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16 Dec 2015

Arachnid Orchestra and Sketching Workshop at Gillman Barracks

I attended another workshop and exhibition at Gillman Barracks the other day. Unlike the previous workshop which focuses on acrylic painting, this time was on basic sketching.  

We have the privilege of having 2 instructors teaching us that day and it started off with a demo on how to breakdown (virtually) the body parts of the wooden figurine into different shapes. 

Its all about line drawing. Thick lines for the shadowy parts and thin line under the light. My friend and I were from design course in polytechnic and we easily got back the 'feel' of sketching we once had many years back. I was quite surprised that the auntie and her daughter who shared the same table as us could sketch rather well too! We definitely surprised our instructors!

The next exercise which was negative drawing was quite difficult for us since we were first timers. It was basically using white pencils on black paper. The shadows were to be represented by being shaded.

For the wooden man, we all drew the angle that was facing us resulting in such amazing series of men. Check out our combined drawings below!  

After our workshop session, we headed over to the Arachnid Orchestra Exhibit which was located at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. It was by Berlin based artist Tomas Saraceno. Situated at the intersection between art and science, Saraceno's artistic practice is an invitation to conceive alternative ways of knowledge, experience and interaction with others.

Plenty of research was done about these creatures and the exhibition was in a pitch black space lighted up by spotlights showcasing the art of nature itself. I would not want to go into details but feel free to admire these webs below.

Besides that, we were once again given a paper to draw these webs! It was really challenging since these webs proved to be a complicated mess of art.

We had to draw what we see and not what we knew. Concentration was a huge issue as once I looked down on my paper, I couldn't remember where I last stopped at.

I wasn't trying to draw lines this time. I was trying to draw textures. Many people just gave up or did not attempt to start at all. I tried my best at least before the time runs out.

It was a fun experience and I wouldn't mind joining more jamming sessions in future!

3 Dec 2015

ARNDT Tour and Acrylic Painting Workshop at Gillman Barracks

the cosmos is discos lust, 2015
Acrylic on French linen, 180 × 480 cm (overall)

The sun must be desperately trying to melt me as I made my way to Gillman Barracks. It started off with a short tour conducted around the ARNDT gallery (Block 9), with the staff sharing with us about the background of Del Kathryn Barton whom was the artist of this solo exhibition.

Barton is considered one of the leading artists of her generation, who won the prestigious annual portrait competition the Archibald Portrait Prize twice. 

Her paintings were mainly female humanoid forms or portraits and she used architectural pens directly on her canvases, which meant that there were no rooms for mistakes.

Her paintings surged with vitality from the vibrant colours she used. Upon a closer look, there were many repetitive patterns which meant either you complete the work or give up on it. The latter definitely was not her option.

Last but not least, The Nightingale and the Rose, (2014) was Barton's animated short film which was a dark fairy tale of  unrequited love that premiered at the Berlin International Film festival this year.

Check out some pictures of Del Kathryn Barton's artwork I took at the gallery below.

wild carrot dream, 2015
Acrylic on French linen, 160 × 140 cm

inside another land 1-15, 2015
Archival print on cotton rag with acrylic paint
58.5 x 83, with border 69 x 83 cm each 

come ride with me, 2015
Acrylic on French linen, 160 × 140 cm

within my pleats, 2015
Acrylic on French linen, 160 × 140 cm

the highway is a disco, 2015
Acrylic on French linen, 240 × 180 cm

(a portion of wild carrot dream)

After the tour, our group headed to block 9 for our acrylic painting workshop conducted by a painter.

We were all really eager and excited to get started since most of us were first timers and have not laid our hands on acrylic paint before. (Or even get dirtied by it.)

We were first briefed on the medium we were about to use which was acrylic paint, since the painter Del Kathryn Barton used it for her artworks.

We started off with the basic colours of red, yellow, blue, mixing them till we formed the colour wheel as shown below. (Black and white not part of the spectrum.)

We then learned the 6 common painting techniques and recreate them as shown within 15 minutes. It was a little rush in fact since the entire workshop including the tour was less than 3 hours.

The 6 techniques as follows (sample below):

-Dry Brush

Last but not least, each of us was given a 8 x 8 inch canvas to sketch and paint a portrait. Portraits of people has always been my nemesis and so not my thing to begin with, especially the face. I wasn't sure what was on my mind that day and I ended up painting a picture of an old man.

The real challenge was to input as many 'freshly learned' techniques as possible into our canvas.
My most obvious ones used were Impasto (beard), Sgraffito (hair) and Sfumato (background). It a was a hell load of fun painting and I experienced therapeutic moments and satisfaction!

30 Nov 2015

Noise Exhibition X The Future of Us Exhibition

Everyone's interest do change as we advance in age.
Mine did as I got more interested in arts. Not surprising since I studied design during my polytechnic days. I just felt that the boundaries between design and art is just separated by a thin or even an invisible line.

