Category Archives: Writings

BT 2 Q1b)

Umm. I can’t remember the question, so I edited it from Audrey‘s. (-Edit- Ok I have now taken the question from Yi Jing’s blog.) It’s funny how I’m always so insecure and leave a couple of lines (in case I need to write more) after each answer in aep block tests. And this happens only, in aep block tests.

1(b) With the reference to another named work by Piet Mondrian, discuss the two major influences on his earlier paintings and the progression of his practice from 1908 to 1921.

A later painting done by Mondrian was called Composition with Red Black, Yellow Black and Blue, 1921. (I must confess: this title is bogus. I had gotten confused with the name, and was only sure that it had been done in 1921. and that there was a “Red Black” somewhere. So I kinda went with my gut feeling and wrote that.) This painting was a huge jump from Grey Tree as the painting consisted of only the primary colours, red, blue and yellow and of only black, bold vertical lines. Such a jump was fueled by the Industrial Revolution and the belief that paintings should achieve a higher reality to convey the language of painting and composition. Earlier on, Mondrian had been influenced by the Industrial Revolution and believed in man’s progression in man-made things like rubber and metal. He hated nature, and felt that it would not last forever, as compared to man-made materials that were not bio-degradable and would last much much longer than that of natural materials. He was influenced by Neoplasticism and started his own art movement De Stijl. During this progression, he slowly turned to using horizontal and vertical lines, eliminating diagonal and curved lines. He hated diagonal lines are he believed that they contained “too much emotion”. He felt that one should throw away man’s subjectivity for God’s objectivity. Eventually, as seen in Composition with Red, Yellow Black and Blue in 1921, his paintings had been reduced to only horizontal and vertical lines with block of pure primary colours. He pursued to achieve the higher reality to convey the language of painting. Mondrian’s paintings were about composition, and were used to spark feelings of harmony, unity and happiness in viewers.



Watched Sandcastle with my brother one or two weeks ago. Was supposed to go with Nicole but I forgot that she has yet to turn 16. ):

Let’s just jump into what I want to say. Spoilers ahead, if you’re planning to watch it. (Go! Watch! Support local talent! Haha.)

I liked how Boo Junfeng introduced the old folks’ home with a shot of the sea beside it, such that later into the film, he uses shots of the sea through the windows to tell the audience that the scene is currently at the old folks’ home.

I also did not expect En’s grandfather to pass away. It provides a slight twist. En’s grandfather is a likable character. He is a more active person, and somewhat reminds me of my grandfather. A scene in the part when En just moves into his grandparents’ house for the next 2 weeks reminds me of how generation gaps plays a huge role in the lack of communication between the 1st and 3rd generation. In this scene, En’s mother explains to Grandpa that En wouldn’t need a telephone cable because he wants to connect the internet, not the telephone. But soon after, the grandfather holds the telephone and its cable and enters En’s room to ask if he needs the cable. En is annoyed. Ha. Ha. Ha.

That really reminded me of my grandmother sometimes when she comes to my house. You can never, ever, ever tell her that you like a particular food. OR ELSE. She would constantly buy/cook that same dish until you tell her that you’re sick of it. It’s a bit mean, telling her like that. But like I said, it’s like the generation gap thing. We love each other, but we just don’t understand each other enough.

I like the movie because I agree with and can relate to many parts about the grandparents-grand child relation.

Other than that, maybe I’m not quite ready for art films yet? I didn’t really understand the use of why the director needed to many shots of the choir singing national songs, and sometimes the injection of the national songs (not the choir singing it) seemed a bit too  randomized. :/

Uhh, other than the previous paragraph, that’s what I essentially want to say, because it reminded me of my coursework.


From left to right: Nobody Knows, Welcome To Dongmakgol, Castaway to the Moon, The Boy in Striped Pajamas and In The Mood For Love.

Block tests are over! So I decided to watch a couple of movies. That’s averaging to 1 movie per day. Whoo.

1) Nobody Knows

A heartbreaking story about 4 children living in an Tokyo apartment who were abandoned by their mother, who presumably went to live with her boyfriend. Each child had different fathers. On the morning their mother leaves, she leaves a note along with some money to the oldest child, Akira, to take care of his siblings. Towards the end as their funds starts to dwindle, they depend on the kindness of a convenience store assistant that Akira frequents to give them sushi, as well as a high school girl they met. This was based on a real event in 1988.

