Category Archives: Art gallery & exhibitions

. singapore writers’ festival – text in the city .

The annual Singapore Writers’ Festival (SWF) came to a close last Sunday with a light-hearted debate on whether ‘True art is always ugly’. It was my first time attending a literary art festival and I must say that I have been more than impressed by the festival’s line-up of writers and wide offerings of panel discussions. Most of the panel discussions that I had attended over the past 2 weekends were very thought-provoking and engaging. The festival explored a wide variety of topics, ranging from the process of creating a film from books to how globalization has affected the state of literature and publication. The deep exchanges among the writers often made me ponder on the hard topics and there were even instances where I was so moved by the power of words that I started tearing in the middle of the discussion. In addition, the festival’s multidisciplinary approach of fusing literature with music (mainly, Jazz) had aroused my curiosity to explore other genres of literature, such as poetry. I’m certainly looking forward to next year’s edition of the SWF!

It celebrates their writing, it celebrates their craft, it gives them a certain pride of place.

Despite the fact that I was once a Literature student during my secondary school days, I must confess that Literature had never been a favourite subject of mine. If anything, I found it a challenge to write and appreciate poetry and prose. However, the recent SWF 2014 had re-kindled my interest to re-learn something that had long been forgotten. To boost the awareness and appreciation of Singapore poetry among Singaporeans, The Arts House, together with the National Arts Council, has kick-started a nation-wide campaign called “Text in the City“.

The Text In The City mobile app invite users to explore our island and uncover the stories and secrets surrounding these places. Take time to pen your very own poems for the places that you feel for!

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Appreciate Singapore poetry with Text In The City.

. Singapore Writers’ Festival 2014 .

This year has truly been a festival of all sorts for me – From dancing the night away at Future Music Festival Asia in KL to getting lost in the enchanting wonders of the Singapore Garden Festival and watching an artsy film at the Design Film Festival; I have been very fortunate to be exposed to so many different forms of creativity and expression. Rounding up the series of festivals is one of Asia’s premier literary events, the annual Singapore Writers Festival 2014 (SWF). For the 17th installation, the organizing committee has invited some of the world’s most renowned authors and writers, including Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon, 3-time US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, American travel writer Paul Theroux and best-selling author and activist Naomi Wolf.

Themed as “The Prospect of Beauty”, this year’s 10-days long festival (31 Oct – 9 Nov) aims to celebrate and appreciate the beauty in writing and literature. The festival features over 250 events, ranging from free public events to panel discussions, poetry-cum-music readings, literary meals and more! Want to get more bang for your buck? Get the festival pass and enjoy entry to a wide variety of events, specially catered for the bookworm in you!

Singapore Writers Festival 2014
Festival Pass: $20 

The first weekend at SWF has been so enriching in many ways. I was expecting nothing more than the usual educational talks, where you leave the event with a few key takeaways. However, I soon found out that I was constantly challenged to open my mind to different perspectives that were brought forth during the various panel discussions. Like most people, I love visuals and pictures because they are easy to process; but the power of words is very alluring and should not be under-estimated. Words have the ability to give room for the reader to cook up a figment of their own imagination through fiction. It allows you, as a reader, to escape from the doldrums of everyday life, immerse in another world and get lost in the books. This is probably also the reason why many people prefer the original books to movie adaptations because words, or a good story, allow the readers to come up with very vivid and original imagery in their minds. The only constraint that they have is the limitations of their imagination.

There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.
– Diane Setterfield

While the majority of the panel discussions revolve around hard-hitting and literary topics, those who are looking for something more light-hearted will not be disappointed. One of my favourite discussion, named “Story of My Life”, talked about the life experiences and stories that inspired the authors to pen their own memoirs. Put a diva and self-proclaimed bitch (Godfather of local fashion scene, Daniel Boey) and a no holds-barred theater director (Loretta Chen, who’s also 1 of my favourite (ex)boss) together in the same room and it’s almost a guarantee that there will be lots of candid and funny moments.


On the other hand, Sunday’s talks regarding humanitarian rights and the meaning of freedom in an oppressive country were much more serious and thought-provoking. Dr Mukesh Kapila, former head of the UN mission in Sudan, and human rights activist, Loung Ung, spoke about the need for them to confront global indifference about poverty and help break the silence of these people through words and stories. Loung Ung was so descriptive and intense in narrating her experiences of seeing her best friend’s brain blown off during an explosion that I found myself tearing uncontrollably. Then, it hit me – Just how moving and powerful words can be. I am not shy to admit that I have cried buckets over poignant films but this was one of the very rare times that I was tearing, based on the emotions evoked purely by words.

