All posts tagged: Art/Culture

ArtScience Museum, Nov 2014

Some iPhone photos from a recent visit. I’d been meaning to see the Eames one for months, but it’s always a bit hard to get out to the Marina Bay Sands because there isn’t a lot to do afterwards if you’re not in the mood for an expensive meal or drinks. There are quite a few pieces in the Eames area, including some original interactive activities from an educational exhibit they designed, although the gallery layout leaves a little to be desired. A roughshod detail here, an odd pathway there, and lots of furniture out of reach, labeled “do not touch”, leaves you empty;  it’s only at the very end when you sink into a permitted Ottoman that you feel the humanity of their designs. The Chanel Black Jacket photo exhibition is much more enjoyable to explore, because there’s nothing between you and the content on display. •••• Here are the official exhibition summaries: Explore the life and work of Charles and Ray Eames, the most famous couple in design. Most known for their timeless …

Of Monsters and Men: Pacific Rim and Man of Taichi

Two of the movies I’ve been waiting for in one weekend. Pacific Rim in IMAX 3D (found the 3D dull, dim, and uncomfortable), and Keanu Reeves’s directorial debut, Man of Taichi (thankfully in 2D). Both are films I’d like to go see again. They are both fascinating in that Pacific Rim is the monster (kaiju) movie that Japan could never make, while Man of Taichi is the martial arts (gongfu) movie that Hong Kong could never make. Both borrow richly from their sources, but add something of their own. In Pacific Rim’s case, wads of special effects money and (unfortunately) Michael Bay’s apocalypse movie template. Andy Baio remarked on Twitter that it’s the worst of Transformers, Armageddon, and Independence Day rolled into one. While that’s a fair assessment of its characterizations and plotting, Del Toro at least executes his material as if he’s seen some anime and knows how to shoot a fight so you can actually see it. What it really needed was a tight script and team dynamics you could both enjoy and …

Slava’s Snowshow, Singapore

Snowstorm finale, Instagrammed from my iPhone My girlfriend and I attended last night’s performance of the award-winning Slava’s Snowshow (now on till the 9th of September, at the Marina Bay Sands theaters), which isn’t easily described because it has clowns, but isn’t really for kids; its narrative has no binding logic, but it says a lot without words; there’s snow, as promised, but really it’s about dreams, playacting, physical comedy, scenes of profound Godot-esque surrealism (as you’d expect from Russian clowns) , departures, alienation, and (I got the sense of this) having fun by being lost. The Times of London called it “a theatre classic of the 20th century”, and its creator, Slava Polunin, was formerly of the Cirque du Soleil where he served as a clown-in-chief of sorts. I don’t want to spoil it too much, but as long as you’re sitting in the stalls, you can’t escape being immersed in its key scenes. The performers regularly break the fourth wall (does this apply to the stage?), multiple objects and effects break free from …

➟ Vintage Tokyo subway courtesy posters

Don’t Forget Your Umbrella (October 1981) If you’ve seen the Tokyo Metro company’s recent “Please Do It At Home” campaign, it might interest you to know that they’ve been at the batshit-crazy poster game since the 1970s. Click through for illustrations of considerate trainfaring starring Superman, Hitler, Catholic nuns, and Astro Boy. Link

➟ Versions by Oliver Laric

Somewhere between documentary, artwork, and essay lies this video by Oliver Laric, on interpretation and reinterpretation in modern visual culture, in particular a series of animation clips from Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons in which entire “classic” sequences are reproduced in different shows. Image montage from booooooom.com Link