Wednesday, December 31, 2014

1 Year

Early December, I went home for my father's one year thing after his passing away. The Chinese followed the lunar calendar and had a formula to calculate the date where we are to have his one-year thing. Ritually-speaking, it was the day when we bring him home from the crematorium, or the place you place the ashes, and he will sit together, with the ancestors. Not sure how true was that, but anyway, I treat it as a visit.

The morning started with breakfast and we had local breakfast where I get to taste char koay teow and roti canai. And the journey began...


As I had mentioned previously, the trip to the crematorium was always very scenic. The fact that it was located at the outskirt, we passed by paddy field, small woods, subways and some hill-y areas.


There was a suhu who helped with the ritual and I just followed what I was told. I did get an experience of using the toilet in the middle of the cemetery, which was a bit weird when my Mum called for me. I wondered if I should or should not respond. But anyway, the ritual continued till we drove home. And finally, Dad was home. The afternoon were spent visiting a few temples for prayers and I guess, grateful for the year passed by and my Dad was finally home, kind of thing.

That was for the lunar calendar part.

I came back to Singapore shortly after and on the Gregorian calendar anniversary, I finally vet an essay which I thought of writing the along the year. I'm glad I did it after one year and here it is:


It's been a year and many things happened. I cannot tell for sure if it is good or bad - but I'm sure one year has passed...

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Night at the Park


This painting was inspired when I was still staying in Jurong East. There was one day that I decided to went for a job after rain, at night. It usually meant humid and lots of sweat, due to the weather here. But apart from that, it was rather windy that day. So I get to see the very quiet side of the park, with the wet surfaces of the ground and leaves, reflecting the street lights. It was supposed to be very beautiful and intricate, but I guess my art skill was still far from that, apologies...

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The French Table

It was a fine Sunday lunch and I thought 'let's have something nice for a quiet afternoon, just me and me'. Yes, as many who knows me would've agree, I'm a person who enjoys alone time a lot - I mean, A LOT. During these times, I get to be with myself, have a debate with myself, or just having tea with myself. 

So, a good meal is great! I found this French café in West Coast Plaza and it was not very crowded, which is a good thing for me.


I had a café latte, for an amateur coffee drinker like me. They're being very kind to serve it with a little canister of syrup, for those who like sweet coffee. There's a wild mushroom soup. It was pure mushrooms and cream, not salty or sweet - very nice - and very filling. My main course was confit de canard. You'd know le canard probably was what you'd be looking for in a French cuisine, and this is superb. It was very well cured and the crust was very fragrant and tasty. The only off-side was, I was very full after these and I failed to proceed to my dessert section, which is sad. I thought I would have some chocolate lava cake or some crème brûlée but it was all wasted, well...

Anyway, it was a great lunch and I did try my best to lengthen my mealtime this particular time and perhaps did succeed by a little.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nena - 99 Luftballons


Hast du etwas Zeit für mich
Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich
Von 99 Luftballons
Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
Denkst du vielleicht g'rad an mich
Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich
Von 99 Luftballons
Und dass so was von so was kommt
99 Luftballons
Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
Hielt man für Ufos aus dem All
Darum schickte ein General
'ne Fliegerstaffel hinterher
Alarm zu geben, wenn es so wär
Dabei war'n da am Horizont
Nur 99 Luftballons
99 Düsenjäger
Jeder war ein großer Krieger
Hielten sich für Captain Kirk
Das gab ein großes Feuerwerk
Die Nachbarn haben nichts gerafft
Und fühlten sich gleich angemacht
Dabei schoss man am Horizont
Auf 99 Luftballons
99 Kriegsminister -
Streichholz und Benzinkanister -
Hielten sich für schlaue Leute
Witterten schon fette Beute
Riefen Krieg und wollten Macht
Mann, wer hätte das gedacht
Dass es einmal soweit kommt
Wegen 99 Luftballons
99 Jahre Krieg
Ließen keinen Platz für Sieger
Kriegsminister gibt's nicht mehr
Und auch keine Düsenflieger
Heute zieh' ich meine Runden
Seh' die Welt in Trümmern liegen
Hab' 'nen Luftballon gefunden
Denk' an dich und lass' ihn fliegen
I was listening to my old playlist recently to recover this. Before I knew about the background of this song, I simply liked the sound of it, but it was after I learned of the stories that the meaning impacted on me. This song has a strong message, written by the band in 1983. One of the band members claimed of seeing the shape-shifting balloons when nearing the East Berlin horizon, during a Rolling Stone concert, depicting how that even in a relatively small land of Berlin, when divided by Berlin Wall, created two very different world, and how people are separated. This song sang of the meaningless of war and fight... However, no matter how powerful is this song, the Berlin Wall was not down, until much later in 1989.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Happy 51st Anniversary, Doctor Who!

