Is the World your Oyster?

Travel to See the World Unravel

Salvador Dali Exhibition 萨尔瓦多达利展 살바도르 달리 전시회

Marina Bay Sands Art-Science Museum

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“Every morning, upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dali, and I ask myself, wonderstruck, what prodigious thing will he do today, this Salvador Dali.”

Salvador Dali

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Do you know him? I guess most of us do. Especially as kids when we loved licking our Chupa-Chups lollipops.

Never heard of him? It’s okay. If you know Chupa-Chups lollipops, you would have taken the time to appreciate his art.

Confused?

Above illustration Courtesy of BBC Modern Masters

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Quirky, Erratic, Surreal.

3 most commonly used words to describe Salvador Dali.

Those were my impressions of him when I arrived for Dali: Mind Of A Genius exhibition at the Art-Science Museum which runs from the 14th May to 30th October 2011.

However, I would like to add 3 more words to the list after viewing the exhibition.

3 more words which best describes what I felt from viewing his art.

Philosophical, Sentimental, Religious.

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Melting Clocks. A recurring theme in the sculptures exhibited. Definitely the icon which best represents Dali.

Though the melting clocks eventually became a highlight on its own as a series of sculptures, it was first introduced through a painting.

Above illustration Courtesy of BBC Modern Masters

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Painted in 1931, The Persistence of Memory is one of the most celebrated and recognized
paintings of the 20th Century. The three “melting” or “soft” watches placed in the
landscape of Dalí’s beloved Port Lligat have become nearly synonymous with Dalí’s
name since they first helped to introduce mainstream American audiences to Surrealism
in 1932. The painting’s combination of the everyday and the dreamlike, the symbolic
and the irrational, nature and technology, and the Dalinian confusion of softness and
hardness, accounts in part for its mass appeal, as it seems to both encourage and
confound analysis and explanation. The painting’s watches are, as the Museum of
Modern Art (MOMA) in New York once wrote, “irrational, fantastic, paradoxical,
disquieting, baffling, alarming, hypnogogic, nonsensical and mad—but to the surrealist
these adjectives are the highest praise” (MOMA, “What Is Modern Painting?”).

Adapted from Clocking In With Salvador Dali: Salvador Dali’s Melting Watches

Inspired by the acclaimed The Persistence of Memory, Dali created variations of melting clock sculptures.

What’s different about the melting clock sculpture above is the presence of tear drops and the fig tree. The tear drops represent the anguish and helplessness of humans in not having the control to flex time, be it returning to the past to undo a mistake or to want time to show down in the present moment of bliss. By having the melting clock draped across the branches of the fig tree, Dali portrays the relation between time and the life-death cycle of living things. A disclaimer – these are strictly my interpretation from viewing the art piece and hearing the audio-guide.

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Another characteristic which I noted of Dali is that a couple of his art-pieces were strongly influenced by literature such as the Bible and C.S. Lewis’ Alice in Wonderland. In fact, he created several bronze sculptures and sketches of scenes from the Bible and Alice in Wonderland.

No prizes for guessing which character the bronze sculpture depicts. Yes, it’s Alice. It’s Alice skipping with a jump rope. The Alice in this sculpture is a far cry from the Alice that I knew from the book. Well firstly Alice shouldn’t be in a evening down. She should be in a knee-length flowy sun dress instead. Secondly, her hair shouldn’t be bundled with roses, it should be in two ponytails. Lastly, she shouldn’t be depicted with such sensuality, she’s supposed to be an innocent yet fearless young lady. And what’s with the clutch?

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Dali explored with several recurring objects in his sculptures, each object illustrates a certain facet of life.

For instance, the rose-bundled hair of Alice’s actually portrays Alice as a fashionista. This portrayal of a fashionista was inspired by another of his sculptures – tribute to fashion.

Now what’s with the clutch again? The lady fashionista was supposed to be holding on to a clutch. Unfortunately, it was cut off in the photo. The clutch actually depicts fragility when used to support the protagonist in the sculptures. In Tribute to Fashion, the clutch was held like a triton by the lady fashionista, thus depicting strength and authority.

What about the clutch in Alice’s sculpture? In my opinion, since it did not seem connected to the sculpture as a whole as Alice had no use for it, it seemed to be a pretty neutral object – neither depicting fragility nor strength. Maybe it depicts Alice’s youth? Maybe there weren’t any major events which brought out her fragility or strength yet.

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This sculpture includes 3 recurring objects in Dali’s artwork.

Melted Clocks/Watches

Watches are not only potent symbols of

“time’s winged chariot hurrying near,” but their content is seemingly contradicted, and

made doubly meaningful, by their softness. The resulting effect—that of time and

machine coming apart—challenges our belief in a rational, natural, orderly and rulebound

world.

