani. (2010) which is commissioned for the Singapore Biennale 2011 transforms Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1968 film Teorema by setting the film in contempoary Naples with Wong playing each of the male and female roles. I like Ming Wong's interesting techniques in exploring the shifting nature of identity though I admittedly still cannot fully appreciate comprehend the techniques. The entire five-channel video installation last about 13 minutes and parental guidance is recommended for young visitors.

***

At the National Museum of Singapore, watch how the works at Singapore Biennale 2011 discusses about the transactions and transformations that take place within an urban landscape.


Beautifully done, Sopheap Pich's Compound (2011) is a work that is a response to the rapid urban development and its environmental effects. According the the Singapore Biennale 2011 short guide, Pich had expressed "Throughout history there's this endless cycle of building and destruction. Can we build without destroying?".

I like it because of the beauty of its form and structure. It simply looked beautiful against the backdrop of the museum's spaces.

***

At the Singapore Art Museum and SAM@8Q, I very much enjoyed the treat to enter the private world of others. At these two venues, the works invited the visitors to look at private obsessions, personal histories and intimate experiences.

Many visitors may find it easy to relate to Roslisham Ismail's work titled Secret Affair. In this food installation whereby the perishables are replaced on a regular basis, the artist looks at the food in the refrigerators of six diverse Singaporean families to explore how we live and form connections with others.

I have had fun peeping into the fridges.











Koh Nguang How's Artists in the News (2011) is a must-see for all who are interested in the Singapore art scene. Koh has established the Singapore Art Archive Project in 2005 and has an extensive collection of art news.

In this art installation, Koh has set up within the gallery spaces an active archival laboratory that replicates the configuration of his apartment where he keeps his collection of art news. I felt deeply grateful that Koh Nguang How have been making time to be present on specific days of the exhibition.



Candice Breitz' Factum (2010) lends visitors a peep into the private worlds of identical twins. I like the way it attempts to contemplate how identifcal twins relate to one another, how they are similar yet so different from one another. I have yet to finish watching all the seven dual-channel and one three-channel installations. Hopefully I could still make time to watch all of them one day.

***



Last but not the least, you may wish to make time to visit Tatzu Nishi's The Merlion Hotel (2011). For the first and last time, watch how Singapore's iconic landmark, the Merlion, is being transformed to form part of a luxurious temporary hotel room.

Please be mindful that you may have to queue to visit The Merlion Hotel. The Merlion Hotel's opening hours for public viewing are from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily.

This blog author has written an excellent review on the Merlion Hotel that I have to share it here: http://prodigious.sg/the-merlion-hotel-on-site/

***
My disclaimer is that our preferences and tastes may differ. As such, please take note that my recommendations are merely for your consideration.

There are many other noteworthy artworks at the Singapore Biennale. For the sake of brevity, I have to narrow down to a selection of less than ten in this post. I do urge that you spend time to view the other artworks that are not mentioned in this post too.

There will be free admission to the Singapore Biennale 2011 every Sunday from 3 Apr - 15 May and on public holidays, i.e. 22 Apr and 2 May. The opening hours are from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. (Last entry is at 6.15 p.m.). To further enrich your experience to the Singapore Biennale 2011, you may wish to either participate in one of the guided tours or hire an audio guide. I have found that these have given me a more indepth perspective to each of the artworks.

Do check out the Singapore Biennale's website before your visit: http://www.singaporebiennale.org/index.php

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Women's Health: A Tribute to Mothers - a lunch time health talk


Health is precious. Here's to help a friend publicise for a talk that I thought would be worth sharing.

There will be a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) lunch time talk held at Thye Shan Medical Hall & TCM Clinic's South Bridge Road branch tomorrow. Here are the details:

Date: 21 Apr 2011 (Thu)

Time: 12.30 p.m.

Venue: Thye Shan Medical Hall & TCM Clinic, 264/266 South Bridge Road, Singapore.

Speaker: TCM Physician Kuai Hong


This series of information sessions aim to provide more knowledge about TCM and make TCM more accessible to one and all. As a tribute to Mothers, the first talk tomorrow will focus on common health issues that women face, such as poor blood circulation, chronic fatigue and menopause.

Please refer to the attached poster for more information.

Register electronically at http://www.thyeshan.com.sg/mothers_day.php (English registration) and http://www.thyeshan.com.sg/cn/mothers_day.php (Chinese registration) or call Tel: 6223 0701.

Please come by to offer the health talk your support and to gain a better understanding of TCM.

You are welcome to share the information with your colleagues and friends who are interested in using TCM to achieve better health and well-being for themselves and their loved ones!

If you would like to be notified of future seminars, please email custsvc@thyeshan.com.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Read: What I wish I knew when I was 20

Title: What I wish I knew when I was 20
Author: Tina Seelig
Publisher: HarperOne (2009)

I have in a quest for greater clarity and for guidance. Somehow I chanced upon Tina Seelig's What I wish I knew when I was 20 and decided to pick it up for an inspiring and creative read. It proved to be quite a creative and inspiring read.

One of the inspiring examples from this book was how Tina Seelig would cover in a rare PowerPoint slide that she uses in her classes this very bullet point that goes "Never miss an opportunity to be fabulous". The stickiness of the message and its inspiring way to invite people to shine and do their best have impressed me.

In the chapter, "Paint the Target Around the Arrow", the author discusses on the topic of negotiation. It shares that the key to a successful negotiation is to appreciate everyone's interests so that the outcome can be maximised for everyone. I very much like the examples that were used to illustrate the concepts behind her discussions.

