Tag Archives: Heritage

Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life

Korean Wave fans in Singapore rejoice! A new and limited time Korean Wave is now here in Singapore, at the Asian Civilisations Museum! This special limited time Korean Wave started on 22nd April 2017 to 23rd July 2017. Fans who love Korean Wave, especially Korean period dramas, this special exhibition is something you must not miss! Inside the Joseon Korea exhibition, get up close and have a good view of the many different types of treasures, fashion, history, heritage and culture that you saw in Korean dramas.

On 21st April, I was honoured to be invited to attend the official opening of the Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life special exhibition at Asian Civilisations Museum. Mr Kennie Ting, Director of Asian Civilisations Museum, gave the opening speech on this special Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life exhibition

ACM Director Kennie Ting said, “Fans of K-culture will not find this showcase unfamiliar, as many of the stories and treasures that we are showing in this exhibition have inspired Korea’s popular culture – from period drama series to contemporary arts and aesthetics, and even fashion. Much of what is regarded as traditionally Korean today had been developments and innovations during the Joseon period. In the same thread, South Korean artist Ran Hwang’s art installation adds to the experience of the exhibition, with its contemporary interpretation of Korean traditions. The Joseon dynasty’s extraordinary legacy not only withstands the test of time by being relevant to this day, but also resonates with new audiences beyond geographical boundaries.”

The Guest of Honour was Ms. Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, who officially declared this special exhibition opened, accompanied and attended by many distinguished dignitaries and guests of the Asian Civilisations Museum. A grand occasion with traditional beautiful Korean cultural performances that delighted the guests present at the official opening event.

After watching the traditional Korean performances, I visited the exhibition together with my friends. The Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life exhibition is divided into 6 sections –

  • Departing from the Goryeo kingdom sets the stage with an introduction of the transition between two dynasties, including key episodes and figures like King Taejo of Joseon, whose changes and ideas laid the foundation for the dynasty. His move to adopt Neo-Confucianism distinguished a new era for Korea, and shaped its political and cultural life;
  • Royal authority and court culture unveils life inside the royal palace, the roles and expectations of the king and queen, courtly rituals and ceremonies, and even costumes, food and music. The calculated pomp and pageantry that surrounded them was central to asserting the royal authority, and the King’s multiple roles as leader, ruler and scholar;
  • The yangban, which looks at the elite and aristocratic class in Joseon. Considered the moral pillar of Joseon society, their adherence to Confucian ideals and hierarchical values translated to their daily lives and in their living spaces. This examination of the yangban’s public and private lives paints a picture of their prominence, priorities and pursuits;
  • Nature in Korean Art depicts the importance of nature to Joseon artists – not just as inspiration, but also the material for their creations. Among the showcase are traditional buncheong stoneware, popular during the first two centuries of the Joseon dynasty, and the characteristically Korean style of ‘true-view’ landscape paintings that reflect the socio-political climate of developing a distinct Korean identity;
  • Sacred art and religious traditions provides insight to the influence of Confucianism and Buddhism in Joseon ritual life – from grand state ceremonies to private family religious practices. Beyond the connections of the living to their forefathers and enhanced solidarity among kin through such traditions, how Buddhism integrated with indigenous folk religion for mass reception is also examined; and
  • Streets of Hanyang: Everyday life of the people, depicting life in the capital through genre paintings – a major form of Korean art that flourished in the 18th  These vignettes candidly capture everyday life, societal classes, and how important occasions like the first day of the Lunar New Year, harvest festival Chuseokand individual rites of passage were celebrated.

(Information courtesy of Asian Civilisations Museum press release)

I do watch selected Korean dramas, therefore, I was able to relate and understand some of the items that were exhibited inside this exhibition. Some exhibits were intriguing and I was able to learn more about Korean history, heritage and culture.

The paintings and artworks on display were a real eye-opener for me, especially some of the paintings that were quite long in the length and the amount of delicate and skilful display of people on the paintings.

Having watched a small number of Korean dramas that showcased the Joseon dynasty, I got excited when I saw the clothing on display! This was as close as getting to learn more about Korean history, heritage and culture in Singapore since I haven’t visit Korea yet! (Ok, I think it’s high time that I plan a travel photography holiday to Korea)

From artwork, paintings, furniture, fashion, clothing, manuscripts and artefacts, this is a very meticulously curated special exhibition on Korea’s Joseon Dynasty, right here in Singapore, at the Asian Civilisations Museum.

I wasn’t able to view everything on display at the Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life during the official opening event. Therefore, I have to visit the exhibition and add on more photographs to share with my readers here!

To all the Korean Wave (especially Korean drama) fans in Singapore, the Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life special exhibition is definitely worth a visit! While it is not exactly visiting a Korean drama production setup, entering into the world of Joseon Dynasty, you are able to learn more about them and appreciate the Korean drama period shows even better!

I would like to thank Asian Civilisations Museum for the invitation to Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life official opening event and the opportunity to tour the exhibition.

