Signal Boost: Art Studio & Forgotten Names Recalled

Signal Boost

This is Jo coming to you from KL (or Penang, depending on which part of the week you’re reading this) to bring you two events happening at The Arts House this coming weekend!

First thing – Art Studio by Yeng Pway Ngon, translated to English by Goh Beng Choo and Loh Guan Liang. A story about arts, politics, and crossing paths, this session will be covering English translation, its challenges, and Chinese fiction in Singapore.

Event: ART STUDIO by Yeng Pway Ngon – Launch
Date:
1st August 2014, Friday
Time:
8:00PM
Venue:
Living Room, The Arts House

This session will be conducted in English. For more information, click here.

But if historical fiction is more your thing, dive into the stories of the Singapore Cenotaph. There are 124 names listed on our Cenotaph, and Rosemary Lim has collected the stories of 112. Join her, Pierre Lee (Frenchmen), Elaine Young (Scotsmen), and Rosanne Woodmansee (The Cenotaph’s Story & ANZACs) for an afternoon of recounts, research, and Singapore’s role in the First World War.

Event: Forgotten Names Recalled by Rosemary Lim – Launch
Date:
3rd August 2014, Sunday
Time:
4:00PM
Venue:
The Chambers, The Arts House

For more information on the book and the event, click here.

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Book Bites: Liquid City Vol. 3 Launch

Book Bites

The Kinokuniya Main Store was incredibly crowded that day. Or at least, to Sarah, Raven, and myself when we went for the Liquid City Volume 3 launch to support the Tiger and a group of other Southeast Asian artists.

Pre-event signing and Raven looking incredibly excited.

Pre-event signing and Raven looking incredibly excited.

Finally!!!

Finally!!!

Moderated by Nicholas Yong (@incoherentboy), the panel featured the main editors Joyce Sim and Sonny Liew, together with many other artists – Benjamin Chee, Drewscape, Dominique Fam etc…

The theme of Liquid City 3 was simple – if the world was to end tomorrow, what would you do? Needless to say, the book was meant to come out during 2012 but due to clashing schedules, it was moved forward. Despite that, both Joyce and Sonny worked really well with the rest of the artists to produce a good variety of comics ranging from slice-of-life autobiographies, to action-packed science fiction.

As the artists were speaking of their experiences and motivations, however, one thing which encouraged me was how the integrity of the creation was still the cornerstone of many of these artists. And despite the fierce competition from international creators, they manage to stay true to their work.

Speaking about his experience working with the editors.

Speaking about his experience working with the editors.

Apart from the various stories and comics on display in this collection, there are various illustrations offering a quick break before heading to the next story so one will not feel lost in a plethora of tales. Liquid City Volume 3 is out in Kinokuniya. You can find out more about the books here.

According to both the editors, Volumes 1 and 2 have been doing quite well, so here’s to hoping that we can see more new faces in the next volume!

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Decode: Adventure: Garfield Run

Decode Adventure

Okay, so I know that the title sounds a little bit difficult to believe but yes, the lazy cat who would rather sleep and devour lasagna all day than walk to his water bowl has a run. And the Tiger and I went to take part in the Couple Run category.

Rushing down from Kinokuniya Orchard (the Tiger had a launch there an hour before we were supposed to be at the start line!), we made it to the Marina Promontory for a quick drink of Milo and a proper pinning of our race bibs. Raven Silvers was there to join in the festivities, and to be our “porter” for our stuff (mine, the Tiger, and Sarah when she will go for her Fun Run). Since the Tiger and myself were going for the Couple Run, we had to be at the place an hour earlier than Sarah’s Fun Run.

Us before the run. Photo courtesy of Raven Silvers.

Us before the run. Photo courtesy of Raven Silvers.

Where we started before the Flag Off.

Where we started before the Flag Off.

When Sarah arrived. Photo courtesy of Raven Silvers.

When Sarah arrived. Photo courtesy of Raven Silvers.

The Flag-Off started with the appearance of Garfield and Odie, where Odie’s tongue was too huge and probably not attached to the top of its mouth either way. Haha. For the Couple Run, the distance was 5km, spanning the riverfront of Marina Bay Sands, past the ArtScience Museum, through Gardens by the Bay, and with a loop back at the edge of Marina Barrage.

Considering how the Tiger and I did not formally train for this (apart from our regular “twice-a-week” gym sessions and stuff), I was quite happy that we managed to clock 5km in 45mins, with Sarah cheering us from the edge of the Fun Run starting point as we sprinted to the finish line.

All things said, we had a lot of fun with this run. We did not stay for the rest of the festivities, but we still walked away with incredibly cute finisher medals and a great, fun experience. Despite the fact that we were hoping to use the “Couple Punch” sometime. LOL.

Garfield and Arlene Finisher Medals for the Couple Run =)

Garfield and Arlene Finisher Medals for the Couple Run =)

Us with our medals! Photo courtesy of Raven Silvers.

Us with our medals! Photo courtesy of Raven Silvers.

The Garfield Run 2014 was organised by Pink Apple. To find out more about them, click here.

P/S – Many thanks to Raven for looking after our bags and taking pictures for us!

