Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tank Man Tango: June 4, 1989 anniversary commemoration at The Substation

This year is the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre. Beginning in April 1989, thousands of people, mostly students and intellectuals, gathered in and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing to demonstrate against the government’s authoritarianism and to call for democratic and economic reforms. Then on June 4, the government sent tanks to clear the square, injuring and killing civilians. The official figure is 241 deaths, including soldiers. Chinese student associations and the Chinese Red Cross reported 2000 to 3000 deaths. Among the most powerful images from those days are the ones of the “Goddess of Democracy” statue, which was erected in the Square on May 30, and of the “Tank Man”, who, with nothing but shoppping bags, momentarily stopped a row of tanks from entering Tiananmen Square on June 5.

As a way of commemorating this anniversary, The Substation is participating in a worldwide public art project to be performed in the cities of Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Taichung (Taiwan), Seoul, Singapore, Weimar, Leipzig, London, Bristol, Washington DC, and Mexico City.

On June 4, 2009, from 6.30 to 9pm in The Substation theatre, come join us to learn and perform the Tank Man Tango together as an artwork and a vigil; or come for conversation, and share memories and perspectives. The Tank Man Tango is a simple, stylised recreation of the steps of the Tank Man as he defied the tanks. The video can be found on:

Then on June 5, join us at The Substation Gallery between 12 noon and 9pm: we will be erecting replicas of the Goddess of Democracy statue from a D-I-Y kit, filling the gallery space with them.

Everyone is invited.

Documentation from both days will be uploaded onto the memorial website:

Tank Man Tango is an artwork by Deborah Kelly featuring Teik Kim Pok dancing; choreography by Jane McKernan; video by Sumugan Sivanesan. With many thanks to collaborators May Ee Wong, Fiona Winning, Wei Lai, Celia White, Frank Motz, Martin del Amo, Fei Wong, Lachlan Warner, Ann-Kathrin Rudorf, Mandy Unger, Robert Pacitti, Mark Mitchell, Lee Weng Choy, Estee Wah, PVI Collective, Su Goldfish, Bec Dean, Katie Hepworth, Kernow Craig and David Teh.

Back on land!

Being on a well-run cruise ship is so ridiculously decadent that it frightens you when you consider the class dynamics and environmental ethics of it. It's like being on a floating Dubai. (On the other hand, Americans are probably nicer to their service staff, and a lot of the staff come from countries that really do need the money.) Photos to come.

Btw, reason why I haven't been updating was because they charged cut-throat rates for Internet use.

Now on to New York.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This Bacardi commercial keeps playing on TV.

It's really cool!

The song is by a Brooklyn duo called Matt and Kim, who are actually really weird and not all that pre-packagedly perfect:

I'm in DC btw. Flying to Orlando tomorrow.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Statue of Homer and youth, UVA.

Little brother before graduation.

Little brother after graduation.

Stuffed deer, Bamboo Palace Korean Restaurant.

Mother's leg, graduation ceremony.

Brother's ex's parents, graduation ceremony.

French toast, apartment.

Frolicking parents, Monticello.

Intense sister, graduation ceremony.

Hunted sister, apartment.

Cautionary signage, UVA lawn.

Graduates, UVA lawn.

Giant lettuce, Monticello.

Bagel shop (infamous among Singaporean community).

Live crabs, Asian food market.

Recreational mother, Birdwood Golf Green.

Focussed mother, graduation ceremony.

Ramen, apartment.

Ramen eaters, apartment.

Detritus, UVA lawn.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bugger. Now I feel homesick.

'Cos I wasn't able to be at the Pink Dot gathering, Singapore's first queer pride sorta parade:

Thank gods that TOC reports on these things. More photos here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dream 150509

I was a witch, one of a sisterhood of witches. We lived in a city in Europe populated by tramlines, not unlike Zurich, and it was always night. There was also a sisterhood of vampires who were seducing and eating children. The head witch had too been murdered as revenge. My final memory is my confrontation with the last vampire (I was the heroine this time, and had destroyed the other seven). I remember first my jaws against her fangs, and then, as dream-logic shifted, my jaws against her throat, breaking skin and vessel, her weight in my arms, her chalk white eyes, her red salt blood.

(I've been sleeping on my brother's couch in Charlottesville, Virginia, by the way.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Zürich pichs!

I'm flying off again tonight, this time for my brother's graduation ceremony from UVA. But I'll be durned if I let my Switzerland photos disappear into oblivion.

Gal in dirndl, Felsenegg.

Tram interior.

Birnmüsli, Abisriederplatz.

Peruvian souvenir hawker, near Niederdorf.

Sakura blossom, Park Rietburg.

Bratenschweinefleisch, Felsenegg.

Labour Day demonstration, Schmiede-Wiedikon.

More sakura blossoms, Schmiede-Wiedikon.

River, off Limmatquai.

Chüchli with tomatoes, Hauptbahnhof Sprüngli.

Irwan's shoes, Albisriederplatz.

Really bad nasi goreng, Albisriederplatz.

City view, Linderhof.

Dog swimming, Bellevue.

Beach volleyball promo, Hauptbahnhof.

Sakura blossoms up the wazoo, Schmiede-Wiedikon.

Dandelion clock, Park Rietburg.

Dandelion clocks take over the world, Park Rietburg.

Installation, Kunsthalle.

Demonstration, Bahnhofstraße.

Schoggifrüchte, Burkliplatz.

Bust, Cafe Dada.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Another backdated video for your viewing pleasure

Because it really bugs me in an OCD way to have two posts on the same day (or else if there's more than one post most days, it bugs me when there are no posts on any one day).

Anyway, here's to '80s cartoons once again:

Seriously, it's not an unthinkable concept.

Monday, May 11, 2009


But will be leaving again on the evening of 13 May. So call me quick if you wanna organise something.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Actually, on a more serious note

Irwan says he's met a guy on Gayromeo who's doing a similar project to mine. WTF? He didn't even note down his username (though he chatted a bit, and both sides wished each other well, etc).

Hopefully he's only investigating the rentboys of Zurich as an academic exercise rather than as a commercial one (because this is a commercial venture: I think this is a book that would sell).

But who knows? Am troubled.

I wish Singapore had HIV awareness photos like this.

From the Decider, Chicago.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

You should watch the Ramen Girl.

I watched it on the plane from Bangkok. I know it can't be good as Tampopo (on which it's based, and which I've never watched), but it's still fun and a good deal less numb-nutted about the process of foreign adaptation than Sofia Coppola movie. Lost In Translation. God, that was awful.

Also, the hot blonde girl fucks a hot Korean-Japanese dude! Not on screen, but the relationship happens! I want the webcam version!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

AWARE is secular again!!!

Just got the news when I logged on. At the EGM 2/3 of the women voted against the new committee.

Of course, there's still the matter of the $80,000 that the new guard spent on lawyers and organising the EGM...

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Texts April 2009

Introducing a new category, = for works that weren't bad but I was expecting much better of. By the way, Elizabeth Pisani’s “The Wisdom of Whores” is an in-fucking-credible exposé of the politics of HIV work - seriously, I consider myself fairly well-educated on HIV precautions, but there was at least one major revelation for me every chapter.

There's also one totally awesome webcomic I found out about on Slog or Boingboing but I totally can't remember the name of. Will update eventually.

Am coming back to Singapore in a week's time. For about two days, but it'll be great to be in touch with everyone even briefly. I'll have to return to Zürich to finish this book - so far I've got about three incredible interviews and two iffy ones. Not enough for a book, but enough to get a publisher interested, probably.

+Marilyn Hacker’s “Desesperanto”
+Carol Ann Duffy’s “The World’s Wife”

=Cory Doctorow’s “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom”
+Richard Mason’s “The World of Suzie Wong”

+Kendall Maycock’s “Switzerland - Culture Smart!”
=Gerrie Lim’s “Invisible Trade II”
+Susan Aldous and Pornchai Sereemongkonpol’s “Ladyboys: The Secret World of Thailand’s Third Gender”
+Elizabeth Pisani’s “The Wisdom of Whores”

=Mike Carey and Siddharth Kotian’s “The Stranded”
=Guy Delisle’s “The Burma Chronicles”
+“The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest Book”
+Zep’s “Titeuf: petites poesies saisons”
+Hans Jürgen Press’s “Der kleine Herr Jakob”
+Jim Butcher and Ardian Syaf’s “The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle”
+Ari Folman and David Polonsky’s “Waltz with Bashir: A Lebanon War Story”
+Harold Feinstein and Robert H. Hesse’s “Orchidelirium”

DramaBox’s “IgnorLAND of its Name”
Cake Theatre’s “Destinies of Flowers in the Mirror”
LaSalle Acting Programme’s “Invisibility” and +”Three Fat Virgins Unassembled”

=National Museum of Singapore's "Christian Lacroix: the Costumier"
Schweizerisches Landesmuseum’s permanent exhibition and +”Witzerland”
Museum Rietburg’s +permanent exhibition and =”Luo Ping – Eccentric Visions”
Kunsthalle Zürich’s “Annette Kelm”
+Migros Museum’s “Josephine Meckseper”
+Kunsthaus Zürich’s permanent exhibition, “Giacometti, der Ägypter” “Albert von Keller: Salons, Séancen, Secession”, “Tino Sehgal”, “The Absence of Mark Manders”
+Liechtenstein Landesmuseum’s permanent exhibition
Kunsmuseum Liechtenstein’s =“Der Blick” and “Das Glück dieser Erde”

+Yeo Joon Han’s “Sell Out!”
+Robert Allan Ackerman's "The Ramen Girl"
+most of Warren Ellis’s “GI Joe: Resolute”