This movie is not a sad weepy story about the plight of the children, but rather documents how the children spend the long days. Despite the absence of their mother, the children are not portrayed as pitiful children left with nothing. Akira plays Big Brother well, is responsible and tries to get as much nutritious food for his siblings. In one part, Akira comes home to find Shigeru (the 3rd child) eating bits paper. So despite trying to save money for the past few days, he uses the little money they have left to buy instant noodles for him. He also tries to get some money from his mother’s past boyfriends. The director also shows Akira’s yearning to go to school,and to play baseball in a team, with segments of him asking his mother when they would be able to go to school, parts where he plays baseball by himself with a ball he found, and even a part when he gets to play in a baseball team when the coach is short of a player and spots him watching them.  Kyoko, the second oldest girl, also wishes to learn the piano, saving money to buy a piano, and playing wistfully on the toy piano they have. The movie was filmed over a year, such that details like the children’s hair growing longer, the cool weather changing to warmer seasons were shown. I felt that ending wasn’t very definite. It was left hanging in the air while I was wondering what goes on after? Do they continue living like that? Does their mother come home? I didn’t quite feel satisfied with the ambiguous ending.

I decided that attempting to finish all 5 movies will make my head explode. The below is the following 2 movie summaries.

2) Welcome to Dongmakgol Set in 1950 during the Korean War, 5 soldiers and a pilot (2 South Korean, 3 North Korean, 1 American) end up in a village in the mountains unaware of the outside world. I like how that the beginning is rather comical and funny, which engages the audience but becomes more serious towards the end. The ending was rather touching, showing how the 6 enemies who eventually became friends had to die to save the village.

3) Castaway to the Moon An original story that parallels two outcasts. This may remind you of Tom Hanks’s Castaway. However unlike Tom Hanks, the lead man Kim becomes contented with living on the isolated island in the middle of the Han River, even running away from tourists when boats come by to prevent himself from being spotted. The other protagonist, Miss Kim, is a girl who has never left her room in years. Eventually with her Sony camera telescope, she spots Kim in the island. They end up communicating with each other with her throwing message bottles towards the island, and Kim replying with large writings in the sand. As the girl observes Kim, eventually she is drawn out of her shell, even starting talking to her mother to request for corn (previously she communicated by text messages). The movie shows two people, one who is physically “out-casted” while the other is physiologically out-casted. Miss Kim imposes these restrictions to herself while Mr Kim is forced to be stranded on the island after a failed suicide attempt.

As for The Boy in Striped Pajamas and In the Mood For Love, it’s up to you to watch. You could borrow the DVD for The Boy In Striped Pajamas from me if you like. It’s sad :/In the Mood for Love has many reviews around, so you could look them up. It’s slow at some parts.


It was really fun.

Title: Fruit Platter

Medium: Fruits, Almond Jelly, Jellybeans, Toothpicks

Size: The size of a hami melon.

This is the best assignment I’ve ever been assigned to do.

The above is (was) our final product. The train decided to leave the man and migrate to his Other Half (the melon).

I don’t like almond jelly but turns out it didn’t taste that bad.

I liked the venue, with the mats and background music (yes bg music. trust mr c to do that.) It was was a rather laid-back affair. And it was also quite interesting to see what the other groups came up with. I liked the brownie version of the Montien Boonma’s Temple of the Mind (Linsha, Shufang, Yi Jun).

We did it (as in prepared the food) on Tuesday at Jac’s house, along with Keer and Jezamine, ate fruit, ate (LOTS OF) soba (they bought 6 packs) and i think their dish was really pretty. I dont have a clear photo of it, though. SAD RIGHT. and there will never be another same one again cause it’s all in our stomachs (WE SPENT 2 HOURS EATING IN MID-AFTERNOON. like. 3pm-5pm? Awesome.)

My blog is becoming not very formal. Oh dear.


Food Assignment Proposal

Dish: Fruit Platter


Artist: Rene Margritte

Artistic Link:

Our designed food aims to bring together elements in four of Rene Magritte’s paintings, which are Son of Man (1964), Time Transfixed (1938), Golconda (1953) and Personal Values (1952).

The honeydew would resemble the face of the painting in “Son of Man”, done by Rene Magritte. In the middle of the honeydew, the blue and white jelly mix would represent the background in the painting “Personal Value of Rene Magritte”. This inverse relation (where the background becomes the centre piece in the food) is also reflecting Rene Magritte’s idea of inversing and putting strange things together.

The grapes stuck onto toothpicks is to represent the many men in the sky in the painting “Golconda”. The thick cubes of chocolate forming a train is to resemble the train in his painting, “Time Transfixed”, where the train is seen to come out of the wall.

