Creepy sombre men

So creepy. That was my first thought when I first saw these men. But even then I was drawn to them, these men in their dark, drab suits, lugging their cases and umbrellas like they needed to be somewhere.

But they looked lost. They were just milling about, unable to decide which was the right way. This guy looked like he wanted to ask for directions.

I was a little freaked out, so I pretended not to notice his eye contact and walked on by to get a bit more space between us. That wasn’t very nice of me.

Who were these men? They had obviously walked out from someone’s dream or nightmare but a literal misstep had landed them into the wrong plane. The blinding sunlight was a dead giveaway.

“I’m sorry, I can’t help you. I can barely help myself,” I said to another guy who looked like he wanted to ask for assistance. “You aren’t the only ones who don’t belong here.” I spoke gently, in a low voice I kept from shaking. I didn’t want to be rude. I just didn’t want to talk with him.

I think he understood my growing distress, because like his friend earlier he backed away too.

What a cool water feature. I tried to push my mind away from the men So pretty, the way it cascades.

I turned around and they were still there. I hurried away.

It occurred to me only later that maybe they weren’t trying to ask for directions, they just wanted to offer me some.

Oh well, too late now. I’ve just never been good with strangers. I avoid them like the plague, especially when they make me think of me.

*

Related:

Gerard Byrne art exhibition at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

Heading home after visiting the Botanic Gardens the other day, I noticed and was struck by the beauty of some paintings displayed right beside the Bukit Timah Gate of the gardens, the access point located beside the Botanic Gardens MRT station.

'Tropics' by Gerard Byrne

‘Tropics’ by Gerard Byrne, National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, Fine Art Print on canvas, 60 x 120 cm

The artist is a Gerard Byrne from Ireland. I’ve never heard of him because I don’t ‘follow’ art, but I absolutely love the joy and life in the six works I saw. There is an exhibition of his works called Botanical Fusion ongoing at the Botanic Gardens across 3 locations, one of which is the Bukit Timah Gate I mentioned above, since 6th September until 10th November.

According to the NParks website:

Botanical Fusion is a series of works painted by GERARD BYRNE, a Dublin born artist who is one of Ireland’s leading contemporary artists; of modern impressionist style.Titled Botanical Fusion, this is birthed from an artist-in-residence partnership with the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Gerard Byrne, supported by Embassy of Ireland.

 

Info Panel - Gerard Byrne Exhibition

I thought “Damn, how daring to display these paintings outside the garden grounds, along a public walkway, unguarded. What if they are stolen or vandalized?” Or, you know, just touched and generally handled by itchy, oily, sweaty fingers. It turned out they are prints, according to the labels. Still, though. I hope no harm comes to them.

According to the same webpage linked above, a selection of the original paintings completed during the artist’s residency can be viewed at the Nassim Gate Visitor Centre of the gardens.

Gerard Byrne

I don’t know what this one is called because there was no info label I could see. Maybe it dropped to the ground and got lost or something. So very pretty. I especially love the sky depicted.

'Tropical House' by Gerard Byrne

‘Tropical House’ by Gerard Byrne, National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, Fine Art Print on canvas, 65 x 120 cm

'Tropical Jungle' by Gerard Byrne

‘Tropical Jungle’ by Gerard Byrne, Botanical Abstract, Fine Art Print on canvas, 60 x 115 cm

'Forest Flower' by Gerard Byrne

‘Forest Flower’ by Gerard Byrne, Wood anemones blossom, Lublin, Poland, Fine Art Print on canvas, 60 x 60 cm

Forest Flower above is easily my favourite among the six works exhibited at that Bukit Timah Gate location. So stunningly beautiful, and it reminds me of some of my favourite paintings by Gustav Klimt, the Austrian painter known for The Kiss and many other works.  I just love the company of trees.

'Endless Summer' by Gerard Byrne

‘Endless Summer’ by Gerard Byrne, National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, Fine Art Print on canvas, 60 x 120 cm

Definitely have to go back soon to see the other works exhibited at the other two locations in the Botanic Gardens.

*

Related:

Cloudy with a chance of crystal fabulosity

I was mesmerized by these clouds at the new Jewel shopping mall at Changi Airport, obviously drifted straight out from a fairy tale, looking like they were about to bestow us all with some serious glamour. But since we’re talking fairy tale, the shower of crystal rain would be gentle and in slow motion, glittering serenely and madly all at once. As opposed to cutting and slashing us all to death, that is, haha.

Couldn’t hang around to find out, though. Had to tear my eyes away from the gorgeous sight too soon. I was at the airport to send off a friend. We strolled around a bit earlier to catch in the new attraction, then after he was gone I had to rush to grab the last train back home. Would love to be back soon to admire them again. So very pretty.