Taken from DoctorWhoTV

It's the last hour of 23-11-2014 at my timezone, and I'm sure it is overlapping with UK time, so it IS the same date over there now. This means, it is 51 years since Doctor Who started! It had been a journey, and even though I only know about Doctor Who very recently (this is what my generation missed I guess, Doctor Who was practically missing during our childhood), it has been getting great since.


Last year was the very celebrated 50th Anniversary where we have a special with The Day of The Doctor. We had all these doctors and plus a small glimpse of the latest doctor, Peter Capaldi.


In 23rd November of 1963, 5.16pm, The pilot episode 'An Unearthly Child' was aired in UK, by BBC, featuring the First Doctor (or Doctor Who) William Hartnell. And the show had been on a roller coaster ride since...

In 2014, however, we get to know more about the Twelfth Doctor. It was an incredible year and so many things happened to the storyline, in just one year - or rather, in just one season. There are so many reason to like this show, from the acting to backstage, to scripts, to sound effects, to costumes, to special effects, to video editing, to even publicity!

Saw this fanmade video and thought the song and video was quite good, so I shared it here...

Weeping Cherubs


Shortly after drawing the Weeping Angel piece, I went on to draw on the Weeping Cherubs. I used the concept art in BBC website as a reference, for this technical drawing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Weeping Angel


What else can I say? Weeping angel. I always love the details of statues and Weeping Angel gave me more boost in why I need to at least try to draw them. First, I can omit the colours and focus on the texture. And yea, I could just put this on some Whovian's page just to make them upset for a while, haha.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

The verses are very powerful that the moment I heard it on Interstellar, I made a small note on it. Written by a Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, about his dying father. To me anything in this format sounds like poem, obviously because I'm not a literature major and I'm probably the last person you should ask about language; however, it was categorized as villanelle as well.

Anyway, by reading the words, you could have feel the force in it. Even though part of what I aspire were more of a peaceful death, or an accepance of the inevitability of an end, but part of me knew this kind of thoughts would still arise. The last moment, to give it a last push and not go in vain. It was that tiny little bit of this that actually existed on the day my father left. I asked, so often, is it that easy - to just leave like that? But I saw the mixture, the struggle, the desire to be alive - and after that, the rest-in-peace part. I guess it was part of a process.

But of course, this poem could be of good use, whenever you are drowning while trying to stay afloat. Remember at least the first few verses, for that is what it must have feel like - to be a live, to want to live - a survival instinct.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gunslinger


Drew this after watching 'A Town Called Mercy'. It served as a practice as I want to learn how to focus on details. While the human figure part was not so satisfying, I was quite approving over the machine gun part.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Holding On


A try on quotes on minimalism art. This one of my favourite quotes from the LOTR Trilogy, on why we are holding on to something even though it was tough, it was difficult.

It resonates with J.K. Rowling's in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where Dumbledore said, "
Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory."

Don't give your hopes up and keep holding on...

Sports Climbing


Last Saturday, I signed up for something really not-me. PK happened to came across a sports climbing workshop email and asked around if anyone wanted to sign up as well. Out of curiosity, I decided to give it a try.

I thought, "Well, climbing is not really my thing, with my weight and my stamina and my strength... but you don't get to do that often, do you? Let's go and have some fun, hanging on strings then."

That was literally my expectation until that very day when I was told there will be assessments and test and certification. What? You mean you need some papers to do those climbings? You mean I will be tested? What?

Luckily for me, this Level 1 was more on safety and basic knowledge. Ability or skills to reach the top was not a crucial part of it. So we started with safety, learning about equipments like belay equipment, harnass, harabinger. Most of it were quite familiar since I was in the cadet last time. But this time there were some new stuff because obviously my school didn't manage to afford some cool equipment last time. We were taught to tie the figure of 8 knot and prepare ourselves for the climb. We were brief on climbing calls too.

Slightly before lunchtime, we got to test water a bit by climbing and belaying once. It was rather fun, even though I was not the best in class, obviously.

We spent after-lunch time doing more rounds, challenging different tiles and levels. I wasn't particularly good at it. However, I did manage to get my feet off the ground for few meters, so I'm already satisfied with that.

