Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
28-30 Aug 2008_72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road
Deep in the heart of MacRitchie Reservoir lie the ruins of the Syonan Jinja, a Shinto shrine built during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. Envisioned first as a spiritual and recreational centre for the future empire, then built by Australian POWs and Japanese craftsmen, today it exists only as stone relics and fragments, swallowed up by the thick tropical rainforest.
As young artists, we have embarked on a journey of discovery to reclaim this forgotten monument. Its very existence is intriguing – a beautiful artefact of civilisation from an age of blood and destruction. Its architects made outlandish promises: that the site would be the greatest in the world after the Meiji Shrine, that the area might be a future host for the Olympic Games.
Perhaps most provoking is the love-hate relationship between Singapore and the shrine. Historians and tourism promoters want it preserved, even rebuilt to commemorate our national heritage. Ordinary citizens, however, have violently objected to any celebration of former Japanese rule – even as they happily consume Japanese commercial and cultural products.
Led by director Choy Ka Fai, we are an ensemble of creative people from Singapore and Japan with roots in poetry, dance, drama, architecture, sport and multimedia. We have made pilgrimages to the jungle, probed the site scientifically, studied archival documents, drawings and oral histories, and processed our own collective memories to recreate and re-imagine the shrine as a sacred site.
Our performance, a tapestry of image, sound and movement, will be a drama of recollection, an attempt to capture the Syonan Jinja's sleeping spirit.
Conceived + Directed + Multimedia by Choy Ka Fai
Written by Ng Yi Sheng
Performed by Norico Sunayama+ Rizman Putra+ Patricia Toh
Sonic Compositions by Chong Li Chuan
Set and lighting design by Jiro Endo
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Anyway, I Youtubed a few past National Day songs for some inspiration. And guess what I found:
Exhibit A: "Reach Out For The Skies", a rather decent song performed in English as the theme song for NDP 2006 by Rui En (who acted in my second play ever in RJC) and the kohl-eyed, ever-so-fuckable Taufik Batisah.
Exhibit B: "Reach Out For The Skies", a rather decent song performed in Mandarin as the theme song for NDP 2006 by Rui En and...
OMFG. It's just Rui En. It sure sounds nice - somehow it doesn't lose anything by the subtraction of harmonics - but where once you had a Chinese girl and Malay boy showing how Singapore is all about celebrating your sexy multiculturalism, now you've got a Chinese girl, ALOOOONE, and she doesn't need any Malay boy to help her, so he can buang him by the roadside.
Seriously. Watch both videos. The same scenes in which Taufik and her were dancing side by side? They reappear, with just the girl alone.
Spooky. It's like Soviet photos.
One awful thing is, I realise the programmer coulddn't have had much of a choice about it. If s/he'd made Taufik sing in Mandarin, that'd have been cultural imperialism to the nth.
Of course, they *could have* made a Malay version of the song, and made Taufik sing that alone, or else forced Taufik and Rui En to both become trilingual. (Mei you na me nan ba? Tak susah, right brudder?)
But got budget right? And all the Malay people in Singapore also speak English also right? Sighhh.
Thus, in retrospect, last year's NDP song, "Will You" is full of happy, tokenist WIN. Eight singers, only two of whom are Chinese (and mostly selected for talent rather than for looking young and nubile):
But the videos for this year's song, "Shine For Singapore", are full of FAIL.
Besides the song being not very catchy, I take grave issues with the fact that the protagonists of each of the mini-threads - i.e. the lovers, the teacher, the girl with the shoes; the people the viewer's expected to identify with - are all Chinese.
Plus, both Hady Mirza and the young Chinese guy are both too bland to be thoroughly smokin' (if you lack spectacle, you must have aesthetics, I'm afraid), and the little autistic artist girl subplot is stolen from Japan.
Together, can we make a difference?
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Bottom line: If people aren't protesting, becoming nauseated by, or threatening lawsuits against an artist's work, you can look around for me, but I'm not going to be there. Using light and shadow to mythologize the pastoral and create a setting where human beings and the natural world can coexist peacefully? Best of luck to you. If you need me, I'll be watching a heroin addict use his own HIV-positive blood to paint Hiroshima victims on the side of a school bus. You know, with all the other real art buffs.
