#throwbackthursday#Icelollyproject 25: pomegranate-avocado-Bartlett pear. My report from Norwicg, 2013, was as follows: "FAIL. Frozen avocado tastes like farty boiled egg yolks. Pomegranate pips are really delicious frozen but require a bonding agent: otherwise they scatter all over the floor as soon as you pop the lolly out of its holder. Whole Bartlett pear (naturally red) takes a long time to defrost, so while you're nibbling the loose pomegranate bits, it's too rock solid to chew for contrast (although it's lovely once it thaws)."
On #throwbackthursday , I'm continuing my quest to undermine NMP-to-be Walter Theseira's political career by exposing our shared theatrical past. These are shots from our 1994 ACS Drama Club production of Agatha Christie's courtroom drama Witness for the Prosecution. Walter plays the solicitor Mr Myers, while I grumpily do nothing as Justice Wainwright. I'm particularly bitter because I had high hopes to play the leading lady Romaine Vole, but the school had installed a new principal, Dr Ong Teck Chin (latrr fired for harrassment of a male teacher) and he banned drag performances. Oddly enough, our costume designers Gary Loke and Becca d'Bus clothed us all in chinoiserie, which confused everyone but lent me no comfort: as a judge, I alone was robed in funereal black. (Yes, I do believe that is a fat-shaming caption. This was the same year the Trim And Fit club was introduced. Dark times) #sgtheatre#sghistory
Nights at the Circus, by Angela Carter. I bought this back in my uni days in the UK and only just finished it, and it's marvellous: a feminist magical realist take on urban Victoriana, suffused with both literary experiment (what a vocabulary!) and the good old rollicking joy of storytelling. Every chapter unfolds a new miracle, like a matryoshka doll, and keeps you guessing till the end. #yishreads#britishlit
From the ACS Magazine 1993: evidence that NMP-to-be Walter Theseira, Becca de Bus and I all did drag in a parody production of Macbeth for ACS Drama Club. The first pic shows Walter (playing Lady Macbeth) facepalming next to Zachary Ho (playing Macbeth; he's now an actor and the husband of Joanna Dong). Becca is under the crossed swords (teehee). I thought I was raising a wristwatched arm below him, but now I think I'm in the next pic, changed into my uniform, above Edward Yong (who played Bottom in Pyramus and Thisbe, and later Malcolm in Army Daze: The Movie). Also featured: Becca and I with our fellow witch Jeffrey Lim (he's straight, but he became a proctologist) and Zachary fencing with Endriko Topo, who played Macduff and buggered off to Australia. #sgtheatre#sghistory
#Icelollyproject 266: peach-banana-rambutan. Very nice! The subtle flavours all blend into one another, partly because I've left this sitting in the freezer for a month. (This lolly mould is tricky for extractions.)
The National Gallery has a rather nice exhibit on Lim Cheng Hoe (1912-1979), granddaddy of Singaporean watercolour art, fascinated not only by idyllic kampungscapes but also by the frenetic modernisation that was swallowing them up. Also not bad: the Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010) show. Since they know everyone's sick of his paintings of poky houses, they're finally showing his nudes: attempts to recreate the life drawings he made in Paris, later destroyed in the Cultural Revolution. #sgart#chineseart
Sinuous, by Lydia Kwa. These poems meander through Toronto, Tokyo and Singapore, exploring both the politics of Canadian racial policy and the personal trauma of losing one's mother. The sequences are titled by chapter rather than by fragment: it's the journey of an emerging consciousness, filled with live observations, memories and quotes, reminiscent of both Cyril Wong's Satori Blues and Francis Ng's FMSR. #yishreads#sglit#canadianliterature
Caught Tiger of Malaya last night! It's a very odd piece: a subversive play-within-a-play reworking of the 1943 Japanese propaganda movie Tiger of Malaya, featuring multilingual Singaporean and Japanese actors, it's super entertaining, but also marked by bizarre shifts in tone and an open abandonment of traditional characterisation--it's post-dramatic, as one Japanese character, Saiko (pronounced "Psycho") describes her theatre practice. At first I thought of it as occupying a middle ground between Alf's millennial works (sex.violence.blood.gore, Asian Boys Vol 1) and his Yasmin Ahmad-inspired Malay works (Nadirah, Parah), but I think that doesn't quite capture how it's reaching in new directions of experimentation, with fresh influences. Still, I'm not completely sure if director Fared Jainal made the most of just how campy it's supposed to be. Very funny, though, and very weird 😁 Also, Teater Ekamatra's 30th anniversary poster wall brings back so many memories #sgtheatre
#Icelollyproject 265: blueberry-cherry-duku langsat. Quite good! Mostly thanks to the cherry, but the fact that this was an unusually unbitter bunch of duku meant that this made for a rather yummy whole.
