Supermarket Fashions: Not For Sale

Who’s ready for some marketing? Personal marketing I mean. On many grounds, aren’t we similar to supermarket displays where the best products get sold out faster than others? Or do we have to discount ourselves to be whisked off the shelves?

I guess there isn’t a textbook formula for a successful marketing campaign. Sometimes it just happens that you are the most popular one at the moment. But if you’re not, I’m sure one day you will end up in the hands of a rightful customer.

I used to remember a career consultant saying that it is what a candidate can provide for the consumer, but how can us human beings be for sale?

I wish for the newcomers to challenge the status quo; one day we will not be subjected as a commodity, but a human being living his passion every single day.

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The Last Chance – Iconic Singapore Buildings

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We’ve heard of Rochor Centre and Dakota Crescent giving way to new buildings, but just before they are gone for good (maybe not), take your last chance to head down and leave photographic memories for future sake! I present to you the must-visit places for your phototaking adventures.

Dakota Crescent

Oddly enough, I had been seriously addicted to a Channel 8 drama – Hero – which was set in one of the oldest estates in Singapore – Dakota Crescent. While I am still brooding over the fact that the drama has ended, I am glad to have made a trip down to take photos of the old-school structures there.

Dakota used to be part of the defunct Kallang Airport, and hence the road name – Old Airport Road. And the estate got its name from a tragic episode involving an airplane named Dakota. But the real story lies in the off-white paints and brown bricks, soaked in vintage vibes.

Humans are indeed guilty of not treasuring the things around them – I am a culprit of this. Visited Tian Kee and Old Airport Road food centre several times but never gave another look at the estate. But this trip down memory lane is definitely one that you have to experience for yourself before it is torn down for good.

Rochor Centre

How can we forget soon-to-be historic Rochor Centre’s iconic HDB flats which were vibrantly coloured in yellow, blue, green and red. All tenants have supposedly moved out, leaving the area frighteningly quiet, contrasting itself from the once bustling market downstairs.

A wreak of odour suffocates you along the staircases up to the common areas where you get the best view of the buildings. Migrant workers were seen dismantling the refrigerators left behind in the empty households, possibly finding gold or silver conductors for extra moolah. Such a poignant scene I remember.

Getting the best view involves climbing up to high spaces – that is if you do not own a drone. We looked around and found a vertical ladder at the fitness corner. Resting on top of the ladder to have your photo taken (Thanks Alexia) really makes you feel like you have no more regrets.

If you’ve always had the idea of heading down to these places, then better materialise them fast!

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5 Exhibition Highlights at Singapore Biennale 2016

Been feeling major artistic vibes recently… went for the exhibitions over 2 weekends, quite a big feat for me honestly. This time I do feel like I learnt a lot more about art – the underlying message behind the artwork, the curation of the spaces and the positioning of the art pieces – all these do not come easy and I have to give my hats off to the curators for coming up with such an event.

VENUES

While the Singapore Biennale is hosted across 6 venues, most of the art work and highlights congregate at Singapore Art Museum and 8Q, which is a good sign considering you do not have to travel far for the bulk of the exhibitions. The other venues include National Museum of Singapore, Peranakan Museum and Asian Civilisations Museum.

HIGHLIGHTS

(Like in any award shows) In random order, I am listing down 5 of my favourite exhibition features which you could take some nice, avant-garde photos there. At least that is a must for me.

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  1. Paracosmos – Harumi Yukutake

Upon entering SAM while you intend to head to the second floor, you might notice a lot of people trying to capture the best photo possible. Rounded mirrors fill up the walls leading up to the second floor, creating distorted reflections at different angles, depending on your position on the rounded staircase. Finding the best angle might be tricky, but the trippy feeling intrigues me a lot.

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  1. Noah’s Garden II – Guoyuan Deng

You have probably seen many photos taken at this installation on Instagram, and indeed this is one of those which you have to queue to enter. Well-illuminated and covered with mirrors all around, you really feel like you entered into another futuristic dimension; not to mention the 2 rotating doors in the centre of the installation that made me real dizzy. The best angle in my opinion is taking your reflection on the floor, capturing the reflection from the ceiling and everywhere else like a cascade.

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  1. Good Boy, Bad Boy – Shih Hsiung CHOU

Another reflection-themed installation (definitely not rigged) but this is different because it is the dense and viscous black petroleum that gives the reflection. I tried recreating the sample image from the handbook but what a lie because you could see yourself taking the photos through the reflection. So the photographer has to stand slightly to the side to avoid the above. The coolest thing in my opinion – the two reflections is undoubtedly different. One seemed more plump than the other and I can’t explain why.