With interesting and relevant examples to illustrate the various concepts and ideas, What I wish I knew when I was 20 makes a relative easy read to lend one to broaden one's perspectives of thinking about living well and making one place in the world. While I would prefer Zander's and Zander's The Art of Possibility to this book, I am still glad that I have read this book to expose myself to good ideas. I suppose reading indeed opens one's mind and vision.

I have a copy of the book so if you are a Singapore resident, and would like to borrow my copy, I would be willing to consider giving a personal loan.

Also read: http://creativityrulz.blogspot.com/2009/03/what-i-wish-i-knew-when-i-was-20.html

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My experiences at Van Gogh Alive!


Photo courtesy of ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. 

This is a photo of the projection at CATHEDRALE D’IMAGES, France, Provence.

Many thanks to the ArtScience Museum for the invitation to the media preview and exclusive preview to "Van Gogh Alive - The Exhibition" held on 14 Apr 2011. It is with great pleasure that I share about my experiences at this exhibition. Please read: Van Gogh Alive! For everyone!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Read: Crash Course in Architecture

Title: Crash Course in Architecture
Text by: Eva Howarth
Publisher: Caxton Editions, 2001

Earlier this year, I attend a short course on "History of Western Architecture" organised by the NUS Extension. It is an enriching course for anyone who would like an introduction to Western Architecture. I have found myself looking at architecture with a greater depth ever since I had embarked on the course.

In my efforts to reinforce whatever I have learnt from the "History of Western Architecture" and to deepen my appreciation of Western Architecture, I took what may seem an easier way out to read the book "Crash Course in Architecture".

I personally thought it was great writing involved. It condensed a volume of information about Western Architecture into bite-size and easy to understand language. I like the glossary page which aimed to state the definitions of the various concepts that were used in Western Architecture. I would recommend anyone needing a crash course in Western architecture to consider this book.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

A week to be grateful and thankful for

This is a week to be grateful for. Here I share the positive vibes of gratitude with you.



Last evening's chamber concert at the Singapore Art Museum was a great success. There was a great turnout and I have enjoyed the performances put up by the many musicians. While I did not perform, I have had a meaningful time helping out with the collection of donations in aid of the Japan disaster relief.

A deep heartfelt thanks to all who have contributed in one way or another. Most importantly, I believe the music performed at last evening's concert has served to touch lives and hearts.


**


In one of my posts in Mar 2011, I was hoping to make a visit to Sydney yet again to sketch beautiful Sydney.

Thanks to Cooler Insights' sharing, I learnt from the blog Alvinology about the We Heart Sydney campaign and the "100 Things that make Sydney so... Sydney" contest. This is a contest to win a Sydney holiday and a Canon Digital Ixus camera. It is open to Singapore residents. Participants would just have to share what they think makes an awesome Sydney experience and the most creative submissions could stand a chance to win a Sydney holiday and a Canon Digital Ixus camera!

To share what I think makes an awesome Sydney experience and in the hope to win a visit to Sydney, I have submitted a number of entries to this contest. I am humbled to share that one of my entries have been selected to be the third winner of the contest. A Sydney holiday and a Canon Digital Ixus camera. Thank you for your votes, encouragement and moral support!

Here's my winning entry:

Sculpture by the Sea.
Water breaks over the rocks of Bondi. The wind blows with might. On the  rocky and sandy beaches of Bondi, one is treated to beautiful sculptures  by the sea. See the coastal area of Bondi being transformed to an artistic space in this annual event.  Sydney equals sculptures, sea and a creative story.

If you would like to win a visit to Sydney and you fulfill the entry criteria, here's your chance: Visit We Heart Sydney. Hurry, this is the last fortnight of this contest. I remember the contest ends 10 Apr 2011.


**



On 6 Apr 2011, thanks to the wonderful team at I Love Museums and the Heritage Conservation Centre, I visited the Heritage Conservation Centre along Jurong Port Road. It was a place that I had wanted to visit for a longest of time but had yet to until 6 Apr 2011. As such, I was grateful to be invited for the visit.

I was so excited to see some of my favourite artists' works at the Heritage Conservation Centre. Here is sharing a post on my visit: Surprises and learnings at the Heritage Conservation Centre.

 **

Taken from: Art Science Museum's website.

I was invited for an exclusive preview of "Van Gogh Alive – The Exhibition" held at the Art Science Museum. Van Gogh has been one of my favourite artists and I have been looking forward to catch this very exhibition when it opens on 16 Apr 2011 to 6 Nov 2011. You reckon I was very excited when I received the invitation and I was trying my best to stay calm. Many thanks to the Art Science Museum for this privileged invitation. I was told that this exhibition presents Van Gogh's artistic journey through a unique fusion of art and audio visual technology.


**

Photo credit: Eastcoastlife

A week ago, I learnt that I'm the lucky winner of a HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One C310a. Many thanks to fellow blogger, eastcoastlife, and HP for making this contest possible.

**

There are many other things in life to be grateful about. For example, an inspiring double bass lesson with my tutor, my first lesson in learning to sight-read rhythms, patient and kind friends and colleagues who offered help and kindness when needed. In addition, I have to compliment the kindness of two lovely teenage girls who saw me dropped my stored-valued ez-link (travelling) card and went the extra mile to pick it up, catch up with me, and returned it to me. I am impressed by their actions.

I suppose even in a period when I have been feeling pretty vulnerable and often in need of help to cope better, life has its kind and caring ways to nudge me to see the lovely things in life that I can be grateful for. Our tasks are to keep our hearts and minds open to be aware of these lovely things in life which we could be grateful for.

As such, I hope you will too find people, events and things to be grateful for, no matter what circumstances you are going through. These give hope and faith to press forward.

So I end this post with a Big Thank You.
Best wishes.