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24 Apr 2016

Reframing Modernism Exhibition at National Gallery Singapore

Definitely not my first or last time visiting this monumental National Gallery Singapore (NGS in short). I had posted about National Gallery Singapore Art Carnival which was held at the Padang field opposite the gallery last year.
Reframing Modernism would be the gallery's first international collaboration with Centre Pompidou, Paris. As the name suggest, the exhibition invites us to reconsider the artists' approach in modern art and modernism.
There were a total of 3 galleries, all located on the third level of National Gallery Singapore.

Albert Marquet
Venice, The Yellow Sail
Oil on canvas

Emiria Sunassa
Pasar (Market)
Oil on canvas

Marc Chagall
The Cemetery
Oil and crayon on linen canvas

S Sudjojono
Seko Prambanan (The Guard, Prambanan)
Oil on canvas

I did spam many shots of the art pieces that I fancy, only to post a couple since my camera was not corporative in low-light conditions. Pictures do not exactly do justice to these artworks since the colour balance would definitely be off and fine details such as the brush stokes would not be visible from afar.
For beginners like me, I usually admire landscape paintings such as 'Venice, The Yellow Sail' which tempted me to go on a stress-free overseas holiday trip. A marketplace painting such as 'Pasar (Market)' is fairly common among Asian artists I guess since I often see paintings of local markets with vendors selling their stocks.
Besides those, I tend to admire morbid and mysterious paintings as well. The random placement of tombstones against the illusional sky as backdrop found in 'The Cemetery'. Loving the ruins of the building against dusk, shadows enveloping the foreground of the painting in 'Seko Prambanan (The Guard, Prambanan)'. Such a painting lies a dramatic story behind it.

Although some paintings were direct and straightforward, there would definitely be a huge number of those that would be deemed as beyond comprehension. The most intriguing thing about art is that you might fall in love with the art pieces even though you catch no balls (not understand anything) about the art.

In short, National Gallery Singapore is a building of stories, architecture of histories as well as works of beauty. A place for solace and appreciation, not including the noise pollution that I created from my excitement or opinions that I exchanged with my friend.

2 Apr 2016

Arts in your Neighbourhood 10-27 March 2016

Arts In Your Neighbourhood is an initiative by the National Arts Council that brings arts such as dance, music, theatre and visual arts right to our door steps. Since one of the location was held at a rather centralised location of Toa Payoh Central, I had no reason not to make my way down to immerse myself with the series of free performances held there. Just make sure to check out their event highlights before making your way down (in future for other #ArtsInYourNeighbourhood programmes) since there would be multiple different performances/activities from 10-27 March 2016. 

I headed over to the iconic dragon playground which was located at Block 28 of Toa Payoh Lorong 6
with the other instagrammers. This dragon playground is one of last few remaining/surviving in Singapore before getting extinct since their habitant has been eyed for other development plans. For some people, it would represent a nostalgia of their childhood while I had no impression of it at all. My childhood just does not revolve around playgrounds. 

Despite the sun not showing any mercy on us, many of us were seated on the mats scattered across the grass patch enjoying the story telling session about how this dragon lost its eyes. The context of the story was further enhanced by the musicians playing for added sound effects. Young children were getting really excited over the performance.

Back at Toa Payoh Central, a band of musicians performed a series of songs such as 'Rasa Sayang Hey' and 'Xiao Ren Wu De Xin Sheng' (小人物的心声). The performance was harmonious and soothing and the lead singer was a beautiful lady being a bonus. Toa Payoh is definitely a good place for such performances since it is a pioneer generation populated residential area and they would support such an event.

Last but not least, another performance that day by 'The Rainbow Toymaker' was located at Ang Mo Kio Central Stage, near Jubilee Square. It was a colourful performance by the 3 men act that involved colourful costumes and elaborated props that were mostly handmade. Towards the end where the actors looked for volunteers to participate in simple games and dance moves, there was an overwhelming response from these children as they excitedly rushed up to stage.
After the performance, audiences were allowed to borrow their props for photo taking purposes. That was how I got my picture taken with the blue teddy bear!