Category: ARTS

SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL: BE HAPPY – THE BIGO YEARSSINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL: BE HAPPY – THE BIGO YEARS

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BigO (Before I Get Old) was a self-styled indie magazine that existed in print form from about 1985 to 2003 (give or take). Founded by Michael and Philip Cheah (with Stephen Tan) from the ashes of the Singapore Monitor, the magazine would be a major pop culture force in Singapore in the 1990s. Though it still exists online, its influence in local culture has been deliberately curtailed for reasons unknown.

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SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL 2015: DIMENSIONS & DEMONS — DAVE CHUA + WEISHSINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL 2015: DIMENSIONS & DEMONS — DAVE CHUA + WEISH

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As promised, we present to you thoughts of the collaborative artists behind Dimensions & Demons, to be performed at the Esplanade Recital Studio on 5th November.

“An exercise in deromanticizing nostalgia, A Carnival of Confessions is a collaborative piece by prolific writer Dave Chua and music wondergirl weish, exploring the relation between guilt and imagination.”

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SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL: DIMENSIONS & DEMONS – DAREN SHIAU + RIOT !N MAGENTASINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL: DIMENSIONS & DEMONS – DAREN SHIAU + RIOT !N MAGENTA

SWF DD

As promised, we present to you thoughts of the collaborative artists behind Dimensions & Demons, to be performed at the Esplanade Recital Studio on 5th November.

“Daren Shiau and Riot !n Magenta explore the surreal terrain in Lucid Dreams, where memory, regret and release intersect through a collision of beats, words, loops and phrases.”

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PoP ART: PIET MONDRIANPoP ART: PIET MONDRIAN

A PoP feature where we examine the influence on ART on rock and pop music, in particular album covers.

Mondrian

 

Dutch artist Piet Mondrian was a contributor to the De Stijl (the style) art movement and group. He evolved a non-representational form which he termed neoplasticism. This consisted of white ground, upon which he painted a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and the three primary colors. This type of abstraction has inspired many – especially music artists – to borrow liberally from Mondrian’s ideas. Here are some examples.

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Most recent instance of Mondrian’s influence on pop artists. The cover of the latest New Order album, Music Complete.

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An almost literal translation of Mondrian’s work, from The Apples in Stereo.

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An interesting 3D take from Silverchair.

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Colour scheme is somewhat inverted but the inspiration is obvious on this Coldplay album cover design.

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A rather clever way to represent Mondrian’s style, The White Stripes even entitled this album De Stijl!

Modern art and rock music constantly colliding! We will continue to be on the lookout for more.

… still there’s more … 

GEEK OUT! SONNY LIEW SUPER-IMPOSES THE HISTORY OF COMICS OVER THE ART OF CHARLIE CHAN HOCK CHYE TO CREATE A MASTERPIECEGEEK OUT! SONNY LIEW SUPER-IMPOSES THE HISTORY OF COMICS OVER THE ART OF CHARLIE CHAN HOCK CHYE TO CREATE A MASTERPIECE

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Who is this Singapore comic book artist Charlie Chan Hock Chye that was able to channel the history of comics through the critical Singaporean events of the last 60-70 odd years? Well, he does exists… BUT only as a figment of artist Sonny Liew’s fecund imagination.

So yes, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye is an imaginary tale presented within the context of Singapore history but an imaginary tale nonetheless. It is an artfully constructed “What If” tale and encourages the reader to imagine – “what if Singapore had an legitimate comic book history”. What if, indeed.

Thus, though couched in biographical terms as some kind of historical document – the story of Charlie Chan Hock Chye is a fantasy, a fairy tale where the history of comic books unfolded in decidedly Singaporean circumstances.

So while everyone (including the authorities) seem hellbent on treating the story as some kind of political commentary with the potential to undermine the status quo, a more accurate understanding would be to perceive The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye as a tribute to comic books and to Singapore itself.

In that sense, I would state categorically that the true purpose of this ambitious graphic novel would fly over most Singaporean heads and by the story’s denouement would leave the same disappointed that it was not the middle finger to the Government that it had been perceived to be.

With references to Osamu Tesuka, Harvey Kurtzman, Windsor McKay, Eagle, Pogo, MAD, Spider-Man and the like, it would be abundantly clear to a comic book geek what Sonny is trying to achieve here. And the manner in which he is able to weave these references into the Singaporean narrative is sheer genius.

My particular favourite moment is where Sonny channels Philip K Dick by paying homage to Dick’s alternate reality opus The Man in the High Castle (google it for details) to imagine a Singapore where history was altered somewhat from reality. Again, the shock of seeing this alternate reality is probably worth the entire price of the book!

And what about the artwork itself? Any description I would give would not do it justice, surely. Reflecting the stylistic changes in comic book history, Sonny handles each different ‘genre’ like a master, while keeping his own artistic identity intact. No mean feat! A wonderfully immersive visual experience with an eye for detail that will blow you away.

In the final analysis, I will not mince my words – The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye is a masterpiece. Nuff said.

Official Site

REMEMBERING DAKOTA CRESCENTREMEMBERING DAKOTA CRESCENT

[AgingYouth Press Release]

Freeflow Productions, an awardee of Discovery Channel’s First Time Filmmakers Project, is leading a 22-minute documentary on the sleepy neighbourhood of Dakota Crescent. The pioneering housing estate, with all the old school Singapore charm, is set to be redeveloped end 2016.

The documentary hopes to showcase the unique community spirit that is present in Singaporean housing estates. It also aims to shed light on how people cope with change and trade-offs in modern-day Singapore. The highlight of the documentary will be a block party “Remembering Dakota Crescent” at Blk 12, Dakota Crescent on Sunday 8 March 2015, organized with the help of Aging Youth. There will be music, bazaar and a photo exhibition. Pop acappella group MICappella, rapper ShiGGa Shay, electronic duo .gif and rock band Cashew Chemists will dish out the entertainment.