Key information on Joseon Korea: Court Treasures and City Life special exhibition

Location: Asian Civilisations Museum

Period: 22nd April 2017 to 23rd July 2017

Ticketing:

  Price
Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (Adults) $10
Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (Concession: Seniors, Students, NSF*) Free
Non-Residents (Adults) $15
Non-Residents (Concession: Seniors, Students*) $10
Non-Residents (Family of 5) $45

Website: www.acm.org.sg

Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore

The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the society is slowly gaining acceptance and application in real life. In an earlier article, I shared an article on using AR in a hospitality/hotel environment. Today, I am going to share another story, the use of VR and AR in a museum in Singapore, the National Museum of Singapore.

With the Tango technology platform created by Google, the National Museum of Singapore is one of the first museums in the world to adopt this technology. Tango is a set of sensors and computer vision software that enables smartphone augmented reality that allows users to imagine new spaces, get things done, and play games in a new dimension.

Visitors can enjoy the VR and AR tour with a Tango-enabled mobile device and they can go back in time and history, to retrace and learn about the National Museum of Singapore’s early history, artefacts and exhibits over time. This is a very interesting journey and I had the opportunity to experience, test and share my stories and photos with my readers here. Using indoor mapping, VR and AR, visitors will be able to explore how the National Museum of Singapore has evolved over the past 130 years.

There are six points of interest that participants of this tour can explore on the Tango-enabled Architecture tour with the Museum guide. Let me bring you a sneak peak into some of the VR and AR scenes from the Tango-enabled mobile device.

3D model of the National Museum

At at the Main Rotunda on Level 1 and the Glass Atrium on Level 2, the visitors on this tour can activate a 3D replica of the building on the Tango-enabled mobile device, it provides information on its structural components and allows the participant to navigate around the façade. Visitors can also see how the National Museum of Singapore has changed over the years, just by using the “Time Slider” view.

Virtual World of Past Artefacts

The iconic and famous 90 feet high Rotunda at the main entrance of the National Museum of Singapore, visitors on the Tango-enabled tour are able to go back in time into a virtual world of what this space looked like in the 1950s. Spot the world of past artefacts that were once on display at this location, such as the marble bust of Sir Stamford Raffles and the famous Revere Bell. Observe the floor tiles of the National Museum of Singapore in the earlier days and the floor tiles today, can you spot the difference?

Say hi to the Whale

At the glass passage on Level 2, one of the largest frameless, self-supporting glass structures in the world, visitors can see an AR view of the museum’s iconic Indian Fin Whale Skeleton. Listen to the sound of the Indian Fin Whale “saying hi to you”! Remember to say hi back!

I strongly encourage you to sign up for this very interesting, interactive and informative tour that combines modern technology using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, with stories from the National Museum of Singapore guide leading you on the tour. This would greatly enhance learning history, heritage, culture and stories of Singapore and the National Museum of Singapore.

The tour is an hour long and registration is free, on a first come, first serve basis. If you keen to sign up for the Tango-enabled tour at the National Museum of Singapore, visit National Musuem of Singapore guided tours link and register.

Please take note that there are limited places, maximum capacity is 15 people on a first come, first serve basis, to ensure that the tour is conducted in a manner that is optimal and enjoyable for all participants.

Seats are limited! Remember to check out on the availability of the places for the upcoming tours for the Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore!

* I would like to thank National Museum of Singapore for the invitation to try out the Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore *

Epson and SO Sofitel Singapore collaborate on AR experience

The world of travel, tourism and hospitality has benefitted and also changed from the technology boom over the past few decades. As we move into the future, new technology such as augmented reality (AR) has a role to play in a customer’s overall experience. How does AR plays a part in business operation in the hospitality industry such as a hotel?

AR today and in the near future, they can play a part in enhancing a guest experience beyond the luxuries, amenities, accommodation and hospitality in the hotel. How can they go about doing this?

In Singapore, Epson, a global leader in projection technology and visual communications, partners SO Sofitel Singapore for Southeast Asia first augmented reality (AR) smart glass experience within a hotel, using Epson’s latest Moverio BT-300 smart glasses. At the media event held recently, I had the opportunity to witness the launch and experience AR technology implementation in a hospitality organisation.

This was also my first time putting on the Moverio BT-300 and trying it out in a hospitality context. The Moverio BT-300 was lightweight and beautifully designed, the experience was pretty good with the visuals through the smart glasses and accompanying audio.

Guests can look forward to a true see-through immersive experience with the Moverio BT-300’s HD high-contrast display, which uses Epson’s cutting edge silicon-based OLED (organic light emitting diode) digital display technology. Powered by software from EON Reality, a world leader in Virtual and Augmented Reality-based knowledge transfer, the curated experience transports viewers into a part-real part-virtual world where informative content and videos blend seamlessly with real design elements found within the hotel lobby and suite.

