The “Die-Die-Must-See”! – Singapore Biennale 2008 #1

October 29, 2008 at 12:16 am | Posted in itchy mouth | Leave a comment
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Itchyfingers visited the Singapore Biennale 2008 three weeks back (wow now then post! heee…very busy…). Among the many work exhibited, there were some which really left a deep impression on us for its creativity, beauty, element of surprise and interactivity; some were interesting and unusual; and some really left you wondering what the h*ll were they trying to do…Itchyfingers shall start with what we thought were really the “Die-die-must-see” pieces.

The “Die-Die-Must-See” #1: Hair Salon by Leandro Erlich (Installation @ South Beach Development)
This installation easily topped Itchyfingers‘ list of “Die-die-must-see”. When we first saw the salon from outside, we weren’t even impressed by it cos it looked just like any ordinary neighbourhood hair salon. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to go in and was a bit puzzled why the two visitors inside seemed to be having fun taking pictures, until Tisu Boy took a glance at the rationale and said the artist did something to the mirror. Curious, we stepped into the salon.

Nothing special leh, we thought, just a retro looking salon. The room had the typical two-rows-of-mirrors-facing-each-wall setup. But on second look….something was not right!

The reflection in the mirror was not the same girl!

It was only now that we realised that the “mirrors” on the walls were not real mirrors! I stick out my hand to confirm it…So, only the opposite wall had real mirror, and the reflections we saw actually came from the real mirrors in the other identical room next door! This was really totally unexpected!

See! No reflection on this “mirror”!

The artist had painstakingly created a mirror image of all the item
found in the salon, including clock, hair products and magazines that
had flipped wordings.

We had fun trying to spot any loopholes in the salon, but everything seemed to be perfectly reflected, just like mirror images. I couldn’t help but check out the magazine to see if the artist had mirrored even the inside pages…(so itchyfingers!) but immediately realised that I shouldn’t be touching the ‘exhbits” when the sharp-eyed volunteer quickly came to me. Opps! Sorry sorry! 😛 Ya, he did mirror the inside pages, well, not sure if it was the whole book though…not enough time to check out…hahaha…:D

When we were inside, all visitors were amazed and amused by the discovery. This was indeed a clever way to create an element of surprise especially outta something so ordinary, posing an interesting question about reality and illusion. I think even the volunteer had a lot of fun observing the facial expression of visitors! Well, the exhibit wouldn’t be a success without the volunteers patiently realigning everything after every visitors’ touching them!

The “Die-Die-Must-See” #2: Blackfield by Zadok Ben-David (Installation @ City Hall)
Thousands of small, wrispy plants etched out of metal grow out of a ground of white sand. The intricately etched out sea of dark plants were simply beautiful.

It reminded me of life in a desert…

I wished I had a pair of binoculars to zoom into every single plant to admire them…walking around the white sandy ground, with a change of perspectively, one would be pleasantly surprised…

Cheerful and brightly coloured on the reverse side!

It had this mesmerizing effect that made visitors wanting to view them from all angles…up close and personal…

…on all fours…

Even on all five!

When your work had such effect on people, you know you had succeeded! 😀 So Blackfield certainly deserved to be number two on our “Die-die-must-see” list!

A closeup

The “Die-Die-Must-See” #3: Serigala Militia by Tromarama (Video and Installation @ City Hall)
Itchyfingers dun normally have the patience for video installation as you have to wait for the clip to finish before you can watch it from the beginning, and most of the time, they dun make any sense to us..:p But for this piece, we watched it three times! Why leh?

The room had a normal video projection in the centre. Both sides
of the wall had a stretch of woodcut artwork on them.

Looking at them again, you would realise that these were actually
storyboard of the music video playing on the screen.

What impressed Itchyfingers was these storyboards were actually individually cut from plywood. The artists of a group of tightly knit young people from different design background, incorporated the traditional woodprint technique to create this set of storyboard: applying a layer of black ink on the plywood; cutting out the details; shoot a picture and continue cutting out more details and shooting another picture. Each picture would then become a single frame for the music video, thus creating a certain stop-motion animated raw effect, which complemented the heavy metal music video quite well.

Having tried woodblock printing in school, I know this piece of work
is really time consuming! Great effort!

A closeup of a frame

The “Die-Die-Must-See” #4: Maggots by Pham Ngoc Duong (Installation @ City Hall)

The first exhibit that welcomed visitors must be the huge maggots crawling on the staircase to the red carpet.

So cute!

These playful looking maggots were what the artists wanted to show when one looked under a microscope.”The presence of maggots signals the rotting of the host’s body – a metaphor for corruption within a system”, was what the official guidebook says. Wow, I din share the same feeling as the artist, but I had the feeling of being shrunk down to miniature Itchyfingers walking side by side the maggots…if only the artist were to go one step further and make giant furnitures around to show how life as a maggots really is…that would be more interesting…:p The number of maggots could be trippled to add on to the impact…hee….just a little thought…:p Nevertheless, I still like Maggots.

Invasion of maggots

I think another exhibits that deserved to be on Itchyfingers‘ “Die-die-must-see” list should go to the South Beach Development Building itself! We shall show you why in the next post… 8)

Also see related posts:
> Money No Enough Too
> Death of Friendship


Mozzie Control in the Orchard

October 26, 2008 at 12:03 am | Posted in itchy mouth | Leave a comment
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Mozzies have been spreading Dengue and Chikunkuniya in Singapore these recent years. People have been told of various ways to stop the breeding of mosquitoes at home by making sure there is no stagnant water left in pots, pails etc. Another way to control or exterminate these pests is to use insecticide, or back to the good old mosquitoe coils from our grannies’ time as a more economical mozzie repellent.

One of the private art galleries in our famous shopping belt obviously is also very concern about public health, especially of tourists visiting here; that they have very generously put up a giant mozzy coil in the middle of Orchard Road that probably has the ability to turn off all mozzies in the precinct for a good one month…! 😀

Mozzies, mozzies, go away!

Burning for one more day before calling it quit…:p

Everyone Says Good Good Eat!

October 12, 2008 at 11:47 pm | Posted in itchy mouth | 4 Comments
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Normally I would skip the chips and crackers section of supermarkets and stores as I have stopped snacking on these for the longest time (but still can’t resist the occasional chocolate treat! :p) But this particular day while shopping with a friend I saw this interesting pack from Taiwan that I simply had to buy! The unusual thing about it was not the content they were selling, which looked like any other kind of crackers, but rather, it was the name and graphic that caught my eyes.

Cute right?? 😀

“Good good eat”?? I thought that sounded more Singlish than Taiwanese…hahah 8) And just who the hell is this 張君雅小妹妹? There were two different flavours on the shelf, so I decided to take the last pack of this flavour.

Back of the pack

It was only when I scrutinised the pack after buying that I noticed these fine prints…

Wow! So is this 張君雅小妹妹 a gourmet or food critic who tried the product
and gave it a thumbs up? But she is just a little girl leh….:o

Wow! Got blog one leh this 張君雅小妹妹! There’s her msn emoticon too!

Now I am getting very curious! Just who is she? A cult figure? A child celebrity? A google search gave me the answer…

張君雅小妹妹 is a character in the advertisement for a series of snacks from a Taiwan food company, WeiLin. As to why they chose to use the name 張君雅小妹妹, I really got no idea…:p Probably to stand out from the crowd but I think the marketing strategy was quite a hit among consumers. I really had a good laugh watching their quirky advertisements!

This is one of the simplest yet funny ad. For those who can’t understand Mandarin, it’s basically about a little boy asking the young man to return him his snack that he had dropped. The guy then asked for the boy’s name and said it did not match the one on the pack and walked away with an annoying giggle. It was so popular that the local variety show did a spoof out of it!

Then finally we see 張君雅小妹妹 in person in this ad for another product line.

Then there’s this another one, asking 張君雅小妹妹 to rush home for the noodle that the granny had cooked for her. Why did the voiceover remind me of the previous president of Taiwan? :p

The almost finished snack, which were half size smaller than those
on the packaging. It tasted decent and not as salty as the usual chips

I think I won’t mind picking up the other flavour or other products if they are available here. :p

Also see related post:
> The Full Monty

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