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Eternal Sights; Spotted Mind: On Reading, and on “Reading”

Eternal Sights

On Reading, and On “Reading”

“It’s for your own good.”
Is this what it’s come to?
To be told, dictated, forced
to only think as you do?

“This is not good for you…”
But have you looked deeper?
Or have you merely gleamed,
Forgoing story for the cover?

“You should not be reading this.”
Yet why, I don’t understand.
It shows no culling, no negativity
And tells me stories as I am.

“They will only harm you.”
How? You do not say…
I’ve not noticed anything bad,
Just happy stories showing love as the way.

“We have to stop them!”
I sigh while you cite to back your thoughts.
Yet who’s to say what’s natural,
When it’s unnatural hate that you’ve brought?

~ Joelyn Alexandra

I believe there is enough rhetoric about books, literacy, reading, and book-banning being thrown around these days. Many things have been said, many things have been discussed, many things have been done. And after all the things that have been said, I can only say this.

We often underrate the importance of personal responsibility, probably because we tend to deflect blame onto things out of our control and not work on ourselves because it’s so much easier. Ultimately, however, the responsibility of our direct actions fall onto us – what we grow to learn falls onto us, who we grow to be falls onto us. And deciding what our younger generations should read in such a violent matter (e.g. demanding books to be banned or pulped) does NOT promote a wholesome society. It not only impinges on the rights and the humanity of others, it insults the intellectual capabilities of our children and their potential to think critically and communicate with others well.

So if we want to become a nation of harmony, then we had better start by becoming a nation of humanity.

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Museum Escapades: Once Upon a Time in Asia

Museum Escapades

It has been a while since I blogged about a museum experience, so I thought this small, yet interesting exhibition would be a good fit.

The Tiger and I headed to the Asian Civilisations Museum for the afternoon, and it just so happened that it was their Open Day – which meant everyone could get in for free. Instead of heading for the permanent exhibits, we decided to take a look at the event that was happening in one of their side galleries.

After a long overdue visit to a museum!

After a long overdue visit to a museum!

Held in conjunction with the Children’s Festival, Once Upon a Time in Asia was a side exhibition for children visiting the museum to share their stories and engage their senses.

Upon entering the exhibition hall, we could see a tree with colourful, stuffed animals on its branches – the centerpiece of the room – and a maze for the kids to navigate through. There were five different sections, each dealing with the five main senses kids are taught in school – spotting and identifying animals on the iSpy wall, navigating the maze to look for impressions to shade out, or sniffing and pointing out different scents.

Activities for the kids

Activities for the kids

The Story Tree

The Story Tree

Kids finding their way through the maze

Kids finding their way through the maze

I spy...

I spy…

Sculptures for kids to feel and name textures...

Sculptures for kids to feel and name textures…

At the end of their activities, the kids also got to draw or write their stories before each heart-shaped piece of paper is hung on a wall for all to see.

What the Tiger and I found incredibly interesting was this group of sculptures which were displayed in the same room as well. Created only with paper and acrylic, these intricate sculptures intrigued us – especially with how detailed it was and how much effort we could see in the piece itself.

Snaking pieces...

Snaking pieces…

... that form a masterpiece

… that form a masterpiece

They actually reminded me of the collective greatness of many individuals, but also about how we have been using the limited resources we have and the delicate relationship between the final products we have been using, and the root source of these products – food for thought, if you would ask me.

For more information on the Asian Civilisations Museum and what other programmes they have, click here.

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Signal Boost: Liquid City Vol 3. Launch

Signal Boost

Deep in the heart of Asia, close to the equator of the earth, a group of artists in the bustling streets of South-East Asia make their mark. Finally, after several years post-Liquid City Volume 2, Liquid City Volume 3 is seeing its launch in Singapore!

Happening this month, we will be heading down to Kinokuniya Main Store in Singapore to finally get a glimpse of this collection of comics and illustrations.

Event: The Launch of Liquid City Volume 3
Date:
19TH July 2014 (Saturday)
Time:
4:00 PM
Location:
Kinokuniya Main Store, Takashimaya

For more information on Liquid City Volume 3, click here.

See you there!

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Book Bites: Comic Artist Face-Off

Book Bites

There is a term in writing known as the “Round Robin”, where different creators pass a piece of work around a table to complete a certain portion of the work. Over the previous weekend, that was exactly what we decided to go take a look at. The only difference? This was done with comic artists.

An artist's rendition of James Tan, Drewscape, and Miel.

An artist’s rendition of James Tan, Drewscape, and Miel.

The event started with Sakinah from NLB introducing the three featured artists for the day – James Tan, Andrew Tan a.k.a. Drewscape, and Miel. After which, Andrew briefly explained the mechanics and the theme of the Comics Round Robin the various tables were going to do that day before it started.

With the theme of “Auntie Dapao!”, the artists got to work with whatever the library provided.

At the end of it, each table of three produced three different comics, with drawings and style from each artist in each comic. The Tiger’s (who registered for the event) table had a cute collection of stories, featuring devil fish and blue carrot zombies.

Before they all started work.

Before they all started work.

While it was a quick and simple event, I thought it was rather meaningful experience, especially for the artists – it’s good to work those creative muscles in a different way once in a while. Hopefully, we will get to experience this among other writers pretty soon.

For more information on other activities organised by Read! Singapore, click here.

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