Adapted from Clocking In With Salvador Dali: Salvador Dali’s Melting Watches

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Ants

Death & Sexual Desire

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Egg

Life, Love & Hope

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The other recurring objects featured in Dali’s work are:

Drawers

Secrets

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Grasshopper

Fear & Anxiety

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Butterfly

Soul

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Snail

Human Head

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Silhouettes

Spirit & Apparitions

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For those interested in Art History, here’s a documentary on Dali by BBC’s series on Modern Masters.

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If you would like to visit the exhibition.

Admission Fees: SGD 30

Rental fees for Audio-guide: SGD 6

Visit the Art-Science Museum website for up-to-date information.

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French Confectionery Française Confiserie 프랑스어 과자

Hediard Cafe & Boutique

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After the post on Japanese sweets, I decided to try out the ‘sweets’ of other nationalities. Japanese sweets appeals aesthetically. Each ‘sweet’ represents a part of the Japanese landscape. What are French ‘sweets’ then? Well, maybe fruit jellies known by the locals as pates de fruits? Or..or… chocolates? Do they represent the French Haute cuisine? French gastronomy must be of ‘haute’ end to be included as part of UNESCO intangible cultural heritage in November 2010.

To appease my (& maybe your) salivating glands, I dropped by Hediard Cafe & Boutique at Tudor Court for French confectionery. No, I don’t usually get to enjoy ‘haute’ cuisine.  I redeemed the confectionery from a gift voucher.

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Here’s a peak of my confectionery platter! Clockwise from top left: Truffelines, Apricot Fruit Jelly, Blackcurrant Fruit Jelly, Orangette.

Verdict

Truffelines aka Truffles:

The truffelines were coated with a layer of chocolate powder that I expected the immediate taste to be bitter. However it wasn’t bitter at all (Royce’s chocolates as benchmark) but flavourful of the raw cocoa bean fragrance. The raw coca bean fragrance complemented the buttery sweet filling aftertaste. Pleasant texture which melts in your mouth. Surprisingly the buttery filling wasn’t sticky at all. Easy to eat.

Apricot Fruit Jelly & Blackcurrant Fruit Jelly:

Smooth gelatinous texture unlike the packaged gummies with thick starchy ‘capsule’ coating and viscous sticky filling. The fruit jellies were fresh fruity sweet rather than artificially flavoured. Not sticky and was easy to chew on. Nonetheless, one is enough. The sweetness gets to you.

Orangette:

Couldn’t remember much about it. Bland I guess. Bland in a good way as the chocolate coating wasn’t sweet. And all the more it shouldn’t be since it’s supposedly dark chocolate. Okay I guess since I couldn’t remember it being real impressive or un-impressive.

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What are orangettes you might ask.

Orangettes are strips of candied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate.

Image above & recipe below courtesy of unfussy fare:

ORANGETTES

Four medium oranges (look for ones with thin peels)
salt
2 cups sugar
4 ounces good bittersweet chocolate

Cut the top and bottom ends off the oranges. Cut the peel off the oranges in six sections, as close to peel edge as possible.

Cut peel sections in half lengthwise, so you can flatten them more easily, and remove as much pith as you can with a paring knife. Some pith will remain. Don’t worry about it.

Cut peel sections lengthwise into quarter-inch wide strips, as evenly as possible.

Place the peels in a non-reactive bowl with enough salt water to cover. (One teaspoon salt per cup of water.) Soak for at least 24 hours. Drain, rinse, and soak peel in fresh water for 20 minutes. Drain again.

Boil peel in fresh water for 20 minutes and drain again.

Mix two cups of sugar with two cups of water in a medium saucepan. Stir. Add peel. Bring to a boil, reduce heat until the mixture is just simmering. Simmer for 45 minutes.

Remove peels from syrup a few at a time using a fork, and put them on a rack to drip dry. (Put something under the rack to catch the drips.) Allow them to dry completely. (Overnight worked for me.)

Melt chocolate in a double boiler. (I use a metal bowl set on a saucepan of simmering water.)

Dip peel strips into melted chocolate. Place on parchment paper or wax paper to dry.

If you don’t want the chocolate, you can just roll the peels in powdered or granulated sugar instead.

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Here’s a series of 9 videos teaching you how to make chocolate truffles!

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Snapped some photos from Hediard Boutique

Hediard’s Collection of Chocs & Confectionery in the Fridge

Hediard’s Goodies on Display

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Now, tell me, what are Singapore ‘sweets’?

