Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Design Disease

I was looking through some blogs that I have in my bookmark, a few of which I have not looked at in a while. Then I read this fairly old post on Noisy Decent Graphic about The Design Disease and was totally taken by it. He later started a flickr pool too.

I am not sure I have that severe a case of that disease but I can certainly identify with some of the symptoms.

There was also this post about The Grand Tour in London in which a collection of priceless paintings were set free around the streets of London. Having just done my 70's exhibition, I am inspired to consider doing one in which old photos of Toa Payoh are enlarged, framed and exhibited at the spot where it was first taken. Any collaborators and sponsors?

Paint on the Run

So entertaining and amazing ... Paintjam.

Thanks for sharing, Prakash!

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Muffin Much

I thank God for the surprises from little angels.

Yesterday, Vincent came by after his lunch and gave me muffin, just as I was thinking of one. That unexpected choc muffin tasted especially good.

Jessie, who walked into Pauseability for the first time today offered me a muffin too. Wow, yet another sweet surprise.

Thanks Vincent and Jessie for making my day!

PS These muffins are from the hawker centre near Pauseability and they are pretty popular.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Life Story

So, what's my story?

I Love My 70's Childhood

When my friend brought her treasured childhood stuff for the exhibition, it was great that I had the chance to listen to her tell me some of the turning-points in her life. What has happened earlier has certainly left an imprint on who she is today.

True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership (J-B Warren Bennis Series)

At that time, I was reading the book True North and in it, the authors were saying that leaders find their true north from their life story. All of us have life stories, but these authentic leaders have reframed theirs and could draw a common thread in them that traced out their purpose in life.

Later, when I saw this wonderful slide presentation about the art of Eric Carle, it is so clear how his life story, especially his childhood in the midst of the world war, has influenced his work.

All this got me asking what my own story is. When I looked at what I have been trying to do with Pauseability, I cannot help but trace bits of my life experiences in it. As a good friend of mine exclaimed when she paused by, "Oh this is so you!".

I guess I continue to ask: so, what's my story?

Thursday, 19 July 2007

What Will Be, Will Be

I Love My 70's Childhood

"I Love My 70's Childhood" starts showing today. Well, just a smallish little display of nostalgia. I am also hoping that those who also spent their childhood in the 70's would add a little something to the 70's pop culture paper quilt.

What I am really happy to share is my collection of Yippee! magazine. The visuals in this magazine had meant alot to me growing up. I am just wondering if there are others who treasured this magazine as much.

I Love My 70's Childhood

There's a stack to dive into if you are a Yippee! fan.

I was pleasantly surprised that information about this exhibition appeared in My Paper.

A little digression: I have created gift vouchers for Pauseability.

Gift Vouchers

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Bathroom Singing

Do you sing in the bathroom?

If we were in India, we could consider taking part in "Bathroom Singer", a new singing contest. Which reminds me of the "Live Your Dream" advert with chubby bathroom singer belting out My Way.

Well, I used to sing in the bathroom but hardly do so these days. Not sure exactly why I sing less these days though.

Someone has suggested that bathroom singing could be a way to gain better work/life harmony(hee!). If you make it a point to sing a song or two each time you shower, at the start and then at the end of the day, and with all the gusto that goes with such singing, I am sure it will give a lift to the day. Hopefully it is harmony for the neighbours too. Haha!

And not forgetting to turn off the water while soaping and singing - do need to save water.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Lah More

I still remember this to be one of my earliest impression of classical music, and Carmen in particular. Not that I knew that it was Carmen that I was listening to. Later, I also realised that this tune was used in a famous Chinese oldie too.

Sesame Street was definitely one of those childhood tv shows that cannot be forgotten. Watching the current series just the other day and seeing computer animated alphabet blocks in the opening sequence shows how it is keeping up with the times and yet the muppets are still there. Remember Oscar the Grouch?

I am looking forward to the "I Love My 70s Childhood" exhibition coming up at Pauseability. While it is a small-scale show, it is nonetheless a rather personal one.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007


Well, I enjoy reading and going to the library.

One of the things I enjoy about being at the library is the accidental discovery of a gem among the shelves. Same for surfing the web. David Shenk warned about the problem with just having niche media where you are only looking at things that are of interest to you. I can just imagine how much I would have missed if I stuck only to the shelves or webpages that I am interested in.

I like the bookcart in the photo above. It is one of the entries for a Pimp My Bookcart Contest.

And on the topic of books, it is interesting to find out that while many of us would think the increase in literacy in the middle ages is due to the invention of the printing press, it is really related to availability of cheap paper which were made from rags, including underwear and discarded clothes due to the Black Death. Who would have thought that wearing underwear led to increased medieval literacy. Ha!

Meanwhile, I am reading Susan Greenfield's, an acclaimed neuroscientist, Tomorrow's People. Extending from on her knowledge of neuroscience, she speculates what the future might be like in lifestyle, work, education and even terrorism.

Tomorrow's People

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Meet the Artist

Chat with the Artist

A simple but wonderful session with Jacklyn, the first artist who is exhibiting at Pauseability. Friends who came by enjoyed the casual time and some even tried their hands at creating their own masterpieces. (Pardon the poor camera work.)

Different Strokes

After everyone left, it was a pleasant surprise to meet Wai Mun and her husband, and it was great having dinner with them.

And sadly, I discovered that my online catalogue has been hacked. Sigh! Hope I can restore it quickly and also learn how to make it more secure.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Risk-Taking on Order

Through Tomorrow, the Bulletin of Singapore Bloggers, I came across this blog entry by Gary, an American who spent a year here in Singapore. In it, he reflected on his experience here even as he packs to move on somewhere else.

While he conceded that Singapore is "every bit a miracle", he felt that we were just too boringly predictable, orderly and compliant.

This is not exactly a very new observation since our leaders have specifically set themselves to work on making us more innovative and less risk-averse. In schools, we have been talking about Innovation and Enterprise. So, in true Singapore-style, we have made this our national agenda.

Is it too early to tell if we will ever succeed with this tried and tested top-driven method? Or is it time to be innovative even in tackling this? But to chose the latter would mean taking a risk - risk that it might backfire, risk that it might create an unexpected mess. In some sense, we seem to be bounded by our very own success, even as we grapple with the realities of the new creative economy.

Setting up Pauseability has been my own learning about taking risk. It has been a mix of exhilaration, doubts and simply not knowing. Could I have learned as much if I had stayed on within the system? Perhaps the opportunities to do so have increased but my guess is that it would still have been different.

Interacting with the people who paused by the shop has also been instructive. Most of them have found it quite inconceivable that they are just to play and create with the provided materials without specific instructions given. Some of them said that this is just how the pragmatic Singaporeans are. Or is this just a universal aversion to uncertainty? I hope that many will find Pauseability a good "laboratory" to experience a little risk-taking, creativity and even a little chaos; to learn to see possibilities.

Creativity, risk-taking, even a little chaos are what have been said to be needed to have that je ne sais quoi in our city so that we can surge ahead. On first impression, these things do not appear to be able to happen by order but perhaps in our truly unique way, we will prove that it can. It is just that we will need to succeed real fast.

And here is a good example of not getting caged in. Clever idea eh?