Tuesday, August 28, 2012

SPORE Art Salon tonight!

Why not advertise? Alvin Pang's supposed to be on, unless he's still lost his voice (it was lost over the weekend), in which case I'll have to replace him! Just warning ya.

It's our 21st salon! To celebrate our coming of age, we're calling a mix of fresh and familiar faces to the stage.You'll encounter a live graffiti artist, a brand new model and a nationally awarded poet. Plus, you'll get to say hi again to Weish from the Cold Shoulder (18th edition), Su from 'Call Me Bea' (19th and 20th) and Fauzo from the Russian Dolls (5th, 9th and 14th). Come hang out with the family!

WHERE: BluJaz Cafe, 3rd Storey (12 Bali Lane)
WHEN: Tuesday 31 July 2012, 7:30PM onwards



ASRI SCOLA (visual / graffiti artist)
Asri Scola describes himself as a teleporter who feeds on visual aesthetics. It has been a decade since he started writing his way into the street/graffiti culture. His progressive works explores the intervention of spatial relations and colours, interspersed with distinct streaming line movement. Scola versatility has seen his artworks exhibited in " 100 Friends:100 Artists ", " Art The Hall - Art Garage " and " Off The Wall - Graffiti Kings from France and Singapore " exhibitions to name a few.
His works has been featured in different platforms such as Culturepush, Actually MAG, Arts Republic, Singapore Writers Festival and Street Visibility Catalogue.
He was one of the 4 winning designs for ActuallyMAG 8th Signature bag competition recently. Currently his hands are tied with street art NDP project, Calligraphy Graffiti works for local museum (revealed soon) and pending exhibits.
Besides doing mural and illustration, Scola likes to dwell on different array of disciplines from printmaking to paper-cut to photography. Significantly, he enjoys the process more as it gives the ability to eliminate and reconstruction that allows for accidental self-discovery. Though Scola likes to document and express his thoughts through his artwork, his normal alter ego has a conflicting separate identity of procrastinating and unusual fascination of teleporting.



TEH SU CHING as "Felicity"
Teh Su Ching is a bilingual writer, performer, and producer. A short film she wrote and produced, Ash, premiered at the Moscow International Film Festival in June. A condensed, silent version of Ash, renamed Evening Shift, has been shortlisted for the Louis Vuitton Journeys Awards. In 2011, Shanghai theatre group 3rd Culture Theatre staged her English and Mandarin play Seven Days in Jing An in Shanghai’s Jing An district theatre festival. In 2008, another play, Russia! was featured in the Yale Playwrights Festival. Russia! was also read at The Substation, where Lim Yu Beng played the lead. Su Ching's full-length play Ubin will be given a reading in New York's Workshop Theatre in October. Catch her as forensic expert Jean Wu in the hour-long drama Code of Law, which debuts on Mediacorp's Channel 5 September 13th.

Born in 1990, Jurane Solano has been singing the instant she could, with more than a few winning titles under her belt. She grew up listening to “almost every genre conceivable”, but says that “Broadway almost always comes out tops.”
Her love for musical theatre is evident – she’s played the lead actress in several local productions to full-houses, commanding a nationwide following.
She hopes to one day create a platform that can leverage on people’s artistic talents to make a real improvement to the world.

weish (musician)
Weish started out as a wedding singer many years ago, but only began writing songs proper in 2010 and has never looked back since. Extremely excited about expanding her sound, she has grown from a lone-ukulele getup to vocal and instrumental looping, as well as forming bands - among which is Cold Shoulder, for whom she sings and plays the synth. She currently hosts the open mic sessions at The Pigeonhole, and is passionate about providing platforms for new musicians to grow and be found.

Alvin Pang (b.1972) is a poet, writer and editor. His poems have been translated into fifteen languages, and has appeared in major festivals and publications worldwide. A Fellow of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (2002), his books include Testing the Silence (1997), City of Rain (2003), What Gives Us Our Names (2011) and Tumasik: Contemporary Writing from Singapore (2009). He was Singapore’s Young Artist of the Year for Literature in 2005, and received the Singapore Youth Award for Arts and Culture in 2007. He represented Singapore at London’s Poetry Parnassus event, part of the 2012 Olympic celebrations. His most recent volumes of poetry – both just released in 2012 – are: Other Things and Other Poems, published in Croatia, and Waiting for the Barbarians published by Arc in the UK.

FAUZO (musician)
A 'veteran' of the SPORE Art Salon editions, Fauzo loves challenges and exploring various intricate pieces of Classical music. His deep love for music started when he first learnt the power chords of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit". From then on, a musical journey began with the exploration of various genres - from Latin Rock to Progressive Rock and finally, finding love in classical music after nailing Mozart's Piano Sonata on the electric guitar, an assignment proposed by his guitar instructor.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Contradiction approacheth!