 Pictures courtesy of Epson Singapore and SO Sofitel Singapore 

“It is our pleasure to partner leaders in Luxury Hospitality, Design and Augmented Reality to curate this experience that is a first in the region. With Moverio, Epson believes that the potential of Augmented Reality is limitless for commercial and enterprise usage – to create exceptional experiences using one of the most lightweight and comfortable smart eyewear on the market. By bringing the flavours and secrets within the heritage building to life through our technology, we look forward to deliver new and exciting multi-sensory experiences and showcase the familiar in a brand new way,” said Mr Siew Jin Kiat, Regional General Manager (Southeast Asia), Printers and Visual Products Division, Epson Singapore.

“We are So delighted to partner with Epson Singapore to be the first to launch the augmented reality smart glasses experience in Southeast Asia. When you step into SO Sofitel Singapore, you will be naturally captivated by the different elements of French design blending with local touches. With this AR smart glasses experience, guests will be able to discover and be intrigued by the surprising design elements,” said Mr Piotr Kupiec, General Manager for SO Sofitel Singapore.

On the pilot project, EON Reality Singapore’s Managing Director Mr Sridhar Sunkhad added, “Collaborating with Epson to augment the SO Sofitel unique guest experience will be an exciting journey that will teach us how Augmented Reality will become a part of our everyday lifestyle.”

Source: Epson and SO Sofitel Singapore press release

Starting my AR experiential tour journey from the SO Sofitel Hotel lobby, our first stop was the “The Lion Seal” emblem, designed for the hotel by the legendary Karl Langerfield. Once the AR experience started, I was greeted virtually by Isabelle Miaja, the interior designer of SO Sofitel Singapore.

Walking along the SO Sofitel Hotel lobby, I learned about the inspiration of SO Sofitel Singapore’s beautiful design, French elegance blending with the building’s unique history and modern Singapore, through the Moverio BT-300 smart glasses.

Continuing the journey inside the hotel, we entered into a special suite, the SO Sofitel Lofy suite. Through the Moverio BT-300 smart glasses, Isabelle returned on a composite screen, sharing her thoughts on the hotel design and special touches within the suite. I saw gorgeous art pieces that gave Isabelle the inspiration to combine French indulgence and the local culture of Singapore.

If you are staying at the gorgeous SO Sofitel, do try out the AR experience tour and if you happen to stay in the SO Lofy suite, you can also experience the SO Augmented room tour as well! For members of the public, if you wish to enjoy the SO Augmented hotel lobby tour, you can enquire with the guest relations officer, with sets subject to availability.

The world of augmented reality is now entering into our life, our work, the adoption and implementation is taking place among different organisations and industries. This AR collaboration project between Epson and SO Sofitel Singapore is the first in Southeast Asia within a hotel, I believe there will be more hotels entering and implementing AR technology to enhance their guests experiences.

I would like to thank Epson Singapore and SO Sofitel Singapore for the invitation to experience the new AR experience at SO Sofitel Singapore.

The Universe and Art at ArtScience Museum

The night has fallen, when you look up into the night skyline, filled with bright shining stars, do you ask yourself, is there life in the universe and beyond? Are we able to live in the other planets in the solar system? Why is the universe so mysterious? Is there an explaination to anything besides the universe? How did the human race seek to learn, unravel and discover the universe over the centuries?

In order to seek some answers to the questions above, why not visit the ArtScience Museum in Singapore and enter into the world of The Universe and Art? This is is a very special, intriguing and it can also be a pretty abstract exhibition that unravels the human race journey over the centuries, understanding the Universe through arts, religion and philosophies, and not just science and engineering.

This exhibition, The Universe and Art at ArtScience Museum, is jointly curated and organised by Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and ArtScience Museum. Featuring over 120 original artworks, scientific artefacts and manuscripts, this exhibition presents visions of the Universe from across the globe and through the centuries. Exhibiting alongside masterpieces from around the world, are important artefacts on loan from Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum, and a newly commissioned installation by British sculptor, Conrad Shawcross.

Entering into the world of The Universe and Art, there are 4 parts for the visitors to view, learn and immerse into the our mysterious universe

Historical cosmologies

The first part of the exhibition focus on historical cosmologies from around the world, including religious arts from the Buddhist, Hindu and Jain traditions, on loan from Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore. Visitors can also view the masterpieces by Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton, on display for the first time in Singapore.

New scientific thinking on the Universe

The second part focus on scientific thinking of the Universe by contemporary artists including Björn Dahlem, Mariko Mori, Andreas Gursky, and the new commission by Conrad Shawcross.

Origin of life in the cosmos

The third part explores the origin of life in the cosmos, through artworks by major figures, such as Pierre Huyghe, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Laurent Grasso, and Patricia Piccinini.

Life in space

The fourth part of the exhibition is about pondering life in space, through the work of historical pioneer, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, and contemporary artists including Arthur Woods, Kitsuo Dubois, Takuro Osaka, and Dragan Živadinov.

The commissioned work by Conrad Shawcross caught my attention, his artwork is titled “Slow Arc inside a Cube VIII”. Shawcross amazing commissioned artwork is a kinetic sculpture inspired by science. With the world’s technology improved vastly over the centuries, radical new theories and vast international space endeavours, the Universe is still like a mystery to us human beings on Earth, there is still so much unknown. Shawcross created this artwork to invite us and make us ponder on the unknown and mysteries of the Universe.

