Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

the harmful effect of wanting to know everything quickly.

a) it becomes an obsession to know the definite answer

b) it becomes a must to find answers quickly

c)somehow - it turns us into 'stalkers' of other's life - that by reading what they have written/uploaded, it gives us clues as to who they are as a person (which is really not true; as when we blog, we are fully aware that others could read what we have written)

d) that we care to know what is going on in the minds of others when in fact we ourselves are in confusion as to how our mind works

e)that we forget the beauty of process of anything (that matters to us)

f)that sometimes the privacy of one's life becomes a reflection of another - in which we assure ourselves that what we are going through is similar to someone else in this world

Human beings needs constant assurance and recognition that they are accepted by others?

Monday, September 1, 2008

To take note:

The things that matter - Edward Mendelson
Sources of the Self : The Making of Modern Identity - Charles Taylor
Pedagogy of Freedom - Paulo Freire
The Miseducation of Education - Noam Chomsky


Fahrenheit 9/11
Harold and Kumar Guantanamo Bay
Jean Luc Godard

Dialogical : Constant invisible dialogue in how others see us and how we see ourselves

Thursday, June 5, 2008

sketch 2

Monday, May 5, 2008

Issues of identity and Culture

in Jebat: Death of a Warrior


Looking back to 1819 or before, the history of Singapore – Sultan Hussein and the Temenggong were paid a nominal sum by the British to have the rights to set a port in Singapore. How are all this linked? These issues of special rights sometimes make things more complicated than they already are. For one, it creates dependency. From dependency, it may create obligation. And obligation can be culturally constructed within a society.


Reflecting back: how does this relate back to, how theatres explore issues of identity in culture and society?

History affects the way we look at things – these understanding of history by playwrights (Malay playwrights in this sense) contribute or influence the way the playwright interpret their understanding of the Malay society and culture. This is so as playwrights write based on their observation;

“The process begins with acute observation of our own communities, an ear for language, and an eye for the unusual within the usual; what is unique about the way we live, our blend of cultures and ethnicities, our habits and our habitats.”(Britton, 1997)

Through theatre, there is no definite right or wrong. It is open to endless possibilities – the society we live in, the culture we choose to undertake especially in this era – where we are constantly questioning our intentions and understanding of things (well, at least for me). Theatre explores these issues through the minds of the playwright, the concept of the directors and the play/imagination/believability of the actors. There are many underlying reasons as every one of us come with different experiences and preconceived ideas. It is not just the understanding of one person, but many people for that matter. It is a collaboration of human mind and experiences. That is the beauty of theatre – collaboration, to a no right or wrong answer.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

SIN – BKK – CNX [re-defining]

A collaboration, an understanding, different cultural background = Invisible dialogue between the artist and the public

The idea of heritage expands beyond just Singapore and Malay context in particular. I brought my drawings and prints to Chiangmai for Wunderspaze Action Party 2. The work became different – it is no longer just about the Malay culture. It becomes relational art – working with the audience; creating an invisible dialogue between the artist and the audience through interacting with the artwork.

A Thai student started writing on the text of JAVANESE/MALAY. If I’m not mistaken, she wrote the text SPANISH + AMERICAN + JAPANESE

They were one of the first few to actually start the ball rolling. The man wearing the green shirt did the post-its labeling for most of the drawings.

The responses from the audience based on the initial drawing are the most interesting and beautiful. Because of the rawness of the drawings; I felt that the audiences were not hesitant to actually draw on the working drawings. There were a lot of meaning making going on during the process of collaboration. There is a beauty in act of impulse and spontaneity – in the act of not expecting anything in return. Reflecting on the responses of the public is not easy because there is always a constant dialogue between trying to figure out what they are doing – especially since some of the text was written in language that I was not able to understand.