The workshop ended and we were told that we passed the test, and given this little card that shows we can go practice somewhere at our own sweet time. It was a great experience, and truly something I didn't anticipate to happen this year. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Birthday Weekend


The weekend before the last, was the start of November. And that could only mean one thing: my brother's and my birthdays. It started with mine, hence the cartoon above. On that day, I tried to do things that I like. I went for training and went to lab to do some work. On the way back for shower, I had Indonesian food, which was superb with the soup and met Hall Master by chance. Later, I had a refreshing shower and took a short nap before heading to collect Gorilla, a cake I bought from my lab ex-intern to support her as my birthday gift. Afterwards, I returned to lab to finish off the experiments before heading to the good ol' PGP for dinner. 

We decided to have dinner and a collective celebrations for people having birthdays in November there, partly because that was where our memories of weekend meals were held. Those days when we still uses MSN or SMS, messaging people to announce for dinner time and meeting at the bus terminal before heading for lunch after a day of rest/study/whatever. It was a wonder we managed that for years.


I'm feeling ecstatic with the generosity of people that day. I got a free little mandarin from my lab member and a box of British goodies from Carmen, nicely decorated. And most of all, lovely messages from all the attendees. I shall not post the 'secrets' here but there were wishes and requests, as usual. They were lovely, thank you!

The stall we intended to order from was too crowded and we ended up changing stalls. It was still superb, nonetheless and very family-like with all the dishes shared. I guess that was closest to a family dinner we could get when we were so far from our family, a little comfort for our empty souls... We had the cake, which was still nice and a photo was taken with three November babies in front: Elaine, Reuben and I. It was a good day!


The second day started like a lazy morning. I watched the latest Doctor Who episode as how I did every Sunday morning. It was 'Dark Water' that day. So, yes, I continued my day with quite elated mood. I met up with SyeNee, my high school friend. We weren't really known to each other until our high school despite studying in neighbouring classes. We merely known each other's existences. It was amazing to know her during my second year in high school and I'm exteremely chuffed by the fact that our friendship continue on since then. We had lunch and she actually bought be a mini apple crumble! It served as my tea later that day. 


I brought her around Esplanade and spotted my university friend Florentina performing in guitar ensemble. We stopped to listen for the whole thing before I accompany SyeNee for her shopping for shoes. We said goodbye shortly after and return home.


As part of my birthday, I also did a video log, something that was quite rare this year:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Archer


There were people who thought this looked a bit like Assassin's Creed. Even though I did not specifically drew from that, but I guess given my background in playing games and the liking of archery, there may be some truth in it. I always liked to use archery as my game strategy, even though I was not particularly brilliant at it in real life. And this kind of outfit was how I view archer always looked cool, isolated, hidden, stealth...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Eleventh Doctor


This was produced around the time when 'Dinosaurs on A Spaceship' was aired. I sort of drew this according to the poster's figure. This is a digital painting, obviously. It was still very rough and careless. I take it as a practice. I was rather pleased with the shirt effect though. All else, needed quite some improvement...

Indonesia-Penang Trip XI

1 June 2014

Lawangwangi
Fairly speaking, this is very surprising, visiting an art gallery in Indonesia. As much as I do drawings and paintings, I am not much of an art connoiseur. My knowledge of art is very very limited, seeing how I failed/scored weakly in my Arts subject throughout my school year due to the theory exams and my very scarce exposure to art subject in university during history class. Hence, I very rarely visits an art gallery, even in Singapore or Malaysia.

This visit in Indonesia was a surprise as we were to have dinner in this building which serves as a platform for the local artists to showcase their work too. It was called the Lawangwangi Creative Space.

We were welcomed by this big rubik-cube thing.


And there's me while waiting for the orders. We were playing with the cameras...


The area was very cooling. What added to the bonus was the view. We were literally on top of a hill and we could look upon the town below. It was a very nice experience. It did not have those cityscape like in big cities, but it was a very quiet place and for that moment, all those did not matter anymore.


We chose an outdoor seat just to be nearer to the view. We took group photos and also with the insta-photos taken by Fanny! It served as a chilling session, a rest from the trip, to recharge.


Our food came. We were generally there for the view, hence we did not order much except some interesting dishes.



The whole place were quite nicely decorated with some random pieces standing around the cafe and building, like this:


This is one of the flyer that you could take along to know more about the place...


After the meal, we were escorted to this art exhibition. At first we were not very impressed, thinking it was just another art gallery. So when we finally entered the space, we realized why was it awesome.