Looking at these photos got me thinking just now “they’re gorgeous but how the hell are the maintenance people going to clean those things?” But hey, if they really are supposed to represent dark clouds that are about to unleash rain, then those clouds will just look better with age as they get greyer and greyer over time, haha :-)

 

Downtown Line’s Little India Station

This greeted me when I exited the train at Little India station.

DSCN7907_600x450

The artwork and design on that wall and ceiling are pretty spectacular. I couldn’t help walking around in awe for a few minutes admiring it all, and snapping a few photos.

DSCN7904_600x450

I love it. At each of the different angles I saw it.

IMG-20171025-WA0004_reduced

It’s like topography, and a flock of birds, and there is whimsy and magic in it. And a Christmas winter wonderland that’s more Tron City than Narnia.

DSCN7908_600x450

 

Chalkboard art

DSCN2946_reduced

I saw the above artwork at City Square Mall. I’m a fan of such work. Some time ago, I came across pictures of chalkboard art online and immediately fell in love with them. I find them fascinating, because they can be so ornate and obviously require a high level of artistry, and yet have a down-to-earth tone to them, I guess because we associate chalkboards with childhood and school.

Another thing about them I find interesting is how strong and ‘masculine’ it looks to me even when the piece features intricate calligraphy which can be very frilly. I think this is due to the art being in stark black and white.

Related:

***

Day 51

My favourite Liu Kang

DSCN2985_reduced

‘Artist and Model’ (1954)

It was a very nice surprise coming face to face with this painting a few days ago at the National Museum. It is part of the ‘A Changed World‘ exhibition ongoing there until this Sunday.

DSCN2984_reduced

I was introduced to the artist Liu Kang while taking some night classes in graphic design about ten years ago, and art was one of the subjects. To be honest I didn’t even know of this exhibition. I was just at the Museum with a friend, saw the posters for this, remarked “that looks interesting.” so we went down to the basement where it was located to check it out. It was therefore an unexpected treat to see it.

A bit about the artist from Wikipedia:

Liu Kang (Chinese: 刘抗; pinyin: Liú Kàng) was a Singaporean artist famous for his Balinese-themed figurative paintings. He was a founding member of the Singapore Art Society, and was credited with developing the Nanyang Style.

He was born in Fujian Province and he spent his early years in Malaysia, studied art in Shanghai and Paris, and taught art in Shanghai during the 1930s. Under the influence of Chinese artist and art teacher Liu Haisu (1896–1994), Liu admired, and often appropriated the styles of French-based modernist painters such as Cézanne, van Gogh and Matisse.

Liu Kang came to Singapore in 1942 and had been credited with numerous contributions to the local arts scene. In 1952, Liu Kang, Chen Chong Swee, Chen Wen Hsi and Cheong Soo Pieng went on their historic field trip to Bali in search of a visual expression that was Southeast Asian. Liu drew much inspiration from this trip which inspired some of his latter works.

In 1970, Liu was awarded the Public Service Star by the Singapore Government. He was honoured by the same agency in 1996 with the Meritorious Service Medal. His works, spanning from 1935 to 1997, are a testament of his contributions to Singapore art.

Related:

***

Day 50 of ‘100 Happy Days‘.

Itchy fingers touching a painting at a museum? This is a hundred times worse

I was stunned, catching the local news on Channel 5 on the report about the woman who ruined an art installation called ‘Kinetic Rain‘ at Terminal 1 of Changi Airport. And now I’ve read some details about it on Yahoo! News Singapore, from an article by Ms. Jeanette Tan, who reported that the woman appeared to have climbed over a railing and got onto a safety net secured under the art installation, where she then grabbed and pulled at pieces of the hanging art.

Having managed to pull one piece loose, a metallic-looking object shaped like a raindrop, she tied it to her wrist and made her way off the safety net, across a thin metal wire to get to a railing. Like an acrobat! From what I saw in the video below, uploaded by a Mr. Chester Chua.

That’s just disgusting. I love art, in my own general way. I’m certainly no art aficionado, but you don’t have to be one to feel really disappointed and pissed off by such utter disrespect. What the hell is wrong with some people.

The video below shows what the installation used to look like. If they ever get around to repairing it, I’m going to make my way to the airport just to have a look. It looked stunning. I haven’t been to the airport for some time and didn’t know there is (was, rather) such a beautiful art piece there.

Click the link to the Yahoo! News Singapore article in the first paragraph above, to see a photo of what Kinetic Rain looks like yesterday afternoon all ruined, and photos documenting the woman in the act.