Stopped by Ila's first solo exhibition, The Spirits of Echoes, last night! She's collected over 60 ghost stories and interpreted them through projections of Singapore's urban landscape through fabric in a darkened room. Not pictured: chatting with librarians, archivists and musicians later about how seldom Malay artists are given a platform to reinterpret Malay ghost stories; the complicated role Chinese Singaporean and Malaysian artists play in drawing on this lore. #sgart
Polymorphism, by Indira Chandrasekhar. These are weird and unsettling slipstream pieces, all centred on the experience of being a woman in contemporary India, where the intrusions of patriarchy/modernity/terrorism/casteism/disease physically cause bodies to levitate or clone themselves or die. I'm used to spec fic that revels in myth and/or genre; this instead points at the violence of today and says, metaphor or no metaphor, impossible or possible, this is what happens, and this is what it feels like. #yishreads#indianliterature
#PaintedShadows tour for LaSalle Fine Arts students today! Remember, you can hire me to do this queer Southeast Asian art history tour anytime. Also, bumped into the National Gallery's Director, Eugene Tan, and bugged him to buy works by Southeast Asian queer women artists. He said he didn't know enough names, so I'm gonna compile a list. Can you guys help?
#throwbackthursday#Icelollyproject 24: tamarillo-pepino melon-conference pear.
Report from Norwich, 2013: "The first two are Ecuadorian fruits discovered at Morrisons Supermarket. Tamarillo tastes very much like tomato, and if you just use its inner pulp you get loads of tangy goodness and none of the bitter aftertaste its outer flesh provides. Pepino melon is very bland. The contrast works okay: the tamarillo also melted first, resulting in a lovely mushy mix of textures too.Using the whole pear as the base was, once again, very yummy and structurally sound. Pears are in season for a while longer! :)"
Traces of the Ramayana and Mahabharata in Javanese and Malay Literature, eds. Ding Choo Ming & Willem Van Der Mollen. Not sure if I should've spent my time on this. It's a bit technical; best for folks who already know Southeast Asian classical lit AND Indian epics inside out. We do get the cool idea that Malay folks may have been purposefully using Javanese elements for exoticism, not just out of derivativeness. And some nice Balinese paintings of King Shalya reluctantly leaving his wife in bed (post-coitally snoozing) so he can go off and die in war. #yishreads#malaysianliterature#indonesianliterature
#RosatheBarbarian has been peeing and pooping on people's beds recently, so we're keeping her outdoors. In revenge, she's hiding in the terraces. I have to stretch to even scratch her ears. #catsofsingapore
#Icelollyproject 264: blueberry-cherry-banana. The cherries are what really make this great: they're much sweeter, much brighter tasting than the blueberries. Or maybe I should pulp the blueberries more?
Spent this morning at Alfian Sa'at's talk "Kurang Ajar: Some Rude Gestures in Singapore Malay Theatre", surveying young theatremakers' controversial work in the 90s: Nizam Rahman's "Liwat" (depicting a gay relationship, 1989), Effendy Ibrahim's "Anak Melayu" (featuring teen mall culture, 1992), Teater Artistik's "A.K.U." (featurig gay male and trans stories in talk show format, 1998), Alin Aidli Mosbit's "Kosovo" (about Bosnian Muslim refugees seeking shelter with nuns, 1993) and "Ikan Cantik" (about women's roles, including a lesbian story, 1998). Created when many of the playwrights were only teenagers, these works were criticised mercilessly in the press by ustazes and housewives and senior theatre practitioners; they were a massive contrast to the more heritage-centred Malay theatre of the 80s, seen as the glory days of the scene (partly because the English scene was still emerging and the Chinese theatre practitioners were lying low after mass detentions of leftists). They paved the way for 21st century Malay plays that unabashedly examine faith and sexuality and morality... though I can't help but wonder if less outrage means that theatre is now less relevant to the community. I skipped the discussion, though: one idea brought up was how we can decolonise discourse, perhaps examining terms people used such as "niat", or intention. Interestingly, this was programmed as part of a Malaysia-Indonesia-Singapore dance workshop, pondering the new possibilities of Malay dance 😀 #sgtheatre