Through the selected photgraphs that I took at The Universe and Art and shared inside my Flickr collection, this special and unique exhibition is something worth visiting, for everybody to learn and understand more about the human race, arts, culture, our planet Mother Earth and the Universe beyond. Do visit the ArtScience Museum website for more information on the programmes organised by the ArtScience Museum that visitors can participate and join.

As I left the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, away from the The Universe and Art exhibition, I asked myself again, “Is there life beyond the Universe and our planet Mother Earth?”

I don’t have an answer, I may never have an answer. However, I did learn more about the mysteries and beauty of the Universe through the arts.

I would like to thank ArtScience Museum and Asian Civilisations Museum for the invitation to the The Universe and Art exhibition.

Key information and details on The Universe and Art at ArtScience Museum

Exhibition period: 1st April to 30th July 2017

Tickets can be purchased from Marina Bay Sands box offices and website. Terms and conditions apply.

Ticket prices:

The Universe and Art

Standard Ticket (SGD$) Adult $17
Seniors (65 years and above) $14
Child (2-12 years) $10
Family package (2 kids and 2 adults) $44
Singapore Residence (SGD$) Adult $14
Seniors (65 years and above) $11
Child (2-12 years) $7
Family package (2 kids and 2 adults) $35

The Universe and Art + Future World

Standard Ticket (SGD$) Adult $28
Seniors (65 years and above) $24
Child (2-12 years) $17
Family package (2 kids and 2 adults) $73
Singapore Residence (SGD$) Adult $24
Seniors (65 years and above) $20
Child (2-12 years) $12
Family package (2 kids and 2 adults) $60

For more information on the exhibition, please visit www.marinabaysands.com/ArtScienceMuseum


Created with flickr slideshow.

Precious Artistic, Beautiful and Cultural Eggs Exhibition

Eggs, when you hear this word, what comes to your mind? Food? What are the various ways that I can cook the eggs? What type of eggs? My mother gave me the best answer, “Salted egg yolk” when she saw my collection of photographs that I took recently of this new, unique and very interesting arts exhibition at the Singapore Philatelic Museum, titled “Precious Eggs: of Arts, Beauty and Culture

Like most human beings, the first thought and reaction upon hearing the word “eggs” is about food. I have to confess that I was thinking about eggs in the form of food initially! Upon visiting the Singapore Philatelic Museum, I was brought into an amazing world that I never dreamed of and something that is even possible, it’s an exhibition about eggs!

With a total of 148 unique artistic egg inspired works from the Liechtenstein National Museum, this is the first time that they are displayed outside of Europe and they are now at the Singapore Philatelic Museum in Singapore! When I started viewing and observing the eggs, I was totally blown away, how did the artists managed to produce such fine and delicate artworks on the eggs?

Every egg has a story behind it, from arts, beauty, culture, history, faiths and traditions. There were also different types of eggs used, from quail, chicken, duck, goose, swan and ostrich, as well as eggs crafted from precious and enamelled metals, glass, porcelain, wax, crystal, marble, stone, wood, reindeer horn, cardboard and papier-mache.

The selection of unique artistic egg-inspired works on display at SPM are drawn from the renowned Adulf Peter Goop Collection belonging to the Liechtenstein National Museum. Born in Liechtenstein, Mr Adulf Peter Goop (1921-2011) started to collect Easter eggs in 1985. He was inspired by his experiences as a boy giving painted eggs on Easter morning to Russian soldiers seeking asylum at the end of World War II, who were touched by the gesture of friendship. Numbering about 4,000 eggs, his impressive collection hails from all over the world – some from the Russian Imperial Family. In 2010, Mr Goop donated his comprehensive art collection to the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Ms Tresnawati Prihadi, General Manager of SPM says, “We are delighted to partner the Liechtenstein National Museum to bring this precious collection of egg art pieces to Singapore. We hope this exhibition will challenge Singaporeans to rethink what makes art, and how ordinary, everyday items, such as the humble egg and stamps, can tell such beautiful stories of love, history and faiths, and serve as windows to cultures of the world.” 

Prof Dr Rainer Vollkommer, Director of the Liechtenstein National Museum said, “Eggs are a symbol of peace, love, friendship and fertility. We would like to share this with everybody with this exhibition.”

 Source: Singapore Philatelic Museum press release


The Singapore Philatelic Museum has incorporated multi-media experiences for visitors to this exhibition that they can experience together when they are viewing the eggs exhibition. Visitors can have direct and personalised interaction with some of the eggs. When visitors tap into the “Precious Eggs” network via a QR code, they can have a 360 degrees view of the egg on their mobile device.

At the media preview, we were also introduced to Ukraine’s history, heritage, culture and folktales of Ukraine, via their beautifully decorated Ukrainian eggs and friendly folks from the Ukraine community in Singapore.