My friend dragged me to a Noise exhibition held at Ion Orchard quite some time back. The purpose of the exhibition was to showcase the works of aspiring artists, designers, photographers or even musicians and performing artists. A form of an outreach program where these practitioners undergo an apprenticeship programme, mentored by established professionals.   

My friend and I also went down to The Foothills (Fort Canning Park) to view the alumni show exhibition on the 30th of Oct. It was inspiring and I took pictures of some of the artworks as well.

I also got a chance to check out the preview of 'The Future of Us Exhibition' which you can purchase the free tickets on their website.

Amaze your friends with some of these really instagramable pictures that look as if you had just stepped into the future. Get to hear the lion roar, swing on swings and watch star and moon foams floating up into the air as well as write your dreams the screen and watch them appear on the large dome ceiling.  

Anyway, more arts related blog post would be up in future!

17 Nov 2015

Here And Now (在这里) by Wu Qiong (Ode To Art)

I wasn't expecting to be star struck that day since the event I was attending was a gallery exhibition.
The exhibit titled 'Here & Now' showcased a series of paintings as well as sculptures by the internationally acclaimed Wu Qiong who spent a year preparing for it.
He was the second person from the left in the picture and I wasn't expecting an artist to look so young! Maybe just because I was expecting someone older since his paintings have been acquired by the Beijing Poly International Auction, the biggest auction house in China.

''Here and Now represents an entry point into a state of mind or being, with no single definitions or explanation as to where 'here' is.'' - Wu Qiong

Wu Qiong's distinctive cartoon style is obvious, and it resonates with the aesthetic of a generation absorbed with graphic novels, comics, digital worlds, animations and gaming.

His paintings introduce dreamscape scenarios that would provoke thought or trigger memories and experiences. I could easily experience why since my thoughts started streaming in like running water after viewing his paintings.

Despite the humanoid forms from his paintings portrayed standardisation of upturned faces, shut eyes and mouth agape, each character features underlying wealth of emotions depending on individual interpretation.

Instead of boring you with long story, here are some keywords which formulated in my mind when I view these paintings below. (My opinions may differ from yours.)

'In the Clouds of Our Dreams' - Comfort, Peace, Soothing
'Open to the Elements' - Exploration, Zen, Tranquillity     
'Heroes of Old' - Ambition, Victory, Patriotic 

In the Clouds of Our Dreams
Oil on Canvas, 120 x 150cm

Open to the Elements
Oil on Canvas, 110 x 150cm

Heroes of Old
Oil on Canvas, 110 x 150cm

It was quite to cute sight to see a couple posing exactly like the image of 'Always and Forever'. They will always be together no matter what was rather obvious in this painting. Their attire seems like they were working adults in a romantic dating process, with the vast and boundless skies as background adding focus to the couple.

Waiting for mine to appear too!

Always and Forever
Oil on Canvas, 102 x 80cm

I have taken some photos of Wu Qiong sculptures, some cast in bronze while others were stainless steel. It was said that these sculptures were made after the paintings were painted. It is a milestone for Wu Qiong, who is celebrating his transition to sculpting as well.

Unlike the paintings, the sculptures were cast from the same material throughout, without additional colours and background, making it more challenging to interpret the exact circumstances the characters were in. 

'I Will Guard You Silently' depicts how the male would shower the female with his unconditional love, arms around her shoulder and keeping her close by his side. The expression this time meant that it was normal and naturally his duty to do so while the girl was comfortable under his care.

As for 'Guest from the Snowy Mountain', it would be every little kids' (or even adults') dream to cuddle with a 'stuffed animal'. In this case, he was so lucky to have found one tame creature from the snowy mountain, furry warm as well as large enough to snuggle comfortably with. How I hoped I was the one in that position snoozing off.   

I Will Guard You Silently
Bronze, 62 x 73 x 53cm

'Guest from the Snowy Mountain' Ed 1/8
Stainless Steel, 90 x 50 x100cm

There was a distinct differences from the 2 paintings below as compared to the rest of the paintings. It was actually a collaboration between Wu Qiong and Eleanor, whom was his student.

My guess would be that the humanoid form was painted by Wu Qiong since that could be his 'trademark' which could be found everywhere in the gallery spaces while the creative artsy doodling was done by the young talented Eleanor who graduated from an art school.

In 'Seeking Peace Admist the Chaos', I felt that it was an interesting combination whereas the doodles represent a complicated mess of chaos, overtaking 3/4 of the canvas while the man with a small umbrella in hand, remained serene despite the looming chaos.

