Archive for July, 2013

Graduate lo!

Ah convocation. During the ceremony, you feel nervous, strange, surreal and everything feels a bit of a blur. And after it? After looking back at all those convocation photos on facebook, you tear up and feel a bit sad. The congratulatory messages, comments and such, it makes it more surreal. really? it happened? it is over? so soon?


I was surprised when I saw the president of Singapore entering the auditorium, “wow, really?!” I smiled when I saw our university president wearing his mortarboard completely sideways. And honestly, I felt a bit sleepy during the long citations, (we woke up earlier than usual.)

I was nervous, excited and hot (the academic dress/gown is really thick!)

And even though we all know that being a matured audience we maybe shouldn’t be cheering loudly when our friends go up on stage, my schoolmates from ADM didn’t care, we cheered loudly, acted a little rowdy, my friend jumped off the stage instead of walking down, some who went up made funny faces, others wore outrageous colours and fancy shoes, well… my school being an art and design school isn’t the kind to follow the rules. And thank goodness! And while it made the ceremony a little less solemn, it also made it a whole lot more memorable.


I also liked that my parents weren’t the kind to fuss about the graduation (but yes, I know they were proud of me.). They didn’t buy flowers or graduation bears and such, partly because I said not to; what are we going to do with all that once the ceremony is over? (and besides why buy when I think i can sew up something more unique) we headed straight for the food queue after the ceremony. 😉


I didn’t stay on to take multiple photos with friends after that, because I had another place to rush to and because I don’t enjoy crowds and secretly…

because I was hoping that with my friends, this isn’t goodbye.

Thanks for 4 awesome years (and many more ahead!!) and Happy Graduation everyone!

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A lecturer once spoke of his heavy-Cuban accented English in a self-introduction. He pointed out that while communication may be hindered, he was proud of having an accent as it is one of the few things left that differentiates one nationality from another in our increasingly globalised world condition. To him, an accent speaks of a national identity.


If that’s the case, the multi-accents of Alfian Sa’at’s play, Cook a Pot of Curry, would imply a rather unique national identity of Singapore, no?


The play’s issue at hand addresses the influx of foreigners in creating this ‘rojak’ (to quote the play) that many fear would dilute the Singaporean identity. Through the versatility of the actors in bringing out multiple characters with their own mannerisms, philosophies and yes, accents, it explores the Singapore identity moving towards a ‘global-nation’.

I enjoyed the play thoroughly and was very impressed by the multitude of roles each actor took on; an average of 4 main roles each and this is not counting the smaller ones in between! The roles were people who you would recognise on the Singapore street; the chatterbox uncle, the swearing taxi drivers, the politically-charged undergrads… and well, the everyday men (and women). These views were not purely a figment of the playwright’s imagination but rather a collection of real-life interviews. and they reveal a whole spectrum of different sentiments on the ground. I liked that I got to hear sides of stories I never heard of, the thoughts of ‘new Singaporeans’ who settled here longer than I am a citizen (I am only 23) , that of migrant workers and of course, the original ‘natives’ of Singapore before our immigrant forefathers set foot on the island. (the tables have turned!)


How interesting it is that despite all the negative feelings the play stirs up on the surface, deep down instead a sudden surge of patriotism arose in me. The kind that want to shout “I love Singapore” and list down all the things that makes me a Singaporean. It is as if in questioning what is the Singapore identity, the play has presented it to us as a pot of delicious campur curry.

(image credits to W!ld Rice Singapore)

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on book-shelves.

I always wondered does the books you own reflect your personality?

“Sharing your shelf is sharing yourself – showcasing the building blocks that have crafted your knowledge, personality, and identity.”


I come from a family of readers and we are the kind who would go to the bookstore every time there is a sale (like the recent Prologue sale at ION…) and when I was younger, I remember having to ration our entitlement of 12 books putting together all our library cards. After moving house twice, I have since given up many, many books and what is left (and growing steadily) is my collection of art and design books. Does having a shelf of art and design books say that I am a pretentious attas art nut? Or does it say that I am an insecure designer who needs constant inspiration? haha! oh I really wonder!


There was an article written about how you can tell a lot about a person through their bookshelf. In that personal collection of titles, which are the books you liked so much that you bought a copy even after you read them before. Did you read that book many times? that one with the cracked spine. Oh! I see you like this particular author a lot! And admit it, which books did you buy to just look good on your book shelf. Did you get that one just because of the attractive cover?

“Bookshelves are universal in that almost everyone has one, and unique in that no two collections are the same. They reflect much more than just the book-buying habits of their owner. Titles are easy to acquire and even easier to sell off or leave behind, so if it’s worthy of your shelf space, I want to know why.”

I am a bit sad knowing that in the age of ipads, galaxy tabs, kindles and nooks, books are slowly dying away. More and more, physical bookshelves are making way for virtual ones. ah, that means fewer and fewer bookshelves to poke my nose at!


Anyhow, to end the post, an interesting art project ‘Sorted Books’ by Nina Katchadourian where she spends time with a shelf of books, rearranges them and let the newly combined book-spines speak for themselves – in short phrases, almost a poem.



makes me want to go rearrange my book-shelf… but first, maybe I should use the time to get starting on those books ‘I thought I would read’.

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new game-plan needed.

another flea market yesterday reminded me of how much time i take just packing and setting up every time. Without my parents to help me out this time, I was left alone to fumble around and get nervous that the Momshoo stall would not be up in time for opening. It shouldn’t be this difficult and nerve-wrecking. just look at my neighbours stall: picture-perfect half an hour before opening time.

It told me that I needed a new game-plan and display strategy…
I am looking at Maribrand for the inspiration she has always been to me:


so neat and simple right? my whole inventory of products are always able to fit into a small bag yet I have to bring a huge luggage +++ of stuff just for display. doesn’t make sense right? packing and unpacking in itself leaves me drenched in my own sweat. yes. it is time to rethink display.

(a shout-out to my dear friend Lydia who dropped-by to watch me in panic-mode, haha. just joking! thanks for helping me set up and reassure my frayed nerves. 🙂 you don’t know how much it meant to have someone to be there to help and listen to me ramble on in all my nervousness!)

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