The artist herself came to give us an intro on her art pieces. These were love stories from old Javan legends, and the artist did not really 'drew' them out. Rather, she wrote them out. Notice how every line and colour on the paintings were actually words? They were words from the stories themselves. So this was really 'a picture says a thousand words' literally?


The big picture itself looked impressive with lots of actions happening at the same time. So what we could see were the words from the stories that wrote into this piece that also depicts a summary of the legend. Boom! At this point, this is already no-simple art. You could see the effort put into the work and guess what - this is not the end.


What happened next was not photographed because our cameras were not good enough for that. The lights were turned off and only UV lamps were shone next to the paintings. Underneath those art pieces, were another painting! And this time, those were paintings depicting love stories from legends taken worldwide from different culture, including English and Chinese. We were mindblown on the spot, of course. We hear this kind of art on Internet and often from others, but experiencing it yourself, having these treasure right in front of you eyes is a privilege.

This was truly a surprising and satifying visit!


According to the others, even this room, taken from outside like this, looked like some studio in some MV or drama. I'm not sure about that....


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Deepavali


Happy belated Deepavali! This year, there were some confusion over the actual date of Deepavali holiday, which was listed as one of the reasons why Deepavali is the most 'kesian' holiday in Malaysia.

Well, despite this public holiday landed itself so near to my recent trip back to KL and home, I did not extend my leave partly because I don't want to leave my project to the cobwebs for too long and partly, I'm reserving my leave for better use in future >.< Therefore, I was to celebrate this day in Singapore. When I was back in Penang, we used to go to people's house to taste great Indian cuisine, mostly thanks to all the Indian colleagues of my parents and neighbours. But this year, there was no special occassion except an invitation for a walk, which led me to the tale of my unfortunate illness. It's no big deal, an all-in-one package of flu and fever and coughing. I was recovering but six in the morning I was coughing real bad, so I decided to skip the walk and meet up for lunch instead. So there was me, sitting at Seah Im Food Centre.

It did not take deliberate planning but I did end up having two very Indian food in the context of South East Asian Indian culture: Teh Tarik and Murtabak. I wanted prata/canai but my attention was diverted. And there's me savouring my murtabak with great vehemence while sipping gleefully off the traditional glass of teh tarik. They were so awesome!

After the meal, we strolled around Vivo and I got myself boxes for my books. It was when I thought I will come back later if the box could fit all my books. I went back room to rest and get a go on the new books and watch some movie. Late evening, I went to lab to settle some of the minute procedures, as a bridge between yesterday's and tomorrow's experiment. Then I set off to mall again in the hope to drink some hot soup. 

I was struck miserably when I was facing the gazetted area of SoupSpoon, which was no longer there! I ended up eating fish porridge, which looked suspicious because it was just fish soup with a bowl of rice added into it. It was surprisingly nice. On my way out, I met with my high school friends and her sister, who was my high school senior. Small world it is. Not wanting to disturb further, I went on to get a big cup of ice-less carrot juice. The uncle used up half the bucket of carrots he had and had to change the blender blade through that one cup. Power juice ya!

After that, I walked around to spot some of the shoes on sale. My shoes are getting holey and I reckoned it is time to start spotting a new one just in case. On the other hand, I managed to get another book box and was later found resting happily in my room.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Riding Bicycle on Rainy Days


Watercoloured with only black colour, I tried to depict the memory of mine on rainy days. Most of the time in my primary and secondary school, I spent my life inside school. We have class till two and we have activities after, or we have extra classes. So a lot of the time, the schedule was so different that my parents were not able to fetch me like a chauffeur. So, I get to ride a bicycle to school if I get to go back home or my aunt's place during lunchtime. If not, I would be walking back. Having a bicycle is not all good sometimes. It means you have one more responsibility, to bring that bike back, to make sure you lock it, even during rainy days. There were days when I was just not patient enough to wait for the rain to stop, so I decided to cycle in the rain. And if you have ever tried cycling with a raincoat, you will know how redundant that idea is. It was not always a gleeful experience. I like the way the wind and water splashes, but I am not very fond of the water splashing on my glasses. And if you are not careful, you might get mud spots at the back of your clothes. 

Of course, after I got my licences, I do get to ride a motorcycle, but I started to develop a habit of staying back instead of stealing time back home. Sometimes, I do get to hitch-hike my friend's car, but most of the time, we didn't even get the time to walk to and fro from home. We walked to nearby shops for meals and we return to school for the rest of the day until the sun goes down, which were usually when I'm sure my parents were free to fetch me home.

