All posts tagged: singapore

Music: Gentle Bones EP (Joel Tan)

Lately I’ve been slowly feeling my way beyond my staple playlists into uncharted artist territory. Every year I have about 3-4 of these seasons where I expand and listen to new artists. Most of the year i spend intimately with the music I already have, or following only the musicians that I am already familiar with. I am aware that I’m a little late for this EP by Gentle Bones (Joel Tan), but it was too lovely to not blog about. Featuring 5 tracks, Gentle Bones is a mellow, indie EP with a kick. Relaxed but not loose, chill without sounding monotonous, the tracks slide smoothly into each other, making it extremely easy to finish listening to the CD and suddenly realize, “What? It’s done?” and proceed to loop. 1. Until We Die 2. Elusive 3. Save Me 4. Settle Down 5. Lost I’m a big fan of following local talent, and Gentle Bones is a sound that fits right in with my playlists. Conceptually, his music videos are interested and I am curious to …

Textures in Singapore Tiong Bahru edition

The part of Singapore my father is from is called Tiong Bahru. Now a historical protected heritage site in Singapore, Tiong Bahru is a neighbourhood full of pre-war two story apartment houses and a much slower pace of living. Growing up my sisters and I knew it as the place for extended family gatherings on holiday occasions. Somewhere in my teens it became a place of stillness, full of lazy afternoon napping and old food stalls. Returning now, three years from my last visit, Tiong Bahru is nursing a growing community of  independent and concept cafes and stores. These stores are not permitted to destroy parts of the architectural structures in order to preserve them for heritage. What this means is a host of spaces that are fusions of old and new aesthetic design, that sometimes work well and other times not quite. This trip I trekked back to Tiong Bahru a couple of times just to walk through and explore. There is so much about this neighbourhood that I know so well and at …

Textures of Singapore

Singapore is the city of my birth, and my first eight years of childhood. For the first time this trip, I went to many of the more tourist-geared locations, and photographed the famous side of Singapore I am not familiar with. This country is often balancing on a very thin line between its past and present, its history and its innovation. The textures I discovered on my trip home sometimes mirror that effect, creating moments of aesthetic that settle deeply into my heart, mixing and mingling with each other. Old Singapore, New Singapore, time and space between them. These photos look for all of that.         Photos in Order: 1 – Chinatown alleyway: 牛車水 2 – Marina Bay Sands Flower Dome 3 – Marina Bay Sands Solar Trees 4 – Marina Bay Sands Cloud Forest Dome 5 – Marymount Station 6 – Bishan Rd 7 – Marina Bay Sands Cloud Forest Dome 8 – Bukit Gomback neighbourhood

In Which I Scratch the Wall of Literature and Discover Whitewash Under My Nails

I recently began reading The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw, a Malaysian writer. I usually look for titles at book stores that betray their affiliation to the genre we call “Post-Colonial” as it is my favorite. But as I began to read, I ran into a few problems. There are two separate moments in the reading of the first two chapters that made me think:  The narrator mentions that he was educated in a school for the rich where they read Dickens. The next line reads, “For the boys, life is good, but not always. They have the best of times, they have the worst of times.” I smile at the reference to A Tale of two Cities, you know, one of those smirky moments you get when you catch the author’s humor. But of course, this is only possible because I know the famous opening line of this particular Dickens book. The protagonist mentions that his father Johnny Lim’s real name is in fact Lim Seng Chin. My immediate response as a reader to this name is one …