In “The Meaning of Freedom”, Loung Ung and North Korean defector Jang Jin-sung, shared about what it means to be “free” in their respective oppressive countries (Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime and North Korea). Living under a totalitarian dictatorship meant that they had no right to freedom (Freedom defined as having the power to act, speak, or think as one wants) and had to basically live a life that is dictated for them. Their sharing also reminded me to reflect on my own life, and be thankful that despite the many challenges that I might have faced, I am still very fortunate to have the freedom of expression and thought.


. weekends: bits and pieces .

Weekends / The unlikely baker bakes her 1st ever salted caramel & rose macarons / Cavalia: Cirque Du Soleil-meets-horse power under the White theatre tent / Having fun horsing around / National Museum lights up with the Singapore Night Festival / Fooling around with uni girlfriends in the BOOBS room. I like / An enchanting time at the Singapore Garden Festival / Orchid Extravaganza at Gardens by the Bay / Support Singapore’s bid for the Botanic Gardens to become our first UNESCO World Heritage Site/ An extravagantly expensive day at CreatorySG with Shermin / A day of workshops: Learning leather crafting, easy silkscreen printing and coffee slow pull / Green-Red Art Installations: Spot the difference / Good Old Romantic Film / Good Things take Time & I’ll wait

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. matchminis at PUBLIC GARDEN .

Aside from taking this relatively long recovery period to recuperate and pick up new skills (baking/leather crafting/financial planning/etc), there was also a part of me that wanted to seize my second chance in life and pay it forward. But what? Inspired by Operation Beautiful and Things We Forget, I decided to come up with a tiny project to hopefully, put a smile to a stranger’s face and brighten his or her day. 🙂 I call it an “inspiration-in-a-matchbox-card” or “matchminis” in short. A recycled matchbox uniquely crafted to fit its inspirational theme and quote, and spread a little love.

Find out more about Project Inspiration-in-a-Matchbox here!

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Sometimes, life gives us twists and turns in a way that we would never have expected. Before I could really embark on this project, I was approached by a friend to create some matchminis for her upcoming flea! Frankly, I’ve no ambitious plans for this mini project but I was obviously thrilled to be given this opportunity to reach out to a wider audience and spread a little goodwill! So, yes, I’m very blessed and thankful! #livehappy

Do drop by my friend’s flea “Jad & Jew” at this weekend’s Public Garden to explore an eclectic mix of gemstone jewelry and fashion accessories! Get a limited edition matchmini with every $80 worth of purchase. 🙂


. ALIVE Museum: where what you see comes to life .

PhotoGrid_1407764315216Looking for a fun and immersive experience to enjoy with your family or friends? Why not consider a trip to the ALIVE Museum, Singapore’s largest illusionary entertainment museum where you can be part of a master art piece? If you think museums are boring, then don’t be fooled by the word “museum” here because ALIVE, as its name suggests, is a museum like no other. This place of attraction features a combination of trick art, digital art and object art installations that allows visitors to get up close and interactive.

Now that I have regained about 65% of my neck movements and strength, I was thrilled to be able to exercise the super tight neck muscles for a fun reason other than physiotherapy. And, I must admit that some of the poses were hard work for a rusty neck like mine. Lol. It has been a long time since I unleashed the inner “cam-whore” in me and took so many pictures but being expressive at Alive Museum was certainly a memorable way to celebrate my first step towards freedom! 🙂

Tips for you!

– Don’t think about looking pretty or sexy at Alive Museum. The fun part comes when you get expressive and imaginative with your poses so that you can flow with the scenarios and come up with creative pictures. LOVE some of Christine’s priceless expressions in the pictures. Classic!

– Go without much expectations. Expect that some of the more interesting exhibits might be closed for revamps and that some of the artworks are pretty lame. Sometimes, the pictures make the artworks look more fun than it actually is.

Have Fun creating memorable pictures! 🙂

Note: Complimentary tickets courtesy of OMY and Alive Museum

And remember, you can always get a little more creative and kinky with your poses! This is my favourite R(A) picture, only for my eyes and maybe a special someone! :p 

PhotoGrid_1407762221813Alive Museum Singapore

Address: Suntec City #03-372
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm daily

Promotion: Want a FREE Burger King meal? Simply LIKE Alive Museum on their Facebook and purchase a full-priced ticket to redeem your FREE Burger King meal*! Hurry, offer ends 30 September 2014!
* terms and conditions apply

. La Pizzaiola – food for love .