Those were the days...

The Daleks


This is a piece where I drew a Dalek on my Wacom tablet. It wasn't very nice or detailed, but I still like it. The Dalek is probably one of my favourite part from Doctor Who. I know that a lot of Whovians, particularly Classic Whovians, would be quite afraid of it. Me, I am very very attracted to this creature, part love part hate. I went back to watch The Daleks, the first appearance of Daleks in the whole Doctor Who series. The background story was somehow satisfying, very much closed to you-know-what-i-mean. Plus I endured quite several minutes of Susan Foreman's or Barbara's high pitched screams (I watched this on a not that HD version videos, so you can well imagine how bad the screaming quality would be). Since then, Daleks would always make their way into the show, every now and then, somehow getting cuter and cuter. Despite their improvements, they seemed to be getting funnier each time too. 

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Indonesia-Penang Trip X

1 June 2014

Dusun Bambu Family Leisure Park, Lembang - Bandung

We were drove uphill, passing by lots of hills, where we could spot layers of plantations and how the locals grow the crops like staircases along the hills. It was pretty and calm and not as green as those photoshopped on the Internet. Nonetheless, after staying on a small island like Singapore for quite some time, being able to look at such massive landscape, is a luxury to the eye. For once in a while, you experience how small humans are and how far we came by. The whole thing was just surreal.

When we arrived at Dusun Bambu, literally means bamboo orchard/farm, we could recognize it straightaway. The roads were lined with decorative bamboo and there was this totem pole/structure made out of bamboo. It immediately reminded me of those bamboo structures we built during camps in secondary school.


As all the places in Bandung, the weather there was awesome. It was not very cold - cooling and yet with sunshine, just nice for me. The park was more like a recreational park. So there were lots of families or tourists around. 

We were greeted by this very nice pool of duck, quacking away and spotted this carriage. This is way too colourful but I like that hippie-ness. 


Needless to say, good weather with good scenery equal to really nice place. Phototaking was inevitable.


These place are not real paddy field I think - at least not the full scale. But by building bridges and paths next to it, brought people nearer to these nature. To be truth, the last time I walked on a paddy field, was during cross country run in my secondary school (not to mention my encounter with cow dung). Many people didn't even get the time to know how does it feel to be so near greens.


And so here our journey went...


The park was renovated at loads of its side. As in, it did not look like original forest where you get trees everywhere and for a region like this, probably a jumble of shrubs with layers of flora. It was clean, decorated and sperataed into sections. Well, it does make the visit a pleasant one, because it felt like 'a walk in the park' than 'trekking the jungle'. There was a section where families could let their little ones build this mini-car-racing tracks.


There was a canopy walk kind of place and bird-nest like stations for resting. Even the rubbish bin was so cute. Part of the park was made into playground, which included this instrument - in case you wonder, it gives out different sound as you hit them, according to the length of the wood. On the other side, there were swings!


One-person swing was too mainstream, let's have one with everyone on top! This was extremely difficult to manouvre because you need the unity of all riders, plus the seats was actually a log. Instead of sitting and swinging, I was busy balancing my butt on the round thing. 


The canopy walk was rather crowded but we managed to take some photos. We get to look at the bark of a tree closer at a greater height. Not just that, at some point, you'll be able to look further and oversee the hills from the park. It was nice, but I do feel that the walk should be a loop or bigger distance.


This is how we look at trees.


Look at the sunshine and cloud and - yowzah!


After we passed by the food place, there was a plain with little funfair-like stalls. There were rabbit-feeding stations where kids were pouring lavishing love over the bunnies, rubbing and scrubbing the little animal. I'm not sure if all of the children know how to handle the bunnies properly, but for the period of time when I was there, they seemed to be quite gentle. Another station was all about ctaching little fish. This is a bit like what you get in Bon Odori, except you use a real net rather than some paper-net. 


Even though I know all these flowers and plants were planted for decorative purposes, I have to say I quite like the place. The plants were not naturally grown there, but they made the whole environment very peaceful.


We even spent some time sitting on the grass! Oh, we spot a 1000 rupiah note on the ground, so we ended up donating it out as a tip.


There was also a wooden platform near this little lake where you could sit down. I suspected that was a performance stage when it needs to be, but that day, it was a place for visitors to chill.


And here is me trying to spam photographs!


Note how the water surface was so calm that it reflects! 


And thus, we finished our visit to Dusun Bamboo and made our way out of the park, with very very fond memories indeed.


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