And this time we've got a proper poster, too!

ContraDiction 8: Our Very Own Literature
Sat 25 Aug, 7.30pm, 

The Reading Room (21 Tanjong Pagar Road, #04-01 – former Mox Bar)
Our annual queer literary evening is back, with a new focus! Listen to some of Singapore's oldest works of queer literature from the 1980s, as well as works by our youngest writers from the 2010s. Featuring Ovidia Yu, Joel Tan, NUS Poet-in-Residence Jay Bernard and many more.

By the way, we have some video clips from last week's Gaily Ever After event, uploaded to YouTube!

Part 1 (Cyril Wong)
Part 2 (Ng Yi-Sheng)
Part 3 (Tania de Rozario)
... and Part 4 (Anila Angin) is below:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gaily Ever After: Our Very Own Fairy Tales, Fri 17 Aug

I should of course mention that I've done a rather fun interview on Fridae with the awesome HIV epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani, whom I met at the Makassar International Writers Festival. It's been getting quite a number of comments (much more so than my usual humdrum articles about the arts in Singapore), and the even haters are terribly amusing to read.

But, on to literary matters! My first IndigNation event's coming up this Friday!

Gaily Ever After: Our Very Own Fairy Tales
Fri 17 Aug, 8pm, BooksActually (9 Yong Siak Street)

Sit down for an evening of storytelling with four Singaporean writers, each bearing a fairy tale with a gay twist. Featuring Ng Yi-Sheng, Cyril Wong, Tania de Rozario and Anila Angin.

I'm pretty happy about this event, since it's really my brainchild: just happened that I knew quite a few queer fairy tales had been written, so we're binding them together. I think it'll be fun.

If you want to know about the IndigNation Festival in general, here's the full calendar (text version here):

Landing Places: Our Very Own Art
Thu 16 Aug
, 7pm, Objectifs (56A Arab Street); exhibition runs till 6 Sep
Landing Places is a Singapore-based, multidisciplinary exhibition happening in conjunction with IndigNation 2012. It features work by 10 queer artists and seeks to document experiences of how our sexualities affect the ways in which we define, create, articulate, question, reject and/or relate to notions of home. The exhibition will comprise drawing, painting, photography, collage, and animation.

Are You GAYme Enough? 2: Our Very Own Gameshow
Fri 17 Aug
, 9.30pm, Play (21 Tanjong Pagar Road)
Oogachaga brings back the popular 'Are You GAYme Enough?', and this year’s edition promises to be bigger, better and raunchier! Watch the contestants battle it out on stage as they get quizzed on topics ranging from sexuality and sexual health to local LGBT history and culture. Join in the fun by assisting (or sabotaging) the contestants when they use the 'audience card' or the 'helpline card'. We’re not sure if it’ll be the survival of the smartest or the cutest – what we do know is that one very GAYme champion will walk away with grand prize worth $3000! First 100 audience members get free entry and a standard housepour! To join as a contestant, simply register at http://tinyurl.com/OCGayme Register before 12pm, 10 August 2012. Like us on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/OCGayme and stand to win a pair of tickets to Toy Factory Productions' Purple! Hurry, contest ends on 27 July, at 12 noon.

Our Very Own Stories
Fri 24 Aug, 8pm, The Factory (22 Lim Tua Tow Road); exhibition runs till 7 Sep
Our Very Own Stories showcases real Singaporean LGBT people who have struggled and triumphed against the challenges of self-worth and discrimination. Curated by Nicholas Deroose, this collaboration between five community photographers seeks to give hope to a future generation and show them a possible future beyond the adversities that they face today.

ContraDiction 8: Our Very Own Literature
Sat 25 Aug
, 7.30pm, The Reading Room (21 Tanjong Pagar Road, #04-01 – former Mox Bar)
Our annual queer literary evening is back, with a new focus! Listen to some of Singapore's oldest works of queer literature from the 1980s, as well as works by our youngest writers from the 2010s. Featuring Ovidia Yu, Joel Tan, NUS Poet-in-Residence Jay Bernard and many more.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

I'm trying to get back in the habit of writing prose.

So I wrote the following mess on 750words.com:

Once upon a time, there was a woman who lived inside a coral-studded chamber on the peaks of Mount Ophir. You may think it is very curious indeed that she lived in a coral-studded chamber on a mountain, but you see, she was a sorceress, and very clever indeed. She had expressed a great desire to see the pink fronds of coral waving from her ceilings and walls, and had therefore conjured a spell in order to sink Mount Ophir into the South China Sea for approximately nine years, during which she would commute from her cave to her high-rise office using scuba gear. Over the nine long years (approximately), she was pleased to see the molluscs gingerly latching onto her home and sprouting their tendrils, sinking in their fleshy roots and extending their arms like yoga practitioners practising their sun salutations in a place where there was indeed no sun. Of course, it was troublesome, eating, sleeping and defecating in scuba gear, but she was certain that as soon as her chamber was redecorated with marine life, everything would be worth it. The increase in property value alone, she reminded herself, as she discreetly pooped through a tube, not to mention the sheer aesthetic pleasure thereof.