I Don't Have Time for Noncontroversial Art Exhibits by Keith Dans, The Onion.
Spotted at GSSQ.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
We'll get maybe 4 1/2 hours sleep. If we're lucky.
To bed now.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Given that the Singapore Theatre Festival is paying its playwrights above standard industry rates (they're trying to set a trend, not make us so unaffordable that no-one else wants us), I've decided to start a special blog for 'em. And not just for my play (buy tickets!!!), either - fo' everyone's plays!
If you're involved in the Festival in any capacity and want to be a blogger, just tell me and I'll add you.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
This was way back on Saturday 28 June, but I've only just uploaded the pix.
Can you believe it? The cops were there to *protect us*, not to break things up! (I'm speaking not just from a Singapore gay activist perspective, but also from a New York anti-war protester perspective.)
It began to rain even while we were waiting outside the Library at Bryant Park.
But we marched on regardless.
Some of us had more baggage than others. :)
These babes were the marshalls. (A guy tried to knock one of them over in his car, but the police went and beat the guy up. Yay for brutality! :P)
I marched with this blind Latina lesbian from Alberquerque. I did the Amelie thing and described all the cool shit that was happening to her.
For example, these guys were outside a cathedral, singing "God is a Lesbian" to the tune of "God Save the Queen". There was a drag queen nun there as well.
I love the fact that lesbians tolerate variant body shapes. (Behind us in the march there were two cute trannykids; one a lanky MTF girl whom I really wouldn't have minded going out with and the other a short, shirtless FTM boi with his girlfriend.)
Surprisingly, sometimes lesbians have the best hairdos. (Or is ze trans here?)
And some cool supporters too!
Nearing Washington Square Park, I met an older woman who was carrying a staff with coloured ribbons. I asked if it was a wand (she could've been a Gaia-earth-Wiccan) but it turned out it was a memorial for her partner who'd died five years ago. She asked not to be photographed.
Ditto for the bare-breasted women. Some things are not to be televised.
We collapsed into a small alcove in the park...
...and started dancing...
I love being a dyke tyke. More pictures at my Picasa page.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
+Dorothy Porter’s “Akhenaten”
+C. P. Cavafy's "Passions and Ancient Days"
Patrick Gale's "Rough Music"
+Heiner Muller’s “Theatremachine”
Suzan-Lori Parks's "The America Play and Other Works"
+Miyamoto Musashi's "The Book of Five Rings"
Ng King Kang's "Born This Way"
+Jean-Paul Sartre's "Existentialisme est un humanisme"
+Sarah Varon's "Robot Dreams"
+Edward Gorey's "Amphigorey"
+The Kransky Sisters' "Heard It On the Wireless"
+1927's "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea"
Christian von Richthofen's "Auto Auto: A Car Smashing Symphony"
Joavien Ng, Neo Hong Chin and Ebelle Chong's "Forward Moves"
+Ho Tzu Nyen and Fran Borgia's "The King Lear Project"
+Back to Back Theatre's "small metal objects"
Musical Theatre Ltd's "Five Foot Broadway"
+Cake Theatre's "Temple"
Clubbed Thumb's "Slavey"
+The New York Neo-Futurists' "Too Much Pride Makes the Baby Go Gay"
+Koh Jee Leong et al's "We Sing the Body Electric: Whitman and His Children"
+Mike Birbiglia's "Sleepwalk with Me"
+The Asian Civilisations Museum's "Viet Nam! From Myth To Modernity"
+The NUS Raffles Biodiversity Museum's permanent collection
+Matthew Ngui's "Points of View"
Ghada Amer's "Love Has No End"
+The Brooklyn Museum's "[Takashi] MURAKAMI"
+The Guggenheim Museum's "Louise Bourgeois"
*FILM AND VIDEO*
+Michael Patrick King's "Sex and the City: The Movie"
+Alec Tok's "The Boy Who Asked Too Many Questions"