does not get eliminated but instead gets a private lesson with the Master on honing his/her skills. Hence the title ‘School of Chocolate’. Such a positive teaching approach is a refreshing change in the world of cutthroat reality baking shows. And this teaching-learning direction actually sees contestants growing, supporting and helping each other complete their tasks, which is quite unheard of in other reality shows.
I chanced upon this book at my neighbourhood library while searching for resources for my 14 year old. Being the only “arts management” book on the shelf, I borrowed it without much thought. However once I started reading, things began to fall in place. The people who dreamed/envisioned/created policies and places during the period that Singapore’s art scene was touted to be the “Renaissance City” actually had a direct impact on me.
Sometimes life is not just about all the mundane things, but the connections and meaning that you create out of what you have – little things like having a conversation about what matters most to you, how a stranger held the door for you, or how you were able to indulge in your favourite dish this afternoon, are things that many people tend to overlook. But the amalgamation of all these little things will then serve their purpose of grounding us, and will remind us the true bliss of living life despite all the challenges we face. I’d like to quote from the Dead Poets’ Society, “We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.”
Initially, this book was a reading material for a university class, but it wasn’t like any other textbooks. It was a coffee table-esque book with interesting copy and graphics. I loved this book for the bold illustrations and for the message it sends. The main message for this book is to “ACT NOW” because we are always procrastinating or waiting for the perfect time to do something (or at least, I am) and here’s the thing, there is never a good time.
“To market, to market to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig”
I have a love-hate relationship with wet markets….the chunks of bloody raw meat, an ear here and a tail there coupled with raw fish smell and the wet floor is really not very appealing. However, one can’t deny that somehow the meat tastes sweeter, the vegetables crunchier and the fruits fresher. But what I really enjoy about wet markets is that I get to become a “Toa Payoh Auntie”. Eavesdropping on other people’s conversations while waiting in line to buy my pork, taking in the array of colours from the fruit stores or peeking into other people’s plastic baskets and asking them where they got it from. And I am always fascinated by how the butcher effortlessly switches from Cantonese to Mandarin to English and then back to Cantonese again all while chopping up his pork orders. The cacophony of sounds and promise of fresh food brings me back once in a while as these are experiences one can’t find in an air conditioned supermarket.
Go visit one now!
Visiting the Asian Civilisation Museum was eye-opening and I felt like I had gained a new perspective after visiting the museum. I believe that most of the history I know was written in a Western perspective. The exhibitions featured different artefacts that showed how the cultures overlapped in Asia. Being a big fan of history, the trip was extremely insightful and inspiring. The jars on the left are a mix of Asian and European components and was produced during the 18th century.
I came across one of his photos featured on an Instagram page and I felt drawn to the surreality of the image. His works intrigued me and I went into more research about who he is. He’s a Taiwanese photographer, also known as 3cm, and his works dances on the line of bizarre and beauty.
When you first see his work, you feel entranced by the continuity and complexity of his photo. His works revolves around the struggles of females and questioning the relationship between women and their environment. His works have a hint of horror, leaning towards surrealism.
Music from the 60s – 80s are my all-time favourites. The melody and lyrics seem to resonate strongly with me compared to the current songs we have today; maybe I’m just an old soul. One of my favourite bands of that time is Queen, a British Rock band formed in London during the 1970s.
I admire the songs they have composed from experimental songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody” to sentimental ballads like “Love of my life”. Songs that make you feel like a rockstar while singing in the shower! In 2018, a movie was released titled, Bohemian Rhapsody, a biographical drama film about Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen. To watch another artist’s life, the ups and downs, twist and turns, and the passion that’s burning in Freddie Mercury, ignited my flame. It reminded me why I chose to be an artist!
Self-care is something I wanted to keep in mind for 2020, and I chanced upon this book one random visit to Kinokuniya.
“Love for imperfect things” – How to accept yourself in a world starving for perfection. It is related to me because as a dancer/performer/creator I was also so hard on myself to be “perfect” or to be more creative. That limited my ability to express myself or enjoy what I do. And so reading this book allowed me to understand, accept and be okay with the things I create and I started to appreciate myself a little bit more.