Our entire composition of the food is basically a mash-up of Magritte’s famous paintings, in order to convey the message of unconventionality and surrealism

Artist Influences:
Basically our food item will be influenced by the artist’s various paintings, namely:

Son of Man, 1964

Time Transfixed, 1938

Golconda, 1953

Personal Values, 1952

– 1 honeydew
– blue and white jelly
– green apple
– jellybeans
– chocolate
– cubes of fruit

1. Cut a large honeydew in half. On that half, draw the outline of a man wearing a bowler hat. (reference of Son of Man).

2. Using a spoon, dig out the flesh of the honeydew within the outline we drew. About 4 cm deep. We now have a honeydew with a hole in it shaped like a man’s head and hat.

3. Fill up to approximately 3.5cm depth of the cut-out depression with some sky blue jelly mix. Before blue jelly hardens, pour some white jelly mix to form swirls (using toothpicks to swirl them around), to draw clouds. (This background is based on Personal Values.)

4. Using a satay stick, spear half the apple and stick it into the jelly. It shall resemble Son of Man from bird’s eye view.

5. Spear jellybeans with toothpicks. Poke these ‘men’ right under the umbrella, around them, etc. Melt chocolate chips and stick them on top of the jellybeans. They shall resemble the men in Golconda. Face not necessary. This men shall look like they are having a picnic! we can make a tiny red and white picnic cloth too 😀

6. Using thick cubes of fruits, build a train (reference to Time Transfixed). Assemble the fruits to form the carriages and the engine! Train goes on top the honey dew, along the circumference of the fruit.

7. Drizzle melted chocolate to draw train tracks.

SAM visit

My American cousin’s here! We haven’t seen Melinda in 7 years. But she looks the same. So anyway, we went to her house on Thursday and Melinda wanted to see the museums in Singapore, so within 15 min it was set that we would meet again in an hour’s time (after lunch) and my brother and I would bring her to Bras Basah where most museums were.


45 mins later, her mum called and turns out that she became sick and couldn’t go. ):

Dang. So our impromptu date with her didn’t work out. However my brother and I were still stuck in the going out mood so we decided to head out and buy shoes for my brother. We ended up in Bugis, and decided to go to SAM and 8Q. Hah.

Paratroopers, Miyamoto Saburo, 1943, oil on canvas, 112 x 162 cm

Paratroopers- Miyamoto Saburo

I like this painting. At first sight, the spotlight leads you to the centre of the painting (below), with the jellyfish-like white translucent parachutes landing on the grass. It gives you a floaty, dreamy feel.

Paratroopers (zoom middle)

However if you look at the rest of the painting, especially the bottom, you realise that it’s all bloody warfare.

Androgenie- Baby Rabbit, David Chan, 2009, Mixed Media, 115 x 95 x 28 cm

The idea is of “scientific experimentation gone awry”, a “social commentary on urban lifestyle and behavior”.

This is a twisted idea of experimentation, about how we’ve perhaps been dabbling in too much technology and advancements to the extent that we’ve been changed, like the baby-rabbit. I think this is somewhat morbid, morphing two things we usually associate with “cute” into a rabbit-headed baby and it is presented in a matter-of-fact manner.

Speaking of rabbits, we met Walter, the rabbit that roams around spaces in Singapore. He’s so cute.

Walter- Dawn Ng

There’s an Art Garden going on at 8Q. Meant for the Children’s Season. It lasts 14 May- 18 July 2010. $5.00 admission for local students. Free admission on Fridays, 6pm-9pm.

I would recommend going there. There’s the interactive works, Funky Forest and Daisies, where trees grow and flowers die when you step on them. If you’ve read it on the newspapers, you’d know what I mean. And there’s also the moving image gallery. Lots of nice short clips that my brother and I missed cause we went in too late. Dang. (a really good reason as to why you should go there early. First screening starts at 10.30am.) We only got to watch a part of Apple & Ei, Blackboard Whiteshoes and Alphabet Soup. I liked Blackboard Whiteshoes.

Invitation to Dream- A Fire Installation by Compagnie Carabosse

Basically this is the opening for this year’s Singapore Arts Festival. Carabosse is a renowned French fire alchemist. The fire installations are outside Victoria Theatre and in Esplanade Park. It ends this Sunday, 7.30pm -10.30pm. Each project that Carabosse does is “unique as it adapts to the space around it with intricate patterns of flame interspersed with haunting musical accompaniment, reflecting on the tranquility of the flame and beauty of art.” They like to work with nature, so their installations usually include trees, plants and so on.