This was the Pysanka Eggs demonstration and we had the opportunity to make our own too! You can try it out too, when you visit Singapore Philatelic Museum on Easter Sunday on 17th April 2017, more details in the Annex 1 below!

Key information and details of the exhibition – Precious Eggs: of Arts, Beauty and Culture

Venue: Singapore Philatelic Museum

23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807

Date: 12 April – 8 October 2017

Opening hours: Monday – Sunday

10.00am – 7.00pm

Admission charges: Free admission for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents

Admission charges for foreigners:

Adult $8

Child (3 – 12 years) $6

Tel: 63373888

Website: www.spm.org.sg

Tell your family, relatives and friends about this special and unique exhibition about eggs, come on down and explore all 148 unique eggs! Pass It On and spread the word! When you visit Singapore Philatelic Museum, do remember to check out the other interesting exhibitions inside there too!

I haven’t manage to capture all 148 eggs on display at the exhibition yet and I hope to capture each and every one of the 148 eggs on display! Meanwhile, visit my photos collection and take a look at some of the eggs that I photographed!

I would like to thank Singapore Philatelic Museum for the invitation to the media preview of the Precious Eggs: of Arts, Beauty and Culture exhibition.

—————————————————————-

Annex 1

Easter Sunday at Singapore Philatelic Museum

Date: Sunday, 16 April 2017

Time: 10.00am – 7.00pm

Usual museum admission applies

Free admission for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents

Admission charges for foreigners: Adult $8; Child (3 – 12 years) $6

Activities:

Easter Craft

10.00am – 5.00pm

Make your own fun pop-up chicky craft!

Donations apply.

Fun Quiz

10.00am – 5.00pm

Visit the museum galleries and take part in the fun quiz to win exciting prizes. Learn stories behind these beautiful stamps as you go on an adventure around the museum.

Pysanka Egg Demonstration

1.00pm – 4.00pm

Come see beautiful Ukrainian decorated eggs and get the opportunity to make your own! These traditional designs on eggs tell stories of culture, folktales and heritage of Ukraine.

Donations apply.

Green Eggs & Ham

2.30pm – 3.00pm

Join us as Centre Stage School of the Arts breathes new life into Dr Seuss’s fabulous story “Green Eggs & Ham”. Suitable for all ages.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Armenian Street Party 2017 by Peranakan Museum

A short stretch of the road and space in front of the Peranakan Museum closed to the traffic for two nights, transforming into a fun party venue for visitors to bring their family, children and friends down, visit the museums and soak in the party atmosphere. This was the Armenian Street Party 2017 organised by Peranakan Museum that took place on 10th and 11th March. The Armenian Street Party made her maiden debut in 2016, I was there too at the first Armenian Street Party!

For this year 2017 Armenian Street Party, I dropped by on Friday evening and managed to catch some of the performances at the street party. The theme for Armenian Street Party 2017 was back to school, going back to the good old school nostalgia days (when we were young), some of you might remember going to detention class, disliking certain subjects such as literature, tuckshop food during recess time, English and grammar class, PE class, music class etc etc.

The Armenian Street Party was also a perfect time to visit the Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum with their family, children and friends. This street party is perfect for the two museums to have more publicity and awareness from the public, they are two great museums with really great and wonderful artworks, contents and exhibitions, that the public may not know as much, compared to her bigger fellow sister museums such as the National Museum of Singapore.

At the Armenian Street Party 2017, on the Friday that I visited, I saw the mass P.E. class by Upside Motion, it’s not a bad idea to conduct P.E. class on the road without the vehicles! The iconic Peranakan Museum favourite band of singers, the Peranakan Sayang, were in action on Friday, with the theme “Balek Sekolah!”, translated to “Back to school!”. This group of singers are really good and they never fail to light up the crowds!

The Armenian Street Party is not just about the two museums, Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum, it’s a community event, the kampung spirit, with fellow neighbours along Armenian Street coming in, participating and be a part of this festive party. Timbre Group, Substation, Upside Motion, True Blue Cuisine and SMU were neighbours, part of the Armenian Street kampung. They all played a part in this year’s street party.

There were also delicious food by True Blue Cuisine, selling all time favourite tuckshop treats, I didn’t manage to go down and eat all the food on Friday. I only manage to eat the laksa during the media preview (I was rushing for time on that day) prior to the street party weekend.

I took the opportunity to visit Singapore Philatelic Museum, a very short walk down the road from Peranakan Museum. I forgot when was the last time I visited this museum, they looked small in physical size yet they packed some pretty wonderful collections inside there. Touring the Singapore Philatelic Museum brought me back many memories, I used to collect stamps when I was a young kid in school and I am beginning to wonder where have I kept my stamps? Probably somewhere in my home!

After touring the Singapore Philatelic Museum, I stayed on and watched two performances –

Literature Class: Music & Prose of the Past

By Cappella Martialis

Literature Class: Will The Night Away!

By Centre Stage.

Two great performances held inside this small and cosy Singapore Philatelic Museum.