As for the 'Boundless Skies, Endless Visions', my interpretation from the look of the painting was that the person deep in thoughts, residing in an ethereal plane, having countless visions from blankness. Somehow similar to the big bang theory. I guess the contrasting colour of black and white always works to stimulate wonder and fascinations.

Seeking Peace Admist the Chaos
Oil on Canvas, 100 x 80cm

Boundless Skies, Endless Visions
Oil on Canvas, 100 x 80cm
Escaping Into the Infinite
Oil on Canvas, 110 x 150cm

I had a great time interpreting the emotions of each characters from Wu Qiong's solo exhibition. Why not try interpreting them yourself at 'Here And Now' (在这里) by Wu Qiong
Date: 8 Nov - 14 Nov 2015
Time: 11am - 9pm (Sun - Thur) ; 12 noon - 10pm (Fri - Sat)
Venue: Ode to Art Raffles City Gallery
Free Entry  

1 Nov 2015

WTA Finals Singapore 2015 (23 Oct - 1 Nov 2015)

Cheers to the load of great fun and new experiences as I joined the Migme team on the 25th Oct with a group of overseas bloggers from Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines. Among us was a young Indonesian celebrity, Anisa Rahma and her lucky fan whom she picked to join her for this trip to Singapore!
I started off my fun filled day with a spread of seafood from Crab in Da Bag! They were the FIRST in Singapore to serve the 'Caboodle Boil' - their very own Southern Louisiana Seafood Boil Specialty.
The staffs brought out metal buckets containing a mixture of seafood, corn, sausages and potatoes, pouring them onto the table itself. Cameras were already taking aim like sniper rifles, ready to capture the best pouring shots.   
Armed with a bib and nutcrackers (optional) to disarm these crustaceans, everyone began dissecting these red creatures. Mollusks such as the mussels and clams were not their priority but still being attacked after their larger relatives were de-shelled.
Sad for me, due to being allergic to crustaceans and with their sweet reactive juices coating everything in there, I could only manage to eat 3 sausages and a corn before my allergic reaction got worst. It was great to watch the others really enjoying themselves, savouring the freshness of the sea while biting into the hidden flesh of these shelled creatures. Even though I could not enjoy eating them, I still fed my camera with photos!     

After a sneak peep at the training court where the players were practicing hard even before the competition, we proceeded on to walk around the event space, all revolving around the tennis theme.
Check out some of the activities I had participated in the pictures below!

Swinging my racket to hit virtual balls and missing all of them while hitting the wall behind instead.
Acting like a kid and swinging on a swing with seat made of tennis balls.
Smashing hard to test the power of my swing.
Aiming to stick the balls on the giant racket.

Not forgetting the photo booths as well as many wefies I had with the other bloggers!



Finally it was time to head over to the Racquet Club. The building's interior was furnished like a hotel lobby and the staffs provided excellent customer service. There were cluster of different rooms and we were led into the one called 'Chris Evert Suite'.
Dinner was a buffet spread with my choice of wine, champagne or orange juice. I almost thought that I was in a hotel as the food tasted really awesome, with the wok fried wagyu beef in black pepper sauce, garlic flakes and pepper confit being my top favourite dish that day. 
After 2 rounds of serving, it was time to rush into the stadium to watch the WTA Finals 2015!  

It was a thrilling experience to step into the indoor stadium to watch a live tennis match! I have never had the chance to watch a live match till now, especially when my seat was considered premium which meant that it was closer to the court!
The finals have finally began! I had a clear view of Maria Sharapove VS Agnieszka Radwanska that night. I witnessed the 2 beautiful sporty ladies displaying their shift moves, high stamina and strength as they played throughout the match! The cooperation, applause and the constant cheers from the audience displayed the support people show to their tennis idols! 
In between the matches, I went for a toilet break and visiting the lounge since I was around that vicinity. There were cocktails, champagnes as well as wines available. I went towards the Nespresso counter since I spotted a crowd watching the barista preparing some fanciful looking beverage. Without thought, I had the mango cream with espresso without realising that I just had caffeine. There goes my sleep that night...   

After my potent stay-awake concoction and chatting with the staff a little, I headed back to my seat to catch the final moments of the match! The situation was rather tense, my eyes locked onto the ball each time as it flew across the net. The cheers grew louder each time and the final roar of cheers boomed as Agnieszka Radwanska's final ball hit the net. Victory goes to Maria Sharapove as she shrugged her shoulders and smiled in bewilderment.
Cameras were once again snapping in unity as many stood up to continue cheering for her victory. A speech was made and people could be seen clustering nearby, holding on to their large tennis balls, waiting for her signature.
Congratulations to Maria Sharapove as she scored a victory. Agnieszka Radwanska also did her best at the court to strike back. I had a great time watching the match, enjoying the yummy food, as well as getting to know other bloggers.
Thank you Migme for the invite!