Freeflow Productions’ documentary, (tentatively titled) Café Hope will be screened on Discovery Channel in August 2015. Here’s where we need your help! We are looking for old photos of Dakota Crescent and the Kallang area. Selected photos will be displayed at the photo exhibition. Photos of all sizes and colour (full colour/ B&W) will be accepted. Please contact Sarah Zoe at sarah@freeflow.com.sg if you would like to share your fondest memories with us.

What would be good:

1) Photos of iconic buildings

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Former Kallang Airport (1960)

2) Photos of people and family members

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Residents at Dakota Crescent help to clean the estate (1995)

3) Photos of Dakota Crescent estate

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Dove playground at Dakota Crescent (1981)

Social Media
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rememberdakota
Twitter: http://twitter.com/rememberdakota
Instagram: http://www.instagram/rememberdakota

REEL TO REAL: MIKE LEIGH PROVIDES A SLICE OF AN ARTISTIC LIFE IN MR. TURNERREEL TO REAL: MIKE LEIGH PROVIDES A SLICE OF AN ARTISTIC LIFE IN MR. TURNER

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Written & directed by Mike Leigh.
Starring Timothy Spall.

Premiering at Cannes last year, Leigh’s biopic of famed English painter JMW Turner has already garnered a Best Actor award for Spall’s performance in the lead role and a special jury prize for the film’s cinematography for Dick Pope.

That just about sums it up really. Spall plays Turner as a brutish flawed man who had an unique ability to produce epic, awe-inspiring work which was extremely radical in its day. Pope manages to make virtually every outdoor shot a Turner painting and it is a wonder to behold! Check out the amazing of re-creation of The Fighting Temeraire (1839) below.

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Leigh’s triumph with Mr. Turner is stringing together a loose collection of slice of life vignettes and filling them with all the relevant details to make that time and place come alive. The pacing is a little slow and nothing overtly dramatic happens but that’s the whole point of the exercise.

In the right hands, such evocative cinema is stirring and inspiring – Leigh and his heart-felt tribute deserves recognition as one of the best movies of 2014. Absolutely essential for art lovers everywhere.

Mr. Turner is in the cinemas now.

 

SINGLED OUT: ART & MUSIC FOR A GOOD CAUSESINGLED OUT: ART & MUSIC FOR A GOOD CAUSE

SINGLED OUT

Was fortunate to spend a fair bit of last night soaking in local artworks that were inspired by pop & rock music at the Singled Out exhibition at tcc – The Connoisseur Concerto ‘The Gallery’ at 51 Circular Road. Basically, the artists used vinyl records as a starting point, mixed that with other media to create something new. The artworks will be up for auction where all proceeds will be managed by Thunder Rock School, though a music education outreach program specifically catered to financially disadvantaged children. The exhibition will be open till 6th Jan 2015.

I was impressed by the concepts and execution, by and large. Also, I was hooked by how well the ideas connected with the inspiration. In addition, I was intrigued that many of the artists were also musicians in their own right and that spiced things up for me. Check out my top 10 favorites below.

Disintegration by Andy Yang.

Mary-Christ by Ginette Chittick

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SINGLED OUT: AN ART EXHIBITION ABOUT MUSIC, FOR MUSICSINGLED OUT: AN ART EXHIBITION ABOUT MUSIC, FOR MUSIC

 

SINGLED OUT

From 17th October 2014 to 6th January 2015, tcc – The Connoisseur Concerto is proud to present Singled Out – an art exhibition conceptualised by creative agency fFurious, and developed in collaboration with events organisation art-management.com, and Thunder Rock School. This exhibition will see 50 local designers and artists transforming vinyl records into pieces of artwork that will be on display at tcc ‘The Gallery’ at 51 Circular Road. The artworks will be up for auction where all proceeds will be managed by Thunder Rock School, who will be setting up a music education outreach program specifically catered to financially disadvantaged children.

Of special mention would be the artists-musicians (or is that musicians-artists?) e.g. Alan Bok (TypeWriter), Amanda Keisha Ang (No Pantz), Andy Yang (Cheating Sons), Ginette Chittick (Astreal) & Yee Chang Kang (TypeWriter). To keep the musical theme going, here’s a mix that KidG put together especially for the occasion.

Singled Out (Mixed By KiDG) by Kidg on Mixcloud

… still there’s more …

MICROMANAGE OVERWORK EXAGGERATEMICROMANAGE OVERWORK EXAGGERATE

 

MOE Poster

Micromanage Overwork Exaggerate (MOE) is a theatre production about Singaporean education that is set to run from Thursday 31st July to Saturday 2nd August. According to its press release, the play “seeks to explore the unspoken sides of education, from the mouths of those with no recourse to honest dialogue. Using material from interviews with a wide range of teachers – primary to secondary, in-service to retired, elite independent schools to neighbourhood institutions – this semi-docudrama aims to give voice to the true experiences, struggles and successes of some of our nation’s most invisible heroes – our teachers”.

Sound intriguing? Then get your tickets ($20) from Eventbrite.

Details:
Written by Marcia Vanderstraaten
Directed by Christopher Fok
Performed by Lian Sutton, Jasmine Xie Huilin, Christopher Fok and Marcia Vanderstraaten

More information.

MY FAIR LADY [REVIEW]MY FAIR LADY [REVIEW]

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Classic musicals can be fun, and My Fair Lady that is running at MBS Theatre now, demonstrates why the classic piece of musical theatre gets staged again and again all these years. However, in the particular production, one can’t shake off the feeling how ‘traditional’ this musical is.

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