I’m volunteering for this year’s SAF, and I went for the first night yesterday. It’s quite an interesting experience, and you get to meet many different people from all walks of life. I’m in the Tour Guide group! I’m one of the youngest in my group, other than another boy of the same age. And… I’m the In Charge of the group. :O

I SAW HAN SAI POR!  and a couple of other artists, including stage actors, writers and visual artists. I got to talk to an Indian composer. He started when he was 5! Whoaaaa! Haha I’m so excited. Yup this was a really good experience, I would encourage others to volunteer too.

Generally, from afar the fire installation looked like a riot was going on, and the entire site looked as if it was on fire. I did not get the subtle, magical, glowing  feel that was meant to be achieved. Maybe it’s the heat. ):

However, I did like Shirt Forest, whereby white sleeveless vests are hung onto metal coat hangers. A burning candle is placed inside the vests. This creates a glow that lights up the shirt, as the light gently spills out. It creates really peaceful and serene atmosphere in the night. Each vest is pretty heavy, weighing 1.5kg-2kg, which can be hung onto many things, including trees. The shirts were hung onto black metal stands, and spread across a patch of green. The softly illuminated vests stood out from the black metal stands, making the place look as if there was a parade of vests floating gently upon that grass patch.  The installation reminded me of World War II, because men liked to wear plain white singlets during that time. To me, this seemed like a tribute to the men who fought and died. Shirt Forest was surreal and dreamy, poetic and beautiful.

I realise that this is the kind of atmosphere that I want to achieve for my coursework. Hmm.

Another installation which I liked was the Ceiling of Bulbs. The light bulbs had actually been altered into little paraffin lamps, such that the wick is in the socket and the glass bulb becomes the fuel container. So you get upside down light bulbs burning from within. I thought that the idea was really cool.

Unfortunately I don’t have photographs of the installations (I’m really sad). But you could go to this site: It’s in French BUT has a picture of the Shirt Forest (but not in Singapore). 🙂 You could also search “Compagnie Carabosse” for images of their works.

We were told that we could actually make up our own stories for the various installations to tell the VIPs. By which I realised that other than the artist’s intentions, artworks are really also about what the audience understands and interprets from the work.

Matthew Ngui- Point of View

How does Point of View require audience’s participation?

How is the text “site-specific”?

For the audience to understand what the work is about, they have to position themselves in a certain angle such that they can see the sentence, “YOU ARE ALWAYS IN TRANSIT”. Hence it requires audience participation.

The text is site specific as it is placed in Mass Rapid Transport  (MRT) stations, thus commuters would be the ones seeing this work. The work speaks to these people, telling them that they are always in movement. When parts of the sentence are viewed from another point, the words are stretched, which resembles what we see as the train pulls away from the station.

This text is site specific as it is relevant to the site, and the audience is able to relate to it, given that it talks about transport, the movement of people and relates to what we experience and see in the MRT.


2902- Feb 20

I’m not used to using WordPress. it is weird.

anyhow, in a fit of boredom and impulsiveness, I dragged my brother to Old School the other day (20th feb) after a failed day of shopping for Graces dress and his shirts for an upcoming dinner. It was boring (the shopping).

the gallery was named after the date it opened.

We went to 2902 gallery, where this exhibition was on:

presentation | representation 6 Feb 10 – 13 Mar 10
This is a collection of images depicting the deconstruction of conventional landscape. Evoking a sense of romanticism and avant-gardism, it is the personal self-interpretation of landscapes and a reflection of the emerging state-of-the-art innovations of photography.

But. I wasn’t too interested by that. I was more interested by the intimate series of photography of various artists at their most private moments. In the artist’s statement, it was something about artists constantly presenting a well-practiced image of self-presentation to others that do not reveal their true self. Yet these photographs were captured by the German (i think the artist is German) when they were most deep-in-thought. When they realise that the camera is on them, there is a sense of self-awareness.

I like the concept of catching people in their most private moments and evoking that caught-in-action-almost-clumsy sudden sense of self-awareness, versus capturing someone with the honed and practiced image of one’s self-projection. It’s like catching a person who is half in-half out of his very private world, and there’s this sense of confusion and awareness of oneself.

Unfortunately I am only continuing a draft written in on March 1, recounting an event that occurred on Feb 20, and it is currently April 2. Then, I had planned to continue with the draft the next day. But I forgot and only just noticed it. This is horrible. I didn’t manage to get much details on it and can’t remember the artist’s/series name. To tell the truth I don’t have the habit of remembering the artist/work title. I read the description and look at the work. I only remember the images. ARGH.

I will learn from this lesson to take note of the artist’s name/ work’s name in future exhibitions etc.

Aye. ):

we passed by this sculpture as we left. I do not know its name. But I like the use of the vibrant red. It suits the emotion.