The performance “Will The Night Away!” was about a Shakespeare classic “Romeo and Juliet”, that most students would probably have studied if they took Literature during their secondary school days (I didn’t take Literature in my upper secondary school). This is Singapore style, a Singapore spin “Romeo and Ah Lian”. Their play was hilarious, interactive and engaging, with the Shakespeare exhibition theme behind them, this was a perfect setting for Romeo and Ah Lian!

Since I was only there on Friday, I couldn’t catch the rest of the performances and activities that were held during the Armenian Street Party 2017, although I did manage to catch a glimpse of some of them during the media preview.

Personally, I feel that the Armenian Street Party is a great community event that doesn’t need to go massively big, it may not (and need not) be the biggest street party event or museums event, they just leverage and combine together as the Armenian Street “kampung”, the Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum, along with their neighbours along Armenian Street.

Looking forward to the next edition of the Armenian Street Party!


Created with flickr slideshow.

Singapore Biennale 2016 – An Atlas of Mirrors

The Singapore Biennale 2016, with the theme “An Atlas of Mirrors”, was recently concluded on the 26th February 2017, having started on 27th October 2016. This was the fifth edition of the Singapore Biennale and I am glad that I managed to visit most of the artwork exhibitions present at Singapore Biennale 2016 before it ended. Looking back at my own personal Singapore Biennale visits, I covered four out of five editions, starting from year 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2016, with photographs that I took during my visits to Singapore Biennale curated and consolidated inside this Flickr collection.

The theme “An Atlas of Mirrors” for Singapore Biennale 2016, was on the instruments of vision and navigation to explore around the world used by the human race. The atlas was used by the human race to explore and venture all around the world, to discover the unknown and open up new chapters in history and time, not just in terms of landing on a new country, it’s also about the cultural, sociological and psychological revolution and evolution. As the human race used atlas and maps over centuries of exploration, scientific development and technology growth, coupled with more rapid and intense human movement around the world.

Do we know, how and where we see ourselves, see the world, see the future, from we we are right now? With the growth and boom of information technology, internet and social media, are we even learning more about each other from different parts of the world? Or have we retreated into mountains and caves, becoming even more isolated than the industrial revolution era? Do we need the mirror to constantly look at ourselves and ask ourselves questions?

Over my four visits to Singapore Biennale, from 2008 to 2016, they had always been an eye opener for me, not just for my eyes, also for my heart, mind and soul. There were times when some of the artworks by the artists were too deep and complex for me to understand and relate. There were also some artworks that clicked immediately with my mind, heart and soul. The Singapore Biennale is one mega arts event that allow me to explore and learn more about contemporary art in Singapore, the region and around the world.

Couple an atlas and mirror together, that’s the theme for Singapore Biennale 2016 “An Atlas of Mirrors”. While I can’t say that I have every answer to the things I said in my earlier paragraphs, at the very least, it pushed me to think beyond the views and experiences that I have inside me currently, in the business world, in my photography and in life.

Due to personal situations that happened in the last quarter of 2016 and early 2017, I wasn’t able to split my time and visit the Singapore Biennale 2016 a few times, to slowly absorb and understand the artists abstract artworks and the meanings behind them. I only managed to visit them just four days before her closing day. Nevertheless, I am very glad that I did it, feeding my my mind, heart and soul with contemporary art from Singapore Biennale.

Some of the artworks at Singapore Biennale 2016 connected with me in some ways or another, here are some of them

  • There are those who stay / There are those who go
  • The Great East Indiaman
  • Cooking the World
  • “If you can dream a better world you can make a better world or perhaps travel between them”
  • Black Forest 2016
  • History Repeats Itself
  • One Has to Wander through All the Outer Worlds to Reach the Innermost Shrine at the End
  • The Covenant
  • Melampaul Batas (Beyond Boundaries)
  • SONICreflection

Do visit my Flickr folder – Singapore Biennale 2016 and view more photographs that I took during my exploration and adventure of the contemporary art festival!

I leave you with this short video recording (that I did with the Canon EOS M5 review camera unit that I was reviewing during the time when I was at Singapore Biennale 2016) on the artwork produced by Melissa Tan from Singapore, titled “If you can dream a better world you can make a better world or perhaps travel between them”

As the Singapore Biennale 2016 concluded her fifth edition, have you ask yourself, from where you are right now, how do you visualise the world, and see for yourself where you are right now and into the future?


Created with flickr slideshow.

Hokkaido 2016 Photography Adventure Day 7

27th October 2016 – Day 7 Lake Toya -> Usu -> Noboribetsu -> Shiraoi -> New Chitose Airport

Today is the last day of my Hokkaido travel photography adventure, my whole trip till date had been awesome, enjoying the autumn and winter seasons in this trip along with wet, cold and bright sunny autumn weather.

Lake Toya

Sunrise shoot (near to carpark beside The Windsor Hotel Toya Resort & Spa)

I wasn’t able to get a nice sunset (I did manage to get a nice sunrise at Biei) during this Hokkaido trip and on Day 6 evening, Kato san suggested to get a sunrise shoot on my last day of my trip. Why not? I set the alarm clock to wake up early and go for a sunrise shoot, keeping my fingers crossed for good weather and not too cloudy sky!