What she could not abide, of course, were the tiny tropical fish that kept darting between the coral fronds: clownfish and seahorses and sea dragons and assorted other vertebrates, neon-coloured and rock-shaped things which defied classification according to her Srivijayan grimoires and bestiaries. Butterflies are butterflies, she scolded them, fish are fish; creatures of the ocean should never attempt to imitate the insectine flowers of the air. Whenever she was in a particularly bad mood, as for example on the occasion when she stained her pantaloons and everybody at the New Years Office Party happened to see when she sat on the Xerox machine, and she had gone home soused in cheap champagne in disgrace only to find a festival of blacklight minnows cavorting amidst her corals, well then, she summoned her magical demonic powers to turn the little buggers into *people*, that's right, and my, how she enjoyed watching them gasp and burble and drown at the bottom of the sea. She would have used their skulls as drinking glasses, only she found that skulls did not retain water very well, even when under the sea. She used them as coral food instead, grinding them up with her mortar and pestle, sprinkling them amongst her hungry little corals, all the while talking to them, because this is what she loved to do: she would talk to the corals, because she believed in the magical curative power of talking to plants, both for the talker and the talkee, for she did indeed believe corals to be plants, stupid thing, and she was superstitious, but then she was a sorceress, so superstition had paid off in some way. Judge not lest you yourself be judged.

Finally, the nine years came to an end. The sorceress was very happy about this, because there was this new mail boy who had come into the office, a perfect dish, a tight round bum that she would love to peg and be pegged by, oh my, and she needed an apartment to invite him over to without his getting crushed by the water pressure, and she couldn't book an overnight hotel because she was saving up for a trip to Ibiza.

So, in the middle of the night, she jitterbugged widdershins around her cauldron and said the magic words ladybug ladybug witchy woo woo, and then the whole of Mount Ophir teleported itself from the middle of the South China Sea back to, well, Mount Ophir, because places are usually named after mountains, since mountains (barring long-term geological effects and sorceresses) generally do not move.

Oh how the sorceress laughed to herself to see all the fishies and dolphins and manatees flip-floppering on her cavern floor, while the tendrils of the corals waved them goodbye. She took off her breathing apparatus and cried out the date for her Chinese New Year Party, because e-mail and Facebook invitations had not yet been invented and this was the best way of making sure all her neighbours knew.

And so came the date of her Chinese New Year party, which was a bit gratuitous because she was not even Chinese, and who should come through the door but the mail boy, as sexy as ever, dressed up in a gimp suit because he had got the date mixed up with Halloween.

The sorceress was so delighted that she jumped upon him and started making love to him there and then. But of course, the corals had not had enough seawater for several days, so they began dying and detaching themselves from the walls and plopping on the copulating couple straight off.

They say they are still there, fucking in the coral-studded cave, amidst the dead and dying (probably all dead by now) corals, while the guests chew pistachios in horror.

The moral of the story is, try to avoid pooping in a scuba suit. The End!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

July texts!

+Sunthorn Phu’s “The Story of Phra Abhai Mani”
=Bernice Chauly’s “The Book of Sins”
=A. Samad Said’s “Ballad of the Lost Map”

=“Malaysian Tales: Retold & Remixed” edited by Daphne Lee
+Donald Barthelme’s “Some of Us Had Been Threatening Our Friend Colby”

=Goh Boon Teck’s “Purple”

+Richard Dowden’s “Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles”

=Alison Bechdel’s “Are You My Mother?”

+Eric Darnell's “Madagascar 3”
+MacGillivray Freeman's “Arabia”

=Teater Ekamatra's “Bleeding Grace”
+The Theatre Practice's “Lao Jiu: The Musical”
=Cake Theatre's “Si Ti Kay”
Buds Youth Theatre's “The Coffin Is Still Too Big for the Hole”
Amrita Arts' “Para-Human”
+The Common Folk's “Paper Men”
+Deborah Emmanuel and Lee Jing Yan's “The City of Letting Go”
+W!ld Rice's “La Cage aux Folles”

+Singapore Art Museum's  "Not Against Interpretation: Re-staging Jason Lim & Vincent Leow’s A Flog of Birdies in the 21st Century"

+Justin Lee's "The Paper Ball"
+Jendela Art Space's "Our Places, Our Stories"
+Peranakan Museum's “Emily of Emerald Hill: Singapore Identity on Stage”