Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Civic Life" in Tiong Bahru

In local news - there's been a local heritage/cultural/art project going on around Tiong Bahru this summer called CIVIC LIFE:
"A major project exploring identity, architecture, memory, community, a sense of place and civic space."
There's a film, a film competition, a writing workshop, sketch walks, talks, an exhibit at the National Museum, and a blog with contributions by local artists, historians, intellectuals. From what I can tell, there's involved support from the arts community and locals, the British Council, the National Museum of Singapore, all those types of institutions. We sat and watched filming for the movie, "Civic Life" back on our first day back from NYC. Drinking sugar cane juice in the Tiong Bahru Market while two filmmakers led at team through several takes of an interview shot. I love watching films get made. Such persistence and team-work! It's a wonder we have anything to watch at all.

I'm enjoying the stories and memories captured on the blog - it's a great read, and a welcome place to explore, learn, and see the neighborhood from a local point of view. One of my favorite essays at the blog on Tiong Bahru was posted by Tay Kay Chin, a photojournalist, teacher and artist we had the pleasure of meeting for lunch a long while ago. This part slices life here nicely:
In fact, I think I know quite a bit about Tiong Bahru, to the extent that Mickey, my friend who alternates between his apartment at Blk 56 and another one in London, always wonders what I do for a living.

Like I know that the unit next to him is occupied by women only, including an ex-stewardess who is rather beautiful, and that her mom is the accounts clerk for the egg store downstairs, and that her uncle runs the coffee shop at the street corner.

I also know that further up the road lives an American photographer couple who does work for travel magazines.

Or that the Chinese restaurant a few car parks away serves the best coffee ribs.
[Read the rest of his essay, with pictures here. I hear the coffee ribs are delicious.]
Hold up, wait a minute! That's us!

So we contributed our photographs of the Taoist ceremony from April, which ran on this blog in the spring. I hope that by sharing the flip-book with CIVIC LIFE, a few more of the subjects can have a look. We shared some prints with the congregation that evening, but we couldn't share with everybody then - I hope this does the trick.

That, and we just signed another year's lease, so I guess that makes us almost like locals. Better start acting like it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Big in shanghai

James made the newspaper, the Shanghai Weekly, when two photographers, well, make that three, converged during coverage of a new al fresco bar called Flair on the 58th floor of the Ritz. 58 stories wasn't tall enough, so James stood on a table. (I took a few shots from up there too, but I was wearing a skirt, and it's windy up there!) Reposting from facebook.