Even though it was autumn, I felt really cold on the 27th October 2016 morning, my autumn wear wasn’t warm and thick enough. Luckily, Kato san loaned me an outdoor overall suit with a pair of rubber boots. That kept me warm for this morning sunrise shoot.

Kato san drove to this hill top, where a luxury hotel is located, the Windsor Hotel Toya Resort & Spa. There was a carpark beside the hotel and it was the spot where we waited for the Hokkaido sunrise above Lake Toya. As the day started to break, we saw a thick cloud cover across Lake Toya. Initially, I was worried that there would be no sunrise with such thick cloud cover. Yet, Hokkaido again decided to bless me with a gorgeous sunset, rising above the mountain range, her rays punching through the clouds as she rose up to warm us up from a cold October autumn morning.

The next thing was to return back to our hotel, warm ourselves up in the onsen. This would be my last onsen and I wanted to enjoy it before returning back to Singapore. The onsen is the most suitable method to warm ourselves up from a cold autumn morning!

Scenic lake drive around Lake Toya

While the early morning sunrise was cloudy, the morning weather at Lake Toya was really good! I saw clear blue sky with thick fluffy white clouds. Kato san drove me around the other loop of Lake Toya. This was a very pretty scenic drive, I found a spot great for car photography shoot (driving on the road with Lake Toya and mountains in the background), we also spotted a pair of swans that swam to us on the shoreline, thinking that both Kato san and myself have some food to feed them!

Ice cream at Lake Hill Farm

When you visit Lake Toya, Hokkaido, this is one of the place that you MUST visit! I heard about this ice cream, it’s really famous, the ice cream is smooth, fresh and very delicious!! There were a lot of flavours and I couldn’t possibly try all of them, I wish I could though!

Lake Hill Farm has a very beautiful garden, with a bird’s eye view of the nearby mountain range! The green garden open space is ideal for the children to play and have fun while enjoying the ice cream!

Check out their website here – Lake Hill Farm!

Usu

Zenko-ji Temple (有珠善光寺)

Japan has many Shinto and Buddhist temples across the whole country. I always love to visit them whenever I get to visit Japan. When I visited Tokyo in 2004, I still remembered my visits to Meiji-Jingu shrine and Sensoji temple, I was in awe by their history, tradition and beauty of the holy places.

On Day 6 evening, when we on the way back from Muroran to Lake Toya, we drove past the coastal area and we spotted a Buddhist temple in the Usu area. Since it was already dark, we decided to drive there and take a look in the late morning.

Upon parking the car, we walked into the temple grounds. Nothing prepared me for this visit, I have entered into a very old Buddhist temple in Japan that is still relatively unknown to the world. This temple is listed on the local tourism body website and there are signages showing the location of the Zenko-ji Temple. However, beyond that, I am not too sure if this temple is even known to the rest of Japan and the world.

Kato san had a chat with the locals outside the Zenko-ji Temple, I couldn’t speak Japanese therefore Kato san did the translation for me, explaining the history behind this temple. We were also given permission to enter and visit the temple, along with permission to take photographs of the main prayer hall. Some temples can be strict on photography, therefore I am honoured and happy that permission was granted. They had a gorgeous Japanese garden inside the temple grounds, very rich history and heritage items inside the temple. This had been a real eye opener for me to photograph and share some of photographs of Zenko-ji Temple.

We went exploring behind the temple up onto the small hill, the walk was like entering into an enchanted forest full of mystery. The autumn foliage was in full bloom, making this temple ground even more magical with its bright autumn colours.

Through my photographs and few paragraphs of sharing, I hope this would give this Buddhist temple more publicity and awareness. If you are visiting Hokkaido, the regions of Lake Toya and Noboribetsu, do consider visiitng the Zenko-ji Temple in Usu.

Address from Google Maps: 124 Usuchō, Date-shi, Hokkaidō 059-0151, Japan

Website: http://www13.plala.or.jp/zenkouji/

Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/datekanko

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/f.akatsuka

Noboribetsu

Lake Kuttara

Leaving Usu, Kato san started driving towards Noboribetsu region, a very popular tourist destination, very famous for its onsen and they have some nice locations for autumn colours foliage too. First stop was Lake Kuttara, along the route u to the next few destinations that I am sharing in the later paragraphs.

Hiyoriyama Observation Deck日和山展望台

Driving uphill from Lake Kuttara, a short drive away, we arrived at the top of the hill, Kato san parked his car and we walked towards the Hiyoriyama Observation Deck. The smell was strong and pungent with sulphur fumes in the air, it was unbearable at times for me since I am not used to sulphur smell in the air. I was also able to spot the hot steam vents from the observation deck. I enjoyed the sceneries around it; this was indeed a good place for autumn colours foliage photography. However, I was struggling with the pungent fumes, just not used to it!