I started writing on the window panels: “can you help me” in Thai

The act of writing on glass – is it an act or rebellion/graffiti? Writing/Drawing on the glass – is it because they didn’t want to work directly on the working drawings/print works? One thing that I realize is that most of the participants who wrote on the glass/window panels are teenagers or the younger crowd. Why is this so? Does it attract the younger crowd more than the older crowd – because it is writing on the window panels?

At the same time, I interact with the public by working in response to the drawings that they did on the window panel (using masking tape). In a way, it becomes a performance in itself. However, I stop doing it after a while, as some of the participants were a bit hesitant to draw/write when I came to close. Maybe they needed the ‘privacy’ to draw.

This drawing of “listen” is repeated a few times in other works too

The works became site – specific, especially for the drawings on the window panels. After the works are removed and the drawings wiped away, is it still an artwork? Or is it an act of letting go, on my part and on the participant’s part? Letting go of my works and allowing the public to take control of it and letting their (the participants) impulse to just draw and interact with the artwork. It is a humbling experience for me especially because, the intention of doing this interaction cum collaboration with the public was to gain experience and input from others.

The act of cleaning and scrubbing off the marker on the window panels became a performance in itself. I was quite hesitant to scrub it off because I feel that the essence that makes part of my work is lost. It is contradicting, because I invited the audience to draw/write, and after that I scrub it off. Somehow, the fact that the work is not permanent, makes it questionable? Should artworks be permanent? Should it always be documented?

The way I have arranged my work actually affects the way the public look and interact with the work. Some of the repeated prints were combined together and was narrated by the public. It never crosses my mind that it could actually be a story. Reflecting on this, makes me realize that the way I paste and arrange the works acts a stimulus to create reaction/impulses within the public/participants.

From 2D drawing to 3D – an architecture student from US

The public/participants came with different preconceive ideas, cultural backgrounds and experiences. The idea of culture became a ‘collaboration’. After a while, looking and reflecting on the works, this act of collaboration can become quite problematic. I was reading an article written by Thanom Chapakdee regarding Public Art and Collaboration and he mentions “Without having a real understanding of the local contexts of that community, artists pretentiously refer to the cultural benefits and improved living standard which community members will receive from art”. It makes me re-questioned whether the act of bringing in a different cultural context (Malay Singaporean) is problematic. What is my intention and how does bringing this into the context is relevant to the audience? How does it benefit them? I would like to end this with a quote “you know, the true essence of being an artist is not only in your art works. Your life, and how you lead it is far more important” (Navin Rawanchaikui, 2006). Sometimes, there is a need for me to constantly question my intentions of doing art and to be sincere about it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

philosophy makes you think, belief makes you lazy

The ‘problematic-s’ of a society (or so they thought)

: the overflowing number of youth- *apparently, categorized according to their fashion sense = and perceived behaviour of a large number of them)
(thus to be associated seems to be a bad thing?)

high believe in fate (which obviously have to be followed by effort/persistence)

the extremely nonchalant attitude in most?

" When I had finished the first volume of this book, for some little time I
gave myself up to thought because I felt that the period of my lifetime
had witnessed so many wonderful changes and new things which our
grand-parents had never seen. Such events provided me with much food for
meditation. I viewed with particular disfavour the lives led by the Malays
and the circumstances of those with whom I had been acquainted. I had
observed their conduct, behaviour and habits from my youth up to, the
present time and had found that, as time went on, so far from becoming
more intelligent they became more and more stupid. I considered the matter
carefully in my mind and came to the conclusion that there were several
reasons for this state of affairs, but that the main one was the
inhumanity and the repressive tyranny of the Malay rulers, especially
towards their own subjects. The point had been reached at which their
hearts had become like soil which no longer receives its nourishment, and
wherein therefore nothing at all can grow. Industry, intelligence and
learning cannot flourish among them and they are simply like trees in the
jungle falling which ever way the wind blows. I noticed that they were
always railed by men of other races, small fry whose only value is to
provide food for the big fry."
(Munshi Abdullah)