Voyage Night Festival and Night Lights 2011

September 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Posted in itchy mouth | Leave a comment
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Itchyfingers joined many others at the National Museum of Singapore for our third museum night festival. Called Voyage Night Festival, one of the highlights was Corazon de Angeles in Paradise (Heart of Angels) by a Belgian theatre company.

It was a very wet day. Coincidentally, it poured heavily for last year’s night festival as well, but luckily we were there for both nights so could catch the show on Friday. The Saturday show started late due to rain. This time, however, Itchyfingers skipped the first Friday show and so were a bit worried that the Saturday one would be cancelled. Luckily it started to clear up in the early evening.

We reached the museum earlier to catch other exhibits and performances. Entry to the museum was free, so we visited Abbas, 45 Years in Photography (now showing until 19 Sep) as well as a photography and watercolour painting joint exhibition by Ong Kim Seng and Kwek Leng Joo on the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, which just ended on the day of our visit.

Titled, “A Dozen of Those” by Lim Shing Ee, these 12 balloons held by
faceless brown figures sitting on brown boulders, represented the sense of
displacement and dislocation of those who uprooted themselves from their
familiar environment. The artist is a Singaporean living in Japan with her
Japanese husband and two young sons. We caught Eva Quartet performing here…

But I thought these little guys looked more like little Magnum ice-creams
sitting on round chocolates! 😀 Or coffee beans? 😀

Then we heard from museums volunteers that the show would again be postponed to 11.45pm from the original 10.30pm due to the rain! But I thought it stopped raining in the early evening already? That would mean close to two hours’ wait for us! We didn’t hang around to wait since we started our day very early for birdwatching and were getting tired. There wasn’t that many interesting programmes or installation to keep us entertained while waiting, maybe cos we only stayed around the museum vicinity and didn’t go to the Art Museum. A bit disappointing to have missed it. Click here to see what we have missed…  😦

However, all was not lost. Itchyfingers went back the following week for the Night Lights 2011 event, an outdoor showcase of light installations from France.

This was another highlight of the show – Lyrical Perspective (Perspective Lyrique) by 1024 architecture, a visual and sound-based interactive mapping projection that made the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) facade come alive. Visitors were also invited to interact with the installation by making sound into the microphone. Wonder how many drivers were distracted while passing by? :p

 I love the music! 😀

The “face” and the sound actually sounded constipated! Hahahah… 😀

Enter the Art Museum and you would be spooked by this guy…

Titled, “Switch” by Tony Oursler, this was a 8-part installation using
recorded images incorporated with sound projected onto doll-like figurines.
It was fun observing other people’s reaction when they first saw this – some
were amused while others got a shock…hahah 

An illustration on the mechanism behind the work

Another pair at 8Q ….Funny looking….they were holding hands! 😀

A wall full of moving flowers…I think these were existing exhibits and not
part of the festival 

A cute floral patterned elephant sat next to the stairs

A closer look and I realised the elephant was decorated with tiny flower 
stickers! Some of them were peeling off…works of some visitors with
itchy fingers…

The SAM’s courtyard was invaded by gigantic jellyfish!

Titled, “Curiosités” by Alain Benini, these were “a nest of luminous jellyfish
rising up from the fountains and float over the courtyard with a curious
ballet of tentacles”

They looked graceful. If you have visited aquariums, you would remember
seeing the graceful dance moves of the illuminated jellyfish under changing
lights. So I thought maybe there should be a change of lights on the huge
jellyfish balloons, with music synchronizing both light and movement.
Then it would look more magical…

Now it relied on the natural breeze to give us “upskirt” glimpse of the 
jellyfish ladies…hahah. This just reminded me of Sundown Marathon… 😛

Another installation that encouraged interaction was “Reactive Wall” by Mojoko in collaboration with computer programmer Shang Liang. Showcasing over 200 images of popular local and graphic icons, these were “activated” and popped up to cover the wall when visitors made sounds through the microphones….There were two on show. One was a huge coloured panel, which I thought wasn’t working that well maybe partly due to the earlier technical glitch. The other was this smaller black-and-white one in a small room. Maybe a more confined area made the animation work better, cos even sounds from outside could be captured here…

Most of the sounds actually came from outside the room, where visitors were shouting
at the coloured wall! 

Itchyfingers then went back to the National Museum to catch the Open Air Cinema Under the Banyan Tree. The last one we watched was some time back. I was attracted to the movie, 13 Ghosts by William Castle, after reading the e-newsletter. It was supposed to be “13 times the thrills! 13 times the fun! 13 times the screams!” and “13 times the entertainment when you use the Ghost-Viewer!”. Huh? So this old black-and-white movie was already so advance that they had 3D effects?

The “Ghost-Viewer” everyone got free from the museum. We were supposed
to use the red panel to see ghosts if you believed in them and use the green
one if you didn’t. Er, but why block off the ghosts when you were watching
a ghost movie? :p? Clearly a marketing gimmick from the director…hahah

Itchyfingers with our Ghost-Viewers…hahaha

We were still thinking why the organiser didn’t give a brief on how to use the Ghost-Viewer. Then the movie started…So the job was left to the director himself! 😀

A synopsis of the movie: “Cyrus and his impoverished family get the shock of lifetime when they inherit a huge but ramshackle house from an eccentric uncle. Their new residence comes complete with a spooky housekeeper and 12 horrifying ghosts. Held captive in the eerie house, they must sacrifice an unlucky 13th before they can be freed!”

Viewing through the blue cellophane of the Ghost-Viewer…look, no ghost!

And through the red….oooo…ghosts! So scary! Hahahah….

Actually with or without the viewer, you could still see the ghosts, but they were just not as clear and three-dimensional. Tisu Boy didn’t really like the show as he thought the effects were not good, but that was a 1960 movie! Quite good for the time already!

When the screen turned blue, the big words of “Use Viewer” were there to
remind audience to choose between their blue and green viewer. Similarly,
when it turned back to normal black-and-white, we were reminded to 
“Remove Viewer”. It was quite a fun experience though…

Itchyfingers ended our night before viewing two more installations…Didn’t get to see “The Fish Tree” at the School of the Art cos we needed to get up early the next day and wasn’t too impressed with “The Cloud” and “Parking Mad”.

“Lampounettes” by TILT showcased a row of gigantic table lamps along
SMU building. Made you want to read a book under the light…hahahah 

“Green Invaders” by Yves Caizergues! Sound of the video was switched off cos of noisy kids! :p 

Also see related posts:
> The World’s Slowest SMS vs Broken Satellites – Night Festival 2010
Night at the Museum – Night Festival 2009
Come Drink…and Laugh with Me
Singing in the Rain Under the Banyan Tree


Pirate in the Land of Smiles – Bangkok, Thailand Trip #3a

February 6, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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The lights went off. Image faded away. I had my gadget ready all this while on standby mode. The little red light on it suddenly looked so bright. Not before long, as if programmed to an automated mode, everyone stood up without being told to. Being first-timer, Itchyfingers also did so. Soon, image reappeared. I knew this was the moment I had been waiting for. Feeling nervous as it was the first time I was doing this, I looked around before raising my gadget discreetly, and pointed at the image. Damn…my gadget looked blindingly glaring now! What if I was caught? So I had to hold it slightly lower…There were too many mountains in front of us…I must try to overcome these obstacles to reach my goal…

Still not sure what Itchyfingers was up to?

Itchyfingers had turned to piracy in the Land of Smiles! To be more precise, Itchyfingers was secretly filming in the theatre in Bangkok… :O!

So, what made the law-abiding (locally or overseas) Itchyfingers, break the law?

Everyone knows how much the ordinary Thai people love their King, Bhumibol Adulyadej. A special anthem, called the Royal Anthem, honoring the king is played on many public occasions to express the respect and love that the Thai people have for their monarch. One such public places is the movie theatre. Everytime you go to the theatre, they will play the Royal Anthem before the start of the actual movie. Everyone, including foreigners and tourists, is expected to raise from his seat to pay respect to the King. I read that if you do not do so, you will surely be reprimanded by the otherwise mild-mannered Thai people. It was even reported that in April, 2008, a Thai citizen had to face criminal charges of “Lèse majesté” (the crime of violating majesty, an offense against the dignity of a reigning sovereign or against a state) for failing to stand for the playing of the Royal Anthem at a movie theatre in Bangkok. Despite the fact that we had visited Thailand several times, this was the first time we ever watched a movie there. So I was looking forward to seeing the Anthem being played with all the audience standing up…

So when the lights went off and everyone stood up, I raised my camera to shoot. Initially I was worried that the bright light from the LCD screen would attract attention from fellow movie-goers, and get a scolding from them. So I didn’t dare to hold it too high. As there were taller Caucasians in front of us, my view was blocked and I couldn’t get a clear picture. I guessed those pirated movies you ever watched on disks had this same problem too…haha..However, I got bolder as the song went on cos no one seemed to be too bothered. So I raised my camera higher, and at the same time, remembered that I could zoom in with this camera while shooting in the video mode.

The visual, together with the music, was actually quite touching. It really showed how much the Thai people love and respect their King. The clip ended with the line, “Long Life The King!” in both Thai and English, which unfortunately, was partially blocked on my video clip. Later, I found on this site, a translation of the Royal Anthem:

“We, Your Majesty’s loyal subjects,
Pay homage with deep-felt veneration,
To the supreme Protector of the Realm,
The mightiest of monarchs complete with transcendent virtues,
Under whose benevolent rule, we, Your subjects,
Receive protection and happiness,
Prosperity and peace;
And we wish that whatsoever Your Majesty may desire,
The same may be fulfilled.”

This is the result of my maiden attempt in piracy…hahah…

I find the tune very soothing… 🙂

Next time you are in Thailand, try to catch a movie, and experience for yourself this touching moment! 🙂

Also see related posts:
> Children of Heaven – Bangkok, Thailand trip #2a
> Have a Break…Take a Nap – Bangkok, Thailand trip #1a

Nine Portions with Nine Lives – Taiwan Trip #14

March 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Posted in itchy backside | 4 Comments
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Once upon a time there was this village with just nine families. Each time the villagers would request ‘nine portions’ from shipments arrived from town. As times went by, people began calling the village ‘nine portions’, or jiufen 九份 in chinese. And the people lived happily ever after…:p

Wow. Er…I vaguely remembered reading there is another place in Taiwan called Shih-fen 十分? :p Wonder what was the story behind…. :p

Well, Jiufen used to be a propsperous gold mining town until mining was discontinued. In 1989, Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien 侯孝贤 filmed A City of Sadness 悲情城市 in Jiufen, and the small town with charming old buildings and streets on a steep mountain became popular destination for visitors. In 2001, Jiufen’s downtown was used as a model in the anime movie, Spirited Away 千と千尋の神隠し, one of my favourite movies by Hayao Miyazaki 宮崎駿

Have not had a chance to watch the chinese movie, but just because of this
sign here, this must be one of the most photographed spot in Jiufen…

Movie poster of another movie, Dust in the Wind, by the same director…not
sure if he shot the film here…couldn’t find much information about this 1987 film

There were no lack of teahouses to relax tired feet…

You could see mountain and the Pacific Ocean here…very good fengshui…hee

A lot of homestay available…next time maybe can try…

Another view…

We soon felt it was a bit touristy for our liking…such a charming place bustling with commercial activities…so we tried to escape by sneaking into backlanes…

…and saw a sleeping cat on a roof top…shouldn’t old towns have such
relax and laid back feel? Made me feel like sleeping too… 😀 Guess if you
were said to have nine lives like cats
you could afford to sleep anywhere you like…

Not too sure what the stylised chinese words said…but I like the shape

Nice old window 

Surrounded by plants

A heart shape… 


Besides the protective shield
, many bikes had these fabric gloves attached onto
the handle to keep the hands warm… 

And we saw more cats…Cats seemed to be everywhere in Jiufen…


on door….

on sign…

We soon found ourselves back to the busy streets again….

One of the shops that I had planned to visit in Taiwan….
Henry Cats

The cats and dogs merchanise were simply beautiful…especially the hand
painted stones…couldn’t afford those though…:( 

At the other corner was a second shop with cafe upstairs

Ooo…So many cats on the sign…

Wow! More cats inside!

There were many chops with cat designs available for you to DIY and 
personalise a card…This was the card Itchyfingers chopped, complete
with a typical Jiufen old building along the stairs and postmark… 😀

The artist at work

When there’s cat, there’s fish…. :p

Cute doggy waiting to be fed dried cuttlefish…

The same cute doggy resting by the street when we were about to leave…

As a whole, I like Jiufen for the charming old buildings and the view you get there. The weather was cool so having something hot to eat or drink was such great joy. There were many teahouses, cafes and eateries as well as shops selling food but I wished there were lesser of those shops selling the run-out-of-the-mill souvenirs for tourists. Instead have some unique designed stuff inspired from the place itself. With its proximity and relatively easy assess from Taipei city, there would be no problem attracting visitors for short day trips or stay.

I think the many shop owners in modern day Jiufen can also live happily ever after, counting the endless flow of tourists’ money…. :p

Also see related posts:
Déjà Vu and a Brief Encounter – Taiwan Trip #13
Letting Our Imagination Run Wild – Taiwan Trip #12
Walking in the Wind – Taiwan Trip #11
A Walk Along the Cliff – Taiwan Trip #10
Away From the Concrete Jungle – Taiwan Trip #9
Shit Happens – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #8
Gorilla in the Mist – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #7
It’s a Cat! No! It’s a Bear! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #6
Wow Cow! Holy Cow! So Many Cows! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #5
Gong Xi Fa Cai! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #4
Holy Cow! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #3
Wow Cow! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #2
Buy One Get One Free! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #1 

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