Saturday, February 16, 2013

Singapore experiences

Every muscle and bone in my feet, ankles, knees and hips is aching tonight. I have walked every street of Singapore in the past two days, I'm sure. No, that's not true - I have certainly done a lot of mileage in the MRT's, too. So here is my trip in pictures, so you can share in some of the delights this city has to offer...

at the Singapore Art Museum, I loved "The Living Word" by Xu Bing.

And how about "You-I, You-I" by Yuken Teruya - the artist, from Okinawa, takes a traditional

textile art form with embroidered flora and fauna, and inserts US jet fighter aircraft and paratroopers along with the butterflies and chrysanthemums.

Sorry this next one is a bit blurry - had to include this wonderful embroidery "Appear as You Are, Be As You Appear" by Pakistan artist, Aisha Khalid, made of black velvet, red silk and steel needles. Here is a closeup:

Yes, the heads of the pins form the design - a commentary, perhaps, on the pain of fashion - a reminder of the hardship associated with the intricate workmanship demanded by the western purchasers of beautifully handcrafted garments?

And here's a shout-out to my friend, Susan Else - I could think only of her riveting fiber art when I saw this skeleton in a fishing boat in a sea of chalk. (OK, maybe I also thought a bit about my hero, Kathy Nida, who is awash in a sea of chalk everyday as a school teacher - but who still manages to blow me away with her productivity).

No trip to Singapore would be complete without the traditional Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel ... but wait ... does it really cost over $30? Yes, I'm afraid it does, if you have it in the hotel. But hey, it's all part of the Singapore experience, right? (It was super good!)

Thanks to my friend, Sue Dennis from Australia, I was connected with her friend Rhonda, who said I simply must visit Mustafa's - I'll say! Open 24 hours a day, it holds every category of shopping item you can think of - for many floors and many blocks. Utterly overwhelming, but an experience I will never forget.

I don't think I need to say anything about these banners except, "Canadian government, Stephen Harper, shame on you for not being this advanced in your thinking. Singapore government - kudo's to you.
One highlight of today's gallivanting was a visit to the Art Plural Gallery. Whoa. Unbelievable. The largest gallery in Singapore, and an absolutely stunning venue for beautiful art. The current exhibition is of the works by

Fabienne Verdier, from France, who studied Chinese Brush Painting for 10 years and then returned to France to design a huge brush (with the tail hairs of 34 horses) which she hangs from the ceiling, dips in a concoction of her own devising (looks like a combination of pigment and resin), and uses her full body to paint in calligraphic style on large sheets of paper. Stunning work. And in an incredible gallery space.
Still with me? Yeah, I was getting pretty tired too, but pressed on. Stumbled upon the Peranakan Museum and was completely enraptured by the story of their experiences - they are people born of intermarriages between Chinese immigrants and locally born Malays ... among others. The result is a rich blend of traditions, cuisine, and decorative influences, and the museum celebrates all of these in a very entertaining fashion. I was, of course, mesmerized by their beading and embroidery - look at this gorgeous jacket.

OK, is that enough culture and education for one day? It was, for ME! Now I will rest my weary bones and begin the quest anew tomorrow! Stay tuned.
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