Thursday, 31 January 2013

Art Stage @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Besides the South East Asia and Indonesian Pavilion, there were of course many local and international galleries present at the fair.  This year, while there are several galleries representing Chinese artists, they seemed "same-old, same-old".

Gallery Sullivan+Strumpf: Sam Jinks (Australia)'s sculptures attracted a lot of curious visitors.   The works are so life-like!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Art Stage 2013 @ Marina Bay Sands, Indonesian Pavilion

The 2013 edition of Art Stage introduced an Indonesian Pavilion, presented by the organiser itself.

The works were heavy on social commentary and flight of artists:

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Art Stage 2013 @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore (Southeast Asia Part 2)

Malaysian artist Zulkifli Yusoff was represented by T.H.E.O Arts.  His work Rukunegara (National Principles) explored the makings of Malaysia/ Malaya.

Art Stage 2013 @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore (Southeast Asia Part I)

Joined a guided tour on the South East Asian artists featured in the 2013 Art Stage.  Our first stop was Geraldine Javier of the Philippines.  The Silverlens exhibition booth was covered with real leaves and evoked a feeling that we were in a forest.  

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Best Of by The Necessary Stage

One of the 2 local theatre productions for the M1 Fringe Festival 2013, Best Of was a monologue about the challenges faced by female Malay Muslim in Singapore.

Chinese New Year Market at Chinatown

While the Snake design at Eu Tong Sen Street wasn't my cup of tea this year (see previous post), the street decoration along South Bridge Road did score points.

Chinese New Year Decoration at Chinatown

Year of the Snake is coming, and it seems that we are having a square snake for the coming lunar year.

It look rather flat to me in terms of design.  Personally, I prefer last year's Dragon design: Year of the Dragon Design

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Punggol East By-Election Rally

Was at the Workers' Party by-election rally.  A sizeable crowd was already gathering at 8 pm.

View from the HDB flat.

Another angle...

Monday, 14 January 2013

Woman Emperor Wu Ze Tian 武则天, Chinese Theatre Circle

The 12 Jan 2013 Chinese Theatre Circle's performance of Emperor Wu was significant as it would be the last full length Cantonese Opera by Cultural Medalion recipient Joanna Wong.   Joanna Wong has been performing over the past 60 years and  she was one of the key Cantonese opera artists in Singapore.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Les Miserables: The Movie

For the fans of the musical Les Miz, this must be one of the keenly anticipated movies recently.   Even though reviews have been mixed, I still decided to watch it nevertheless. 

It is always a challenge to bring a successful musical onto the screen.  Overall,  director Tom Hooper did a decent job.  His choice of zooming in on the actors could be weird at times, and his handling of big scenes like One Day More, which always got the theatre audience cheering, was a let down.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Krystian Zimerman

First show for 2013.  The SSO played the Beethoven's Symphony No 7 beautifully.  The highlight was of course Krystian Zimerman.  It was interesting to see him play contemporary composer Witold Lutoslawski's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.  I am not sure how many will get the CD though.

Nonetheless, it was almost full house for this concert, even if Zimerman was not playing a familiar repertoire.  It was a pity that quite a number of audience left after the intermission, where the SSO played the Beethoven's Symphony No 7.

A good start for the orchestra.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

My favourite arts performances for 2012

2012 has come to an end.  The following is a list of performances that I like:

(1) Zhang Hui Mei's AMeiZing World Tour (Jan). After so many years, she still gave a good performance.  Not all segments were enjoyable, but her acoustic and her non-stop ballads segments definitely were memorable.

(2) Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf directed by Nelson Chia at the Huayi Festival.  A good cast, good scrpt and tight directing.  There is definitely hope for Singapore Chinese Theatre.

(3) Lao Jiu: The Musical by The Theatre Practice (Jul).  This restaging was a triumph.  The script, the music, the cast, the directing - all have improved leaps and bounds.  Maybe they could relook and restage Liao Zai Rocks!

(4) Soul Journey - Cicada Zen by Siong Leng Musical Association (July).  Taking an old art form and giving it new life.  The group succeded this time in fusing various elements into this performance: multimedia, sand artist, Indian music.  Awaiting their next production.

(5) The pop concerts at F1 (Sep):  Big names, good performances from Maroon 5, Katy Pery and Noel Galliger's High Flying Birds.  But can the organisers do something to the audience area please?

(6) Philip Genty's Voyages to Nowhere (Nov).  A return to Singapore after more than 20 years. The visual theatre group still gave a surreal yet touching performance.

(7) God of Carnage by Singapore Repertory Theatre (Nov).  With a great script, nothing can go wrong.  Of course, a good cast and good staging helps.  2 sets of parents arguing over their children's fights in school turned out more than just that.

(8) Jersey Boys @ Marina Bay Sands (Nov).  The story of 4 boys becoming world famous band may look too formulaic, but the script was well written and the staging was good.  Good singing definitely. 

(9) Roots by The Finger Players (Dec).  Possibly the best local production this year.  Oliver Chong wrote, directed and acted in this play where he talked about his travels to China in search of his roots.  Simple theme, but done well.

Here's to more good shows in 2013!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Countdown 2013 at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery

I again spent the last day of 2012 at the Bright Hill Temple at Bishan. It was quieter at the venue due to the heavy rain earlier.

While the lighted candles were used to put on the steps of the temple, they had been moved indoors.

Venerable Sik Kwang Sheng gave words of advice before the striking of the gong.

Getting ready...

Happy 2013!

For Countdown 2012: