Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm 29 today.


In a few hours, I'm gonna upload a pic of the only birthday present I've received so far.

UPDATE: Yeah, I'm a few days late, but here it is. It's from my ex-RJC schoolmate Lay Tong, who's now migrated to Toronto.

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And what could it be?

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Chocoloctables!!! And maple sugar cookies! (I ate those up before I had the presence of mind to snap photos.)

And a message (click on it to read it without ruining your eyes):

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Via Comixed.

I know it's dumb of me to post this stuff, but I really LOLed and I wanna share the happiness.

More here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Jakarta Post owes me an itsy-bisty apology...

Alerted by Gwee Li Sui's Facebook notes! The Jakarta Post covered Singapore Writers Festival in this article, which included the following paragraph:

"There were almost 70 Singaporean literary luminaries directly participating in events, including established writers like Catherine Lim (The Bondmaid, 1995), a self-described “incorrigible, unstoppable storyteller”, and de-facto poet laureate Edwin Thumboo (Ulysses by the Merlion, 1979) to emerging talents like Wena Poon, who won the Singapore Literature Prize for her debut novel Lions in Winter."

Well, as most of you know:

1. "Lions in Winter" is a collection of short stories, not a novel.

2. Wena's debut novel was actually the self-published sci-fi thriller "Biophilia".

3. She didn't win the SLP. She was shortlisted the same year that, ahem, I won. (She was my favourite to win, though.)

Wena's pretty pissed at them too. They referred to her latest book, "The Proper Care of Foxes", as a romance.

Speaking of literary gossip, there's been an intriguing spate happening between NUS English student Nicholas Liu and Gilbert Koh, a banker who also goes by the nom de blog of Mr Wang.

Basically, Nicholas did a QLRS review of Gilbert's first collection of poems, "Two Baby Hands". It's a very, very cutting review, but I have to say I agree with the points made - I've got a certain style and approach to poetry, after all.

Gilbert, however, hasn't handled the criticism well. And it's quite natural to be upset - I'm always upset when I read bad or even mediocre reviews of my theatre work. But he got really - well - snarky and ad hominemly defensive in his responses: see here, here and here.

I dormed with Gilbert at the Pulau Ubin writers' retreat, so I can say he's a pretty nice guy in person. His poetry's a hell of a lot more accessible than mine, too.

But he's gotta learn something: almost all coverage is good coverage. More people are going to check out his book because of the review, and a lot of them are going to like the book. And the controversy caused by this is making more people think about our work in new ways.

Now if only Jakarta Post would write something, good or bad, about me...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Lessons Learned" by Matt and Kim

Love this video. And not just because there's a tall skinny young man going barebutt in it.

Of course, one side effect of Qian Xi's current feminist Facebook crusade (which has been extremely alienating in many respects), is that I keep on wondering: is the video sexist in a certain way?

There's an interview with the director and artists here.

Monday, November 09, 2009


I've been busy documenting the artists of the Flying Circus Project '09/'10's first installment, musée de la danse: expo zéro. But on Saturday night, I did not dine with the eminent artists.


Because my mother brought back hairy crabs from China.

Ooh, look at 'em. Nom nom nom nom.

She brought back a whole basketful, in fact:

I sat up late eating them with a nutcracker, a plate of rice and a bowl of cut avocado, capsicum and arugula, while watching TED lectures on my laptop.

Life isn't good. It's decadently, awesome.

Unless you're a hairy crab, of course. Read about FCP here.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

expo zéro by Musée de la Danse

I'm serving as the official documenter for this! It's on this Saturday and Sunday, 1-6pm, at 72-13/TheatreWorks. Drop by if you can!

TheatreWorks / 72-13 presents

Flying Circus Project Platform 01: expo zéro by Musée de la Danse

The first-ever dancing museum in Singapore hosted by the Flying Circus Project, expo zéro is a unique exhibition without objects conceived by acclaimed French choreographer, Boris Charmatz and Musée de la Danse.

expo zéro is only open on two days: 7 & 8 November at 72-13 between 1pm and 6pm.

An `exhibition' project with no photographs, no sculptures, no installations, no videos. Zero things, not one stable object. But artists, and areas occupied by gestures, projects, bodies, stories, dances which everyone will choose to imagine.

In the process spirit of the Flying Circus Project (FCP) conceived by Ong Keng Sen, expo zéro is a kind of 'think tank' through analysis, description, performance, movements and ideas which each guide-artist will develop with the audience. This comes at a timely occasion as Singapore has no dancehouse (tanzhaus, dansens hus, centre chorégraphique national), a question which TheatreWorks / 72-13 is presently pondering.

expo zéro is headed by Boris Charmatz in collaboration with dancers-choreographers, François Chaignuad, Mette Ingvartsen and actor-director Yves-Noël Genod. In Singapore, it collaborates with Asian artists, architects, theorists of FCP 2010 like Padmini Chettur, Heman Chong, Torrance Goh of FARM, Donna Miranda, Joavien Ng and Ong Keng Sen.
For all bios, please go to /

Visitors will experience these individuals' visions, subjective and utopian, of what a dancing museum can be.

Join us and be part of expo zéro now!


Flying Circus Project Platform 01
expo zéro by Musée de la Danse

Date: 7 & 8 November 2009
Musée hours: 1pm – 6pm daily
Venue: 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road
Admission: Free

Please call 6737-7213 or email to register your attendance.

For more information:

Monday, November 02, 2009

A poem by Munshi Abdullah

Taken from his great memoir, the Hikayat Abdullah, and translated by AH Hill. Was thinking of using this on my library night tour; in the end I used his Raffles pantun.

Oh, and in case you don't know who the Munshi Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir is, click
here. This piece describes an actual fire which destroyed his possessions in the early 1800s.

A vision of billowing flames meets my eyes,
This sudden disaster my reason defies,
The fire grips the houses in greedy embrace
And devours like the vulture the spoils of its chase.

Proud walls fall to ashes in the heat of the blaze,
Whose radiant brightness dazzles the gaze.
With the roar of the tempest the flames leap and start.
Bringing fear and dismay to my fluttering heart.

Like bundles of paper my clothing was caught,
The oranges burst like a cracker’s report,
My possessions all lost, worked they never so fast.
To grab what they might ere the fire had passed.

Like a river of flame from the crucible flowed
The dollars I saved, and poured down the road.
Who can reckon the cost of the things which they stole,
When robbers had entered and taken their toll?

The trinkets for home which I meant to take back,
The cups and the plates, had been ready to pack.
I sighed for the havoc destruction had wrought,
My heart weighed with sadness, where turn for support?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Texts October 2009

Singapore Writers Festival is OVAAAAHHH!!!! Finally can relax...

Susie Puthucheary’s “Harvest of Flowers”
=Jennifer Mackenzie’s “Borobudur”
+Omar Musa’s “The Clocks”

+Shamini Flint’s “Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul”
+Tom Cho’s “Look Who’s Morphing”
Meira Chand’s =“The Gossamer Fly”, +“House of the Sun” and +“Last Quadrant”
=Robert Yeo’s “The Adventures of Holden Heng”

+Judy Slattum’s “Balinese Masks”

+Joanne Gair and Heidi Klum’s “Body Painting”
+Lat’s “Better Lat Than Never”

=Play Den Productions’ “These Children Are Dead”
=The Stage Club’s “Season’s Greetings”
Excellent Pictures and Global Entertainment Network Sdn Bhd’s “Impak Maksima”
=Action Theatre’s “Shocks and Shiok!”
Luna Vidya’s “Kitchen”

=National Museum of Singapore’s “Story of the Image”
=Neka Art Museum’s permanent collection
+Antonio Blanco Renaissance Museum’s permanent collection

=Robert Schwentke's "The Time Traveler's Wife"
+Glen Goei's "The Blue Mansion"