Monthly Archives: November 2014

Little India Scene and 水乡景

This Little India scene was rather challenging as it had many people in it (and people are much harder to depict than buildings!!)

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Little India Street Scene … the subject of painting class held on 27 Nov 2014

 

and three water town scenes …

a scene adapted from demo in class held on 20 Nov 2014

a scene adapted from demo in class held on 20 Nov 2014

based on a painting that I saw (and photographed) in Tongli, Suzhou trip in 2010

based on a painting that I saw (and photographed) in Tongli, Suzhou trip in 2010

also based on a photo taken during trip to Tongli, Suzhou in 2010

also based on a photo of a painting taken during trip to Tongli, Suzhou in 2010

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Visit to S.E.A. Aquarium

Finally went to the S.E.A. Aquarium yesterday with the spouse and girls 🙂  (& two years after it opened, on 22 Nov 2012)

And it is still fascinating as ever to see the marine life from up close … as the pictures below will show!!

the most fascinating section of the aquarium, for me ...

the most fascinating section of the aquarium, for me …

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a great place for both young and old …

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starfish (did you know that they have eyes at the end of each tip?)

 

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schooling fish …

 

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don’t think of chilli crab …

 

 

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fascinating bioluminescence!

 

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“tell your family not to eat sharks’ fin soup … “: overheard their teacher telling them 🙂

 

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is this what goes into fish head curry ?

 

 

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Nemo, always a favourite amongst visitors (especially the young ones)

 

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See you again!

 

(we parked at Vivocity ($1.20 per hour), walked and took travellator across (about 800 m). Entrance fees into Sentosa by foot per person was $1, payable by EZ link card.)

Tip:

1) buy your tickets online (promotion now costs $25, valid till Mar 2015) because it costs $38 to buy it at the entrance for one adult! We got ours at a roadshow for just $20 (yay!).

2) the lunch at Malaysian Foodstreet was yummy, estimate about $5-$7 per person.

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Awaken the Dragon!kilns@Jalanbahar

Finally visited the dragon kilns on Saturday (22 Nov 2014)! Not only that, was also able to see it being “fed” and with explanations given by a master artist (Ian Jones from Australia)

Feeding the Dragon

Feeding the Dragon!

Wood (lots and lots of it, surround the mouth of the dragon) ... body is about 36 m long and rises up the slope that you see in picture.

Wood (lots and lots of it, surround the mouth of the dragon) … body is about 36 m long and rises up a slope (see the concrete looking mound in the photo)

Having heard lots about it and driven pass the sign postings many times (when heading to NIE for my courses from 2009-2012), spouse and me took the chance to visit it during the Awaken The Dragon Festival held over the weekend.

There are actually two dragon kilns around the area, and while the one at Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle was being “fed” for the festival, the other one (Guan Huat Dragon Kiln) was “opened” for visitors to wander into its belly:

inside the dragon's belly ...

inside the Guan Huat dragon’s belly …some undigested pots and plates from last feeding?? 🙂

We learnt and saw lots during the free guided tours of the place (by visiting Master ceramic artists, the owners, and artists in residence). Our visit to the dragon kiln was made even more worthwhile, as we met up with KJ (an ex-colleague, ceramic artist, and school principal), whom we had not seen for a long time, at Guan Huat Dragon Kiln. Seems he has been doing this for some time, and he was very kind to explain all kinds of questions which me and SM (classmate from ceramic class) had when we were viewing the pieces on display.  Thanks, KJ!!

wood fired works on display ...

wood fired works on display …

One interesting thing that I never knew before was how the wood fired pieces actually made use of the ash in the dragon’s belly; the temperature is like 1300 degree C in the kiln, and the ash flying about had adhered and formed a natural glaze on the pieces that you see above! This is quite unlike the method of say, dipping or painting the glaze on.

To visit, it is best to drive or take a cab in:

map to dragon kiln

map to dragon kiln

Another thing to know is, the dragon kilns are only fed (fired up) like twice or so in a YEAR (i.e. infrequently), so it is best to either catch it when it is being fired, and/or to go there to take up a ceramic art lesson/workshop (regular sessions are held) … , and perhaps to add a sidetrip to nearby Jurong Point while in the neighbourhood (rather interesting “streets” like this one inside the mall:

like some street in HK!

like some street in HK!