At the foot of the hill lies, Oyunuma Pond, where we headed to next after a short time spent at this observation deck.

Oyunuma Pond

At the foot of the hill, we arrived at Oyunuma Pond, it’s surrounded by forest and trees. The strong pungent sulphur smell was very distinctive and powerful, visitors would be learn more about the physical geography of Noboribetsu, that makes this region very famous for their minerals and volcanic grounds.

I reckon this area makes a good spot for autumn colours foliage photography especially when it reaches the peak season.

Jigokudani (Hell Valley)

Just round the corner from Oyunuma Pond, we arrived at a very famous tourist destination in Hokkaido. Welcome to Jigokudani, also known as Hell Valley, this is a very popular tourist destination with both local and international visitors. A short walking distance away is the town of Noboribetsu Onsen and the onsen in this region is very popular due to the proximity of the sulphur and minerals from the Hell Valley region. Kato san shared that the onsen in Noboribetsu Onsen town has different types of onsen baths for the visitors, I might try it one day in the future if I ever get the opportunity to visit Noboribetsu region again.

When I walked into the valley of hell, I wasn’t afraid of the place, Jigokudani is beautiful during the autumn foliage season! I am just not used to the strong pungent smell of sulphur fumes coming out from the grounds of Hell Valley!

Shiraoi

My Last (and very delicious) Lunch in Hokkaido

Kato san asked me what I would like for lunch before he drove me to New Chitose Airport for my evening flight home back to Singapore. I wasn’t sure of the food options and I listened attentively to his suggestion. He showed me some photos of this beefsteak at this nice little wooden hut restaurant, I saw the price and it was really reasonable for its excellent quality and standards (when I returned back to Singapore, eating a similar beef steak here would cost 3-4 times more)

Soon, we left Noboribetsu onsen town and head towards Shiraoi along the expressway. A short car ride of approximately 45 minutes, I entered into a farm, stopping in front of a nice little wooden hut restaurant. I am thankful and grateful to Kato san for helping me with the ordering and translation.

Two hot and sizzling pan soon arrived at our table, I was so excited! Once I took my first bite, I was like in food heaven! The beef tasted really delicious, soft, tender and juicy beef.

After finishing my super delicious beef steak, I was so happy with my last lunch! I reckon that they are one of the best beef producers around in Hokkaido (if not the best).

Website: http://wagyu-oukoku.com

New Chitose Airport

This was the final leg of my Hokkaido autumn travel photography adventure 2016, the road trip journey from Shiraoi to New Chitose Airport. I made the decision to go there early, have a rest and coffee with my friend, Hokkaido Photo Guide, Kato san.

Reflecting back on my Hokkaido autumn travel photography adventure 2016, I had so much fun traveling solo and with my Hokkaido Photo Guide Kato san. If you are a photographer and would love a customised travel photography plan, I highly recommend my Hokkaido Photo Guide, Kato san, drop him an email on his website or Facebook page!

Goodbye Hokkaido, I am sure I will be back again! Maybe I might lead a group of photographers next time, or maybe I might come back to continue exploring the other regions of Hokkaido that I haven’t visited yet!

Hokkaido Autumn 2016 Day 7


Created with flickr slideshow.

Hokkaido Autumn 2016


Created with flickr slideshow.

World Press Photo 2016 Exhibition Singapore

The “Oscars” of photojournalism, The World Press Photo exhibition is back in Singapore, presented by The Straits Times and held at the National Museum of Singapore.

The World Press Photo exhibition is currently on a global tour across 100 cities in 45 countries. At this exhibition, visitors can view 145 prize-winning photographs that captured the most powerful, poignant, and sometimes provocative press images from around the world.

The 2016 global contest drew more than 82,000 submissions from 5,775 photographers across 128 countries. Of these, the jury awarded prizes to 41 photographers from 21 countries, including Australia, China and Japan.

There are guided tours every Saturday and Sunday, 10am & 12.30pm. At the World Press Photo Exhibition Singapore, it’s also featuring a partner exhibition by The Straits Times showcasing its best photojournalism work of 2016 which illustrates the richness of life in Singapore.

There will also be a panel discussion and free talks open to the general public by the award-winning and internationally acclaimed photographers from the World Press Photo exhibition and photojournalists from The Straits Times. For more information and details, do visit the Straits Times website.

I visited World Press Photo Exhibitions in Singapore when their exhibitions were here in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. I encouraged everyone of you to visit the World Press Photo Exhibition in Singapore, it’s not just for photographers, journalists, their photographs show us many different aspects, life and happenings around the world that we may not see or know about it.

World Press Photo Exhibition Singapore information

Date: 3 March 2017 to 26 March 2017

Opening Hours: 10.00am to 7.00pm

Venue: National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897

Website: http://www.straitstimes.com/st-world-press-photo-2016

Price: Free admission

* Information courtesy of Weber Shandwick *

100 Days

9 photographs for a monumental 99 tribute

Remembrance – A 99 year old matriarch of 5 generations

100 Days