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Thoughts on Singapore Biennale 2011 – Open House

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I took in the intricate details. The grandeur of the blooming Frangipanis, the solemnity of the Bluebells, how seamlessly the protagonist camouflages into the abundant floral growth and yet resonating an undeniable presence of her own. Protruding framed butterfly specimens flanked the oil painting, bringing out the sanguine character of an otherwise melancholic piece of art. The tilted gaze of the protagonist strangely resembles the iconic poise of Mother Mary cuddling Baby Jesus. I sensed a warm and vibrant but yet stern and unyielding atmosphere to this piece of art, just as how Roman-Catholicism impresses upon me. My judgment came as no surprise as the realist artist is a Filipino while the protagonist in question was a renowned Mexican artist, both cultures heavily influenced by Roman-Catholicism.

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I left the Singapore Art Museum and headed towards Old Kallang Airport. In its heyday, it served as Singapore’s first civil airport. This desolate compound was given a new lease of life recently, having transformed into an enormous gallery space housing the bulk of the contemporary artworks featured in the Singapore Biennale 2011. The choice of location for the Biennale was an interesting one; its atmosphere encompassed the steadfast richness of Singapore’s historical past and the dynamic nature of modern contemporaries.

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Wandering around the exhibition space, I initially didn’t think much of the pieces of embroidery showcased in South Korean artist, Kyungah Ham’s gallery when I chanced upon it. However, I had second thoughts after listening to the audio-guide. The artist introduced her work as a deliberate intention to transmit information through the process of sending her initial digital prints to North Korea and the eventual pieces of commissioned embroidery back to Seoul. Her concept sounded interesting since it involved two states which are technically still at war.

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As I began to patiently decipher the controversial messages embodied in each piece of embroidery, I became awestruck by the artist ingenious use of satirical sarcasm. For instance, there was a piece of embroidery depicting a majestic chandelier hanging loosely against the backdrop with recurring motifs of stardust and meteor showers. I instinctively fantasized a pair of happily-ever-after prince and princess having their first dance beneath the magical sight. Disappointingly, the quote at the bottom of the piece of embroidery had to be ‘Perhaps I secretly longed for our liaison to fail’. What a dig at unification!

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Intriguingly, a couple of the digital prints originally part of this series were missing from the eventual embroidered artwork, regrettably seized by the North Korean authorities. I was sure that the artist rejoiced upon the supposedly bad news. Her point was being made across the border.

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At the end of the day as I made my way out of Old Kallang Airport, I felt as if I had journeyed and intruded upon cultures not of my own, on home ground. Maybe it’s time to re-define the notion of ‘travelling’. Do we really need to physically transcend borders to journey into unknown cultures?

-All Rights Reserved by Author, Hye Rim – istheworldyouroyster.wordpress.com

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Twin Towers 双塔 트윈 타워

Kuala Lumpur, KLCC with Petronas Twin Towers

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Adapted from ArchNet:

The Petronas Towers are the centrepiece of the mixed-use Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) complex, set in the heart of the commercial district of the city. Rising 452 metres, the towers were certified the world’s tallest buildings by the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in 1996. The complex is at the forefront of technology, with a form derived from an Islamic pattern, and extensive use of local materials. The towers have become a popular example of contemporary architecture in Malaysia, and their elegant form makes them the country’s most significant urban landmark.

The towers are connected at the forty-first and forty-second levels, 170 metres above street level, by a sky bridge, enabling intercommunication between the towers. The structural design of the sky bridge was complex because it had to accommodate differing movements from each tower.

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Entrance to Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge from the elevator lobby

View of Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge from the elevator lobby

Scenic View from Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge

Another Scenic View from Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge

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Ready for a 360 Virtual Reality View of KLCC from Paranomas?

What about a documentary on the massive construction project?

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What about making a visit?

Visit Information
Visit Days: Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Monday)
Visit Hours: From 9 am to 7 pm (closed for Friday Prayer from 1pm to 2:30pm)

Issuance of Tickets
From 9:00 am daily except Monday

Visit Package Price Per Person
Adults MyKad Holders & Children 12 Yrs Below
Package 1Skybridge only RM10 RM3
Package 2Includes:· Skybridge · Observation Deck RM40 RM20
Premium Package*Includes:

· Skybridge
· Observation Deck
· Meal at MPC

AdultsWith Lunch : RM200
With Set Chinese / Japanese / Western Dinner : RM350

* Premium Package details :
· Tuesday – Saturday only
· Children allowed on Saturdays (applicable to Premium Package for lunch only).
· Premium Package is not available during public holidays.
Check out PETRONAS Twin Towers Official Website for more up-to-date information!

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Parliament 国会 의회

Parliament House

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A new Parliament of capable 4th generation leaders in 5 days time.

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