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Canola fields, Hongcun lotus pond, and Canna Lily with bird and ladybug

Rather “hardworking” recently, as the tuition season winds down and with time on my hands, I painted these after the  Chinese ink painting class  🙂   (the subject was “油菜花“, otherwise known as “rapeseed” and where canola oil comes from)

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based on demonstration in painting class … will be giving away to a student from 20 years ago!

 

Hongcun lotus pond - based on a photo from my recent Huangshan side trip to Hongcun, a very pretty village an hour away from Huangshan (also UNESCO world heritage site)

Hongcun lotus pond – based on a photo from my recent Huangshan side trip to Hongcun (see blog post), a very pretty village an hour away from Huangshan (also UNESCO world heritage site) – might want to do something to the water, seems a bit bare now …

adapted from an image of canola scene taken from the internet

adapted from an image of canola scene taken from the internet – this piece is double the size of the first picture right on top

see closely to spot the ladybug!

see closely to spot the ladybug!

 saw this canna lily at the condo where my dizi teacher stays and thought it made for a nice subject to do a 花鸟 painting

saw this canna lily at the condo where my dizi teacher stays and thought it made for a nice subject to do a 花鸟 painting

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Autumn trail@East Coast Park

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Take your bike or running/walking shoes and enjoy the autumn colours along East Coast Park soon – be quick though, before the leaves shed!

The best spots seems to be from the park area across from Victoria JC, and towards the National Sailing Centre side (all the way to the reservist recreational centre); but I may be biased here since this was the route I ran 🙂 Some of the photos below are near to the beach, and require a short detour from the cycling/walking track.

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(the tree that gives the autumn effect is The Ketapang, or Sea Almond tree (NParks Flora and Fauna Web); see also this article from TodayOnline )

 

 

 

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Sports Climbing Level 1 Course

“So tired” is what one of my tuition student often “greets” me with … today is my turn to say “so tired.”

Went for a Level 1 climbing course today today with the spouse and her colleagues, and we had great fun climbing and learning about some basics of the sport. And best of all, we are all certified and are now able to do proper belaying (handling of a safety rope, through actions to ensure a climber is safe, because you are the person on the ground who uses this rope attached to the climber to “catch” or “lower” him down safety as he comes down (both when he falls, or when he has reached the top of the wall).

My Level 1 Climbing certificate

My Level 1 Climbing certificate

The really cool thing now is that both spouse and I can either belay each other at climbing gyms, or do it for the kids … next stop: SAFRA Yishun Rock Wall!!! 🙂

(and a special thanks to all the instructors and climbers who made the session today both informative and fun!  🙂  )

 

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Interesting happenings on Sunday …

Not sure how anyone can say that Singapore is boring nowadays !!??!!

Had a most interesting Sunday today – saw the Subaru challenge outside Takashimaya (and visited the new Kinokuniya while waiting for 1 pm, when the participants were to be given their 5 minute break (1 every 6 hours!!!)),

Car 1 and 2 - No one from the regional countries had dropped out after 22+ hrs!

Car 1 and 2 – No one from the regional countries had dropped out after 22+ hrs!

and once the break started, they rushed either to get food and drinks, or to the toilet! and then, all too soon, they had to get back to their positions:

one more minute to go before the "fun" begins again, until the next 5 min break six hours later!

one more minute to go before the “fun” begins again, until the next 5 min break six hours later!

(but, not before a quick lie down and hanging up their feet (LOL!!))

After this, I was off to the Esplanade Concert Hall to catch a free concert by the RI Alumni Chinese Orchestra:

Full house! I even had to join the queue at 2:15 pm for the concert which started at 3 pm.

Full house! I even had to join the queue at 2:15 pm for the concert which started at 3 pm.

It was highly enjoyable to hear the popular songs from the 70 and 80’s (Beatles, ABBA, Xinyao, and Mandopop hits) performed by the 50+ strong orchestra, and especially so, now that I am learning the dizi and also heard some of the songs I had learnt to play 🙂

When the concert ended, was then entertained by a group at the open air stage area by the bay; they were rehearsing for their performance later the same evening (apparently, they were checking out the sound system, and testing it by playing songs like Bosssanova …. quite cool!!)

And rounding up this Sunday outing were these two events –

dragon boat regatta at the Singapore river

dragon boat regatta at the Singapore river

Nat Geo Alive exhibition at the Fullerton Hotel

Nat Geo Alive exhibition at the Fullerton Hotel: third photo from left shows a tight rope walker crossing some “Cathedral” rock formation in Yosemite National Park, against a full moon in background.

And going to all of the above did not even cost me a single cent 🙂

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