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  1. Home, and a Home – Rathin Barman

Located at 8Q, the steel structures that make up this installation makes you feel trapped rather than what the title suggests. The use of the lighting in the room casts shadows around helps create the emptiness of the ‘Home’ – puzzling indeed. Reading the description of the artwork, which takes inspiration from the stories of migrant workers from Bangladesh, it is no wonder one could feel this way. I took a Boomerang here instead and it turned out pretty well.

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  1. The Unity of N Monuments – Xingtao JIAO

This is slightly underwhelming as you will expect a bigger space to place those chairs, but in fact it is probably just the size of your kitchen. But nonetheless, the bright contrast of the colours – red and baby blue – along with the symmetry of the arrangement, the installation is still quite impressive. If you are trying to recreate the sample image from the guidebook, don’t bother because there is not high ground for you to take a top down shot. Just enjoy the diagonal symmetries of the stool chairs.

OTHER NOTABLE HIGHLIGHTS

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  1. Growing – Hemali Bhuta (SAM)

A striking incense smell invigorates you upon entering the room and you wonder what could have caused that. Turns out, this installation is indeed made from incense sticks suspended from above and it is pretty creepy, but in an impressive way.

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  1. Sugoroku – Anxiety of Falling from History – Nobuaki Takekawa (8Q)

Prepare to challenge your intelligence or so we say mindf*** from the various paintings reflecting the World War II period. Honestly till now, I’m still thinking about the meaning behind those artworks.

  1. Video showing of the Chinese Contemporary Art (8Q)

Viewer Discretion is advised seriously, and thankfully this is rated 21. Be disturbed by what the artists deem as contemporary art and the lengths they go to achieve what they want to portray. Sounds kind of like a cult, but who is to judge right? You have to see to know what I mean.

Monaco Ball in Singapore

Many of us may not know that Singapore hosts many gala balls throughout the year, and of course not to mention the prestigious Monaco Ball which happened yesterday. The Prince Albert II Foundation Charity Gala is held biannually and is hosted by Marina Bay Sands for the past few editions. Of course, leading the delegation is Prince Albert II the reigning head of state of Monaco.

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Monaco Ball in Singapore

Special thanks to Laurence, the main coordinator for the gala, for inviting me for this extremely grand event, and of course my boss Benoit for trusting me to represent you! Not forgetting Josephine for agreeing to go for this event and had to put in a lot of effort to look as glam as possible!

The Prince Albert II Foundation of Monaco is a charitable organisation with its key focus in protecting the environment, tackling issues of climate change, water and biodiversity. The key areas in focus include the polar zones, the Mediterranean and the poverty areas in the world.

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Art piece of Princess Grace Kelly

The proceeds from the charity auction, kindly sponsored by famous international brands and artists, will go into research and project executions. So while the ball is exceptionally grand and posh, what’s important to note is that everything is for a good cause.

I have to say that the highlight of the evening will definitely be to have had the chance to speak to his excellency, Prince Albert II, himself, as well us our foreign affairs minister Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan! Star struck much!

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With his excellency, Prince Albert II
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With Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan

Be it the rose petal theme, exquisite fashions, or using technological tools for the ballroom decor, the Monaco Ball in Singapore has to be the coolest experience for a first-timer like myself. I could definitely get used to this lifestyle!

For more information about the gala, visit http://www.ballinmonaco.com

Kranji Marshes: Nature-inspired photoshoot

If you ever feel like escaping the crowd, or getting out to somewhere without traces of human footprint, Kranji is probably your best choice. This week I’m covering Kranji Marshes and well, thanks to friends with CARS, Kranji Marshes is VERY MUCH more accessible, though there are shuttle buses that embark from Kranji MRT Station. But generally, to explore Kranji well, driving is really more convenient. No uber, grab or taxis can be expected here.

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Photo from NParks

But generally, Kranji Marshes is slightly underwhelming. The majority of the area is under core conservation and is not open for the public. That leaves an approximately 1km trail taking only about 20 minutes to reach the Raptor Tower (Observatory deck). With that said, being photojunkies, we managed to take advantage of any fashionable photo opportunity available.

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And not forgetting the Kranji Reservoir with the evening sun (my absolute favourite time of the day).

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It was definitely a relaxing day out enjoying nature and its serenity. Remember to shortlist Kranji as your next ‘suburban’ getaway. And of course for your nature-inspired photoshoot.

Effects by Canva, special thanks to the gang 😉