It was earlier this year when my aunt first introduced me to this tiny Italian restaurant tucked away in a quiet neighbourhood, just a stone’s throw away from my place. Located in the midst of an obscure row of shop houses occupied predominantly by old trading companies and laundry shop, one would have never imagine this location to be an ideal place to dine at a restaurant. Nonetheless, my interest to check out hidden gems on our red dot brought me to this little haunt, that is surprisingly a hit with many of the residents!

La Pizzaiola is the dream of 3 friends who want to bring people together to enjoy a hearty meal at affordable prices. Most of the mains (pizza and pasta) are under $20 so it is very easy on one’s pockets. I’ll definitely be making return visits to this Italian restaurant. 🙂

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Fruiti di Mare
prawns, squids, mussels, tomatoes, mozzarella

Having to abstain from seafood of all sorts for the past 3 months, while I was in my halo vest, was a torture for a seafood lover like me. Now that I’m finally out of that “torture device”, I jumped at the opportunity to feast on the seafood pizza. Prawns and squids, some of my favourite seafood delights! At under $20 for a 12 inch pizza, it is value for money as there is a generous portion of ingredients although I would have preferred the crust to be slightly thinner and less chewy.

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Carpaccio di Manzo
beef, Parmesan cheese, truffle oil, black truffle salsa

This melt-in-your mouth thinly sliced beef appetizer is best savored with a pinch of rocket and Parmesan cheese flakes as this combination offers a burst of  exquisite flavours. 

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Enjoy art while dining – For the art enthusiast in you

The art-and-food concept is receiving its fair share of hype lately. There is an increasing number of gallery-eateries that showcase a wide variety of artworks, which restaurant patrons can purchase after their meals. Some of these art works also make for interesting conversation for diners.

On the same note, La Pizzaiola has collaborated with Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) to feature aluminium tooling art pieces specially created by clients of MINDS in their restaurant. Most of these one-of-a-kind art pieces retail at a very affordable price tag of between $130 to $400. 🙂 

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La Pizzaiola

Address: Upper Thomson, Teacher’s Estate
19 Kalidasa Avenue,  Singapore 789398
Tel: 6455 4648

. i light marina bay 2014: glo-yoga .

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Glo-Yoga comes to town! Set against the stunning backdrop of the Marina Bay Waterfront, this glow-in-the-dark mass yoga session was part of the line-up of activities organised by i Light Marina Bay 2014,  Asia’s first & only sustainable light art festival. As someone who is always up for a new experience, I was thrilled by the idea of an outdoor moonlit yoga, with an emphasis of fun and lights! Of course, my fellow yoga buddies – JZ and Eileen – were equally as excited as I was for this workshop. They are my awesome yogi girlfriends! 🙂

Together with a group of enthusiastic yoga practitioners decked in glow-in-the-dark garb and accessories, we flowed through both the sun salutation and moon salutation sequence of postures, creating a collaborative and dynamic public light artwork. Practising yoga in the heart of the crowded Marina Bay Waterfront, in front of a live audience, was a nerve-wrecking experience! Inevitably, I could not help but to feel the slight pressure of having to keep up with the class and ensure proper alignment of poses. You know, must try to look good for the cameras and videos lol. Cannot wait to see the event highlights memento video once it’s out!

Glo-Yoga is presented by Spice Yoga

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All ready for Glo-Yoga! Glow-in-the-dark body paint, colourful light sticks, neon yellow top and my favourite Onzie hot pants 🙂 

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The real fun began after our Glo-Yoga session as we started trying out different partner and 3-people yoga poses, although the acro poses ended up as an epic failure! More to come!

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. sights: world press photo 13 exhibition .

Sights: A travelling exhibition showing award-winning photographs from top photographers around the globe – We exist to inspire understanding of the world through quality photojournalism.

A last-minute facial cancellation turned out to be a blessing in disguise when I suddenly found myself having free time, alone, on a Friday evening. Sounds like a sad case? Perhaps, to many. But the explorer in me was thrilled to come across the internationally-acclaimed World Press Photo 13 exhibition that gave me the opportunity to view the “other world” that’s unbeknownst to most of us who lead a relatively sheltered life, and appreciate the powerful emotions that these moving pictures evoke.

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Exhibition ends on 30 March. Raffles Hotel. Free admission.

. sights: adieu .

PhotoGrid_1394212472687Sights: Share your special Mosaic memories at the 10th and final edition of this ‘world of music’ festival
Personally, I will always have fond memories collaborating with Esplanade on the last 2 installments of Mosaic Music Festival. Au Revoir.

. sights: tree of life .

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Sights: An art sculpture spotted in the heartlands
The “Tree of Life” art display was commissioned to bring arts closer to the community and is inspired by the theme of racial harmony.